Emma Knights OBE, Chief Executive

Emma leads the organisation under the direction of NGA’s board of trustees. 

Emma is Chief Executive of the National Governance Association (NGA) - the leading charity for guidance, advice, research, and professional development for school governors, trustees, governing boards and their clerks. Prior to her appointment in 2010 she was joint CEO of the Daycare Trust. Before that, she worked in a number of roles primarily in the voluntary sector, including Child Poverty Action Group and Citizens Advice, but also at the Legal Services Commission and the Local Government Association. As well as leading projects on child poverty and educational attainment, Emma has written on a wide range of topics and is co-author of the NGA’s Chair’s Handbook.

Emma regularly addresses legislators and the media on governance issues, as well as audiences of those governing and leading schools. She was a governor at a secondary school in Warwickshire for 7 years, a founding trustee of the Foundation for Leadership in Education and currently a member of the Chartered College’s Leadership Advisory Group. She has served on a number of recent commissions: ASCL’s Ethical Leadership Commission, NAHT’s Accountability Commission, the Commission on Religious Education, and the Knowsley Education Commission.

Emma was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year's Honours list for services to education.

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