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Claire Ainsley, former Head of Communications at the National Treatment Agency, has been appointed Director of Communications and External Affairs at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT).

Ainsley has a background in communications across both the public and voluntary sector, following a BA in Politics and MSc in Global Politics. She was Campaigns and Media Co-ordinator for the UK’s largest trade union, Unite, and has worked for the RNID and Missing People.

Julia UnwinJRF Chief Executive Julia Unwin CBE said about Ainsley’s appointment: "I am delighted to welcome Claire to JRF/JRHT in this pivotal role. We know that life is getting tougher for many people and places in poverty. It is ever more important therefore to ensure that our research and our experience has impact with those who have the power to make a difference, either in policy terms or on the ground with practitioners. Claire brings with her a wealth of experience and will be a real asset to the organisation as we develop our communications approach in the changing digital and political environment."

Ainsley added: “"Strategic communications can help to bring about meaningful social change and there is nowhere better to do that than at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust. I am honoured to be taking on this role in such a prestigious organisation and look forward to working with colleagues and partners to effect lasting change for people and communities."

JRF has also appointed Frank Soodeen as Public Affairs Manager. Frank was formerly Press and Public Affairs Manager at the Nuffield Trust. He joined JRF in October 2013 and succeeds Gordon Hector.