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Anita Tiessen to join Youth Business International as new Chief Executive Officer

Catalin Parascan
Catalin Parascan

PRESS RELEASE: LONDON, 6 December 2017

Youth Business International announced today that Anita Tiessen has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer, starting January 2018. Anita joins Youth Business International with extensive experience working in executive leadership positions in major voluntary sector organisations, most recently as Chief Executive of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

Throughout her tenure Anita achieved significant progress against WAGGGS’s strategic priorities, including growing the membership, developing fundraising capabilities and driving digital transformation. Prior to this role, Anita was Deputy Executive Director at UNICEF UK, where she led the organisation’s efforts to protect children’s rights in the UK for 14 years. She also worked at Amnesty International’s global headquarters in London and in provincial government in her native country, Canada. Reflecting on her appointment, Anita commented:

“I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen to lead Youth Business International in the next exciting phase of its journey. I greatly look forward to working within such a vibrant and innovative sector and working with everyone at YBI to meet the changing support needs of aspiring young entrepreneurs across the world.”

Sir Malcolm Williamson, Chair of the Board of Trustees of YBI, said that he was delighted to welcome Anita Tiessen as the new Chief Executive Officer. Sir Malcolm added that:

“As the organisation embarks on implementing its new strategy, I am confident that Anita’s experience in delivering organisational growth and achieving social impact will be a fantastic asset that will help us achieve our goals. I believe that her passion, energy and commitment to our values put us in a strong position to achieve greater scale with ever-improving quality in youth entrepreneurship support.”

Andrew Devenport, who will be stepping down from his 12-year post as CEO, expressed confidence in the board’s choice.

“Anita is an experienced leader with proven results in the voluntary sector. I am very happy with the board’s decision, and I am confident Anita will use her experience to drive YBI’s strategic direction and ultimately the network’s impact scale strategy.”

Youth Business International is a global network of 56 expert organisations in 52 countries supporting underserved young people to turn their ideas into successful businesses, creating jobs and strengthening communities. YBI has member organisations in over 45 countries around the world, offering young entrepreneurs a locally adapted combination of financial and non-financial support services, including training, access to finance and mentoring. In 2016 alone, YBI network has supported over 25,000 young people to start or grow their own business and has provided entrepreneurship training to over 57,000 young people globally.  

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