Valerie Amos, Director of SOAS University of London
Valerie joined as Director of SOAS University of London in September 2015. From 2010, she served as Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN. She served in a number of roles in the public sector including in local government and as Chief Executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission. Valerie was an adviser to the Mandela Government on leadership, change, management and strategy issues between 1994 and 1998. She was appointed a Labour Life Peer in 1997 and became a member of the Government in 1998. She was a Foreign Office Minister, Secretary of State for International Development, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. She also served as UK High Commissioner to Australia before joining the UN. In June 2016, she was made a Companion of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Director, Trans Media Watch
Chairman, Link Scheme Ltd and Deputy Chairman, City of London Policy and Resources Committee
Mark Boleat was born and went to school in Jersey. After obtaining a BA in Economics (from what is now Coventry University) and an MA in Contemporary European Studies he joined the Building Societies Association in 1974, holding a number of positions before being appointed Director General in 1986. He was also Director General of the Council of Mortgage Lenders when that organisation was created in 1989.
In 1993 he joined the Association of British Insurers, the largest British trade association, to become its first Director General. In 1999 Mark established Boleat Consulting, a consultancy business specialising in trade association strategy and management and the handling of public policy issues. He has helped establish, merge and reorganise trade associations in a number of sectors. He has also undertaken projects for the World Bank on housing finance in Russia, Nigeria and Egypt, and for the International Finance Corporation on housing finance in Uganda.
In addition to his consultancy work he has held a number of non-executive positions including being a non-executive director of Countryside Properties, Comino, Travelers Insurance Company, Scottish Mutual and Abbey National Life. He has been a number of several regulatory and public policy bodies including the National Consumer Council, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission and the Regulatory Policy Committee. He has been Chairman of the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities and the Jersey Development Company.
Markâ€™s principal position today is Chairman of Link Scheme Ltd, the company that manages the country's cash dispenser network. He is also Deputy Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee of the City of London Corporation, having held the position from Chairman from 2012 to May 2017, Chairman of the Housing and Finance Institute and a board member of the Centre for London.
Chair, London Food Board
Assistant Principal (London), King's College London
Deborah Bull has enjoyed a thirty-five year career in the arts as a dancer with The Royal Ballet, as the author of four books, as Creative Director of the Royal Opera House and, since 1998, as presenter and writer of a wide range of programmes across both television and radio.
She is now Assistant Principal (London) at King's College London providing leadership for the university's engagement with London, which is one of five strategic priorities in King's Vision to 2029. In this role, she is responsible for maximising the potential of King's location in the heart of the city to create new opportunities for King's and the communities around it.
She continues to provide leadership across the university to extend its partnerships with the cultural sector, establishing King's as a world leader in cultural engagement, developing partnerships with a wide range of artists and cultural organisations which add value to King's students and academics while, at the same time offering benefits to the cultural sector.
After a 22 year career in the City as an analyst, fund director and asset manager, latterly with the Capital Group of Companies,Tracey diverted to an academic path, taking an MSc in Agricultural Economics ( Reading) and an MA in the Anthropology of Food (SOAS) and was Executive Director of shareholder-lobbying NGO, Forest Footprint Disclosure. She is now undertaking doctoral studies at UCL's Institute of Global Prosperity examining 'Influences on Companies to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals' and is Chair of the Wiener Library Endowment Trust.
Chief Executive, TheCityUK
Miles Celic joined TheCityUK as Chief Executive Officer in September 2016.
He began his career in broadcasting, making and presenting radio and television programmes for the BBC and others. He moved on to work in the UK parliament, where he focused on foreign affairs and defence issues.
He subsequently worked in a number of leading reputation management and public policy consultancies, including a period at an arm of Omnicom - one of the world's largest communications agency groups - where he advised clients including the BBC, the International Committee of the Red Cross and a number of international financial firms.
In 2007 he joined HSBC's policy function, to lead political engagement. He was part of the team that led the bank's response to the global banking crisis.
