The English Football Association (FA) has announced the appointment of its first female board member as part of an overhaul of the organisation, reports Sport Business. Heather Rabbatts has been appointed as one of two new independent non-executive directors alongside Roger Devlin.
The move comes after the FA Council and its shareholders overwhelmingly approved the principle of the appointment of non-executive directors to the board earlier this year. The appointments will see the existing board extended from 12 to 14 members, comprising five representatives from the national game, five from the professional game, the FA chairman and general secretary as well as the two new independent non-executive directors.
Rabbatts trained as a barrister but made her name as the youngest council chief executive and subsequently went on to run the London Borough of Lambeth in 1995. She then left the public sector and worked in the private sector primarily in media, before becoming the executive deputy chair of Millwall FC in 2006. Rabbatts has held a number of non-executive directorships including governor of the BBC and trustee of the Bank of England.
FA chairman David Bernstein, said:
"This is an important moment for The FA and represents a significant change to our governance structures. There were numerous outstanding candidates for the roles, but the important thing is that our decision was based on recruiting suitable individuals who are able to provide a strong challenge and supplement the existing range of skills and experience on the board."