Life after EIF: Carey Oppenheim announces her departure in the summer

20 February 2017

By Carey Oppenheim, chief executive, EIF

It is with a mixture of sadness and some trepidation that I will be leaving EIF in the summer, once we have a new chief executive in place. After more than three years in charge, I plan to spend more time with my family, in particular my 92-year-old mother, and – after a pause to plan the next stage – to maintain a place in our vital field. I have a firm belief in the power of smart policy, good evidence and effective practice to improve the lives of children and young people, and have been fortunate to build experience and expertise at EIF and elsewhere, which I would love to continue to put to good use.

I have greatly enjoyed my time at EIF, and feel very proud of turning what was an inspiring idea – from the original report by our founding chair, Graham Allen MP – into a real organisation with a mission, its own way of working, and a team of highly skilled and talented people. We have laid the foundations of a respected and valued organisation. EIF has a strong reputation for building up the body of evidence on what works to improve children and young people’s lives, translating that evidence into information and tools for the sector, and sharing real-world experience of how to turn that into change on the ground.

Meanwhile, it is business as usual at EIF. I will lead the team until we have a replacement ready to take over – and the first half of 2017 is already shaping up to be busy and significant. We are planning our national conference in London in May, building an updated version of our cornerstone Guidebook resource, and writing up important and timely research and guidance on a range of early intervention topics, such as building social and emotional skills, supporting parents’ relationships, improving safeguarding, understanding language development, and supporting effective commissioning.

I wish to thank EIF’s board of trustees for their support for my decision, and their wholehearted commitment to the search for a new leader. If you are interested in the vacancy itself, or know of someone with the essential skills, experience and perspective to take EIF forward with confidence, please see our online description and contact our partners Peridot for more information.