Trust announces Hans Pung as new Chair of Trustees

January 12, 2024

The Trust is delighted to announce their new Chair of Trustees as Hans Pung. Hans takes the baton from our outgoing chair Helen Helliwell who has successfully steered the Trust since 2018. We are extremely grateful for her dedication and hard work during her tenure with the Trust. Her departure truly marks the end of an era.

Hans joins the Trust with a long standing commitment to Veterans’ issues. He has previously served as Chair of Trustees of the Forces in Mind Trust and is currently president of RAND Europe.

Prior to RAND, Hans served as an engineer officer in the United States Army with responsibility for logistics, personnel, and operations and overseas service in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea, and Germany. He also led the emergency power response team at the Pentagon in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks.  

A mathematics graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Hans also holds advanced degrees in mathematical modelling and modern history from Oxford University, which he attended as a (George C.) Marshall Scholar. 

Anna Wright, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Helen Helliwell as the inaugural Chair of the Trust. Her leadership and vision from the beginning of the Trust’s journey have created an ambitious and agile organisation focused on delivering the promise of the Armed Forces Covenant. As Helen hands on the baton, we are delighted to welcome Hans. He shares her passion for the Armed Forces community, has great understanding of the challenges it faces and will bring bags of energy to the task.”

Helen Helliwell, the Trust’s Chair shared her reflections

I am delighted that the Chair position is going to such an experienced and motivated individual. I have worked with Hans over several years and so was thrilled to hear he was the successful candidate at interview. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Chair of Trustees, from taking the Covenant Fund from a small team in MOD to now an independent charity and Non-Departmental Public Body of the MOD. I am proud of the progress we have made and the impact the funding has had across the UK and on overseas bases to deliver on our promises under the Armed Forces Covenant. I wish to say a huge thank you to the executive team and fellow Trustees for their support and contributions along the way. I know that they will warmly welcome Hans and I look forward to seeing the Trust grow under Hans’ leadership.

Hans’ appointment has been formally approved by the Minister for Defence People and Families, Dr Andrew Murrison MP.

Hans is no stranger to the work of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, given his long-standing commitment to veterans’ issues and as Chair of the Forces in Mind Trust from 2016 to 2022, helping Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. 

The incoming Chair, Hans Pung shared his thoughts on his appointment.

I am extremely grateful to be appointed as the next Chair of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.  I have seen first-hand the impact the Trust has had in delivering funding that supports the delivery of the Nation’s Covenant promise to our Armed Forces, Veterans and their families and am looking forward to contributing to this vital mission in the years ahead.  I would also like to recognise and thank Helen for her outstanding leadership in chairing the Trust through its early years until now. I am delighted for the opportunity to work with Helen, my fellow Trustees, Anna Wright and the Trust staff, and the wider Armed Forces community in my new role.