15 years of change leading the RSA


This morning I sent the following email to Fellows.

There’s plenty for me to reflect on here but for now I wanted to thank all RSA staff, Fellows and partners at the end of this extraordinary and challenging year and look forward to exciting new beginnings in 2021.

I am writing to you today to let you know of my decision to step down as the RSA’s chief executive after 15 years.

It’s been an incredible privilege to lead the RSA. Back in 2006, I never thought I would do the job for fifteen years. As the RSA has grown and developed an ever wider and more exciting range of activities, my role has evolved and proved to be an ever more rewarding one. 

I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported me and the RSA in this journey and would like to thank you for your ongoing support for our work.

Although this has been a very difficult decision to take, I am proud to be leaving the RSA on a high. Together we’ve made significant contributions to, among others, the field of employment, sustainability and education. We’ve grown globally, with online content watched by hundreds of thousands across the world and our Fellowship is now more than 30,000. 

The RSA’s future is incredibly exciting. In the next few months, we plan to further increase our visibility and impact and — having recently relaunched our digital platform and brand — deepen our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and continue our move to more focused, longer-term programmatic working. Our Fellowship community is at the heart of that.

I will remain as chief executive until June 2021, to keep our plans running for my successor. I am looking forward to focusing on a number of new projects outside the RSA including my writing and broadcasting career. I’m also very pleased to say that I will retain a connection with the RSA through a new consultative role taking effect after my time as CEO has ended.

I am certain the RSA will go on to even better things, and I look forward to seeing its next stage of development as a Fellow. Thank you again for your continued support and commitment to this wonderful organisation.

In the meantime, I would like to wish you all a happy holiday season, after what has been and continues to be, a challenging year for many. 


Matthew Taylor

Related articles

  • Critical thinking for a global society


    Natasha Robson

    In a complex world of free-flowing information and misinformation, where we are often being sold to without realising it, clear thought is more vital than ever. Natasha Robson explains how she is educating people to think about their thinking

  • Off the streets and into a job


    Christy Acton

    Christy Acton, founder and CEO of Birmingham non-for-profit Standing Tall, says businesses can make a huge difference by creating stable jobs for people who’ve experienced homelessness

  • RSA Catalyst Awards: Announcing further 2021 Winners


    Zayn Meghji

    2021's second round Catalyst Award winners have been announced. We award £100,000 annually, supporting Fellows to test social change innovations and scale the social impact of their projects.