Appointment of new SafeLives CEO

In autumn 2023, our CEO, Suzanne Jacob OBE, announced that she would be stepping down in spring 2024 to allow a new leader to take forward SafeLives’ mission to end domestic abuse into the next decade.

Following an extensive and rigorous recruitment process through this winter, we are delighted to confirm the appointment of Ellen Miller as our next permanent CEO.

Ellen took up the role of interim CEO for SafeLives in January 2023, covering for Suzanne’s parental leave, and will return to the charity in early April 2024. Ellen joins us from Refuge, where she is Interim CEO, having previously been interim CEO at SafeLives from January to October 2023. Prior to that, she was Deputy CEO and then Acting CEO at Versus Arthritis, Services Director at Victim Support, and CEO of Lancaster Women’s Aid and Blackpool Advocacy, following a career in Local Government Strategy and Commissioning.

Isabel Boyer, Chair of SafeLives, said:

We thoroughly enjoyed working with Ellen when she was with us as an interim CEO and we are delighted that she will be returning to us as our next CEO - taking us forward into the next stage of our Whole Picture strategy, bringing a strong understanding of what survivors and their families need and what the very best response should look like. She brings a wealth of experience of working in the public and charity sector at a leadership level, and we are all very much looking forward to working with her.

On behalf of the Board and everyone at SafeLives, I would also like to thank Suzanne for her commitment to our goals and her continued passion for our work. SafeLives has grown significantly since 2017 under Suzanne’s leadership, almost doubling in size and income, but most importantly, working in partnership with a huge range of organisations, increasing our reach to deliver profound impact on the way we think about domestic abuse.

She’s taken us forwards, making real and systemic change in how survivors receive support, how perpetrators are challenged and how we can get ahead of the curve, through early intervention and prevention – stopping domestic abuse before it starts. We are hugely grateful for her nine years with us, the last six as CEO, and we wish her the very best in her future career.

Ellen Miller said:

I know from the inside what a great organisation SafeLives is, and I am so looking forward to working with the team as the new permanent CEO, taking over from Suzanne’s fine work. SafeLives is a survivor-centred, thoughtful and dynamic, independent voice in the world of all those working to end domestic abuse.

I look forward to working closely with the SafeLives team and our many friends to drive quality, reflection and innovation across the responses to abuse.

Ellen Miller

Survivors of domestic abuse are going to have a proud, vocal and highly experienced champion in Ellen – I'm delighted she’s been appointed. SafeLives is full of talented and committed people, and I’ll continue to support everything they’re doing in the future.

Domestic abuse is not inevitable. I believe we can end it for everyone and for good and SafeLives will play an important part in achieving that.”

Suzanne Jacob, OBE

Suzanne joined SafeLives in 2015, was promoted to Deputy CEO later that year, and was then appointed through open competition as Chief Executive in 2017, taking up the role from Diana Barran (now Baroness Barran MBE), who founded SafeLives.