LUCY S. BLYTHE

Managing Director, Philia International, London, UK 

Lucy Blythe founded Philia International in 2009 with a mission to transform not-for-profit leadership, with a focus on board development. She assists organizations in succession-and strategic planning and also acts as philanthropy advisor to NPOs (Non-profit Organizations), trusts, foundations, families and individuals.

Previously, Lucy ran the Kew Foundation, set up the NFP and public-sector practice of an international search firm, and led major fundraising campaigns.  Her diverse clients and volunteer roles reflect her personal interest in the arts, environment, literature, human rights and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), for instance working with CERN to set up the CERN & Society Foundation and running leadership workshops for African NPOs. She is actively involved in promoting philanthropy and social investment in Europe and globally.

She has over 30 years of experience in US and UK not-for-profits. As Chief Executive of the Kew Foundation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, she completed a governance review, developed the Board (that delivered the £103 million Breathing Planet Campaign) and increased voluntary income by 400%, raising over £41 million. At the Victoria and Albert Museum, between 1999 and 2002, she completed the £31 million British Galleries Campaign, working closely with the Main Board and the Campaign Board.   She has consistently been a catalyst for significant increases in funding, as well as a positive agent of change.  She has been particularly successful at addressing the difficult and more subtle challenges of multi-stakeholder environments.

In the private sector, before setting up Philia International, Lucy was Partner at Bird & Co, an international executive search and leadership consultancy, where she led the Not-for-Profit and Public-Sector Practice.

Lucy was educated at Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley (Physics and English Literature).  She is currently a Trustee of the Reekimlane Foundation, Philanthropy Impact (Chair, Governance and Nominations Committee, and member, Zurich Advisory Board); member of The HALO Trust Advisory Group; Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce); member of Chatham House, the UNESCO UK Culture Network, London Library and the Royal African Society; and formerly Trustee of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and member of the Campaign Board of the House of Illustration.