Alzheimer’s Society appoints Kate Lee new Chief Executive Officer

Posted On: 
17th December 2019

Alzheimer’s Society is delighted to announce that Kate Lee, currently Chief Executive Officer at children and young people’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, will take up the reins as the charity’s new CEO in April 2020.

Kate Lee has been CEO at CLIC Sargent for the past four years. Her proudest moments there have included successfully lobbying the Government to fund the funerals of all children under the age of 18; founding the Children and Young People’s Cancer Coalition, helping unite all charities working in this area to plan, share insight and lobby jointly; and winning a £15m partnership with Morrisons in 2017.

Kate oversaw the rebranding of CLIC Sargent, building a strong one team working culture, and won the Charity Times Charity Principal of the Year Award for her strong leadership style, her engaging use of social media and her fearless ability to make difficult decisions.  She was recognised as one of Charity Times’ 25 Most Influential Leaders in the Voluntary Sector for her work on driving transparency and honesty across the sector.

Kate Lee joins Alzheimer’s Society at an exciting time in the charity’s history. The charity’s strong campaigning arm has played an instrumental part in putting dementia care top of the political agenda, influencing the Prime Minister to announce he would ‘fix social care, once and for all’ on the steps of No.10.

Alzheimer’s Society’s biggest ever social action movement Dementia Friends has now grown to over 3 million Dementia Friends and over 400 dementia-friendly communities, transforming the way people think, act and talk about the condition, and the charity’s Dementia Connect service is included within the NHS’s long-term plan.

Previously CEO of Myton Hospice, a large Adult Palliative Care Charity in Coventry and Warwickshire, Kate has worked with many individuals with dementia and their families in that setting. Before that Kate spent sixteen years at British Red Cross leading UK Service delivery, before becoming Director of UK and International Strategy and Deputy CEO in 2005.

Kate has always had an interest in all forms of research. From building her own technical skills in social science research as part of her Masters and studies at Harvard, through to work to commission research linked to childhood cancer, she sees research as a vital part of creating long-term change and sustainable impact.  

Kate’s mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2006 and has lived independently until recently with the support of Alzheimer’s Society and many others.  

On being appointed, Kate Lee said: “I am delighted, but also privileged, to have this incredible opportunity to lead the Alzheimer’s Society in its next chapter. Having had first-hand experience of the devastation that a dementia diagnosis can have on a family along with the amazing professionalism, warmth and understanding the Alzheimer’s Society team of committed volunteers and staff bring to that heartbreak, growing the impact of this organisation is truly a dream job for me. I can’t wait to meet everyone and get stuck in!”

Alzheimer’s Society’s Chair of Trustees, Stephen Hill, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Kate to the Society and am looking forward very much to working with her. She brings great experience creating a major voice in the fight against cancer, particularly in children. Kate also joins us at a very opportune time to make sure that dementia remains high up the agenda of the new Government, with an emphasis on social and health care reform, awareness, and research, so that this terrible disease can be given the priority it needs in our society.”

Jeremy Hughes, Alzheimer’s Society’s current Chief Executive Officer said: “I am proud to be passing the reins to Kate. Having worked with her before, I can think of no one better to take up leading Alzheimer’s Society’s determination to make life better for people affected by dementia, today and tomorrow.”