Chairman, Charity Commission

William Shawcross


William Shawcross joined the Charity Commission as Chair in October 2012. William has broad charity sector experience, particularly in human rights and international aid. His previous roles include:

  • Chairman, Article 19, 1986 to 1996
  • board member, International Crisis Group, 1995 to 2005
  • member of the Council of the Disasters Emergency Committee, 1997 to 2002.

William is a multi published author, and has written on the work of aid agencies and international organisations in his books ‘The Quality of Mercy - Cambodia, genocide and Modern Conscience’ and ‘Deliver Us From Evil - Warlords and Peacekeepers in a World of Endless Conflict’.

His other works include the official biography of the Queen Mother and a BBC TV Series ‘Monarchy.’

Chairman, Charity Commission

The Chairman is responsible for effectively and accurately representing the views of the Charity Commission Board in:

  • directing the commission’s strategic development, policies and plans
  • communicating the commission’s plans and achievements to charities and their users, commission staff, the government and the public
  • developing the commission’s relationships with government, sector bodies and other major stakeholders

The Chairman leads the board in making sure the commission:

  • carries out its statutory duties and responsibilities and exercises its legal powers appropriately
  • carries out the board’s plans for the future, including its contribution to legislative reform
  • carries out its services in line with agreed targets


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  1. William Shawcross opening speech at annual public meeting

    • Speech
  2. William Shawcross speech at the All Party Parliamentary Group

    • Speech
  3. William Shawcross speech at Institute of Fundraising conference

    • Speech
  4. William Shawcross at the Abbeyfield national conference

    • Speech
  5. William Shawcross speech at the Centre for Social Justice Alliance conference

    • Speech
  6. William Shawcross speech at Wild Search

    • Speech
  7. William Shawcross speech at commission’s public meeting in Southampton

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  8. On 24 June 2015, William Shawcross addressed the Princess Royal's Charities Forum at Buckingham Palace.

    • Speech
  9. William Shawcross presentation to Fundraising Summit, 4 December 2015

    • Speech
  10. William Shawcross remarks in the River Room, House of Lords

    • Speech