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Board Members

The board is responsible for the overall leadership of the Institute and setting its values, standard, aims and objectives and delivering them in line with the Charter Objects.

The board is composed of the chair of the institute, a majority of non-executive directors, and the director general and executive directors.

Non-Executive Directors

Patrick Macdonald

Patrick Macdonald

Patrick was appointed Chair of the IoD on 22 March 2021. Patrick Macdonald has gained extensive international experience and expertise during his 35 years in business. He started his professional career at the Ministry of Defence before working for Unilever and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), based in Germany and the UK. Patrick then joined General Electric (GE) in the USA before returning to the UK and becoming CEO of John Menzies plc, a large quoted, family-backed logistics company. He has subsequently led a number of private equity-sponsored businesses, including waste management firm Reconomy. As well as chairing the School for CEOs, he is Chairman of call answering service Moneypenny and facilities management business Arcus FM. He is a director of NatureSpace Partnership, an environmental consultancy, and an angel investor in a number of startup companies.

Patrick holds a first class Honours degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University and an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD in France. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Manager, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. He is also a Sainsbury Management Fellow.

Patrick is Chair of the Institute of Directors and Vice-Chair of the Scottish Advisory Committee of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE). He enjoys a number of pastimes, usually with his family, including watersports (rowing, sailing and canoeing), running, hillwalking and ‘extreme’ gardening – his description of horticulture in Edinburgh!

John Watson

John Watson

John was appointed Interim Chair in August 2020 to March 2021. As Chair, he was responsible for championing the IoD’s values, promoting its Objects and providing leadership to the Institute, ensuring it delivered maximum impact for its members and stakeholders.

John has extensive experience as an executive, non-executive and board advisor across different sectors including financial services, private equity, healthcare, aviation/transportation and membership organisations.

He is chief executive of Crosswind Developments and has over 20 years’ experience working with FTSE-100 and global companies. John joined Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) as an Operating Principal in 2013 and Chief Commercial Officer of their investment, Edinburgh Airport Limited. John works with a number of GIP investments worldwide.

Prior to joining GIP, he was managing director of Lloyds Banking Group’s £50bn SME Lending portfolio. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PwC Corporate Finance, John joined 3i plc. John is the chairman of Intelligent Growth Solutions, a Trustee of the Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation and a non-executive director of the Scottish Event Campus Ltd. He is a member of the ICAS Governing Council.

Femi Bamisaiye

Femi Bamisaiye

Femi Bamisaiye was appointed to the Board of the IoD in February 2019.  Femi is the Chief Information Officer of HomeServe - one of the UK’s leading home assistance providers.   He joined HomeServe in December 2017 from Royal Mail Group where he was the Divisional CIO responsible for Royal Mail International and Parcelforce Worldwide.

Prior to joining Royal Mail in 2013, Femi spent six years working for the London 2012 Olympic Organising Committee (LOCOG) implementing the key business systems that supported the planning and delivery of the Games.  In his time with London 2012, he saw the organisation grow from 100 people to the 200,000 that delivered the Games and then back to less than 100! 

Before the Olympics, Femi worked in consumer packaging manufacturing for Rexam PLC and, prior to this, IBM Global Services.  Femi grew up in Nigeria, has lived and worked on five continents, and has a degree in Economics and an MBA. 

Femi lives in London with his wife and their two young children.  When not running around after the kids, he has been known to enjoy triathlons, kite-surfing, scuba-diving and travel off and on the beaten track.

Deborah Davis

Deborah Davis

Deborah holds non-executive roles at Which?, IDEX and SATIB Conservation Trust and is an investor and advisor to start-up internet firms.

Prior to building her portfolio career, Deborah spent 25 years in executive roles in technology and internet companies across fintech, ecommerce, software and telecommunications industries. This included 14 years in European and global vice president roles at PayPal, eBay, Symantec and Verizon. Deborah is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Electronics) Honours degree from the University of Melbourne and a Sloan Masters in Science (Management) with Distinction from London Business School. Deborah is an avid wildlife conservationist and photographer.

Amaechi Nsofor

Amaechi Nsofor

Amaechi Nsofor was appointed to the Board of the IoD in February 2019. An experienced restructuring and corporate finance practitioner with a track record of advising corporates and lenders, Amaechi is a Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP, heading up their Africa Business Group.

Amaechi graduated in Accounting with Finance from the University of Glasgow in 1998, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2001 and was awarded fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Accountants In England & Wales in 2001.

Over the past two decades, Amaechi has advised over 75 companies in the UK and Internationally, successfully delivering transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $50 billion.

Alexander Simpson

Alexander Simpson

Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director Alexander Simpson is the UK Legal Director and General Counsel for Amazon UK. He is also a director and board member of Amazon UK Services Limited and over 40 other Amazon group companies.

Prior to joining Amazon, Alexander was General Counsel and Company Secretary for ASDA Stores Limited, one of the UK’s largest retailers serving around 19 million customers each week, and also Chair of the Asda Foundation which focussed on charitable projects and corporate philanthropy. Alexander also has extensive experience advising and assisting blue chip listed manufacturing enterprises.

Before moving into industry, Alexander practiced as a Corporate Lawyer at Walker Morris, advising blue chip and FMCG companies on all aspects of corporate law. Alexander attended Queen’s University, Belfast and Trinity College Dublin before completing his legal training at the College of Law. Alexander lives with his family in York. Outside work Alex enjoys maths, history, running, cycling and lateral thinking.

Suzy Walton

Suzy Walton

Non-Executive Director Suzy Walton was appointed on the Board of the IoD in December 2013. She is also the Chairman of the Accreditation and Standards Committee of the IoD.

