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17th August 2022

Cats Protection has appointed a new chief executive as the UK’s leading feline welfare charity continues to grow its ambitions and increase its impact on cat welfare.

Currently the secretary general of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, John May will be joining Cats Protection in early November.

He originally trained as a teacher and has since been the national education director of Business in the Community, founding chief executive of Career Ready and chief executive of Young Enterprise.

John is a former non-executive director of UNICEF, helped to found ‘Teach First’ in the UK, and is a past vice chairman of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

“I’m absolutely chuffed to bits to be joining Cats Protection and look forward to supporting volunteers and staff as we work together to continue the development of this wonderful charity,” he said.

“I’ve shared my home with cats for the whole of my life and, as an adult, have always had a rescue cat as a companion. I’ve benefited profoundly from the charity’s support to cat owners and can’t wait to join the whole Cats Protection network in championing the organisation’s homing and neutering activities, its advocacy for wider feline welfare, its vital education work and the impact that Cats Protection has in and on society.”

The charity’s chair of trustees Kit Sturgess welcomed the appointment and expressed his thanks to Dominic Sullivan who has acted as interim CEO since February 2022 and will return to his role as director of legal and estates.

“John brings a fantastic range of skills and leadership experience to our charity which will greatly enhance our ability to deliver our 10-year strategy,” he said.

John is a keen parkrunner, urban cyclist, lover of good food and a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award holder.

He and his partner live in rural Oxfordshire, and share their home with Blenheim, a black- and-white rescue cat.

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