PPMA president decides to step down


Karen Grave said it had been “an enormous privilege” to serve as president of the PPMA

Karen Grave, the president of the Public Services People Managers Association, has decided to step down from her role as head of the HR body for the public sector.

The PPMA made the announcement on social media yesterday, explaining it was Grave’s personal decision to step down.

The association said: “Karen has been a wonderful president and we’d like to share our appreciation for the dedication, commitment, fantastic energy and fun she brought and wish her every future success.”

Grave had been president of the PPMA since she was elected in 2018, during which time the association went through a significant restructure and grew its membership community. Prior to that she served as vice president.

In a heartfelt Twitter thread, Grave explained how during her tenure she had also experienced a number of “real life changes”, including her father’s death, and she wished to find some time and space to reflect.

She praised her colleagues and members of the PPMA, saying she had “made the most amazing friendships…Some of whom I know will last for the rest of my life”.

“I adore [the] PPMA, I will always advocate for [the] PPMA,” she added. “And I actively encourage everyone to join. It’s a fabulous organisation. HR and OD is critical at any time but especially now.”

Grave said it had been “an enormous privilege” to be the president, and noted how the board structure of the association had become “more diverse in terms of experience, age and other backgrounds” since the restructure.

Stephen Moir, former PPMA president and now chief people officer for NHS England, praised Grave for being “an outstanding president” who had led the organisation with “compassion, tenacity, humility and a deep commitment to HR”.

The PPMA will hold a virtual annual conference on the 15 and 16 September after which a short-term replacement for the president role will be decided, said interim executive director Leatham Green.

“Karen has been a wonderful president and we would like to share our appreciation for the dedication, commitment, fantastic energy and fun Karen brought in her leadership of the Association over the past four years. We wish Karen every future success,” he added.

In the meantime, Sonia Grewal, PPMA vice president for talent and membership and director of HR and OD at Swindon Council, will act as the ‘voice’ of the organisation, said Green.

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