James Blake – YHA Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

James Blake

Chief Executive

About James

"I’m a geographer by background, working as a postgraduate on sustainable development in the countryside before spending 10 years in national government working on a wide range of issues including social inclusion, followed by a move into local government. I was Chief Executive of the District Council in St Albans for nearly five years before joining YHA in July 2017. The parallels which will stand me in good stead here at YHA include having to juggle the need to generate revenue in a really competitive environment with delivering real public benefit and impact.

I’ve had a long affinity with YHA, from teenage travels in the Lake District, through to using YHA for groups when I was president of my university hill-walking club, and now travelling around England and Wales with my family. I was also a YHA Trustee for over 12 years, ending in 2014, so I’ve seen at first hand YHA’s transformation over the last few years, and am delighted to now be heading up the fantastic organisation that is YHA today."

Meet the other YHA Executives