Tessy Ojo CBE is a passionate civil society leader who has spent over two decades driving change for children and young people in the areas of social justice, youth leadership and social equity.
In 2020, Tessy was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with a CBE – Commander of The British Empire for her services to children and young people.
She is the chief executive of The Diana Award – the only charity that bears the name of Diana, Princess of Wales and through it has developed internationally recognised programmes that give young people skills to thrive and create positive change in their communities globally.
Tessy has had the honour of working with Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex for over 20 years, who both support the Charity. She was also privileged to be a Chapel guest at the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
With over twenty-two years in third sector leadership and expertise in redefining outcomes for young people, Tessy played a founding role in the building and sustainability of the charity, bringing strategic clarity and innovative approaches leading to a 360-degree turnaround of the charity’s growth and global industry recognition.
At the heart of Tessy’s work is the belief that, with the right support and investment, young people have the capacity to drive and achieve sustainable change for both themselves and society.
Her innovative approach to youth leadership and driving systemic change has been recognised internationally, resulting in Tessy becoming the very first British National to be honoured with The Prestigious Martin Luther King Award in Atlanta, in recognition of her innovative approach to leadership and humanitarian work.
In the same year, she was also named by British Airways, alongside other key notable leaders, as one of the top 100 British Leaders.
In 2015, Tessy has also been awarded an Excellence Award by Eva Longoria through her Global Gift Foundation.
She is a sought-after speaker and TV commentator who regularly comments on issues around young people, youth culture and insight as well as diversity and inclusion. Here is a clip from her appearance on Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: Tessy Ojo on Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan – YouTube
More of her interviews can be found on her Instagram page, which has a good following of over 13,000.
Tessy seats on a number of non-Executive boards including Chair of the #iwill Fund, launched in November 2013 by HRH The Prince of Wales after an independent review into how different sectors could help more young people to make a positive difference.
Tessy also holds NED roles at Comic Relief, Makers, The BBC’s Appeals Advisory Committee, The Royal Taskforce on Cyberbullying and the UK Council For Child Internet Safety.
She is married and has two children.