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Economist Educational Foundation appoints new chief exec

Flora Letanka has been named Chief Executive of The Economist Educational Foundation (TEEF), effective September.

Economist Educational Foundation appoints new chief exec
Flora Letanka: “The work is needed, now more than ever.”

Letanka will succeed founding Chief Executive Emily Evans, the creator of The Economist Educational Foundation, who will be departing the position after 12 years in the role to pursue a PhD in social innovation. Prior to TEEF, Letanka was an executive director of Teach First, where she tackled educational inequality. In this role, she set up and grew impactful and innovative new initiatives, and built a powerful network of educators globally, says The Economist.

“It is a tribute to Emily’s work in developing The Economist Educational Foundation that it can attract someone of Flora’s calibre to help us reach many more children around the world. She brings the experience, skills and deep commitment to our mission that will ensure the charity builds on its solid foundations to have an ever bigger impact in helping young people find their voice on issues that matter to them,” said Daniel Franklin, The Economist’s Executive Editor and Chairman of the Foundation.

Evans added: “Flora is a collaborative, inclusive and empowering leader with deep commitment to our mission and significant experience scaling impact. I’m looking forward to seeing the charity continue to thrive under Flora’s leadership and make an ever-greater difference for teachers and children.”

“It is an honour to be given the opportunity to lead The Economist Educational Foundation into its next phase. The work is needed, now more than ever. The Foundation’s growth to date, quality of the programmes, products, partnerships and evidence of impact are impressive. I can’t wait to work with the team and partners to not only scale the excellent Topical Talk programme to benefit a million children by 2026, but also to explore how else we can maximise and deepen the Foundation’s impact in 2027 and beyond,” said Letanka.

The Economist says: “The Foundation’s mission is urgent. Building the skills to think and speak well - particularly about issues in the news - is essential today. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds stand to gain even more from these capabilities, which are proven to support social mobility, yet they have fewer opportunities to develop them. Given the enormous unmet need, the charity has ambitious plans to extend its reach. It has demonstrated huge growth potential, having expanded from working in a smattering of UK schools to reaching over 150,000 children globally today, including on-the-ground work in the UK and US. It now aims to accelerate growth and reach a million children by 2026, with 100,000 engaging on a weekly basis.”

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