Suzy is a former Senior Civil Servant from the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence with a Ph.D. gained from classified research in the Ministry of Defence. Suzy is a Chartered Director, Chartered Scientist and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist.

Suzy serves on various Boards and committees. She is currently the Vice-President of the Royal Society of Medicine. She is also on the board of global accountancy regulator – ACCA. For ACCA she is also Chairman of the global Qualifications Board. On behalf of the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice Suzy also hears disciplinary cases against judges and other members of the judiciary. Suzy has previously been on many boards including Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Royal Society for Arts, government’s Science Advisory Council and the Internet Watch Foundation. She is also the former Deputy Chairman of the University of Westminster.

Suzy had earlier careers on the West End stage, and as a broadcaster and journalist. She used to have her own travel programme called Time Off. She has 7 children. The youngest arrived during the Covid lockdown of 2020.

Robin Watson

Robin Watson CBE

Robin is Chief Executive of Wood plc, a UK listed company with over 40,000 employees in 60 countries. Over the past five years Robin has led the transformation of Wood from a predominately Oil Field Services Company to a leading global Engineering and Consultancy company across a wide range of growing end markets in Energy and the Built Environment.

With more than 35 years’ engineering and industry experience, he has spent the last 20 years in a variety of executive leadership positions across a wide range of industry sectors. Having led the $3 Billion, UK LSE Class 1 acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler (AFW) by Wood Group in 2017, Robin has a proven track record of delivering complex global businesses through disruptive and challenging environments, leading significant-scale business repositioning and transformation and creating new models of working whilst adapting with pace and agility to changing market conditions. This incudes of a decade of successful M&A activity, driving demonstrable business growth, enabling strategy realisation and driving value delivery.

Robin is actively involved in number of industry and government representative bodies including the UK Government Investment Council, the Scottish Business Climate Collaboration Board, and the World Economic Forum’s Infrastructure Commission. He is also a Non-Executive Director of the Institute of Directors, a visiting professor at the Robert Gordon University and is a regular speaker and guest lecturer on a wide range of topics including business transformation, purpose led business strategy and engineering solutions for a net zero future.

Robin has received a variety of prestigious business awards recognising his leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurism. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors 2020, in recognition of his services to international trade.

Ieda Yell

Ieda Yell

Ieda Gomes has a broad range of expertise in the natural gas and energy and infrastructure industries with an international career spanning 35 years in the public and private sectors. She spent circa 14 years as a group leader with BP plc (1998-2011) in various executive roles such as Country President BP Brasil, Vice-President New Ventures Middle East and South Asia, Vice President BP Solar and Regulatory Affairs. Prior to BP Ieda was the CEO of the largest gas utility in Brazil, the Sao Paulo Gas Company.

Ieda currently sits at the board and committees of public, private and not for profit companies in the US, France, UK and Brazil. She is an independent director of Saint Gobain (France), Exterran Corporation (USA), Prumo Logistica (Brazil) and the Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain (UK). She was previously a Non-Executive Director at Bureau Veritas (France) and InterEnergy Group (Central America).

She is a senior visiting research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (UK) and member of the Advisory Board of Fundação Getúlio Vargas’ FGV Energia (Brazil). Ieda is a founding director of WILL Latam (Women in Leadership in Latin America) an NGO aiming to promote gender diversity and leadership in companies in Brazil and Latin America. She is a co-chair of Access for Women in Energy, a community of practice to support the development of women in the energy sector.

She is a member of trade and industry associations and sits on the advisory committee of international gas conferences. She is a regular columnist at Brazil Energy, and has presented and published various articles about natural gas, energy markets, energy transition and pricing.

She has a degree in Chemical Engineering, post-graduation in Environmental Engineering (Polytechnic School of Lausanne) and MSc in Energy (University of São Paulo).

Ieda was awarded the 2001-2002 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award (Brazil).

Executive Directors

Jon Geldart

Jonathan Geldart - Director General

Jonathan was appointed Director General of the Institute of Directors in October 2019. Prior to this Jonathan spent 30 years working in the professional services sector, most recently at Grant Thornton International Ltd responsible for the organisation’s interest in China and previously as a global board member responsible for the brand.

Jonathan has a long-standing connection with the IoD, as Chair of IoD Yorkshire and North East region prior to his appointment as Director General. He is the author of three books on China and in addition to being a Fellow of the IoD he is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

He studied Geography and Archaeology at St. Andrews University specialising in underwater archaeology. Outside of work, his interests include hill walking and fell running. He was the navigator in a rally team for 20 years and following two years of training in extreme environments walked to the North Pole in 2016. He has completed other expeditions in Norway, the Canadian Arctic and the Everest region.

Esther Teeken

Esther Teeken - Chief Operating Officer

Esther was appointed as COO of the IoD at the beginning of 2021, having worked as an independent consultant in 2020 to support the Institute in restructuring its operations. Prior to this she had a successful career in professional services, spending over 10 years as the Global CFO for Grant Thornton International, supporting the Global Leadership team and advising senior stakeholders in member firms across the international network.

Esther has a track record of delivering successful transformation programmes to increase revenues, improve operational efficiency and profitability. She aims to use her expertise to further cement the reputation of the IOD as the primary voice for business leaders nationwide and to ensure that the institute is equipped to support the fast-evolving and future needs of directors, business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.

She is a big advocate of greater diversity in the workplace, having seen the benefits first hand with her multi-cultural and multi-jurisdictional team in Grant Thornton. She is also an active member of the female leaders’ network within the ICAEW.

Esther studied Business Administration at Erasmus University in Rotterdam and subsequently went on to complete her finance qualifications. Outside of work she spends as much time as she can with her young family, wherever and whenever possible, enjoying outdoor pursuits including sailing and skiing.