Brilliant Club

Anne-Marie Canning MBE appointed CEO

06 Jan 2020

The Board of Trustees for The Brilliant Club has appointed a successor for outgoing CEO Dr Chris Wilson. Anne-Marie Canning will join the charity in March 2020, when she will work alongside Dr Chris Wilson before his departure.

Anne-Marie will arrive at The Brilliant Club after seven years at King’s College London, where she is the Director of Social Mobility and Student Success. She has also worked at the University of Oxford and Citizens UK. In 2018 she was awarded an MBE for services to higher education, and she is the independent chair of the Department for Education-led Bradford Opportunity Area.

Anne-Marie Canning said:

“I am delighted to be joining The Brilliant Club, a charity with which I have worked closely during my time at King’s College London. I’m looking forward to working with the team to shape the charity’s next five-year strategy and I’m excited to get started. Chris has been a wonderful CEO and I have big shoes to fill.”

Dame Sue John, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the charity, said:

“From the start of our search for a new CEO, we were looking for someone who shares the charity’s passion for increasing the number of pupils from underrepresented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. In Anne-Marie, we have appointed a candidate who has already contributed so much to widening participation and fair access as well as having a deep knowledge of the sector. The Trustees would like to thank Chris for the commitment he has shown to The Brilliant Club since 2012, during which time he has led the charity with confidence, intellect and compassion”

Dr Chris Wilson said:

“As The Brilliant Club embarks on the development of next five-year strategy, this is an ideal time for Anne-Marie to join the charity and make a significant contribution to this process. Anne-Marie has been a great supporter of our work and it will be a pleasure to work alongside her when she joins The Brilliant Club in March. I wish Anne-Marie every success in the role and I am confident that the future of the charity is in capable hands”


The Brilliant Club is a registered charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from underrepresented backgrounds that progress to highly-selective universities.

In pursuit of this mission, The Brilliant Club delivers two core programmes which mobilise the PhD community to engage with pupils and teachers in state schools: The Scholars Programme and Researchers in Schools.

Last year, the charity worked with over 13,000 pupils in almost 800 schools across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.