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British Red Cross appoints new chief executive

23 October 2014

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Adamson to the role of chief executive.  

Mike Adamson has been acting chief executive since April 2014 but his career at the British Red Cross already spans 15 years.

From October 2010 he was managing director of operations, responsible for leading the Red Cross’s UK and international programmes, its advocacy work and ensuring a unified approach across all operations.

Between 1992 and 2003 he held a range of positions within the organisation including head of international programme development, director of the London and south east region and director of strategy, planning and information systems.

In his years away from the organisation, Mike worked for the National Health Service as director of commissioning and primary care at a primary care trust in Gloucestershire for three year. He spent five years as managing director for services at the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID – now Action on Hearing Loss).

Helping over a million people in the UK each year

Chairman David Bernstein said: “After a long and rigorous recruitment campaign we are delighted to confirm Mike Adamson as the successful candidate.

“Mike has been instrumental in shaping our new strategy and brings with him his vast experience of our UK and international work, combined with senior experience in the NHS and commercial sectors. He is very well placed to lead the British Red Cross as we implement our new strategy: “refusing to ignore people in crisis.”


Accepting the role, Mike said: “I am honoured to be able to lead the organisation at such an important time. One hundred and fifty years after the Red Cross was founded, it is as relevant now as ever. We are a leading force in the humanitarian sector providing support to over a million people in the UK each year, helping them get back on their feet again after an emergency, after discharge from hospital or as a refugee or asylum seeker.


“In addition we operate in 25 countries around the world and are currently responding to five major emergencies. The Red Cross Movement is one of the largest global responders to the West Africa Ebola outbreak, with a network of thousands of volunteers mobilised across the three affected countries, working at community level to help stop the chain of transmission.”

Mike Adamson replaces Sir Nick Young who stepped down as chief executive in April after 13 years at the helm.

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