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New RNID CEO: Jackie Ballard, Acting CEO Brian Lamb

jackieballard.jpgJackie Ballard has been appointed the new CEO of the RNID. The official press release can be found here, and here's the wording:

RNID appoints Jackie Ballard as new Chief Executive - 30 July 2007

RNID, the largest charity representing the UK’s 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people, today (31 July 2007) announced that it is appointing Jackie Ballard as its new Chief Executive.

Commenting on her appointment, James Strachan, Chairman of RNID, said: "We are delighted to have been able to recruit someone with the exceptional ability and experience of Jackie Ballard to lead RNID through its next stage of development.

"As well as being an accomplished leader in the voluntary sector, Jackie brings her huge experience of political affairs and a public service background to the cause of changing the world for deaf and hard of hearing people.

"Jackie is joining an award-winning organisation which was recently acknowledged as one of the leading lobbies in the world for deaf and hard of hearing people. I am confident that she will build on that success."

Jackie Ballard said: "I am delighted to be moving to RNID after five highly enjoyable years at the RSPCA. It has been an honour and a privilege to work for the RSPCA and it's very reassuring that I’m moving on at a time when the Society is in such a healthy position and has achieved so much, particularly our successful campaign for the new Animal Welfare Act.

"I’m ready for a new challenge and very much looking forward to my new role at RNID. I count myself extremely lucky to be moving from one fantastic organisation to another."

Jackie Ballard takes over from John Low who is the new Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation. She will take up the position on 22 October 2007.

This is the e mail that James Strachan sent to staff:

I am delighted to announce that the Board of Trustees have appointed Jackie Ballard to be the next Chief Executive of RNID.

Jackie is currently Director General of RSPCA, a post she has held since 2002. She served as Liberal Democrat MP for Taunton, Somerset, between 1997 and 2001. Previously she worked in local Government as both a Further Education lecturer and a social worker.

We have been able to recruit someone with exceptional ability and experience to lead RNID. As well as being an accomplished leader in the voluntary sector, Jackie brings her huge experience of political affairs and a public service background to the cause of changing the world for deaf and hard of hearing people. As you all know, Jackie is joining an award-winning organisation and we were recently described as one of the leading lobbies in the world for deaf and hard of hearing people. I am confident that she will build on that success.

brian_lamb.jpgJackie will join us on 22 October. In the meantime, the Trustees have asked Brian Lamb to be the Acting Chief Executive from 1 August.

I am sure that you will all give Jackie every support as she continues to maximise our impact on the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people.

James Strachan

Jackie Ballard's Wikipedia entry can be found here.

An interesting ethical dilemma

Since cochlear implants have been tested on animals, and continue to do so, one has to wonder how a person who has previously been CEO of the RSPCA (protecting animal welfare) can be CEO of an organisation which in its strategic plan wants to aggressively cure deafness (there is a source for this, anyone remember where?). Such medical research invariably comes with animal testing. So could someone please tell me how the two add up together.

Deaf involvement at the top?

We now have both a hearing Chair and a hearing CEO, with a 100% hearing SMT (7 members). On its board of trustees out of 11 trustee members: there is one Deaf person and one deafened person (please correct me me I'm wrong). This is 18 people in power making decisions, and just 2 members of its beneficiary group at the top. If its beneficiaries are failing to get to the top of the organisation or be a part of its function, how can the charity label itself as successful in what it does?

Ask the Readers:

Do you know if any Deaf / deaf / deafened / hard of hearing people applied for this post? If so please tip us off using the comments box.

Update: See this comment, which points to this link. It appears that Jackie Ballard is blind in her left eye:

Only one has a disability - Jackie Ballard of the RSPCA is blind in her left eye.

Do you think this qualifies her to understand us? Please leave a comment below.

See also:
Vlog on that new Chair appointment
New RNID Chair: Gerald Corbett
Chair BoT RNID: advert difficult to find on its website?
Photo Friday: Deaf Chair Now
Hanson Green: Deaf Recruitment Experts?
Chair BoT @ RNID only advertised in mainstream press
An international blogger tries to explain re RNID
RNID: Banging some drum, and who hears it?
John Low and James Strachan resign from RNID
Low: RNID CEO needn't be deaf or hard of hearing
John Low the soap star!

Comments (22)

When I read about Jackie Ballard straight away I thought CI been tested on animals !!
Take a look at this link
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6734139.stm

Quote " The fact they've managed to do this successfully in animals makes this an exciting study."

Brian Lamb, from RNID, said: "Cochlear implants themselves have provided a revolution, and these implants - if successfully transferred to people - could offer further, major benefits."

Says it all really!

@ Fintan - there's another url linked to rnid's strategic plan that it wants to get rid of deafness, but I can't remember where it is. I thought I had blogged about, but could be on some forum. I think this is important, as RSPCA policy seems to be no to non essential animal testing and secondly wants more transparency re animal testing ... i.e. tell the public what animals go through. See this as an example:

Forum Response: RSPCA

Dr Maggy Jennings, head of the RSPCA's research animals department, said: "It is vital that hand in hand with the reasons for research there is more openness about the level of suffering caused to the animals used. The public needs to know the price that animals have to pay.

"We are disappointed with the unenthusiastic response of the government to the Lords' call for a Centre for the Three Rs - replacement, refinement and reduction in animal experiments.

"Their proposals amount to little more than passing the buck to research councils, industry and others. They have failed to grasp the essential feature of the idea behind the Centre - that it should co-ordinate and stimulate co-operative efforts across scientific disciplines and between different organisations.

