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Michelle Russell

Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement,
Charity Commission

Michelle Russell joined the Charity Commission in April 2002 as a lawyer and held various legal and senior management positions before she was appointed as Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement in October 2014. Prior to joining the commission, Michelle was a qualified solicitor in private practice. As the Director of IME Michelle leads on Commission’s corporate strategies on counter-terrorism, fraud and financial abuse, and safeguarding issues, and working influentially across government and with regulators and law enforcement agencies in the UK and internationally on the abuse of charities and is responsible for:

  • investigations: the commission’s most serious and high risk cases
  • monitoring: proactively identifying potential non-compliance, carrying out compliance inspections and regulatory visits
  • intelligence: providing intelligence and overseeing our relationships with other public authorities
  • accountancy: providing accountancy support on case work and proactive scrutiny of accounts.
Michelle sits on a number of cross government and sector groups on terrorism and serious crime issues. She is a Visiting Lecturer at Cass Business School and a regular speaker on charity regulation and compliance issues nationally and internationally

  • Assessing the next steps in demonstrating standards and effective regulatory compliance and enhancing public confidence following the findings of the Trust in Charities Report 2018
  • Sharing the latest insights on the enhanced powers of the Charity Commission emerging from the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 
  • Understanding how non-compliance and malpractice is monitored and investigated in line with the Charity Commission Regulatory and Risk Framework
  • Analysing the Charity Commission’s approach in regulating the sector and assessing the core compliance risks facing charities in the future
  • Evaluating how charities can enhance transparency and support improved reporting mechanisms in meeting regulatory requirements