Miles moved to Prudential in 2009 as Director of Group Public Affairs & Policy and became Director of Group Strategic Communications in 2013. He was a member of Prudential's Group Leadership Team.
Director of Philanthropy and Communications, Dorfman Family Office.
Zaki is a communications professional, with over 15 years’ experience. He was an Assistant Press Secretary at Buckingham Palace from 2009 to 2012, focusing on the Diamond Jubilee. Previously he has worked for Lord Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, and in the corporate sector for T-Mobile, Tesco and Standard Chartered. He is on the FCO’s Diplomatic Excellence Panel and is a Trustee of the Council of Christians and Jews. He is co-author of a book on cricket grounds, and has had many letters and articles published in the national press.
Mary Curnock Cook stepped down as CEO of UCAS, the universities and colleges admissions service, at the end of April after seven years. Prior to UCAS, Mary worked in a variety of senior roles in private, public and not-for-profit organisations, mostly connected with education. She is a Trustee of the Access Project which helps pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds get into selective universities, and the National Star College, a residential college for young people with severe disabilities and learning difficulties. She is also a Governor at Swindon Academy, an all through school serving a deprived neighbourhood, and Chair of Governors at Kensington & Chelsea College.
Tim Davie, CEO, BBC Worldwide
In October 2012, Tim Davie was announced as the incoming Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide and took up his post in April 2013.
He was made Acting BBC Director-General on 10 November 2012.
Prior to this Tim was Director of BBC Audio & Music where he had overall responsibility for the BBC's national radio services including Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and its digital services as well as music output and performing groups.
Tim was appointed to the role of Director, Audio & Music on 1 September 2008.
Previously he was Director of the BBC's Marketing, Communications & Audiences division from April 2005 and before that Vice President, Marketing and Franchise, PepsiCo Europe.
In April, 2017 Tim was appointed to the new BBC Executive Board.
He read English at Cambridge University and from there joined Procter and Gamble.
He is the Chairman of Comic Relief, Trustee of the Tate and Trustee of the Royal Television Society.
Head of Campaigns, Stonewall
Founder & CEO, Enternships
Director of Development, Prison Reform, Ministry of Justice
Pamela is a senior Whitehall civil servant with experience of education and justice reform at the highest level. Serving as principal private secretary to Rt Hon Michael Gove MP in his role as secretary of state for education, and then again as his director of strategy at the Ministry of Justice, her particular interest is humanising the machinery of government to improve public services.
Pamela is a keen supporter of the Institute of Ideas' Debating Matters school programme and helped found Debating Matters Israel and Beyond Bars, a prison debating initiative. She set up and runs De Beauvoir Debates, a quarterly event series in North London. Pamela also sits on the Advisory Board of the Weidenfeld Hoffman Trust, a postgraduate scholarship and leadership programme at the University of Oxford.
Ed Gillespie is a writer, communications specialist, serial entrepreneur and futurist. He is the author of 'Only Planet: a flight-free adventure around the world' a book about his circumnavigation of the globe without getting on a plane, which the Independent said "Allow[s] the world's flaws and beauty to seep into your soul". Ed is co-founder of Futerra, a change agency that specialises in business transformation, creative communications and campaigns. For the last fifteen years Futerra has become internationally renowned for it's influential, award-winning work on some of the biggest corporate sustainability initiatives. Ed is also involved in a number of pioneering businesses including Growing Underground, a renewable energy powered, LED-lit, hydroponic farm in a disused underground tunnel in South London
Founder, Integriti Capital
After more than 20 years in banking and financial communications, Patricia now helps social enterprises attract private capital. She is a Director of the Learning Schools Trust, a Director of UserVoice, Associate Director of The Finance Foundation, as well as a member of the BVCA’s Responsible Investment Advisory Committee and the World Council of International House. Born in Kyoto, she may be the only Japanese/Cuban-Lebanese to own her own Italian deli, help to fund a Richard III/King Lear world tour for the National Theatre and set a California high jump record. She is passionate about conscientious capitalism and her twins.
