Ian Acheson

Programme Director

Ian Acheson a 47 year old Ulsterman has 25 years’ experience in working at senior and board level across the private, public and NGO sector.

Ian was educated at Durham and Cambridge universities and after some adventures in freelance journalism for BBC Radio Ulster and Radio 5, he joined Her Majesty’s Prison Service on the graduate fast track scheme serving at command levels in a variety of prisons including HMPs Wandsworth including a spell as in-charge Governor at HMP Erlestoke.

Ian left the Prison Service to become Executive Director at the international charity, Prisoners Abroad. Following the birth of his children, Ian returned to the West country to head up the Youth Justice Board, the Government agency responsible for the criminal justice system for 10-17 year olds.

Promotion to the Senior Civil Service at the Home Office saw Ian in charge of crime, drugs and counter terrorism targets and policy in the South West of England as part of the regional government office.  Further promotion saw Ian appointed as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Ian is a qualified life coach and an EU recognised expert on Youth Justice. He has lectured and written about radicalisation in prison custody.

Ian lives with his wife, the wine writer and journalist Susy Atkins and his two boys on a smallholding in Dartmoor National park. Here, he enjoys hill walking, writing poetry and fighting a losing battle against brambles and nettles.


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