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Paul Rees

Paul Rees

Chief Executive Officer

Paul Rees joined the Royal College of Psychiatrists as Chief Executive in November 2016, from the Royal College of GPs – where he was Executive Director of Policy and Engagement.

Working closely with the RCPsych Honorary Officers, Paul has led the modernisation of the RCPsych – leading to the transformation of College IT, stronger membership communication, more effective stakeholder engagement and a dynamic employee relations strategy.

In collaboration with the College Officers, Paul led the introduction of a values-based approach to the way the organisation works with both its members and staff team – based on the organisational values of Courage, Innovation, Respect, Collaboration, Learning and Excellence, which were introduced in 2018.

Among other things, this new approach saw the College celebrate Pride and Black History Month for the first time ever in 2019, and International Women’s Day for the first time in 2020. The College also launched its very own bespoke celebration of diversity in July 2020 - South Asian History Month - marking the contributions of South Asian doctors to the specialty of psychiatry.

The values-based approach led to the College being awarded Charity of the Year in the European Diversity Awards in 2019. In 2020, Paul won the Louis Armstrong CEO Leadership Award in the Memcom Awards. 

Paul began his career as a journalist working at the Times, Sunday Telegraph and BBC national network news.

A move into communications saw him co-lead the successful right to roam campaign as Head of Communications at the Ramblers Association, which led to the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Later, as Head of Campaigns and Communications at the National Housing Federation, Paul managed the campaign which brought about an end to the pre-payment meter tariff charged by the 'Big Six' energy companies to low income households for gas and electricity – saving £100m a year for less affluent families.

As Director of Communications at the Charities Aid Foundation, he ran an award-winning campaign in 2012 that successfully persuaded the Chancellor to drop his proposed 'charity tax' on large donations, a tax that would have cost the charity sector £500m per year.  

In other roles, Paul worked as Director of Communications on the Victoria Climbié and Zahid Mubarek public inquiries, and held the post of Head of Communications at the Home Office.

As Director of Communications at the Association of University Teachers he co-led a successful, national campaign to protect the pay and conditions of university lecturers.

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