UKSA announces new Chair of Trustees

Published 05/07/2022

UKSA has announced Richard Stokes as its new chair of trustees, replacing Kevin George who is stepping down this September.

Currently UKSA’s vice chair, Rear Admiral Richard Stokes CBE, joined UKSA as a trustee in October 2018 and became vice chair in September 2020. He will lead the board of nine trustees which collectively works to ensure that UKSA always acts in the best interest of its beneficiaries and meets its strategic objectives.

Richard Stokes said: “UKSA is a remarkable charity that transforms the lives of young people. I am delighted to have been selected as Chair and I very much look forward to working with Trustees, the Chief Executive, beneficiaries and donors, and all the team at UKSA to continue to extend the breadth and impact of the charity.”

Following a 37-year career in the Royal Navy, Richard retired as a Rear Admiral in 2018. He now undertakes a portfolio of paid and voluntary roles, mostly in the maritime sector, but also supporting the delivery of some of the most challenging government projects. With a background in submarine weapon engineering, his recent responsibilities have included running the UK’s three operational Naval Bases, managing the future nuclear submarine programme and directing the Navy’s logistics, infrastructure and engineering support. A keen recreational skier and sailor, Richard is a previous chair of the UK Armed Forces Winter Sports Charity and regularly sails his yacht ‘Skybird’ around the south coast with his wife Claire. Richard is a Chartered Engineer, a Member of the Institute of Directors, and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2017.

 Current UKSA chair of trustees, Kevin George said: “As for so many, the past few years have been hugely challenging for UKSA. My sincere thanks to the amazing staff of UKSA and my fellow Trustees who collectively, with the unwavering support of our generous donors, have seen the Charity emerge with a greater range of high-quality life changing courses, financially more resilient and a clearer strategy than before the pandemic. The much-needed new accommodation facility will thankfully enhance the capacity to take more beneficiaries than ever before, at a time when the need has never been more acute. My thanks to all at UKSA for a humbling and hugely rewarding four years and I am delighted to pass the Chair to Richard with my very best wishes.”

Ben Willows, CEO of UKSA, said: “We’re extremely grateful to our retiring chair of trustees, Kevin George, who ends his tenure in the role in September. Kevin brought a wealth of knowledge, passion and leadership to the board and executive team during his term. He played a vital part in guiding the organisation through the difficult and uncertain times of the pandemic, as well as being integral to the new accommodation centre being built and aiding the development of UKSA’s strategy and vision for the next five years. Richard is taking over at an incredibly exciting time for the organisation with Kevin having put us in great stead for what’s to come.”

Richard will act as chair designate until UKSA’s Annual Retirement Meeting in September, where Kevin George will officially step down and Richard will take over as chair.

Meet the UKSA Trustees