Our Trustees and Patrons

Our Trustees and Patrons

The diversity of our Trustees and Patrons represents the breadth of WIG’s offering across the sectors.

WIG’s Board of Trustees

A portrait of Rachel Sandby Thomas

Rachel Sandby-Thomas CB

Registrar, University of Warwick

As Registrar at the University of Warwick, Rachel is responsible for the professional services of the University. Rachel joined Warwick after a long career in the Civil Service, the last 8 years of which were as a Director General in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills where she covered legal, corporate services and policy (skills, regulation, large and small businesses, local growth). She joined the Civil Service as a lawyer from Linklaters.


She is Vice Chair of LEAP Confronting Conflict, and on the boards of Future Fit, the Warwick College Group, the Royal Society of Arts Academies, and is on the Executive Committee of AHUA. She is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and the City of London.


She is a Companion of the Order of the Bath, was named in the 2016 FTSE 100 “Women to Watch” and The Times 100 “Most Influential Lawyers”, 2012.

A portrait of Andrew Miles

Andrew Miles

EMEA Head Healthcare and Life Sciences Google Cloud

Multicultural executive with +20 years in life sciences covering access, global
strategy, operations, and clinical program development across multiple geographies
including Europe, Latin America, United States, and the Middle East for some of the
world’s most recognizable healthcare organisations. Most recently, was heading the
Vaccines and Pharmaceutical business for GSK in the UK.

In 2020 joined Google as EMEA Head for Healthcare and Life sciences with the goal
of solving some of the toughest problems that affect human health by harnessing the
power of data and technology.

His experience in working with governments, industry associations, payers, patient
groups, media, and consumers have focused on achieving the quadruple aim of
improving healthcare outcomes, enhancing the patient and clinician experience,
whilst supporting affordability goals. Some recent examples include recognition by
Forbes as one of the 50 most influential leaders in the Middle East and more recently
co-leading on behalf of pharma a 5 year deal with the National Health Service (NHS)
delivering medicine innovation and access for UK patients.

Barbara Bradley

Director General, Work and Health Services

Barbara was appointed Director General, Work and Health Services in June 2022. 


Barbara has had a career in both the public and private sectors, leading, advising and delivering services for many Whitehall departments. She started her career at IBM before moving to Serco to run service delivery activities for the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Her most recent role before joining the department was as the Public Services Partner for PA Consulting. This wide-ranging role included providing critical support for Test and Trace during the pandemic. 


Her previous roles include: 

  • Partner, Public Services, PA Consulting 
  • Head of Operations for Genomics Covid 19 response at the Department of Health and Social Care  
  • Various positions including Managing Director, Citizen Services and Government Services Director, Central Government Division, Serco Group plc 
  • Transformation Leader, Home Office 
  • Global Account Director, IBM UK plc 


Barbara lives in Winchester with her partner and two children.  

Gareth Davies CB

Permanent Secretary, Department for Business and Trade

Gareth Davies is Permanent Secretary of the Department for Business and Trade. Previously he was Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade.


Gareth has also been the Second Permanent Secretary and a Director General in the Department for Transport. His responsibilities included decarbonising transport, technology, international and security.


Earlier in his career he was a Director General in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He has led the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and was a Private Secretary in Downing Street.


Gareth started his career in PricewaterhouseCoopers working across Central and Eastern Europe and has worked for AIA, the life insurance company based in Hong Kong.

A potrait of Janette Durbin

Janette Durbin

HR Director, Civil Service Talent

Janette Durbin became the Director for Civil Service Talent in April 2015. The Civil Service Talent team is responsible for developing world class leaders for the future Civil Service. This includes supporting the Cabinet Secretary in managing the appointment and development of Permanent Secretaries. 


Janette was previously the HR Director in the Department for Education from May 2012 and, prior to that, HR Director at the Cabinet Office for 3 years. She spent much of her earlier career in human resources roles at the Ministry of Justice.

Jasvinder Deo

Global Audit and Risk Director PZ Cussons

Jasvinder Deo is the Global Audit and Risk Director at PZ Cussons, having joined the multi-national consumer goods company in February 2023.  In her role, Jasvinder has responsibility for supporting the business in effectively managing risks and strengthening internal control across its diverse global footprint, which includes markets spanning Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.


Jasvinder is a Chartered Accountant, having originally trained and qualified in Australia with PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Prior to PZ Cussons, Jasvinder worked for Tesco for 13 years, gaining a wealth of experience in the retail sector. She has held senior positions, including that of Group Audit Director, and more recently as the Group Risk and Transformation Director.  In this role, Jasvinder shaped and refined the company’s approach to risk management, supporting the business to navigate through key challenges impacting the retail industry.  


Jasvinder’s dedication and passion for fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace saw her serve as Head Office Director Sponsor for Tesco’s BAME network, actively contributing to the implementation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy.  Her contributions in this area, led to her being recognised as one of the Top 10 EMpower Ethnic Executive Minority Role Models in 2021.

Joanne Roney CBE

Chief Executive, Manchester City Council

Chief Executive of Manchester City Council since April 2017, Joanne Roney CBE has helped guide the Council through one of the most difficult periods in its history. 


