Jason Knauf will stand down as Chief Executive of The Royal Foundation at the end of December 2021 after seven years of working with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Having first joined as Communications Secretary at Kensington Palace in February 2015, Jason led a review of the Foundation’s role and structure from March 2019 before becoming CEO in September of that year.
In his time as Chief Executive, Jason has overseen the development and launch of the Foundation’s most ambitious programme to date – The Earthshot Prize – as well as the continued development of The Duchess’ pioneering work on early childhood. He has helped steer the Foundation’s response to COVID-19, establishing a response fund which saw £1.8 million granted to causes supporting frontline workers and the mental health needs of the nation in August 2020.
At the start of 2021 The Royal Foundation embarked on a new strategy, built around its strengths in research, partnerships and impact delivery. This approach will help the Foundation respond to new challenges where it is best placed to make a difference, while continuing to step up the global ambition for The Duke and Duchess’ philanthropic work.
The process for recruiting a new Chief Executive will begin in the coming weeks and Jason’s successor will be announced in due course. Jason will remain in post until the end of 2021 before a planned international relocation that has necessitated his decision to stand down.
Chair of The Royal Foundation, Lord Hague, said: “The Royal Foundation has benefited significantly from Jason’s leadership over the past two years. Working with The Duke and Duchess and the rest of the Foundation team, he has delivered impact on the issues that Their Royal Highnesses care most about while steering the organisation through the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that support reaches those who have been most affected. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jason and wish him well in the future. As the search for a new Chief Executive begins, I am looking forward to continuing to build on the inspiring work that has been done over recent years.”
Jason Knauf said, “Working with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been the privilege of my career. I will always be grateful for the opportunity I have had to support their leadership in the UK and internationally. The months ahead will be the busiest time in the Foundation’s history with the first awards for The Earthshot Prize and more progress on our early childhood work. We have a lot to do with our amazing team and all of our partners.”
“Jason has been an integral part of our team since 2015. We are immensely grateful for his hard work and commitment, both at The Royal Foundation and previously as our Communications Secretary. Since taking over as Chief Executive, Jason has driven positive change, making our vision for our charitable work and the causes that matter most to us a reality. We are sad to see him go but wish him all the very best in his future career. We look forward to launching the recruitment search shortly and welcoming a new Chief Executive later on this year.”
-The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge