Canary Wharf Group plc (CWG) chief executive, George Iacobescu CBE, this week received a Founding Ambassador award from education charity Teach First for his eight-year commitment to the organisation and for his tireless campaigning work in addressing edu

In 2002 George Iacobescu recognised the need for excellent teaching and leadership in schools in challenging circumstances. Through his leadership, CWG was the first financial supporter of Teach First, providing the vital initial financial backing of £25,000. He became one the charity’s first trustees and its original co-chair with then London First CEO, Stephen O’Brien. In addition to funding, Iacobescu also gave the charity its first home in donated offices in Canary Wharf from 2003 to 2010.

The Founding Ambassador award is granted to those individuals who have been instrumental in the progress and development of Teach First to date. It is decided by the charity’s trustees and was presented to Iacobescu by the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP along with Teach First’s chair Dame Julia Cleverdon, at the charity’s annual awards celebration.

Previously named Founding Ambassadors include former education minister, Lord Adonis; Rona Kiley, former Head of Business and Education at business lobby group London First; Dame Mary Richardson, former Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Education Trust; and Stephen O’Brien CBE, former CEO of London First

George Iacobescu said:
“I am honoured to be named a Teach First Founding Ambassador and to have been part of this worthy movement since it started. Most businesses find it relatively easy to recruit smart graduates with good technical skills. However, it is much more difficult is to find individuals who also have great communication skills, an ability to persevere and who devote themselves to inspire others, especially youngsters, to succeed.

“These graduates are equipped to answer job interview questions such as, ‘When have you succeeded in challenging circumstances?’ Teach First helps graduates stand out from the crowd, and compete for even the most competitive of positions.”

Brett Wigdortz, CEO and Founder of Teach First, said:
“George’s vision and commitment all those years ago was vital in establishing Teach First. His continued support has been integral in helping Teach First’s participants and Ambassadors to increase the access, aspirations and achievement of pupils studying in the UK’s most challenging schools. Business support is crucial in addressing disadvantage and George Iacobescu has campaigned tirelessly to galvanise the support of the wider business community for our mission of addressing educational disadvantage.”