Simon Ancona enjoyed a full career in the Royal Navy including service in the Fleet Air Arm and appointments abroad in both Hong Kong and Bahrain. He commanded 4 warships, the UK’s Carrier Strike Group and UK maritime forces in the Middle East but also spent about 10 years in Whitehall including time in Ministerial outer office. His final appointment was as the Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff in charge of world-wide defence diplomacy and engagement. On leaving the military he worked as the Chief Operating Officer responsible for Network Rail’s North East London and Anglia region, which provided experience of commercial delivery and the challenges of operating at the seam of both the public and private sector. Married to Lisa he lives in South London and has two university aged children. Interests include cycling, walking, theatre, cooking, books and playing the blues Harmonica (normally when the house is empty).
Simon writes a CEO Blog for WIG on topics that he identifies as relevant to and impacting on our members.
Alexandra joined WIG in October 2020 as Chief Operating Officer, where she is responsible for overseeing WIG's internal functions as well as contributing to WIG's wider work. She has a background in academia, where she completed a doctorate in applied mathematics at St Andrews University, and in the civil service. Over twelve years, she worked in a range of government departments from HM Treasury to the Department for Education and Defra, as well as running the Independent Commission for Aid Impact.
Alexandra is an alumna of WIG’s Women’s Leadership Programme, a trustee of Target Ovarian Cancer and a governor of Queen's Gate School. In her spare time, she loves music and takes every opportunity to go away hillwalking - she has climbed nearly all of Scotland's Munros!
As Director of Strategic Engagement, Tom is responsible for overseeing the WIG Events & Content team and the Membership team. The main focus is to ensure WIG continues to be the leading platform for constructive collaboration between government, industry and the not-for-profit sector. Tom originally joined as Head of Content and Events in 2017.
Before joining WIG, Tom worked across both government and industry. He ran the energy division for a commercial conference company, worked within the Department for International Trade, and developed new business for an independent TV production company that worked exclusively with not for profits.
Tom graduated from UCL with a BA Hons in History and subsequently picked up a Masters in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck. Outside of WIG, Tom is a keen Tottenham Hotspur fan and spends time exercising, and walking his dog.
Cathy is Head of Leadership, working with the team to design and deliver all of WIG’s Leadership Development interventions to our members and beyond. These include our flagship cross-sector leadership development programmes, organisational raids and Learning Exchange Groups between the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, our personal development masterclasses and many bespoke leadership programmes for our members.
Cathy spent over 16 years working in different global leadership roles at the University of Cambridge, including Head of MBA Careers at the Business School, Client Director at the Business School’s Executive Education section and Head of Executive Education at the Møller Institute, Churchill College. Before that she worked in a variety of roles in organisations spanning the private, not-for-profit and public sectors.
Cathy is a linguist by background and considers herself a global citizen; she has travelled widely as well as lived in Italy and Taiwan earlier in her career. She is an experienced and trained facilitator, educator and coach in leadership development.
During her spare time, Cathy loves to cycle and explore beautiful landscapes; she is particularly fond of spending time in Crete, Italy and her native Scotland.
Cat leads WIG’s Marketing and Data team which supports the organisation to improve member engagement and maximise opportunities for growth. The team is focused on developing a customer-centric approach to communications, that’s underpinned by data and the wants and needs of our members.
Cat started her career in science and healthcare communications after graduating with a first class BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham. She worked agency-side, supporting clients with their international communications and lead-gen strategies. Prior to joining WIG in January 2021, Cat spent a number of years leading high-profile, public-facing health engagement programmes, particularly focused on the UK diabetes crisis, and led Marketing, Content, Brand and PR functions in medical research charities.
Outside of work, you’ll find Cat outdoors. She’s a lover of the British coastal path and photography; things which can only be trumped by tea, chocolate and crumpets.
Katy manages our Talent function, designed to maximise cross-sector learning through operational exposure and one-to-one coaching. Within this she helps co-ordinate and run the Charity Next programme, arrange and facilitate both secondments and mentoring opportunities between sectors. She also directly recruits as part of NED and Trustee recruitment.
Before joining WIG, Katy worked as a Director for Badenoch & Clark, a specialist professional services recruitment company, personally specialising in senior level recruitment to Social Housing, Not-For-Profit and Local Government, as well as sitting on their operational board.
She sits on a customer committee for a Housing Association, and as a Trustee for a Grant Giving Charity. And in her spare time, when not looking after her three children, she enjoys swimming, running and skiing.
Vicky is our Digital Marketing Manager and leads on the marketing of WIG’s offer to members and non-members — working collaboratively with the team to deliver data driven approaches, which improve member engagement and maximise opportunities of growth. She also manages WIG’s digital presence across the website, email marketing and social media.
Prior to joining WIG, Vicky spent a number of years at a leading medical research charity, delivering the marketing and communications for many of their key strategic campaigns, products and services to raise awareness, recruit new supporters and increase retention.
Outside of the office, she enjoys baking, video games and watching musicals!
Kassie is PA to WIG’s CEO Simon Ancona & COO Alexandra Cran-McGreehin.
Prior to joining WIG, Kassie studied Film History at the University of East London and worked within Trade Unions and TV Broadcasting as an EA, Office Manager and in HR, completing an HR & Employment Law course during lockdown.
In her spare time, Kassie enjoys spending time with her dog, going to live stand up shows, music festivals and watching the darts.
As Event & Content Manager, Leo is responsible for producing and managing a wide range of WIG events. Prior to joining WIG, Leo was Head of Events at the PRCA, the professional association for the PR and communications industry.
In his spare time Leo enjoys gardening and spending time in the allotment with his greyhound, Del. He also plays drums in an indie-blues band.
