Cheryl Giovannoni appointed Chief Executive of the GDST

The Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) has announced the appointment of Cheryl Giovannoni as its new Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 September 2016. Ms Giovannoni replaces Helen Fraser, who retired in August 2016 at the end of her seven-year tenure. During that time Ms Fraser has led major change to position the GDST as leaders in girls’ education.

Ms Giovannoni has had a long and successful career working within WPP, the marketing communications group, and has run three of its companies, her most recent role being CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, the advertising agency. With an outstanding track record in leading teams of highly creative people in a competitive environment, Ms Giovannoni is ideally placed to lead the GDST and build on the successes of Helen Fraser.

Announcing the appointment, Juliet Humphries, Chairman of the GDST, said:

“Cheryl brings very current and relevant experience from the world of business and the Trustees were impressed by her energy, enthusiasm and commitment to girls-only education. Throughout her career Cheryl has taken a keen interest in encouraging gender equality, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming her to the GDST.”

Commenting on her new role, Cheryl Giovannoni said:

“I am honoured to take up the role of CEO of an organisation which leads girls’ education. It has been a long-held ambition to help women achieve their true potential, and the GDST is a fitting place for me to continue to do what I can to inspire future generations of girls to be their very best.”


Cheryl Giovannoni was born and brought up in South Africa and has a BA in English, Communication and Psychology from the University of South Africa.

During her career at WPP she has run three of its companies, most recently Ogilvy & Mather, the advertising agency. Before this, Ms Giovannoni was European President of Landor Associates, a global brand consulting firm, where she was responsible for managing seven units across the region and worked with clients including P & G, Diageo and Kraft. Cheryl had previously been CEO of Coley Porter Bell, a consumer design and branding business.

Ms Giovannoni enjoys mentoring and coaching and supports many young women, either informally as their mentor or through programmes run by WACL (Women in Advertising and Communication London). She was formerly a non-executive director of Fearless Futures, a charity launched to encourage equality through its schools’ programme.