Jackie Baillie MSP, Annwen Jones and June McGeachy chatting at Scottish Pathfinder event

Target Ovarian Cancer's Chief Executive Annwen Jones OBE is stepping down

Annwen Jones is stepping down after 16 years as the Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer.

Our Chief Executive Annwen Jones is to step down in November 2024 after a highly successful 16 years leading the charity that she co-founded with Joanna Barker MBE.

Annwen’s leadership – working with a powerful community of supporters, expert staff teams and trustee leaders – has seen Target Ovarian Cancer become the UK’s largest ovarian cancer charity. Annwen has also led the way internationally co-founding the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition, the only global not-for-profit organisation focused solely on ovarian cancer.

Anween, Annette Badland, and Sarah Greene smiling together in Regent's Park, London

Under her leadership, the charity has transformed perceptions of ovarian cancer as a silent disease, too difficult to diagnose and treat to one where progress has been proved possible and an expectation that survival can improve. Target Ovarian Cancer has committed to an ambitious goal of doubling ten-year survival rates in ovarian cancer by 2050.

Since the charity was founded, Target Ovarian Cancer has taken a strategic approach to funding and driving measurable change:

  • Building a powerful community of those impacted by ovarian cancer and amplifying their voices to raise public awareness of the disease and its symptoms and positively influence national health policies and decision-making

  • Successfully campaigning for the introduction of the first national clinical guidance for the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer; securing the inclusion of ovarian cancer in national symptoms awareness campaigns; multi-million pound investments in diagnostic capacity; and the training of over 40% of GPs to improve the diagnosis of ovarian cancer

  • Investing in research into the development of novel therapies for ovarian cancer and successfully advocating for access to new treatments

  • Launching the four-yearly Pathfinder Study to benchmark and track UK progress against a range of indicators including patient experience, symptom awareness in the general population and among healthcare professionals

  • Delivering high-quality, accredited information about ovarian cancer and vital front-line support via its nurse-led support line and related services

Annwen standing outside the Houses of Parliament holding a box of signatures


Joanna Barker MBE, founder, said: 

As a founder of the charity, I had a vision of the impact that I wanted to achieve, and Annwen has proved to be exactly the right founding Chief Executive for Target Ovarian Cancer, and I thank her for her exceptional leadership and wish her every success for the future.

Sonya Branch, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: 

Annwen has played a key role in building Target Ovarian Cancer into a highly influential, impactful and respected national charity and in driving a step change in awareness, diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer in the UK.

Sonya continued:

"Over the past four years, Annwen has steered us deftly through many challenges, including Covid-19, while ensuring that we continue to deliver material progress for those impacted by ovarian cancer.

She leaves Target Ovarian Cancer in a strong position with a dedicated, impactful and agile Board, Senior Leadership Team and wider staff team; a hugely committed network of supporters; and ambitious and transformative growth plans.

<On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I thank Annwen for her exceptional leadership, commitment and achievements. We are in the process of recruiting for a new Chief Executive, partnering with the recruitment agency MBS Group. We look forward to sharing an update on the recruitment in due course.”

Annwen talking to the Target Ovarian Cancer supporters wearing a purple Target Ovarian Cancer tshirt

Reflecting on her time as Chief Executive, Annwen said:

Target Ovarian Cancer is a very special charity that has achieved far more than even I ever dreamed was possible when I first accepted the invitation to become its founding Chief Executive in 2008.

Annwen continued: 

"While there is still much work to be done, and urgently, it has been a privilege of a lifetime to have played a part in the significant progress that we have seen.

I am immensely proud of the outstanding advocacy of our community of women with ovarian cancer, of our talented staff and leadership team, of our exceptional Board of Trustees, our extremely generous supporters, and of our outstanding colleagues in the policy and medical spheres. You have all played an invaluable role in dismantling the once vicious circle of despair surrounding ovarian cancer and replacing it with a new reality of progress and hope.    

Every leader’s wish is to leave when the time is right and at a time of their choosing. I am fortunate to be able to do both. I am looking forward to supporting a smooth transition to a new leader who will take forward its vital work towards the goal of doubling survival by 2050.  

I will remain a staunch advocate for everyone impacted by ovarian cancer, in the UK and globally, and a committed supporter of the work of Target Ovarian Cancer.

We're so grateful to Annwen for her transformational leadership and are thankful for her complete dedication and all she has achieved as Target Ovarian Cancer’s Chief Executive. 

We wish her well for the future and look forward to her continued support as we begin the search for a new Chief Executive.