First Holex CEO revealed

Caroline McDonald will assume the position of the membership body’s first chief executive from August

Caroline McDonald will assume the position of the membership body’s first chief executive from August

Adult education body Holex has appointed Caroline McDonald as its first chief executive officer. 

Birmingham-born McDonald arrives from Birkbeck, University of London, where she has worked as director of access and engagement for the past six years. 

Up until now, Holex has been run by policy director Sue Pember and a board of governors. But Pember announced in February the organisation had created the CEO position amid an “increased demand” for its services. 

Holex was looking for a “dynamic and experienced” person with a “deep understanding” of the adult community education landscape, according to the job description. 

McDonald was hired by the membership organisation after building up more than two decades of expertise in adult education and community engagement, according to Holex chair Dipa Ganguli. 

Pember will remain in her role as policy director under McDonald’s leadership which begins in August. She told FE Week that the appointment will allow her more time to advocate and lobby on behalf of members. 

In her previous role at Birkbeck, McDonald worked closely with several adult education providers and served as head of access and engagement and head of outreach. 

The position will pay between £70,000 to £90,000 and McDonald will report to the board, chaired by Ganguli. 

She will now be responsible for advocating for positive change and influencing policy discussions, possibly in time for a general election. 

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of our new chief executive officer, Caroline McDonald. With over two decades of expertise in adult education and community engagement, Caroline brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to our mission,” said Ganguli. 

Holex is now 31 years old and has more than 140 members, including local authorities, adult education institutes and further education colleges, that provide adult and community education in England. 

Along with the Association of Colleges and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, Holex is also a founding member of the Education and Training Foundation. 

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