Presenter and Producer
Ria Hebden is a vivacious and tenacious presenter who has interviewed some of the biggest names in showbiz on the red carpet at the MOBO Awards for ITV2, Idris Elba at the Screen Nation Awards and most recently, Star Wars Actor, John Boyega for Scene TV.
A recent nominee for ‘Favourite Online Presenter’ by the Digital Is Media Awards, Ria is passionate about covering events that celebrate diversity, champion women and inspire the younger generation.
Last year, Ria proudly launched her own production company, Carpe Diem Media Productions to independently produce and present her own inspirational talk show, Wonder Women which champions the stories of trailblazing women working in the Tech, Media and Music industries.
In addition to presenting, Ria is also an experienced BBC Drivetime broadcaster, a mentor for the Media Trust and a 2017 mentee of the Women in Film & Television Network.
For more information on Ria visit www.riahebden.com
Chairman, Amery Capital Ltd
Founding Director, Idaro
Aita Ighodaro founded Idaro, the Africa focused advisory and market-entry firm. Idaro has advised numerous clients including a former head of government and global businesses across finance, commodities, media and retail.
Prior to Idaro, Aita has written for publications from the Telegraph to the Spectator, and is also the author of two satiric novels, 'Sin Tropez' and 'All that Glitters', both published by Atlantic.
She is passionate about the visual arts and sits on the Africa Acquisitions Committee at Tate.
Chief Economist & Director of Policy, ADS
Jeegar joined ADS at the beginning of June 2013 as the Chief Economist and Director of Policy, where he manages the policy, media and government affairs team. Prior to this, he led all UK tax and regulatory lobbying for Jaguar Land Rover, and managed economic forecasting and tax lobbying for EEF, the manufacturers organization. His previous roles also include working at the Social Market Foundation, in London, and at the Brookings Institution, in Washington DC.
Partner, Mission Bay Ltd
Founder, Good News Shared
Nisha is the Founder of Good News Shared, a website featuring uplifting charitable stories from around the world. In 2016, she created The Moments Journal, a guided positivity journal. In the same year, Nisha was named as one of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs in London under 30 by Capital Enterprise.
Co-Founder, Pace Ventures
Umesh is the Co-Founder of Pace Ventures, an innovation consultancy that works with governments, corporates and charities on their innovation capability. Through workshops, hackathons, accelerators and consulting projects, Pace Ventures helps broker relationships with startups and SME's.
Alongside Pace Ventures, he Co-Founded UniHack, a revolutionary SaaS platform for universities that empowers students with the skills, motivation and network to solve the world’s biggest problems. Alongside the platform, UniHack also runs a nationwide hackathon programme to develop these skills in a practical setting allowing participants to solve real world problems.
Umesh is also the co-founder of Pi Labs; a property accelerator in London has been involved with startups and accelerators for the last 4 years. He is also a former Business Development Associate at Oxygen Accelerator and Techstars London.
Deputy Chief Creative Officer, Channel 4
Ralph Lee is Deputy Chief Creative Officer at Channel 4 where he has been a factual commissioning head since 2008. He and his team commission documentaries and specialist factual programmes ranging from Gogglebox and First Dates to Kids on the Edge. They also work with a wide range of on-screen talent like Guy Martin, Grayson Perry, Levison Wood and Gaia Vince. Ralph's role includes editorial leadership of All4 and overseeing the Creative Diversity and Nations and Regions teams within commissioning.
Editor and Writer
John Mair has taught journalism at the Universities of Coventry, Kent, Northampton, Brunel, Edinburgh Napier, Guyana and the Communication University of China. He has edited 18 '˜hackademic' volumes over the last seven years, on subjects ranging from trust in television, the health of investigative journalism, reporting the 'Arab Spring', to three volumes on the Leveson Inquiry. He and Richard Lance Keeble invented the sub-genre. John also created the Coventry Conversations, which attracted 350 media movers and shakers to Coventry University; the podcasts of those have been downloaded six million times worldwide. Since then, he has launched the Northampton Chronicles, Media Mondays at Napier and most recently the Harrow Conversations at Westminster University. In a previous life, he was an award-winning producer/director for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, and a secondary school teacher.
