Anna Smee announced as Youth Futures Foundation’s first CEO

Aug 2, 2019

Youth Futures Foundation is delighted to announce that Anna Smee has been appointed as its first CEO. Anna will join in November, at which point Joe Montgomery will move from executive Chair to non-executive Chair.

Anna, currently CEO of UK Youth, will be responsible for working with the Board to create YFF’s long-term strategy and will be fully responsible for all day-to-day activities.

Anna began her career in asset management and financial services, before joining the Young Foundation as Director of Ventures. Her recent work at UK Youth has seen her emerge as one of the leading voices for youth opportunities and employment in the UK. She is a powerful advocate both in Whitehall and with employers and has developed an extensive knowledge of youth provision across the country.

“I am delighted that we have attracted such a talented and well-respected person as Anna to be the first CEO of Youth Futures Foundation,” said Joe Montgomery. “The Board recognised Anna’s credentials as a champion for change. We were impressed by Anna’s commitment to improving prospects for young people, her track record of delivery and her vision for how the Youth Futures Foundation can make a meaningful difference to those young people a long way from the labour market.”

Commenting on her appointment, Anna said: “It is a unique privilege to be given the opportunity to shape and lead the Youth Futures Foundation. Too many young people remain locked out of employment opportunities because of where they live, how much their parents earn, or the colour of their skin. Through this endowment, we will be able to invest in evidence-based interventions that are designed to make a more equal playing field. Working in partnership with inspiring organisations across the country, we will give young people hope and the chance to fulfil their potential.”


Youth Futures Foundation is starting to build a panel of evaluators with the relevant skills and experience to conduct high quality evaluations of youth employment initiatives funded through our Impact grants. This is an opportunity to play a founding role in this collaborative endeavour to generate robust findings that can be used to improve outcomes for disadvantaged young people.
We are beginning the Expression of Interest stage now, as we expect to require evaluators to start working with projects in summer 2020. However, at this stage we will only select a small number of teams, given that some of our funding activities are likely to be delayed by the Covid 19 pandemic. We anticipate there will be further opportunities to join the panel in the future.


Youth Futures welcome the latest UK data on youth employment released by ONS today, which show a continued rise in the number of young people who are in education, training or work. 


‘A few weeks into my new job and I am working with our committed team to refine our strategy and pave the way for the Youth Futures grants programme to open in the first quarter of 2020.’ New CEO, Anna Smee, outlines way forward for Youth Futures Foundation.