EY Foundation announces new Chair

We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Chair, Edel Harris OBE. Alongside extensive experience and a track record of high impact leadership across the charity sector, Edel brings a dedicated passion for supporting young people to succeed.

Edel served as the CEO of Mencap from 2019-2023. Prior to this, she spent eleven years as the CEO of Cornerstone Community Care. Edel previously served as the Chair of The Life Changes Trust and the Scottish Government’s Social Investment Fund. Edel was the first woman to be President of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce from 2016-2018. Her other Non-Executive Director appointments include the National Care Group (2023-present), Robertson Trust (2018-2022), and Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust (2014-2019). 


Edel was awarded an OBE in 2021 in recognition for her services to the public sector and charity.

I am delighted to be appointed as the new Chair of the EY Foundation. All my career I have championed social mobility and have worked alongside young people to ensure they have the same opportunities afforded to them, despite any disadvantage they may face. The EY Foundation is making a positive difference to many people’s lives and I am proud to take over the mantel from the current Chair.

I’m thrilled by the appointment of Edel Harris as EY Foundation Chair of the Board. She joins us at a crucial point in our development as we put the building blocks in place to achieve our long-term ambition to ensure all young people eligible for free school meals have the opportunity to succeed in the workplace. Edel’s hugely impressive career achievements demonstrate the deep knowledge, insight and commitment to making a difference that she will bring to the charity and I can’t wait to start working with her.

Edel replaces Patrick Dunne OBE, who oversaw significant growth of the charity since its launch over nine years ago. During Patrick’s time as Chair, over 22 000 young people from a low-income background have been supported on their journey into work, with the organisation growing from a team of five to forty-five. Patrick has recently been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Voluntary Service.