"The RSPCA gave written and oral evidence to the House of Lords select committee and many of our recommendations were echoed in the committee's report last July. We will now be going through the Home Office's response with a fine tooth comb and making representations to the minister. We will be urging the government again to implement those recommendations that will genuinely benefit animals."

Source (As a side note Michelle Thew listed underneath as CEO of BUAV, and before that CEO of the Animal Protection Institute used to be Deputy CEO of NDCS and I think Acting CEO of NDCS, which supports informed choice around CIs and other medical stuff).

Can't seem to find official RSPCA policy around animal testing though. If anyone knows of a better link, would be grateful.

Wonder if she will put money where her mouth is and carry this policy over! Somehow I already doubt it: prove me wrong.

When are we gonna hear about RNID being renamed to RSPCD ?

Bluddy 'ell, I wouldn't like to do 10 rounds with her !

I'm blind in one eye as well as being deaf, and I can tell you that being blind in one eye comes as absolutely no handicap whatsoever.

If you go here in the right column you can search a person's speeches. I put in deaf and hard of hearing, and it returned no matches. She hardly ever rebelled against the Lib Dem party line.

Wikipedia says this about her RSPCA appointment:

... appointed Director General of the RSPCA in September 2002. Her appointment was criticised as she was seen as too inexperienced. The controversy continued as, to solve the financial problems the RSPCA was facing, she made substantial changes, including 300 job cuts. However, by 2004 the RSPCA had balanced its books and made £7m savings, seeming to vindicate Ballard's approach.

Does that mean future staff changes looming in the new year?

Alison, if so, then she would be excellent for us deafies...

She'll go around screaming "YOU'RE FIIIIRRRRREEEEDDDD" until only the deaf employees are left on account of not being able to hear her.

And then we'll have a RNID run by the deaf with a single half blind hearie CEO...

The CEO should be the best man or woman for the job - deaf or not. Otherwise the charity will not move ahead as well as it could.

When I discussed this appointment with Vicky Hemming (Head of HR at RNID) before it was filled, she reassured me that empathy with deaf people would be an essential criterion in the job description.

There is nothing that I can discern from Strachan's statement that even suggests, let alone reassures me, that Mrs Ballard satisfies that criterion.

I am therefore minded to invite RNID to explain their decision.

@ Henry - how can they be the best person for the job if they know NOTHING about deaf issues? Lets have a white person in charge of a Black or ethnic minority charity. Lets have a man leading a woman's organisation, because they are the best person for the job. Don't matter about the indirect discrimination that exists in society, ignore the fact that is why such organisations exist in the first place. Let's employ a white person to head a Black organisation, because they have better skills (they didn't encounter any discrimination in education nor in the workplace so were able to climb up the ladder easier to make this happen).

Same goes for lets have a man head a woman's organisation, because they have more "skills", in other words didn't encounter any oppression along the way and took advantage of the male constructed society.

I'm not saying that jobs should be handed out as charity cases, but the organisation is hardly in a position to advocate equal opps and jobs for its user base to external organisations when it cannot practice what it says it campaigns for. Put your own house in order first!

@ Tim - go for it, but can see the usual over inflated PR now, that is so up its own arse that no-one will believe it. I want real conversation not some public ego stroking.

See this article, which states:

she alienated anglers by describing fishing as "cruel" and gave her personal opinion on everything from game hunting to zoos, forcing the charity to issue statements disassociating itself from the views of its new chief executive.

Well BSL is more organic, since no medical research = no animal testing(!)

Referring to an excerpt from this article:

In an ideal world, she would also ban circuses with animals. "Definitely. I hope that's already RSPCA policy. It's inhumane to teach animals tricks for our benefit."

I wonder if she will qualify forcing Deaf people to perform like a hearing person as inhumane?

In the previous paragraph, she doesn't like zoo and have a belief that animals should be in a natural habitat - will a signing environment be viewed as our natural habitat from now on.....??

Referring to an excerpt from this article:

In an ideal world, she would also ban circuses with animals. "Definitely. I hope that's already RSPCA policy. It's inhumane to teach animals tricks for our benefit."

I wonder if she will qualify forcing Deaf people to perform like a hearing person as inhumane?

In the previous paragraph, she doesn't like zoo and have a belief that animals should be in a natural habitat - will a signing environment be viewed as our natural habitat from now on.....??

I doubt it since the signing deaf are a miniscule minority of the 1 in 7 they 'serve' anyway.... they support, you take, (Or not), that's how it works... Habitat ? what on earth is that ? a shop flogging furniture ? where do deaf fit in with that ? One day all the world will sign.. UNreal.....

Shoo! Shoo! Pesky troll.

In the past (even now), igronant Deaf-impaired (deaf too) people still call us 'monkey' just because we sign our own language naturally, let alone Jackie Ballard who worked at RSPCA just got a job at so called 'deaf' organisation which is most famous organisation in the UK. Interesting.

Ashton

In the world of the blind a one eyed man would be king, so perhaps a hearig CEO is not a bad thing
Del

What's your reasoning?

Alison, the reasoning is that a fairy tale makes for a splendid misdirection. When an RNID apologist cannot make a case based on reason, facts and logic, they resort to becoming very artistic, emotional and mystical, with smoke effects and cloaks, etc.

The idea is to leave out precisely what you are trying to say in the hope that nobody will challenge it.

Doesnt matter either way as RNID just rides on the back of the work done by other organisations. They are a great money making machine but actually do very little on the front of research. The main advancements made in cochlea implants was actually achieved by a much smaller charity called deafness research uk..... They seem to do proper research to help deaf people!!!

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