At our first Board meeting of the year, on Wednesday 9 January, Sir Stephen Wall officially stepped down as Chairman of our Board of Trustees after 10 years (two consecutive terms) in the role.

Prior to joining our Board, Sir Stephen had a long and distinguished career, rising to the highest levels of the British Diplomatic Service. He worked closely with five British Foreign Secretaries and as Foreign Policy Adviser to Prime Minister John Major.

Our Principal, Canon Dr Ed Newell, said, 'Over 10 years as our Chair of Trustees, Stephen has overseen an exciting period of development, including the establishment of our successful scholarship schemes, the launch of the Friends of Cumberland Lodge, our 70th anniversary as an educational foundation, and the sharpening of our focus as an organisation that challenges silo thinking and tackles the causes and effects of social division through dialogue and debate.

'Throughout this time of change, Stephen has provided effective leadership and wise guidance, for which we are all immensely grateful. We very much look forward to Stephen having a continued association with Cumberland Lodge, not least through the Friends, in the years to come, and sincerely thank him for all that he has done to support and advise us.'

New chair

Sir Stephen hands over the reins to Baroness (Usha) Prashar of Runnymede, who has a long association with Cumberland Lodge, having contributed to many of our conferences and served as a trustee for 10 years. Baroness Prashar was also a member of our former Academic Advisory Committee, and the founding Patron of the Friends of Cumberland Lodge.

On taking up the new role, Baroness Prashar said, ‘I am delighted that I have been given the opportunity to make a contribution to the excellent work which Cumberland Lodge does, and I look forward to working with the Trustees, Ed Newell and all the staff to further enhance its impact in these challenging but exciting times.’

Baroness Prashar will serve as Chair of Trustees for an initial term of five years.