Mel Stevens

Mel joined us in May 2023 as our Chief Executive, bringing her extensive expertise in design, strategy, and practice in public sector governance and decision-making. Her primary objective is to ensure that CfGS remains an impactful, sustainable, and independent organisation that continues to make a valuable contribution to our democracy

With a strong background in democratic renewal and system change for good governance, Mel has led teams dedicated to innovation in this field for several years. She has a proven track record of successfully spearheading initiatives, such as the development of an open data framework for governance within a prison trust and the facilitation of a county council’s co-design process for transforming their children’s services. Mel has also been at the forefront of deliberative democracy, having designed and led numerous deliberative processes for local and national governments. Notably, she led the design of the world’s first Citizen Assembly focused on tackling hate crime and incidents.

Prior to joining us, Mel served as the Head of Strategy and Insight at West Sussex County Council, where her leadership style and background in applied social policy allowed her to make significant contributions. Since then she has held leadership positions as a Director of Programs and Director General for various small not-for-profit organisations across the public sector.

Mel’s passion for democracy was ignited during her time working at a Citizens Advice Bureau, where she witnessed the profound impact that social policy decisions have on people’s lives. This experience underscored for her the crucial importance of good governance and scrutiny in bridging the gap between everyday people and policy makers.

With her extensive knowledge and experience, Mel is an invaluable asset to CfGS as we strive for excellence in governance and scrutiny. Her visionary leadership and unwavering dedication to inclusive decision-making processes will undoubtedly propel our organisation forward