Meet English UK's new chair
24 May 2024

Shoko Celtic English Academy 600x230

Meet English UK's new chair

Shoko Doherty, CEO of Celtic English Academy in Cardiff, became the new chair of English UK's Board of Trustees at the 2024 AGM.

She was elected to our Board for a third three-year term and becomes chair under the new rules, as she was previously the vice-chair. A new vice-chair will be elected at the first meeting of the new board in June. 

Firsts for English UK  

Shoko came to the UK from Japan as a student, which means she is the first chair in English UK's 20-year history to be a former ELT student. She is also the first chair for whom English is not a first language, the first chair from the global majority, and the first chair to live and work outside England.  

She said: 'I'm honoured to be the new chair of English UK.  Regardless of my age and background, as I've always said, I want to be judged based on what I can bring to the table rather than what I am. 
'I will continue to contribute with my diversity of thought and perspective. When we face challenges and situations that may appear like dead ends, I will approach them with optimism, positivity, and a 'why not? what if...' mindset to challenge perceptions and preconceptions. This approach has helped us successfully lobby in the past few years, and I look forward to doing more on a national stage.'

Marking English UK's 20th anniversary 

She added: 'English UK marked its 20th anniversary this year, and there are many achievements we should celebrate. As chair for the next few years, while I respect and value the history of English UK and continue to promote the home of the English language and the world's premier study destination, I also aim to encourage more active membership engagement from all backgrounds, support and inspire younger members or those with less visibility to become the next leaders, and advance the association towards greater sustainability for the future.'

In recent years Shoko helped to expand the Youth Mobility Scheme quota for Japan, was recognised as the Welsh Government's Export Exemplar and the UK Export Champion and won her school, Celtic English Academy, the Chwarae Teg FairPlay Employer gold award. 

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