John May

Secretary General, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

John May is the Secretary General of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award; a campaigner, storyteller, teacher, youth worker, independent diplomat, writer, broadcaster, urban cyclist, occasional long-distance runner, habitual chocolate cake eater and mischief-maker who has spent his career working with and for young people in the United Kingdom and around the world. Trained as a teacher, John has worked with children and young people in a variety of situations, ranging from schools in suburban England to refugee camps in Uganda. He became a Head teacher at 28, going on to develop a reputation for regenerating underperforming schools. John has since been the national Education Director of Business in the Community, Chief Executive of Career Academies UK and Chief Executive of Young Enterprise.

John is a former non-executive director of UNICEF, helped to found ‘Teach First’ in the UK, and is a past Vice Chairman of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. He is a visiting lecturer in education at Oxford Brookes University, sits on the Advisory Board of the University of Surrey’s Business School and is a trustee of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets.  He is a Deputy Lieutenant for Oxfordshire. In 2008, John received The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in recognition of his long-standing dedication to enterprise education. In 2009, he received the Freedom of the City of London.