Prof. Sadie Morgan, dRMM Founding Director, Chair Independent Design Panel HS2, Commissioner NIC
Sadie Morgan is a founding director of leading architectural practice dRMM, alongside Alex de Rijke and Philip Marsh. The studio is recognised for creating
innovative, high quality and socially useful architecture. dRMM's high profile projects include Trafalgar Place, Hastings Pier, Maggieâ€™s Oldham and Faraday House at the Battersea Power Station. In 2016 the practice received its second shortlisting for
the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize.
Sadie is an international keynote speaker and has sat on numerous competition jury and advisory panels, including the RIBA National Awards Advisory Panel. She became the youngest president of the Architectural Association in 2013, won the CBI First Woman award in 2015. In 2016 she was named one of Debrett's 500 most influential people in Britain, and became the first woman to receive the Building Magazine award for Personality of the Year.
Sadie is a commissioner of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) and chairs the Independent Design Panel for High Speed Two (HS2). In 2016, she was made a commissioner of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, appointed Professor at the University of Westminster, and awarded an honorary doctorate from London South Bank University
Co-founder, Supa Academy
Head of Marketing and Interim Head of Public Relations, Harrods
Former MP for Braintree
Director, The Altitude Consultancy
Richard Olszewski is a director at Altitude, where he is a public affairs consultant, providing high-level strategic advice to clients on business-critical public policy, political and reputation-critical issues.
He has more than two decades’ of experience in Westminster, Whitehall and London government. Richard was a special adviser to former Cabinet minister, John Reid, across six cabinet positions dealing with the strategic aspects of policy development and public services reform, as well as the day-to-day political and presentational impacts of government decision-making. He also worked in Labour’s headquarters campaigns in the 2001 and 2005 general elections.
He has also been a consultancy director, with experience across a number of sectors including financial services, property development, retail, transport, energy, environment and health. He has also worked as an in-house political and communications expert for the Consumers' Association and the Royal College of Nursing.
In 2014, he was re-elected to the London Borough of Camden, having previously served as a councillor for eight years. Having spent several years as a whip and in scrutiny roles overseeing health and adult social care, he has just been appointed as a cabinet member.
Bodley's Librarian, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
Richard Ovenden is Bodley's Librarian at the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, the senior executive position at one of the world's great libraries. A graduate of the Universities of Durham and London, at the University of Durham, the House of Lords Library, in the National Library of Scotland, and the University of Edinburgh before his move to Oxford in 2003. He holds a Professorial Fellowship at Balliol College, and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and the Royal Society of Arts. In 2015 he was elected to the American Philosophical Society. He is currently President of the Digital Preservation Coalition. He writes on the history of the book, the history of photography, and on current issues in the worlds of information, archives, and libraries.
Partner, Saje Impact
Adam Paker has been involved in the sports industry for 20 years, working with governing bodies, sponsors, leagues, clubs, volunteers and media groups across a variety of sports and events, including the FIFA World Cup and Commonwealth Games. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Games England from 2011 to 2014 and more recently as CEO of the Amateur Swimming Association (now Swim England). He is currently a partner of sports consultancy Saje Impact, which advises sports governing bodies, clubs and brands on commercial, strategic and community matters, and is a trustee of Sporting Equals, which campaigns for greater BAME diversity in sport.
Head of Journalism, Buckingham University
Global Corporate Affairs, Fidelity International
Corinna is a communications and brand marketing professional. She leads a team with responsibility for internal digital strategy, channels and content creation, and also produces external global marketing content which conveys the purpose and ways of working of Fidelity International, a global investment and retirement savings business. She has previously held a variety of roles ranging from media relations, public affairs and foundations work at Fidelity and, prior to that, at PR firm Burson-Marsteller in London and Frankfurt.
