The Refugee Council is delighted to announce Rachael Orr as the next Chair of our Board of Trustees. Rachael moves into the role after Andrew Halper, the Refugee Council’s current chair, stands down after six years.
For six years Rachael has served on our board, including as Vice Chair for the last year. She is currently Chief Executive of PlaceShapers, the network for community-based housing associations.
Previously, Rachael was Head of Oxfam’s UK programme, leading Oxfam’s advocacy, campaigning and programme work on UK poverty. Rachael joined Oxfam from Shelter, where she held various senior policy and campaigning roles working on housing, welfare reform and wider UK poverty issues. Before Shelter, Rachael worked as a support worker and in hostels for homeless people.
Rachael served for seven years as chair of Angel Shed Theatre Company, an inclusive theatre charity in Islington. She has also volunteered with Help Refugees and is involved in local campaigns in her community.
Speaking about the appointment, Rachael said: “I am really honoured and excited to be taking over from Andrew Halper as the Chair of the Refugee Council. I’ve been a trustee of the Refugee Council for six years now, and the commitment, passion, knowledge and skill of all those working at the charity continues to be really inspiring.
“The impact the Refugee Council has had in the face of almost unrelenting pressure, the adoption of cruel and callous public policy and the media and public spotlight constantly on refugees and people seeking asylum, has been really exceptional. This is an organisation I am exceptionally proud to be part of.”