The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed the Revd Ijeoma Ajibade as his next Chief of Staff, taking over from David Porter who will stand down in November.
Ijeoma is a Church of England priest working in the Diocese of London and the Diocese of Southwark. For the last six years she has been Regional Director, Europe, at the Mission to Seafarers. Ijeoma will start as Chief of Staff at Lambeth Palace in November.
Since her ordination in 2010, Ijeoma has combined ordained ministry with secular work, and she has worked in various roles in the UK public sector. She began her career in local government, working in a number of different areas including audit and special investigations, housing advice and homelessness, and welfare benefit administration. Ijeoma also spent twelve years working for the London Assembly on Assembly Scrutiny and working for two previous Mayors of London (Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson) on economics and business policy.
Ijeoma has also spent many years as a community activist working on human rights, and HIV awareness and prevention. She has served on the boards of a number of organisations including NAZ Project London, the Marylebone Project, African Health Policy Network, the Kaleidoscope Trust, the Bisi Alimi Foundation and the Merchant Navy Welfare Board.
In her spare time Ijeoma enjoys music, theatre, reading, swimming and experimenting with cooking and baking. To the delight of her friends, she keeps a regular blog of both her successful and unsuccessful cooking exploits.
The Revd Ijeoma Ajibade said: “I am deeply honoured and very excited about supporting Archbishop Justin’s ministry and working together with others from the Lambeth Palace community. We face complex and difficult challenges in our world today and the Church has a prophetic responsibility to empower, comfort and encourage people. I hope and pray that I will be able to wisely assist Archbishop Justin as he leads in these complex times. I have really enjoyed working at the Mission to Seafarers and I am leaving there with a deeper thirst to see justice and human flourishing in our world today. Supporting Archbishop Justin will provide new opportunities for me to work towards this.”
Archbishop Justin Welby said: “I am delighted that Ijeoma will be joining the senior team at Lambeth Palace. To this vital role she brings remarkable experience and skills from her ordained ministry, charity and local government work, and community activism. In our complex and troubled world, I know we will benefit greatly from Ijeoma’s international perspective, honed while serving with Mission to Seafarers as well as with numerous charities. What connects all these strands for Ijeoma is a deep and abiding love of Jesus Christ – and a passion for the common good based on justice, dignity and human flourishing. I look forward to working with her enormously and I will pray for her in the months ahead as she prepares to join the Lambeth Palace community.”