Ben Kernighan has been appointed as Chief Executive of Leap Confronting Conflict.

Leap is an award-winning national charity that provides inspirational conflict management programmes and support to young people and the professionals that work with them.

In the face of rising youth and prison violence, with increasing numbers of young people being taken into care and being excluded from school, the need for Leap’s work grows increasingly. The ecosystem in which Leap operates, as well as the challenges that young people face, grow more complex day by day, which makes this an incredibly important and exciting role.

Society spoke with senior leaders within the not-for-profit sector and beyond, particularly those who have experience of working with young people or in the youth sector. As well as being able to demonstrate excellent strategic and managerial capabilities, candidates needed to have a passion for the potential of young people and be knowledgeable in issues around identity and inclusion. Following a competitive search and selection process involving consultation with staff, trustees and young stakeholders, Leap appointed Ben, its former Deputy CEO and acting CEO.

Ben is a talented leader and brings a wealth of experience as Deputy Chief Executive at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and CEO of the National Union of Students.

On his appointment, Ben said: "As the successful candidate for the role of CEO of Leap Confronting Conflict, I found Tanya and Megan clear, supportive and constructive throughout the process.They asked intelligent and open questions and gave helpful feedback throughout."