UK literacy and reading advocacy charity the Reading Agency has announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive, Sue Wilkinson MBE, currently Director of UK Academic and Government Alliances at Elsevier, who will replace its founder director and current head Miranda McKearney OBE, who will step aside at the end of the year.

As well as her work with the publisher, Wilkinson was previously Director of Policy at the Museums Libraries & Archives Council (MLA) in the UK, where, according to the Reading Agency in its official announcement, she “created the ground-breaking quality and impact framework, Inspiring Learning for All, which is now used in museums, archives and libraries all over the world.” Director of Literature for the Arts Council Antonia Byatt added: “It is paramount that such a charity has a skilled and ambitious leader at the helm, and I am confident that The Reading Agency has found one in Sue Wilkinson.”

“The Reading Agency has been enormously successful in working with partners to pioneer new ways to engage people with reading,” said Wilkinson. “I look forward to consolidating and building on these partnerships as well as embracing the exciting new opportunities made possible by developing technologies. I firmly believe that reading does change lives and am proud to be championing the cause of reading, in all its forms, as the new CEO of The Reading Agency.”

The Reading Agency is “a charity whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers.” Its approach and priorities are typified by Neil Gaiman’s recent delivery of the second Reading Agency lecture in London, where he argued that “libraries are the gates to the future” and closing them was stealing from that future, as well as condemning more citizens to prison in the present. Wilkinson will hopefully bring much more of the same.


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