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We have announced the appointment of our new Chief Executive Officer. Alex Farrow will join Kaleidoscope Trust in June.

Commenting on his appointment, Alex said:

“Over the past decade, I’ve seen Kaleidoscope Trust become one of the most important champions and supporters of LGBTI+ activism. I’m honoured to have been appointed as CEO and I can’t wait to get started.

“I love my current role at NCVO, but the opportunity to serve my community in a different way, alongside the incredible work that the Kaleidoscope Trust and partner organisations have done, inspired me to apply.

“Right now, the situation for LGBTI+ rights is urgent and, in many places, hard won freedoms are being rolled back. The scale of the challenge is undoubtedly huge, but I remain hopeful about the change that is possible – both through political influencing and grassroots activism.

“My life is better because of those activists that came before me, and I’m humbled to be able to play a part in building a world where LGBTI+ people can be free, safe and equal everywhere.”

Alex will join Kaleidoscope Trust after seven years at NCVO, the umbrella organisation for charities, voluntary organisations and community groups in England, where he is currently Director of Influencing and Engagement. Prior to joining NCVO, Alex spent five years working across the UN system and with international agencies, mostly supporting governments to develop youth policies.

Alex is an experienced campaigner, having worked with hundreds of activists and civil society organisations around the world on human rights and democracy, including in some of the most repressive countries. He has been a vocal champion and organiser for LGBTI+ rights, working extensively with activists across the Commonwealth, providing support to LGBTI+ organisations under attack in the UK, and mobilising and channelling resources to LGBTI+ youth activists globally.

Our Chair, Simon Millson, said:

“We are thrilled to have someone with Alex’s experience both in the charity sector here in the UK and in international development joining as Kaleidoscope Trust’s new CEO. Alex brings with him significant expertise in working with grassroots LGBTI+ rights campaigners across the world, particularly in the Global South and East, as well as advocacy, fundraising and engagement here in the UK. I’m excited to see him continue to develop our vital work to create a world where LGBTI+ people everywhere are free, safe and equal.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to offer heartfelt gratitude to Jesse Sperling, our Deputy Director, who has really stepped up to lead the charity since the departure of our former Executive Director, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, at the beginning of the year.”

Sarah Vibert, CEO of NCVO said:

“We’re really proud that Alex has been appointed CEO of Kaleidoscope Trust, particularly at a time when the rights of LGBTI+ people are being challenged. During Alex’s tenure he has helped build NCVO into a more inclusive organisation, that puts members at the heart of our work and works hard to ensure the voices of all our members are heard. He has consistently advocated that we speak truth to power, challenge misconceptions and stand firmly on the side of fairness and equity. I know with his experience, generous leadership style and personal values, Kaleidoscope Trust will go from strength to strength with Alex at the helm.”

One of Alex’s key responsibilities will be ensuring that Kaleidoscope Trust continues to play its significant role in the global LGBTI+ rights movement, working with LGBTI+ organisations and activists around the world. Steve Letsike, Chair of The Commonwealth Equality Network and Executive Director of South African human rights organisation Access Chapter 2, said:

“When I met Alex, I was impressed both with the depth of his experience and knowledge of LGBTI+ rights issues, his advocacy work and fundraising experience. Importantly, his understanding of the challenges for an organisation like Kaleidoscope Trust, that is based in the Global North but works extensively with partners in the Global South and East, was evident.

“Those of us working on LGBTI+ rights issues in the Global South are all too aware of the ongoing legacy of colonialism. Alex’s sensitivity when asked about how Kaleidoscope Trust should work with partners showed his awareness of how carefully and thoughtfully this work in partnership must be done. I congratulate him on his new role and look forward to working closely with him.”

Alex will take up his new role on 3 June 2024 and we will continue to be led by Jesse Sperling as Interim Executive Director until then.