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Julia Unwin FAcSS (born 6 July 1956) was Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust(JRHT). The Guardian in 2007 described her as a "major player in the voluntary sector." In 2012 she was appointed by the Scottish Government as a member of the Expert Working Group on Welfare and Constitutional Reform.
Unwin is the daughter of Peter William Unwin, a retired diplomat. She studied History at Liverpool University and graduated Bachelor of Arts (BA) in 1978. She then went on to undertake postgraduate studies in Social Policy and Planning at the London School of Economics, graduating Master of Science (MSc) in 1991.
She was Chief Executive of JRF and JRHT from January 2007 to Decmember 2016. Previous roles include being a freelance consultant between 1993 and 2006 – during this time Julia undertook policy analysis, governance support and project evaluation. She has been a member of the peer review of Cabinet office (2000), a member of the Capability Review at DCLG (2006), Social Policy Adviser at NatWest Bank, and Senior Adviser to the Baring Foundation. She is a member of the Council at the University of York.
- 1978–1980 Field worker, Liverpool Council for Voluntary Service
- 1980 -1982 Community Liaison officer, London Borough of Southwark social services
- 1982–1986 Head of Voluntary sector liaison team, Greater London Council
- 1986–1992 Director, Homeless Network
- 1995–1998 Chair of Refugee Council
- 1998–2003 Charity Commission for England and Wales Charity Commissioner
- 1992–2001 Board member, Housing Corporation
- 2001–2006 Board member, National Consumer Council
- 2003–2006 Deputy Chair, Food Standards Agency
Unwin was awarded an OBE in 2000 for Services to the Housing Corporation and a CBE in 2006 as Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency for Services to Consumers. She received an Outstanding Leadership Award, at the 2010 Charity Awards. The presenter said "..it's hard to overstate the impact that her work has had on social policy in the UK."
- Lending money, the issues for grant making trusts; Julia Unwin; Published by the Baring Foundation; 1995
- Trends, Myths and Realities: Funding Policy and the Local Voluntary Sector; Julia Unwin and Peter Westland; Published by Association of Charitable Foundations; 1996
- Who pays for Core Costs?; Julia Unwin; Published by ACEVO; 1999
- Speaking Truth to Power; Julia Unwin; Published by the Baring Foundation; 2004
- The Grant Making Tango: Issues for Funders; Julia Unwin; Published by the Baring Foundation; 2004
- The Voluntary Sector delivering public services: Transfer or transformation? ; Will Paxton, Nick Pearce, Julia Unwin and Peter Molyneux; Published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; 2005
- Fruitful funding: A guide to levels of engagement; Julia Unwin; Published by NCVO; 2005
- "Julia Unwin CBE". Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
-  "Julia Unwin CBE," Guardian, May 17, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011
-  Benjamin, Alison "In search of evils," The Guardian, May 16, 2007. Retrieved August 10, 2011
- Expert Working Group on Welfare and Constitutional Reform, scotland.gov.uk
- "UNWIN, Julia". Who's Who 2014. A & C Black. December 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2011-08-10."National honour for York charity chief Julia Unwin," The Press (York), June 11, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2011
-  Mehra, Nina, "Friends Provident boosts ethical committee," Financial News, May 10, 2000. (Registration required). Retrieved August 10, 2011
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2011-08-10."Julia Unwin," Food Standards Agency. Updated April 2006. Retrieved August 10, 2011
- "Order of the British Empire," BBC News, December 30, 2000. Retrieved August 10, 2011
- "Julia Unwin CBE'" Civil Society, Charity award winners. May 4, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-08-10.