Lydia is Head of Membership. She builds and maintains relationships across WIG's member organisations to maximise engagement and the benefit they get from their corporate membership. She is also responsible for ensuring the membership itself is balanced and reflective of the UK economy comprising representation from all key sectors.
Prior to this, Lydia was in WIG’s Talent team where she was the Director of the Charity Next programme, facilitating secondments for future leaders of the public sector into the not-for-profit sector. She also organised placements for senior leaders and brokered cross-sector mentoring partnerships.
Before WIG, Lydia was Project Manager at a think tank also with a mission to improve collaboration between the sectors, where she focused on tackling UK financial reform and climate change. Lydia achieved a 1st-Class degree in Arabic and French and uses her language skills outside of WIG to support a range of organisations in the UK and abroad, working to improve the lives of refugees. She is also a Fellow of the Charityworks Not-For-Profit Leadership Development Programme, through which she currently mentors trainees.
As Events and Content Assistant, Emily supports with the logistical and administrative side of running our events and managing digital content. Emily is currently on placement from the University of York where she studies BA Politics.
Outside of WIG, Emily enjoys reading, seeing live music and exploring the city.
Roy manages our Future Leaders Programme, designed to boost early leadership potential and, looks after our early career offer. He also runs WIG’s one day ‘Organisational Raids’ programme, providing him with invaluable expertise in structuring programmes and teams to make the most of cross-sector learning opportunities.
Before joining us Roy worked for IBM as a technical specialist, managed Industrial Trainees and recruited for IBM’s graduate development programme.
He volunteers for Cyber Champions and supports its mission to help school children stay safe online.
As a Senior Membership Executive Harry co-ordinates WIG's business development plan, supporting the growth of membership. Harry also leads on WIG's renewal process and works closely with our team of Relationship Managers. Previously Harry worked within the Leadership team, focusing on participant recruitment and running a number of WIG's cross-sector Leadership Programmes.
Harry graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a BA degree in International Relations and History. Outside of WIG he is a big Arsenal fan and enjoys playing football and golf.
As Marketing and Data Executive, Edward employs data-driven marketing approaches to improve member engagement and maximise opportunities for growth.
Prior to joining WIG, Edward had studied at the University of York where he gained a BA in Economics and Politics along with an MSc in Global Marketing. He wrote his postgraduate dissertation on communications channel selection in the public sector.
Outside the office, you can find Edward in a forest somewhere. He is a keen runner and competes in Orienteering at a national level.
Mafe works across the Talent Team where she helps with the delivery of the Charity Next programme, as well as the wider Talent offering. She supports the team with the completion of specific day-to-day responsibilities across our recruitment, mentoring, secondments, and Charity Next work.
Prior to joining us, Mafe built her experience in the not-for-profit sector through placements in charities and NGO's such as the Planeta Rural Foundation in Colombia. Additionally, she recently graduated from King's College London with a BA degree in International Relations.
Outside of WIG, you will find Mafe devoting her time to her 3 favourite activities: playing sports, creating art and spending quality time with her family & friends.
As Event & Content Manager, Stephanie is responsible for producing and managing a wide range of WIG events across a number of networks. Before joining WIG, Stephanie worked in the events industry producing conferences on different aspects of the global sustainability agenda such as circular economy, waste management, and decarbonisation of the shipping industry.
Stephanie holds a doctorate from the School of Politics & International Relations at Queen Mary College, and taught on undergraduate courses including ‘The International Political Economy of Development’ prior to embarking on her events career. When she’s not in the office, Stephanie can be found exploring London’s museums and art galleries with her daughter.
Gina supports our members and non-members through organising a range of development opportunities and making sure the processes behind them work efficiently. Anything from our one day Masterclasses to our longer bespoke Leadership Programmes which are designed and tailored to specific member’s learning and development needs.
For nearly a decade, Gina has dedicated herself solely to the voluntary sector. Since her move to the UK from Colombia, Gina has worked implementing projects at several leading NGOs, including Girlguiding UK, Amnesty International and Peace Brigades. Gina graduated from Birkbeck University with a BA degree in Politics, Philosophy and History, going on to study postgraduate qualifications including an MA in Human Rights.
In her spare time, she loves dancing around the house, practicing yoga, and is a devoted wife and mother to two sons and a daughter.
As Events and Content Executive, Nia is responsible for coordinating events in the 'Economic Growth and Prosperity' and 'Society' series. She also supports on the logistical coordination of a range of other WIG events.
Nia has recently graduated from the University of Greenwich with a BA (Hons) in Events Management.
Outside of WIG, Nia is a keen sports fan and especially loves watching Arsenal FC.
Catherine is Head of Leadership overseeing all of WIG’s L&D offers to our members and beyond. This includes our flagship cross-sector leadership development programmes, organisational raids and Learning Exchange Groups between the public, private and not for profit sectors, our personal development masterclasses and many bespoke L&D programmes for our members.
Before she joined WIG, Catherine spent a decade as a Civil Servant in the government's marketing agency following an international career in the private sector including Global Marketing Director for Durex and European Marketing Director for Yahoo!
Outside of WIG, she is an advocate for children with special needs and enjoys cooking (and of course the eating).
As Charity Next Director and Talent Manager, Matt works across the Talent team to help candidates gain experience working in different sectors. Matt’s particular focus is on the Charity Next programme, where he places Civil Service Fast Streamers into charitable organisations and NFPs for six-month secondments.
Before joining WIG, Matt worked as a freelance communications consultant, drawing from his experience as a digital marketer and a copywriter. He worked for a major political party at the 2019 general election, as well as think tank consultancies and commercial start-ups.
Outside of work, Matt is a keen musician - he plays the saxophone, bass guitar, and even the banjo, much to his neighbours’ dismay. When he can, he pops back home to walk the family dogs and tries his best to stop them ruining people’s picnics.