Corinna graduated from the University of St Andrews in Economics and International Relations, and was co-president of its International Politics Association.
Executive Director, Russell Reynolds
Aliceson Robinson is an Executive Director at Russell Reynolds Associates in the Consumer Sector, specializing in media and entertainment and digital. Aliceson also leads the Cultural Institutions practice in the U.K., advising cultural organizations on the recruitment of senior leadership.
When she isn't sitting in front of her computer, Aliceson is a passionate advocate for philanthropy in the arts, with a particular focus on increasing young philanthropy in the arts. She is on the Development Council for the Almeida Theatre and is a Trustee for the Royal Academy of Dance where she Chairs the Marketing & Membership Committee. She will also Chair the panel awarding the 2017 Achates Philanthropy Prize.
Chief Operating Officer, British Bankers Association
Director of The Policy Institute, King's
Professor Jennifer Rubin was appointed Director of the Policy Institute in February 2017, following a year and a half as the Institute's Deputy Director and Professor of Public Policy. In her current role, and throughout her career, her approach has been to bring world-leading research to bear on pressing policy and practice challenges.
Jennifer's principal research areas include migration, integration and intolerance; communities, crime and justice policy; and the intersections between public health and related areas such as alcohol and drugs policy. Jennifer has been Principal Investigator on numerous cross-national, comparative interdisciplinary studies funded by the European Commission, UK and other government departments and agencies, European foundations and NGOs. Her recent projects include trends in intolerance in Europe funded by the Open Society Foundation; an evaluation of the European Programme for Integration and Migration's multi-year multi-million pound funding programme; a study on the global cost of anti-microbial resistance for the O'Neill Review funded by the Wellcome Trust; and research on the governance of drug policy funded by the UK Drug Policy Commission. Jennifer has also maintained a longstanding interest in funding mechanisms for public services. She has led projects on payment by results and social investment in the areas of drug treatment, rehabilitation of offenders and social care, and is currently leading a RAND donor-funded study on the relationship between social policy and health outcomes in OECD countries.
Before joining King's Jennifer built and led the justice and home affairs research programme at RAND Europe for ten years. She has served on the not-for-profit policy research institution's executive team most recently as Executive Vice President, helping to lead its quadrupling in size in Europe.
In addition to research, Jennifer has served on the Advisory Board for a multimillion pound AHRC doctoral training programme at the University of Cambridge and has been social scientific advisor to numerous projects including Nuffield Foundation research on fair trials for foreign nationals. She has advised and briefed her work to the Executive offices of the UK and several other European governments, the US and the European Commission.
Jennifer obtained her PhD at the University of Cambridge in social and political sciences at King's College, following a first class degree in European Politics at Loughborough University. She has lectured in politics and psychology, published numerous peer-reviewed policy research reports and academic journal articles and been a visiting fellow at Harvard's Center for European Studies.
Deal Maker at MediaFund Limited and Publisher at Arcadia Books
Piers Russell-Cobb is an award winning book publisher who has completed hundreds of deals and commercial arrangements for media owners and operators. In his role at MediaFund, a company he founded in 1991, Piers represents sellers of the all too difficult to value intellectual property businesses whether they be in the full range of formats: magazine, book; audio; web sites and audio visual. This business and diplomatic role brings private and corporate media owners together to complete transactions which can be transformational or life changing.
Under the MediaFund umbrella Piers has had operational roles in a book retailing and illustrated book publishing company as well as being Publisher of the London listings magazine City Limits. He continues to be involved as a Publisher with Arcadia Books.
Before running MediaFund Piers was Publicity and Promotions Director of Heinemann and International Marketing Manager for Thames and Hudson Limited.
He has lived in New York and Los Angeles where he worked as a screen writer. He is a published writer particularly in food and travel.
Piers took an honours degree in PPE from New College, Oxford University.
Director, Bright Blue
Ryan is the Founder and Director of Bright Blue, an independent think tank for liberal conservatism. Ryan is an expert on education and social policy and a political commentator.
