Scottish Refugee Council appoints new Chief Executive

25 March 2008

John Wilkes, former Director of the Equal Opportunities Commission in Scotland, has been appointed as the Chief Executive of Scottish Refugee Council.

Before taking up this post with Scottish Refugee Council, John has had a long and committed career in the field of equality, social justice and human rights.

Previous to his work on gender at the Equal Opportunities Commission, John was Scottish Director of Carers UK and served as a member of the Scotland Committee of the Community Fund (now the Big Lottery Fund) between 1999 and 2003. He also worked in the field of HIV/AIDS and is a trustee of Stonewall, the UK's leading campaigning organisation for lesbian and gay equality.

Professor David Walsh, Chair of the Board of Directors of Scottish Refugee Council, said:

“John’s skills and experience will be great assets to Scottish Refugee Council and will assist us in our work with refugees and asylum seekers and in developing the organisation as a leading agency in the field of refugee rights.”

John Wilkes said:

“I am delighted and honoured to be joining Scottish Refugee Council as its new Chief Executive. Ensuring access to asylum and protection for some of the world’s most vulnerable people is one of the biggest human rights challenges facing us in the 21st century. Scotland has a proud tradition of welcoming and assisting those in need and I look forward to building on Scottish Refugee Council’s successes as the leading advocate and service provider for asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland.”

End

Notes for editors:

1. Scottish Refugee Council provides help and advice to those who have fled human rights abuses or other persecution in their homeland and now seek refuge in Scotland.

We also campaign to make sure that governments in Scotland and Westminster meet their legal and humanitarian obligations and to raise awareness of refugee issues. For more information visit www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk