News | Press Release

29 September 2023

Ellen Miller joins Refuge as Interim Chief Executive

Ellen Miller joins Refuge as interim chief executive from 2 October 2023, replacing Ruth Davison whose resignation was announced earlier in the year.

Ellen brings a wealth of experience in a range of organisations as CEO (interim and permanent) and Services Director providing advocacy and support to survivors (running busy services and influencing policy at a national and local level) and with a focus on those excluded because of their physical and mental health. Her most recent role was as interim CEO at the UK’s leading second tier Domestic Abuse charity, SafeLives.

Ellen said: “It’s a great honour be joining Refuge and to have the opportunity to take forward the vital work to make sure domestic abuse and violence against women and girls is no longer tolerated. Women have a right to be safe and to recover, and to have the life they deserve – my job is to make sure the people we work with get that chance, that our team feel proud and heard, and that the voice of survivors is heard loudly by those in power and in our society.”

Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, chair of the board of trustees, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Ellen to Refuge. With her breadth of experience from across the sector, she will be a great asset to the charity as she leads us through our next chapter. Ellen’s appointment is for an extended period, and will ensure there is stability and experienced leadership for the charity as we continue our transformation journey.

“I also want to use this opportunity to express the thanks of the Board of Trustees and all at Refuge for the significant contribution Ruth has made to Refuge. She has led the organisation with great skill during a period of significant challenge and change both for Refuge and the sector as a whole. Not only did she successfully guide the charity through the turmoil of the Covid pandemic at the same time she has been at the helm as we opened our first social impact funded refuge, protected refuge address confidentiality through a landmark legal victory and worked with colleagues to shape our culture, co-creating our values and improving the transparency and openness with which we communicate and work.”