The management team reports to the board and is responsible for the ongoing management of the IoD
and the day-to-day operational matters for running the business.
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 - 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.
Natalie Sykes - Head of English Branches
Natalie Sykes is regional director for the IoD’s Yorkshire and North East and East Midlands regions. She achieved IoD Chartered Director status and holds a fellowship. As a natural born entrepreneur, with her first business age 17, she also has experience across a wide array of industry sectors and a passion for enterprise.
Natalie has been integral to the success of strategic teams delivering profits whilst achieving industry awards with national and international luxury hospitality groups. A qualified interior architect, she has spent more than two decades working across the UK, Europe and Africa on projects for private owners and investors.
Natalie served as a trustee and board director at the Grade II Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds. She was the youngest chair ever appointed to regeneration charity the Groundwork Federation, where she served for eight years. She is director and shareholder of an exclusive, historic estate in Harrogate, where she served on the management team for several years.
Today, Natalie is a board director for the Royal Armouries.
Roger Barker - Director of Policy and Corporate Governance
Dr. Roger Barker is Director of Policy and Corporate Governance at the Institute of Directors (since September 2020). He is also Honorary Associate at the Centre for Ethics and Law at University College London, and a regular speaker on corporate governance issues at a variety of leading universities and business schools.
Previously, Dr. Barker was Managing Director of Governomics Ltd, a corporate governance advisory firm. And during an earlier stint at the IoD, he served as Director of Corporate Governance and Professional Standards (2008-2016).
Dr. Barker is the author of numerous books and articles on corporate governance and board effectiveness, including a new co-edited volume: ‘The Law and Governance of Decentralised Business Models: Between Hierarchies and Markets’ (Routledge, 2020). Previous books include: ‘Corporate Governance and Investment Management: The Promises and Limitations of the New Financial Economy’ (Edward Elgar, 2017), ‘The Effective Board: Building Individual and Board Success’ (Kogan Page, 2010), and ‘Corporate Governance, Competition, and Political Parties: Explaining Corporate Governance Change in Europe’ (Oxford University Press, 2010).
A former investment banker, Dr. Barker spent almost 15 years in a variety of equity research and senior management roles at UBS and Bank Vontobel, both in the UK and Switzerland. He has a doctorate from Oxford University and taught Politics at Merton College, Oxford (2005-2008). Until January 2020, he served as a UK Member of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.