Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith MP – in the news this week for wanting to raise the retirement age and introduce a right-to-move for social housing tenants (that's a right, Mr Balls, not a duty) – has formally stepped down as the Chairman of the Centre for Social Justice. He will now have the non-executive title of Founder and Life Patron, following his appointment as Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions.
The CSJ's Executive Director, Philippa Stroud is also leaving – becoming IDS' Special Adviser.
The third of the CSJ's losses is Charlotte Pickles. Charlie was the Centre's Policy Director but has been seconded to work alongside IDS and Philippa Stroud.
Together they make a formidable team. Suzie Squires, formerly media adviser to the TaxPayers' Alliance, has also joined Iain Duncan Smith's office at W&P.
Gavin Poole is the new Executive Director of the CSJ. Gavin joined the CSJ after 23 years of service in
the Royal Air Force where his final appointment was as a Ministerial
Private Secretary within the Ministry of Defence. Gavin commanded at squadron and
wing level in times of peace and conflict.
He brings experience in
strategic planning, organisational reform, change management and the
implementation of policy. He holds an MBA
from Cranfield and an MA in War Studies from King's College London. He joined the CSJ in October 2008 as
Mark Florman, who served on the CSJ's Board of Directors since its inception and was the Centre's first donor, has been appointed the new Chairman.
Earlier this year the CSJ was voted as the think tank that had the most influence on the Cameron project by a ConservativeHome panel of influentials. Special congratulations for that reputation must go to Philippa Stroud who worked tirelessly to apply a lifetime of working for the most broken members of society – including those with serious addictions and the homeless – to public policy.