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Sustainable Business

IoD Expert Advisory Group members

16 Dec 2020

board members

The IoD Governance and Policy Unit has established a number of Expert Advisory Groups.

These Groups help us tap the expertise of IoD members on the key issues for UK directors, providing us insight from those who have substantial front-line experience.

Current membership of the Groups can be found below.

  • Corporate Governance
  • Sustainability
  • Tax
  • Economy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Future of the Workforce
  • Science, Innovation and Tech
  • Diversity and Inclusion

Corporate Governance

Samantha Griffiths BSc (Hons), MBA, FCCA

Samantha specialises in Board development, governance and the narrative reporting landscape, with emphasis on integrated thinking and reporting. She started her career in a large international bank, transitioned to a role in Treasury for a large multinational engineering business, before several years working at the London Stock Exchange. This has been followed by an extensive freelance consulting and training career, working alongside boards and senior management teams at many high-profile organisations.

The focus of Samantha's work has been on developing and articulating the value proposition of organisations to their various stakeholders. Consulting assignments have included investor outreach programmes, perception studies, board evaluations, annual report development, key message development, best practice benchmarking and board impact training. She has led the development of internationally award-winning annual reports and governance practices. Her work has also involved her working alongside organisations involved in the FRC’s Financial Reporting Lab’s Business Model initiative.

Samantha is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. She also has an Executive MBA from Manchester Business School (Guardian Scholarship recipient) and is a member of the Institute of Directors.

Tom Boardman Weston

Tom has garnered exposure to many different aspects of Corporate Governance throughout his career in academia, large-scale corporates, SMEs, start-ups, public & third-sector and family business settings.

Tom has experience in a variety of governance situations: working on large-scale regulatory projects in the Banking Industry in the wake of the Financial Crisis, providing advice on governance & administration to start-ups and as a director in a boutique M&A firm. He is the MD of a family-owned commercial property investment business. Tom has also sat on numerous non-commercial boards including charities, not-for-profit companies and public-sector bodies. 

Tom holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Law from the University of Durham, has completed the Mergers & Acquisitions programme at the London Business School and is currently undertaking a post-graduate Diploma in Organisational Leadership at the Saïd Business School, Oxford University.

Ian Shackell

Ian is a Consultant, Non-Executive Director and mentor with particular expertise in business change, corporate governance, risk management, finance and regulatory matters. He is a qualified Chartered Director and Chartered Accountant.

After senior management roles at PwC, Ian was Group Head of Internal Audit at Aviva before moving on to Executive Director roles at several companies, including MS Amlin.

For the last ten years he has worked as an interim manager and consultant to help many companies from start-ups to plc’s  (including some of the largest organisations in the world)  to restructure and develop their risk management, regulatory compliance and corporate governance.

Paul May


John Scott

John Scott is Head of Sustainability Risk for the Zurich Insurance Group. He joined Zurich in 2001 becoming Head of Risk Insight in 2007 and was Chief Risk Officer for Zurich’s Global Corporate and Commercial Insurance businesses from 2009 to 2017. He took on his current role in 2018. John leads the Group’s engagement on sustainability risk, both internally and externally as the way Zurich delivers its purpose and values.

For the last ten years, in his roles as CRO for Commercial Insurance and as Head of Sustainability Risk, John has increasingly focused on global risks, in particular climate change risk. He is on the Advisory Board to the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report and has contributed to every WEF Global Risk Report since 2005. He is also a member of the WEF Global Future Council on Frontier Risks and, in the UK, the Institute of Directors Sustainable Business Advisory Board.

Dr Geoff Mackey, BASF Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director

Geoff was brought up on a small family farm in South Armagh, N. Ireland, he read biology in Liverpool and followed it with a range of post graduate qualifications in Health & Safety and management including a sleepless MBA. His doctorate concerned the strategic business value of social networks. 

Geoff is a Director of BASF plc, responsible for a service portfolio in UK & Ireland and BASF’s Sustainability network in Europe.A Fellow of IOD, RSC and IEMA, he has been within the BASF group for almost 20 years and advises a wide range of strategic and tactical groups inside and outside BASF covering private, public and third sector organizations in arenas including science, environment and further education.

