Board of Trustees

Our trustees are unpaid board directors, taking collective decisions on policy and strategy and providing oversight of the executive directors.

We have 10 trustees, and they are legally responsible for overseeing the work towards our charitable objectives.

Allan Leighton, chair

Allan Leighton

Allan was appointed chair of the Trust in September 2015 and sits on the Investment Committee. He is also a member of the Trust's Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee. Allan is chair of the Co-operative Group, Wagamama, Entertainment One plc, and Element Materials Technology. He is a patron of Breast Cancer Care. He was formerly the CEO of Asda plc, chairman of the Royal Mail, Pandora AS and Matalan, and has also held a number of non-executive chairmanships including Allan was a non-executive director of BSkyB and Matalan Retail Ltd. He was also chair of Race for Opportunity and an Ambassador for Prince Charles in Business in the Community. Allan attended the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard and has an Honorary Degree from Cranfield, Doctor of Letters degree from York St John University, and an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Lancashire.  He is a keen canal runner.

Dame Jenny Abramsky

Jenny Abramsky

Jenny was appointed as a trustee in September 2016, and was appointed Deputy Chair in September 2017.  She is chair of the Trust’s Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee. Jenny is chair of the Royal Academy of Music and the Board of Governors of the Royal Ballet, and served six years as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund/National Heritage Memorial Fund, among other voluntary roles. She has also been the BBC’s director of radio and music after running the BBC’s 24 hours news service.

Nigel Annett CBE

Nigel Annett TrusteeNigel was appointed as a trustee in September 2016 and took over as chair of Bwrdd Glandŵr Cymru on the same date. He is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee. Nigel is currently a non-executive director of the Principality Building Society, and a trustee of Community Foundation in Wales. He is a former managing director of Welsh Water and is co-founder of Glas Cymru, the not-for-profit company that successfully took over the ownership of Welsh Water back in 2001, a move which resulted in the water industry in Wales being owned on behalf of its customers.

Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon

Ben was appointed trustee in September 2014 and is the chair of the Remuneration Committee. He is Chair of Heal & Son Ltd and a Trustee of United Learning. Previously he was Chief Executive of Mothercare plc for nine years, and SVP and Managing Director of the Disney Store Europe and Asia-Pacific. Ben was also non-executive director of Britvic plc and of St Ives plc. Prior to that he had senior management positions in WHSmith plc and L'Oreal SA in the UK, USA and France. Ben has an MBA from INSEAD and is a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Janet Hogben

Janet Hogben

Janet was appointed as a trustee in September 2016. She is a member of the Trust’s Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee and also sits on the Remuneration Committee. Janet was the Chief People Officer at EDF Energy, having previously worked at BP, where she held a variety of roles, and then at Seagram and at Diageo, leading on a number of global strategy and business specific HR positions. 

Sir Chris Kelly

Chris was appointed as a trustee in September 2017 and is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. He is chair of the King's Fund, the health think tank, and of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board.  He is also senior independent director on the Board of the Co-op Group and on the oversight Board of the Office for Budget Responsibility. He has in the past chaired the NSPCC, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Before that, he was a civil servant, mainly in HM Treasury but subsequently as head of policy at the then Department of Social Security and finally as permanent secretary to the Department of Health.

Jennie Price CBE

Jennie was appointed trustee in September 2018.  She is a barrister by training and was formerly CEO of Sport England. Jennie was awarded a CBE for services to sport in 2017.  Before joining Sport England, she was the founding Chief Executive of WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) which helped to revolutionise domestic recycling in the UK.  Jennie also spent 17 years in the construction industry, first as a lawyer and then as Chief Executive of the Major Contractors Group and the Construction Confederation.  She is a Visiting Fellow at the Cranfield School of Management and Chair of the Youth United Foundation. 

Tim Reeve

Tim Reeve

Tim was appointed as a trustee in September 2016.  He is Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the world’s leading museum of art and design, since 2013. Tim has overall responsibility for the operation of the Museum, including the delivery of a world-class visitor experience. He also led the V&A’s support of China Merchant’s Group in the creation of the V&A Galleries within a new design museum in Shenzhen, China, which opened to great acclaim in December 2017. Tim is closely involved in establishing V&A East, a dynamic new museum in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. Before joining the V&A, Tim was Director of Historic Properties at English Heritage. He is a graduate in Ancient History from Royal Holloway, University of London and studied at the Institute of Archaeology (UCL) and INSEAD on its International Executive Programme. He is also a Trustee of 'Paintings in Hospitals'.

Sarah Whitney

Sarah was appointed a trustee in September 2018.  She is a Chartered Accountant and real estate specialist. Her executive career was spent at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she was a corporate finance partner; at DTZ (now Cushman & Wakefield), where she was head of the Consulting & Research business and served on the DTZ Global Executive Committee; and at CBRE, where she headed the Government & Infrastructure team and served on the UK board. More recently, Sarah was one of the founder directors of Metro Dynamics, a specialist consultancy focused on city growth and development. She is a member of the Council of University College London, where she also serves on the Investment and Finance Committees; a trustee of the Land Trust, where she chairs the Audit Committee and is a member of the Investment Committee; and a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge where she teaches planning, growth and regeneration at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

Susan Wilkinson

Sue was appointed as a Trustee in September 2017, is a member of the Remuneration Committee and Chair of the Living Waterways Awards.  She is a Commissioner at Historic England, Trustee of English Heritage, Deputy Chair of the Churches Conservation Trust and a board director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA). She is also a Trustee at the Medical Research Foundation. Sue has extensive experience in the not-for-profit and tourism sectors and was a board director at the National Trust until the end of 2016 with responsibility for membership, fundraising, volunteering and tourism.  Until 2018 Sue was a trustee at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich and she previously had a number of non-executive roles with Visit Britain, Visit England and the Institute of Fundraising.

Last date edited: 22 May 2020