Ryan was previously a Research Fellow for the think tank the Social Market Foundation and was part of the team that won Prospect Magazine's Think Tank of the Year in 2012. Prior to 2010, he was a researcher for Rt Hon David Willetts MP when he was Shadow Education Secretary, where he authored the Conservative Party's Childhood Review, and an adviser to the Conservative Party on families and education, formulating party policy and managing media relations.
Ryan is a Visiting Fellow of King's College London. He is a trustee of the Young Women's Trust, and was previously a trustee for the Family and Childcare Trust and the Daycare Trust. He sits on the advisory council of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research. He is a mentor for the Social Mobility Foundation and a governor of a new secondary school in East London.
Managing Director, Global Organizational Integrators
Dr Sylvana Storey, Managing Director of Global Organizational Integrators, is a recognised business psychologist with 20 years experience as an organisational development and change strategist. She is credited for her expertise in designing and leading multiple behavioural transformation change programmes globally.
Sylvana authored 'The Impact of Diversity on Global Leadership Performance: LEAD' and is a contributory author to a further three books. She is currently writing her second book focusing on organizational dilemmas where CEOs need to keep their finger on the pulse. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and Keynote speaker on organizational culture change, leadership, diversity and inclusion and employee engagement.
Head of Childhood Obesity and Grassroots Sports Policy, Centre for Social Justice
Dolly Theis, Head of Childhood Obesity and Grassroots Sports Policy, Centre for Social Justice:
Dolly joined the Centre for Social Justice in 2015 and is the researcher for the Childhood Obesity and Sport report. She is also the Conservative Party's Parliamentary Candidate in Vauxhall for the General Election 2017. Prior to joining the Centre for Social Justice, Dolly managed Charlotte Leslie MP's 2015 re-election campaign, helping increase her majority by almost 2,000 votes. From 2010-2013 Dolly worked as Baroness Jenkin's researcher, focusing primarily on food waste and obesity, founding of the Conservative Friends of International Development, and working to increase female representation in Parliament. At university Dolly co-founded and launched the Cube Movement, the first social network against modern-day slavery that raises money to help reintegrate victims of trafficking back into society. Dolly has a degree in Politics with one-year Russian language from UCL.
Journalist, author and speechwriter
Sonya is a London-based journalist, author and speechwriter. She is also a former rugby player (England, Saracens and Wasps) and is currently researching and writing a book about the history of the women’s game.
Digital Media Consultant
With expertise and experience in the digital industry spanning 20 years of media disruption and innovation, Steve specialises in talent development in digital publishing, marketing and advertising.
Working with companies at all stages of digital transformation, he is dedicated to developing and connecting talent at at all levels from C-suite and senior management level to graduates and interns.
Steve has been privileged to work with clients across the UK and Europe including The Guardian Media Group, Telegraph Media Group, News UK, IAB UK, IAB Ireland, Independent.ie, The Irish Times, TV3, Hearst, Conde Nast, Bauer Media, Time Inc, Haymarket Media Group, Incisive Media, Centaur, Autotrader, Madgex, Gumtree, Boat International, TargetJobs, and many more specialist media owners and advertising groups.
He also has interests in behavioural science, elite athlete development, and the human relationship with technology.
Consultant and Innovation Manager, Freshminds Talent
Patrick is the Innovation Lead and Consultant for a top tier recruitment consultancy. His role is split between building strategic teams for top consultancies and brands, and building technology products to remove unconscious bias from hiring practices.
Chief Executive, The Reading Agency
Sue is Chief Executive of The Reading Agency, the leading charity inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to read for pleasure and empowerment.
She is responsible for developing The Reading Agency's policy and strategy, and overseeing the delivery of their programmes in partnership with a wide range of organisations including publishers and public libraries.
Sue read history at Cambridge and has worked in the public sector for most of her career. She is trained as a teacher and a museum educator; most recently she was Director of Policy and Research at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and Director of Government and Academic Liaison at Elsevier.
Contact Sue via email or follow her on Twitter