Matt Vickers

Matthew Vickers joined Ombudsman Services, which operates the Energy Ombudsman scheme, in 2015 and became chief executive in late 2018.

His leadership role involves developing and implementing long-term strategy and maintaining positive relationships with regulators, government departments, politicians, consumer advocacy groups and other key external stakeholders. He is passionate about the role of an ombudsman in delivering better outcomes for consumers and businesses alike.

Prior to joining Ombudsman Services in 2015, Matthew was chief executive at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC), a non-departmental public body based in Edinburgh. A fluent Spanish speaker, he spent four years with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as British Consul, initially in the Canary Islands and then in Madrid. Before entering public service, Matthew’s background was in retail and FMCG. Matthew lives in Wirral, Merseyside. Outside work he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.


Lord Leigh of Hurley

Howard graduated in Economics from Southampton University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte Haskins & Sells. He transferred to their corporate tax department where he qualified with the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

In early 1986 Howard established Deloitte’s Mergers and Acquisitions Group and developed an expertise in company sales. In May 1988 he left to set up Cavendish Corporate Finance LLP and is currently the Senior Partner.

In 2000 Howard was appointed as the Chairman of the Faculty of Corporate Finance of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). In 2008 he was awarded the Faculty’s Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Finance award. He served on the Council of the ICAEW and also as an Alternate to the President to the ICAEW on the Takeover Panel. In December 2018, Cavendish merged with finnCap and the new group – finnCap Group plc – was listed on the London AIM market.

In September 2013 Howard was elevated to the Peerage as Lord Leigh of Hurley and speaks regularly in the Lords on business, finance, and taxation.

Paula Tomlinson

Paula trained in the City with BDO, joining KPMG in Sussex as a Tax Manager for five years leaving to become an inhouse Tax Manager and Company Secretary at a £4bn turnover client corporate group owned by employees, including a year spent orchestrating a large MBO, later becoming Group Finance Director.

Aileen Ryan

After 11 years of this commercial experience, set up a home based accounting practice, On The Spot Accountants, for SME growing businesses with a focus on timely tax and business advice alongside meeting compliance needs, which is franchised to other experienced commercial Chartered accountants. There are currently 17 of us based in London, the South and Yorkshire, with growth planned across the UK.

Aileen’s executive career spans semiconductor and software engineering in both operations and strategy roles, with a particular interest in fund-raising and M&A. Most recently she held the joint role of Chief Strategy and Chief Operating Officer at UltraSoC, a Cambridge-based VC-backed company which was acquired by Siemens. She also serves as the Chair of the IOD Hants branch.

Aileen holds an M.B.A., an M.Sc. in Computer Science, and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical & Micro-electronic Engineering and is actively pursuing the IOD Chartered Director qualification."

Dermot O’Brien

Dermot is a tax consultant and VAT specialist with 40 years’ experience, and initially spent 10 years working in VAT with the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland. I moved to the private sector, working in a number of firms and my roles included heading the Indirect Tax practice in KPMG in Ireland, before becoming a VAT partner in BDO.

Dermot established Dermot O’Brien & Associates in 2004, the first independent tax consultancy in Ireland, specialising in Irish, EU and UK VAT and became a Council Member of the Irish Taxation Institute (ITI), culminating in being President (2006-2007).

He has written, and co-written, books on VAT which have been published by the Irish Taxation Institute and Chartered Accountants Ireland, and also acted as an expert adviser to the IMF on tax issues, while also conducting missions in a number of rarely-visited Central European and Southern African states.


Richard Johnston

Richard Johnston is an Economist with 20 years of experience of working in the public, private and academic sectors across the UK and collaborating with partners in Ireland.  He regularly provides data-driven research and policy advice to Ministers and Officials, to enterprise support organisations and directly to businesses. 

