Rob Williamson OBE, DL

Chief Executive

Rob plays a leading role in philanthropy in North East England and nationally, and has particular expertise in governance, charitable giving and voluntary sector research. As CEO of the UK’s largest Community Foundation, he drives a long-term strategy focused on growing a sustainable endowment – currently valued at over £80m – and increasing funding to benefit communities now and in the future.

Rob was for six years Director of Policy and Communications and later Acting CEO at Northern Rock Foundation. His early career was in frontline charities for homeless and vulnerable people. He then went on to senior roles in urban regeneration and local government.

Rob speaks and writes regularly about issues in charity, philanthropy and funding. He is Chair of the BBC’s Charity Appeals Advisory Committee and a trustee of Access – the Foundation for Social Investment. He also serves as a Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear.