Claire Leigh, Director of Global Policy, Advocacy and Research at Save the Children UK, has become Chair of Trustees for the leading international meningitis charity, Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF).
Stepping into the role in July, Claire will take over from Brian Scott, former Chief Executive of Oxfam Ireland, who has led the Board of Trustees at MRF since 2012.
Claire’s appointment reflects the Foundation’s international remit, bringing expertise from her role at Save the Children UK, where she leads advocacy to protect and promote child rights around the world.
MRF was founded in the UK in 1989 to support and connect people affected by meningitis and septicaemia with life-saving research. The Foundation funds scientific developments and advocates for health policy change to defeat meningitis and septicaemia, life-threatening infections which globally kill more under 5’s than malaria, measles and tetanus combined. Since it was founded, MRF has invested over £19.3 million into vital research on meningitis and septicaemia, has supported countless families and individuals affected by both illnesses, and is now part of the World Health Organization’s global taskforce working to defeat meningitis by 2030.
Prior to joining Save the Children, Claire worked in a variety of international settings, including for the United Nations Development Program and UNICEF in New York, the Overseas Development Institute in London and East Timor, and as an advisor to the Presidents of Rwanda and Liberia as part of the Africa Governance Initiative. Claire has also spent time working for the British Government as a senior policy advisor in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and subsequently in the Policy Planning Staff of the Foreign Office.
As she steps into the role of Chair of Trustees at MRF, Claire said:
“I am delighted to join the Board of the Meningitis Research Foundation as Chair. Too many parents are forced to watch helplessly as their child suffers from this preventable and cruel disease, often with tragic results. MRF is a fantastic organisation with a clear plan for defeating meningitis both in the UK and around the world, and has a brilliant team of dedicated and talented staff to deliver their strategy. It’s an exciting time to be coming on board. I look forward to getting to know the charity and its trustees better and to seeing what we can achieve together."