Perry Maddox to leave post as CEO

After 12 years with Restless Development, Perry Maddox will be leaving his post as Restless Development’s CEO this summer.

Perry has shared some words about his departure and what’s next for Restless Development’s leadership below.

Warm greetings.

After 12 and a half years with Restless, I have decided to step down as CEO of Restless Development at the end of August.

Personally, family comes first.  While Restless have truly been “family”, my next role allows my family the certainty we need to lay down roots back home in the US at a time when the pandemic upended everything for our young children. 

I also know that this is an excellent time for Restless Development to welcome new leadership. 

Last summer I turned 40 years old, and quite frankly, I believe that an agency powered by youth should be led youthfully. 

I am proud of the work we have done over the past years to transform our global leadership team, becoming a team with youth at its heart and composed of majority women, majority people of color and majority people living in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  By stepping back, I hope to create another opportunity to further restore power to the young leaders and communities with whom we partner.

Above all, I am proud to leave Restless in top form.  

We’ve never had deeper nor more diverse leadership talent. We’ve never had a stronger 6 month run of operational performance and fundraising in over 3 decades.  And despite the difficulties of the past 18 months, the pandemic reinforced the power that young people have to lead change. Restless Development stood side by side with young leaders to support them in that mission, as highlighted in our recent Annual Report 2020.  All together, a strong foundation is in place for our next leaders.

Make no mistake, I love Restless Development.  

This was no easy decision. Like thousands of other young leaders, Restless Development gave me a chance to lead. Learning, growing and leading here has been transformational for me. I am proud to have played my small role in helping to unleash the power of young leaders to change our world. 

To ensure a smooth transition, we are currently recruiting an interim CEO from our excellent leadership team.  Soon we will launch an external recruitment for our next permanent CEO, particularly looking to young candidates and to global talent.

Knowing me as you do, I’m sure you’ll understand why I’m so excited about where that recruitment could lead.

I’m thrilled to join All Hands and Hearts as their next CEO. They’re all about volunteer-led disaster relief, and are a hungry, humble and values-driven organization who make change happen through volunteers from around the world.  

For a bit more on why I’ve chosen to take this next step, please do the latest on Just Open Leaders: “Goodbye, Dream Job. The Exciting Reasons to Move On

For now, my deepest thanks for your support to me over the years, to Restless Development, and to young leaders around the world.

Perry Maddox 

Restless Development CEO.

Perry has been an extraordinary leader here at Restless, channeling our purpose – youth leadership – through everything we do. He has built an incredibly strong, progressive, diverse community, all of whom I know will continue to progress our mission.  

It’s been a challenging time for the world and for our sector, and Perry has risen to this, both the ups and the downs, seeing every challenge as an opportunity. I’d like to thank Perry for his passion, partnership and innovation – it’s been brilliant working alongside you and you’ll be very much missed.

Charlotte Eaton, Global Board Chair

What is the recruitment process for a new CEO?

We will recruit our next CEO following a two-step process. First, we’ll internally recruit an interim CEO, with the option of this being led by an individual or two co-leaders. The interim CEO(s) will begin their role on August 20th for up to six months. 

This interim recruitment is open to global leadership team members only. Because of the speed at which we need to appoint an interim leader, drawing from our existing pool of leaders is the best approach for this initial stage. 

Soon we will launch a recruitment process for a permanent CEO. We will recruit expansively, both internal and externally, encouraging both young leaders and leaders from around the world to apply.

Who do I ask if I have any questions? 

If you have specific questions or comments about our transition between CEOs please contact

How can I stay in touch with Perry? 

Last year Perry launched a blog, Just Open Leaders, that is free to all. You can sign up for his newsletter and follow Perry on Instagram to chat about all things related to leadership for global justice.

How is Restless Development led and governed? 

We have one global leadership team, called the Restless Leadership Team, and Hub leadership teams. These teams work alongside our global and national boards, providing strategic direction, and oversight over areas such as risk, impact and performance.

We recently changed our global leadership team from a predominantly white UK based senior leadership team to the Restless Leadership Team, which is at least 50% people of colour. Three young people from Peru, India and Zambia joined our Restless Leadership team. They join existing global representation from three Directors in Zambia, Zimbabwe and India.

Find out more about our leadership teams.

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