The Wales Air Ambulance Charity is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Sue Barnes as its new Chief Executive.

Swansea-born Dr Barnes, who has worked in London and the south and east of England for over 20 years, said that she was ‘immensely proud’ to take up the position.

Dr Barnes, who gained a first-class degree and PhD at Cardiff University, has extensive strategic and leadership experience across a range of high-profile organisations, holding multiple Board-level positions in both the public and private sectors.

She joins the Charity from a senior leadership role in the private sector, although much of her career has been spent improving public services at local and national levels.

Prior to her current role working as a Director for business transformation and customer service provider, Arvato CRM Solutions UK, Dr Barnes, who lives in South Wales, worked in senior or director-level positions for several UK county councils, Northamptonshire Police, the Health Education Authority, the Wellcome Trust and the Audit Commission. In addition, she has been a strategic advisor for the City of London.

Despite working away for so many years, Dr Barnes spent a lot of time visiting her family in Swansea and moved back to Wales in 2012.  She is delighted to now be back at home both ‘personally and professionally’.

She said: “I am immensely proud and pleased to be taking on the role of Wales Air Ambulance Chief Executive. The Charity’s strapline ‘Serving Wales, Saving Lives’ is a very powerful and compelling statement and, at a personal level, something that resonates strongly with my Welsh roots and public service background and ethos.

“I am acutely aware that 2020 has been a difficult year for the charity sector and the landscape continues to change. I also know how loved and valued the Charity is by the people of Wales. With the continued support and generosity we receive from across the country, along with the quality and commitment of those who work and volunteer for us, I absolutely believe that the Charity can go from strength-to-strength.

“Despite the ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic, there is much to be hopeful about, as the Wales Air Ambulance enters its 20th Anniversary Year in 2021 and nears its aim of delivering a 24/7 service for the people of Wales.”

Dave Gilbert, Chair of Trustees, said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Dr Sue Barnes as our new Chief Executive. Dr Barnes’ appointment was made following a very competitive recruitment process where we received a large number of applications from high-quality applicants.

“We all know that we are working within a very changeable environment. The pandemic will have an impact that will last for a long time and the key to our future success is adapting our strategy to acknowledge the changes and opportunities ahead of us. With Dr Barnes’ vast strategic background, I have no doubt that she will guide the Charity forward and help us build on the incredible success that the Charity has achieved over the past twenty years.”

Dr Barnes’ appointment follows the retirement of her predecessor Angela Hughes in the summer. She will take up her role at the Wales Air Ambulance on Wednesday, 2 December.