Flora Letanka appointed as new Chief Executive

We’re delighted to announce that Flora Letanka has been appointed as our new Chief Executive.

Our mission is urgent: building the skills to think and speak well – particularly about issues in the news – is essential today. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds stand to gain even more from these capabilities, which are proven to support social mobility, yet they have too few opportunities to develop them. As there is enormous unmet need, we have ambitious plans to accelerate our growth to reach a million children by 2026, with 100,000 engaging on a weekly basis.

Flora will take up the post in September to lead this exciting new phase. She brings the perfect experience to do so. She has dedicated her career to tackling educational inequality and has experience as a leader in one of the largest, most successful education charities in Britain. Her previous role was at Teach First, where she was an Executive Director. In this role, she set up and grew impactful and innovative new initiatives and built a powerful network of global educators.

Flora will succeed our founding Chief Executive, Emily Evans, who led the charity brilliantly for 12 years before deciding the time was right to move on, to pursue a PhD focused on social innovation and impact at Imperial College. She began her career at The Economist as an events producer, before she and colleagues recognised opportunities to use the company’s expertise in innovative new ways to inspire and empower young people.

“It is a tribute to Emily’s work in developing The Economist Educational Foundation that it can attract someone of Flora’s calibre to help us reach many more children around the world. She brings the experience, skills and deep commitment to our mission that will ensure the charity builds on its solid foundations to have an ever bigger impact in helping young people find their voice on issues that matter to them.” – Daniel Franklin, Chairman of the Foundation and Executive Editor at The Economist.

“I’m thrilled that Flora will be the Foundation’s new CEO. I think it can be particularly important for founders to recognise when the time is right to step back, and after 12 years I knew it was the right moment for someone new to lead the next stage. We were ambitious about finding a collaborative, inclusive and empowering leader with deep commitment to our mission and significant experience scaling impact. Flora brings all this and more, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the charity continue to thrive, and make an ever-greater difference for teachers and children, under her leadership. Running The Economist Educational Foundation has been an even more inspiring, wild and wonderful adventure than I imagined when we started, and I’ve never been more excited about what’s next for the charity.” – Emily Evans, founding Chief Executive of the Foundation.

“I feel truly honoured to be given the opportunity to lead The Economist Educational Foundation into its next phase. The work is needed, now more than ever. The Foundation’s growth to date, quality of the programmes, products, partnerships and evidence of impact are impressive. I can’t wait to work with the team and partners to not only scale the excellent Topical Talk programme to benefit a million children by 2026, but also to explore how else we can maximise and deepen the Foundation’s impact in 2027 and beyond. Every child should be empowered with the skills to think critically, communicate effectively and form nuanced views on the most complex issues of the day. I don’t think it’s overstating it to say that the future health of society depends on it.” – Flora Letanka, new Chief Executive of the Foundation.