020 7691 1925
skip to main content

Chief Executive

Following a search by Prospectus, The Young Foundation has appointed Helen Goulden as their new Chief Executive.

Helen joins The Young Foundation from Nesta where she has been an Executive Director for the past 4 years, leading Nesta’s Innovation Lab whose mission is to support and scale innovation for the public good. They work with partners to run innovation funds and programmes, open innovation processes and challenge prizes. Helen joined Nesta in April 2009 and is also currently a board member of the Behavioural Insights Team. Before joining Nesta, Helen worked in the private sector developing digital strategies and solutions for global corporate clients. She spent five years consulting in the Cabinet Office, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Department for Communities and Local Government, developing national innovation programmes for local government and leading research and product development for interactive television services.

Helen Goulden said of her appointment:

I am thrilled and excited to be offered the opportunity to lead The Young Foundation on the next phase of its journey. The Foundation has such a rich and distinguished history and I believe its work has never been more relevant to many of the profound challenges we face today. I know it will continue to make a vital contribution through providing much needed research and social innovation tools to grow resilience, agency and meaningful change within communities of all kinds across the UK and beyond. I have huge respect for the job the current CEO, Baroness Thornton, has done over the last two years in growing the impact of the organisation and thank her for the generous welcome and support she has given me.

Dame Julie Mellor, Chair of the Young Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Helen Goulden as the next Chief Executive of The Young Foundation. Helen is currently an Executive Director at Nesta and has a very distinguished track record in the public, private and voluntary sector. Helen will bring rich expertise and experience of social innovation to support communities across the UK to tackle the key issues they face. It is a credit to our current Chief Executive, Baroness Glenys Thornton, that Helen will have a strong platform on which to build. Having established a highly successful series of programmes taking place in the UK and internationally, Glenys asked the Board earlier this year to find her replacement so that she could return to front line politics and Parliament.

The Board of Trustees, Helen and the whole Young Foundation team look forward to working with current and potential new partners to shape our future strategy and contribution to tackling inequalities in the UK and internationally.”