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Save the Children International CEO steps down

Helle Thorning-Schmidt announces she will be stepping down from her position with Save the Children International

Save the Children International has announced that CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt will step down from her position.

Thorning-Schmidt has led the UK-based charity since 2016 and will continue to do so until the Board finds a successor. It was not disclosed as to why she was leaving, but she said she had a “deep sense of pride” from her work.

Thorning-Schmidt said: “It has been an honour to lead this great organisation and work with colleagues so dedicated to making the world a better place for children.

“I will never forget the children I’ve met and the stories they told me. From the families I met in Yemen, to the Rohingya children who fled to Bangladesh, and the girls fighting to end child marriage. I am forever inspired by them.”

Prior to becoming CEO for Save the Children International, Thorning-Schmidt served as Prime Minister of Denmark and leader of the country’s Social Democrat party for a decade. She was the first woman to hold both positions.

On leaving her position, Thorning-Schmidt said: “I will continue to fight for the rights of children and the empowerment of women, and want to spend more time on my Non-executive board roles as well as defending and renewing progress, social justice and democracy in these turbulent times.”

During her time at Save the Children, Thorning-Schmidt helped to launch Ambition for Children 2030 and Save the Children’s 15-year strategic plan for reducing childhood deaths from preventable causes. She has also worked with the charity to expand basic access to education and curbing violence against children.

Chair of the Save the Children International Board of Trustees, Pernille Lopez, said: “Helle leaves us having made significant and lasting contributions to Save the Children International. Lending her talent and voice to the millions of vulnerable children we serve, her impact will continue to be felt for years to come.”

Lopez added that she united 28 member organisations around shared goals and drove progress in enhancing the programs and campaigns. She added: “Helle spearheaded a number of organisational initiatives, helping our organisation evolve and ensuring we remain a leader in everything we do.”

On leaving, Thorning-Schmidt said: “I step down from my role with a deep sense of pride in the important work we have done to give children a voice, and become an organisation that is better fit for the future and delivers more impact for children.”

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