Cygnet Health Care appoints accomplished human rights lawyer Independent Non-Executive Director

Mark Stephens

Cygnet Health Care is pleased to announce Mark Stephens CBE as an Independent Non-Executive Director. As an internationally accomplished and respected human rights lawyer, who has previously worked on safeguarding, Mark brings a wealth of expertise and insight to Cygnet’s innovative Non-Executive Advisory Board.

Highly regarded for his advocacy, passion and extensive global experience in Human Rights and the UN Ruggie Principles, Mark’s work gives voice to societies’ most vulnerable. He has significant experience of chairing and serving on boards to give independent oversight in heavily regulated environments, and has also held many charitable, regulatory, government and academic appointments. His insights will now also offer invaluable guidance and inform decision making amongst Cygnet’s experienced leadership.


Mark is Vice Chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and works with the Human Dignity Trust, working globally to promote and protect human rights. He was founding chair of the Internet Watch Foundation, established to provide greater protection for children from online sexual abuse and he is also Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation.


Mark Stephens CBE said: “I am delighted to be taking on this new role in an advisory capacity. Mental health has never been as much in focus as it is now and, through its range of services, Cygnet helps some of this country’s most vulnerable people.


“Making sure we are always doing things well, in the right way, for people’s human rights is at the core of what I do and is the foundation for delivering person-focused care.  Through this role I will support Cygnet to further develop its structures and processes, to reflect, learn and enhance the significant work already being done in the delivery of quality care.”


Cygnet’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tony Romero added: “Respecting human rights like dignity, fairness, respect and equality are at the heart of good mental health care, and Mark’s experience – and passion – will help us ensure these principles inform and firmly underpin every aspect of our work.


“To underline our commitment to the delivery of high quality, safe care, Mark will oversee an annual company-wide assurance process, based around the core principles of human rights that will provide us with an opportunity to further improve the way we plan and manage services, measure improvement and the way in which we identify and address gaps.”


Mark sits on the board of the Independent Schools Inspectorate (the Ofsted for independent & boarding schools), which overseas safeguarding as well as educational provision – particularly ensuring that advantage is not being taken of vulnerable people. Currently Mark Chairs the Global Network Initiative (GNI) advising international businesses in the ICT sector on compliance with Business & Human Rights.


Cygnet’s schools will benefit from his experience in the education and safeguarding sector because he has been responsible for setting inspection and regulatory frameworks to ensure oversight and good governance of independent schools through his role with the Independent Schools Inspectorate.


Mark has written child protection policy for schools, businesses and religious settings and has been (amongst others) on the boards of Wanstead Church of England Primary School, the Rose Bruford College and chaired the University of East London.


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