Beginning her long career in public service at the age of 16 in Birmingham, she made history when she joined Manchester City Council, becoming the first woman to hold the position of Chief Executive. 


During her six-year tenure Joanne has been faced with immense challenges including the aftermath of the Manchester Arena Bombing, and the response to the Covid-19 Pandemic during which Manchester was forced to navigate one of the longest periods of restrictions imposed on a local authority. 


Joanne’s priority whilst at Manchester has been to sustain the growth and regeneration of Manchester, whilst ensuring that growth is spread fairly and equally throughout all of the city’s communities. In particular Joanne has focused on the wellbeing of young people and delivering integrated neighbourhood-based services across Manchester to improve local health outcomes. In 2022, Joanne became the place-based lead for Manchester within the Greater Manchester Integrated Care System.  


Joanne served as the President of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE) in 2020-2022. 


She is also Trustee of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and Chair of the Manchester Memorials Trust.   


In September 2021, Joanne was named the Local Authority Chief Executive of the Year at the annual MJ (Municipal Journal) Awards. As Chief Executive, Joanne oversaw Manchester City Council attain Council of the Year status at the annual LGC (Local Government Chronicle) Awards in July 2022. 


Joanne was awarded an OBE in 2009 and a CBE in January 2024, both for services to local government.

Juliet Chua CB

Director General, Finance and Corporate, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Juliet Chua CB is the Director General, Finance and Corporate at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Previously, from September 2018, she was Director General for Finance and Corporate Performance at the Department for International Development (DFID).


Prior to this she was Director of Care and Transformation Directorate at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Director General for Education Standards at the Department for Education (DfE).


Juliet has been a civil servant since 2004 and has worked at HM Treasury and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.


Juliet became a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

A potrait of Kate Stephens

Kate Stephens

Chief Executive Officer, Smart Works

Kate Stephens is CEO of Smart Works, a UK charity that dresses and coaches unemployed and marginalised women before their job interview.

During her tenure, Smart Works has grown from being a London only charity to a national organisation, helping almost 20,000 women from eight centres across the UK.  After visiting Smart Works, 65% secure a job within a month, allowing them to gain financial independence, improve their life chances and start a new chapter.


Smart Works was named Social Action Charity of the Year in 2017 and was honoured to announce the patronage of the Duchess of Sussex in 2019.


Having spent 15 years in senior roles in consultancy, Kate combines senior private sector experience with a passion for the entrepreneurial, dynamic and inspirational charity sector, learnt first as Trustee, Vice Chair and then Chair of a leading family charity and now as CEO of Smart Works.

Maria Laine

President United Kingdom, Ireland & Nordic region, Boeing

Maria Laine is president of Boeing in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Nordic region.
In this role, Laine leads and oversees all of Boeing’s business activities in these
countries, working from the Boeing UK office in Central London. Laine’s focus is to grow
the company’s local presence and business in the region.

Laine has three decades of global experience at Boeing, including working in many of
Boeing’s key European markets, along with Asia, Australia and the United States.
Most recently, Laine was vice president, International Business Development, for
Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security and Global Services business units. In this role,
Laine led global business development and industrial partnerships for Boeing’s defense,
space and government services portfolios.


Previously, Laine was vice president of International Strategic Partnerships where her
team developed and implemented BDS industrial participation programs in support of
international campaigns, built alliances and partnerships to enable future growth in
existing and new markets.


Prior to that, Laine served as vice president of Boeing Northern Europe based in
Amsterdam, where she expanded business growth and the company’s presence in the
region, strengthened industrial and technology partnerships and implemented corporate
projects of strategic importance. She also served as the managing director of Boeing
Netherlands, B.V. in addition to being on the board of directors of Boeing’s key entities
in the region.

Prior to her career at Boeing spanning a variety of different roles, Laine also worked at
the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration on the Nordic
desks, as well as at the US Embassy in Helsinki in the Commercial section.
Laine has also served on the Board of Directors and leadership committees of a number
of not-for-profit organisations and trade associations. Laine served as the Chair of the
Board of Directors for the Global Industrial Collaboration Association (GICA), Chair of
the Offsets Working Group of the US Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), as well as
on the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark. More
recently she has been appointed  to the International Advisory Board of British-American
Business (BAB).

Laine has an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a
bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from the University of
California Santa Barbara. Laine was born in Finland, spent her childhood in Sweden
and moved to the United States in 1975, after which she has moved back and forth
across the Atlantic numerous times. Her native languages include Finnish, Swedish and
English, and she is also proficient in French and Spanish. She is married and has two

Melbourne Barrett

Chief Executive, Nottingham City Council

Mel is Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council, serving one of the country’s most vibrant and diverse cities.  The council has a gross budget of £1 billion per annum and delivers against over 2,000 statutory duties.  He is responsible for providing policy advice to elected councillors and providing visible leadership to the council’s 7,000 staff delivering vital public services, securing economic growth and improving life chances.   


He was previously Chief Executive of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Executive Director of Housing and Regeneration at the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, Oxford City Council’s Executive Director for City Regeneration and a Director of the London Development Agency. 


