NHF appoints new Director of Policy and Research

17 February 2023

The National Housing Federation has appointed Alistair Smyth as the new Director of Policy and Research, starting in March. 

Alistair Joins the NHF on a 12-month secondment from The Guinness Partnership, where he has been since 2017 as both Head of External Affairs and more recently, Director of External Affairs and Social Investment.

Alistair has worked in the social housing sector for the last fifteen years in a wide range of roles. Between 2015 and 2017 he was the Head of Policy at the NHF during which time he led on a sector-wide project to develop a sustainable funding solution for supported and sheltered housing. Prior to that, he worked as a consultant on a range of neighbourhood and community empowerment projects. He also spent three years working in a customer-facing role as a Neighbourhood Manager and as Assistant Head of Neighbourhoods for Peabody. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Policy Advisory Committee.

Alistair will replace Catherine Ryder who leaves the NHF to take up the role of CEO at Placeshapers. Catherine first joined the NHF 10 years ago. As Director of Policy and Research, she has shown her gifts as a talented leader and her passion for the social purpose of the sector.

Alistair Smyth says: "I’m very much looking forward to joining the National Housing Federation on secondment at this important time for our sector. Housing associations play a really significant role across the country providing much needed affordable homes and investment in communities. I’m excited by the opportunity this role presents to work with the NHF’s members, stakeholders and colleagues to both highlight the important work our sector does and to shape policy positions and research that support the sector to continue to deliver good homes and services to millions of households."

Rhys Moore, Executive Director of Public Impact at the National Housing Federation, says: "We are delighted to welcome Alistair back to the team at the NHF. He brings with him a wealth of experience from across the sector, having carried out a number of roles at different housing associations. This experience allows him a real depth of knowledge and understanding of our sector and the challenges we are facing."

Who to speak to

Press office