Prostate Cancer UK's Board of Trustees has appointed the next Chair of its rapidly expanding organisation. William Russell will take on the role in October at an exciting time for the charity as it builds up the momentum in its fight to transform the landscape of men's health.
William Russell, who spent the majority of his career at American investment bank Merrill Lynch, has been a Trustee of Prostate Cancer UK for five years, alongside other entrepreneurial commitments and his role as an Alderman of the City of London Corporation. He will formally take over his new role from current Chair, Professor Paul Forster, on 18 October 2013.
Forster, who has held the position of Chair since 2005, is stepping down following a successful period in which the Charity has grown dramatically. He extended his period of office for an additional year in order to oversee the merger between The Prostate Cancer Charity and Prostate Action to form Prostate Cancer UK.
Of the new venture Russell said: "I applied for the role of Trustee five years ago after becoming increasingly aware of the problems and manifold challenges that surround prostate cancer. When you look at the success of the breast cancer charities and the progress they have made, it's obvious that men had (and still have) a lot of ground to make up. I've very much enjoyed my time here so far, and am now very much looking forward to taking on the new challenge as Chair of the Board.
"Paul has done an outstanding job in this role, and the charity is now in a position to develop large scale plans in terms of service provision, investment in research and awareness raising. It is now my commitment to build on this, deliver against those plans and ensure that we propel the organisation onward and upward to bring about real change for men."
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and set to be the most common cancer overall by 2030. Prostate Cancer UK's mission is to bring about significant change in the field of prostate cancer and prostate disease to ensure that more men survive and have a better quality of life in the future.
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of prostate Cancer UK said: "I am delighted that William has agreed to take on the challenge of Chair of the Board. Under the steadfast leadership of Paul, our current Chair, the charity has developed rapidly in recent years from an organisation in its infancy to what is now the largest men's health charity in the UK. We now have the foundations firmly in place to drive us forward in to the next phase and increase our impact yet further. I have total confidence that with his business background and in depth understanding of the cause, William is the best man to oversee our development during this next chapter. I look forward to working closely with him and the rest of the team to build a better future for men."
Paul Forster, who has himself been treated for prostate cancer said of his time at the charity: "When I became Chair of what was then the Prostate Cancer Charity, we employed less than 20 people in one small office. I am proud to have had the opportunity to oversee its transformation in to what is now a thriving organisation of over 170 people with offices all across the UK, but which retains its innovative and entrepreneurial culture dedicated to helping more men survive prostate cancer. We are now on a much greater platform to reach men and this is the perfect time for William to pick up the reins and steer this excellent organisation to reach even greater heights."