He has a successful track record in the management of large-scale customer facing services, organisational change and transformation initiatives, and the delivery of large-scale regeneration and development projects.  In west London he led the work that saw Old Oak Common chosen as the interchange station for HS2 and Crossrail predicated on its capacity to deliver 50,000 new homes and 80,000 jobs; and concluded a £1.2bn Joint Venture with Urban and Civic and the Wellcome Trust for the 3,500 home first phase of Manydown, a new Garden Community on the western edge of Basingstoke that will ultimately comprise 10,000 homes.      


As a Director of the London Development Agency, on behalf of the Mayor of London, Mel established and was founding Chairman of SME Wholesale Finance (London) Ltd., now trading as Funding London, which works with investors, banks and the higher education sector to provide venture capital and loan finance to growing businesses, recycling the returns made into other London businesses, a scheme which was highly commended by the EU at the time.  


Mel was born in Coventry to Windrush generation parents. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Land Management, an MBA from City University, London and is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.  Mel was a Commissioner on the recently concluded Commission for Creating Healthy Cities. 

Sam Lister

Director General and Chief Operating Officer at Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Sam has spent 25 years in roles in public and private sectors combining policy, strategy, operational delivery, communication and organisational transformation. His current portfolio in DCMS includes strategy and pan-departmental policy, corporate services and its major projects portfolio, including national events and ceremonial occasions. Sam is also responsible for building departmental resilience for crisis management, and led DCMS’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and co-ordinates the department’s support for the Covid Inquiry. During 2019-20, Sam was responsible for culture, sport and civil society policy in DCMS.

Prior to this, Sam was responsible for Industrial Strategy, Science & Innovation at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, focusing on policies to boost productivity, support UK businesses to develop and exploit new technologies, and leading work on funding domestic and international research. He was also Director of Communication, Partnerships & Governance at BEIS and spent five years as Director of Communication at the Department of Health.

Before joining the Civil Service in 2011, Sam spent 12 years as a correspondent, news editor, and health editor at The Times, and worked on a range of projects as News Corp transitioned from a print to digital first subscription news publisher.

WIG’s Patrons

A portrait of Simon Case

Simon Case

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service

Simon Case became Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service in September 2020.

As Cabinet Secretary, Simon is the most senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister and is responsible to all ministers for the running of Cabinet Government. As Head of the Civil Service, he leads nearly half a million public servants putting government policy into practice.

Prior to this, he was Permanent Secretary in Number 10 leading the COVID-19 Taskforce.

Between 2018 and 2020, he was Principal Private Secretary to HRH The Duke of Cambridge and before this, worked in various roles across the Civil Service, including Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister.

A portrait of Alex Chisholm

Sir Alex Chisholm

Former Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office and Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service

Sir Alex Chisholm became Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office and Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service in April 2020. He was previously Permanent Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and prior to that he was Joint Permanent Secretary for BEIS. 


His previous career highlights include:


Permanent Secretary for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Chairperson and Commissioner of Ireland’s communications regulatory agency, ComReg and Chair of the Economic Regulators Network in Ireland. He also held senior executive positions in the media, technology and e-commerce industries, with Pearson plc, Financial Times Group, eCountries Inc and Ecceleration Ltd. 

A portrait of Dame Helen Ghosh

Dame Helen Ghosh

Master at Balliol College at Oxford University

Dame Helen Frances Ghosh, DCB is a former British civil servant who has been Master of Balliol College at Oxford University since 2018. She was previously Director General of the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty from November 2012 to April 2018. From 1979 to 2012 she was a British civil servant and was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and at the Home Office.

Catherine Little CB

Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office

Cat started her career at the accountancy firm PwC, dedicated to Government and Public Sector finances, mainly working in assurance roles. Over more than a decade, Cat worked with clients across Health, Local Government, Higher Education and Central Government sectors.



Cat joined the Civil Service in 2013 first at the Legal Aid Agency where she worked on the digitisation of civil legal aid, and removing the long standing financial accounts qualification as the Director of Finance and Digital.


Cat went on to become the Group Finance Director at the Ministry of Justice overseeing all aspects of financial management and supporting prison reform, courts reform and transformation programmes. In 2017, Cat joined the Board of the Ministry of Defence as Director General Finance. Cat led the oversight of the Defence portfolio, and was the Race Champion for the Department.


Cat joined HM Treasury in 2020 as Director General Public Spending. She took on the role of Acting Permanent Secretary in September 2022, and in October 2022 was appointed to Second Permanent Secretary. 

A potrait of Lord Mark Sedwill

Lord Mark Sedwill

Former Cabinet Secretary and National Security Adviser

Lord Mark Sedwill was Cabinet Secretary from April 2018 to September 2020 and National Security Advisor from April 2017 to Sept 2020. He is currently the Chair of the Atlantic Future Forum and the G7 Panel on Global Economic Resilience


Prior to this, Mark was the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office (2013-17), FCO Political Director (2012-13), NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan (2010-11), HM Ambassador to Afghanistan (2009-10) and Director of UKvisas (2006-8). He joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1989, serving in Egypt, Iraq, Cyprus and Pakistan.