Dawn Carter-McDonald to be appointed as chief executive of Hackney Council

CEO-in-waiting: Dawn Carter-McDonald. Photograph: Gary Manhine / Hackney Council

Hackney Council’s interim chief executive Dawn Carter-McDonald is set to be appointed permanently next week.

Carter-McDonald, who joined the council in 2002 as a solicitor, has held the position on a temporary basis for the past 10 months.

She emerged as first choice following what Hackney Mayor Caroline Woodley called a “competitive recruitment process”.

Carter-McDonald will earn £191,525 a year, with the move expected to be confirmed in a meeting of councillors on 21 May.

Prior to becoming interim chief executive, she was director of legal, democratic and electoral services.

Carter-McDonald said: “I was born in Hackney, so this appointment means a great deal to me on a very personal level. Hackney is where I’m very proud to say I’ve spent the majority of my career.

“While the opportunity within the borough is evident, so too I believe, are the challenges.

“The council under the leadership of Mayor Woodley has a clear plan to help address these, and I want to make sure every council officer, and partner, does all they can to improve the quality of life and sense of belonging for all in the borough.”

One of those challenges is likely to be the condition of council housing – with a visit to Pitcairn House last month giving Carter-McDonald plenty of pause for thought.

The council is also facing the threat of legal action over plans to close two children’s centres.

And pro-Palestinian campaigners recently set up camp outside the Town Hall to protest Hackney’s links to Israel.

Carter-McDonald previously caused consternation after describing graffiti with the words ‘Free Palestine’ as “anti-semitic”.

Mayor Woodley said: “I’m delighted to be able to confirm Dawn’s appointment following a competitive recruitment process involving staff, residents, community organisations and partners.

“Dawn has a strong track record in local government and she has provided stable leadership and demonstrated an outstanding commitment to Hackney and its values during that time.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work side-by-side with Dawn to make Hackney a greener, healthier, fairer and safer place for all of our residents.”