Richard's areas of specialism include COVID-19 and Brexit impacts, Competitiveness, Digitisation, Economic Development, Taxation and economic impact measurement.  Richard is a regular commentator on economic issues, writing for a number of business magazines, speaking at conferences and more so now, delivering webinars.  Richard currently serves on the Board of Warrenpoint Harbour Authority and Inspire Enterprise Centre.

Richard Jeffreys


James Morris

Hatice Ugurel

Hatice started her professional career at a VC in project management and moved to Google in 2006 first in Dublin (Ireland), and then in 2010 in London (UK). She’s performed as an executive in charge of multiple partnerships teams covering various regions in EMEA and closed and managed dozens of multi-million USD partnerships deals at Google on various products and platforms over 13 years in countries such as the UK, Czech Republic, Russia, the Middle East and others.

Hatice is co-founder of Navivest, a consulting company in London which architects business model upgrades for enterprises with the help of innovation partners such as tech startups. She believes that the real magic happens when the right enterprises, investors and startups come together with the right framework.

Margaret O’Connor

Yvonne Obuaya

Winner of the IOD Director of the Year Awards 2020 for Social Value and Sustainability Impact, a dynamic entrepreneur, Managing Director and Non-Executive Director. Combines entrepreneurial, strategic and operational experience in various sectors with a strong understanding of governance in regulated sectors.

A health and wellbeing ambassador with multi-sector experience in executive leadership and consultancy across mental health, social care, retail and management. Creates, drives and delivers business start-up, development and growth strategies to achieve double-digit revenue growth and healthy organisational cultures within highly competitive, regulated sectors. Collaborates with multiple NHS Trusts, Local Authorities and communities to establish, develop and transform adult community mental health and social care in the South East of England.

Graham Westley

Graham is a serial entrepreneur who started his first business at the age of 11 as a mobile DJ and has a breadth of experience.

His career ventures in Facilities/Property Management, Distribution and Business Consulting have involved commissions with the biggest and best names throughout a wide range of industries. BP, British Gas, BT, Shell, News Corporation, Mars, GE, BSkyB, American Airlines, BUPA, Pearson, Whitbread and London Underground are amongst those he has worked with.

He became one of the earliest  Chartered Directors in the U.K. following a period of study in which he completed an MA in Company Direction through the IOD. Alongside his business interests, he has also managed 5 Football League Clubs, winning 3 promotions and Finals at both Wembley and Old Trafford

Future of the Workforce

Professor Ed Sallis, OBE 

Ed is an economist by training and have  spent much of his career as a lecturer, author, researcher and senior manager in further and higher education working in colleges in West London, Hackney, Somerset, Surrey, Bristol and the Channel Islands. 

Ed’s area of expertise is in skills development and policy and he has been involved in the development of the government’s new flagship T level qualifications.  He chaired the Department for Education’s Technical Educational Panel which designed the content for Childcare and Education T level and is now a member of the Education and Training Foundation’s T Level External Assurance Group which advises on their professional development programme for staff delivering T levels.  Prior to his involvement in T levels Professor Ed chaired the Review of Functional Skills qualifications for the Education and Training Foundation which had been commissioned by the then Skills Minister.  

He is a Fellow of the IoD and has a long association with Plymouth University  who awarded Professor Ed an Honorary Doctorate in Education.  The City of Guilds of London Institute has awarded Professor Ed their Fellowship and in 2010 and was appointed OBE for my services to Education. 

Greg Davies 

Greg has worked for over 30 years in workplace health, safety and environmental compliance management covering aspects including Legionella, H&S, fire, asbestos, building environment quality, energy, waste and sustainability. 

A degree-qualified microbiologist and registered expert witness, he joined Assurity Consulting in 1989. Greg is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, Specialist Member of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) and London Branch committee member, and Chair of the IWFM Sustainability Special Interest Group. 

Greg is a regular blogger and contributor to industry press, with over 200 articles published on environmental management/sustainability, health and safety and risk. He chaired the CIBSE committee that revised TM13, was the author of the original BIFM good practise guide to risk management and has been survey lead for the IWFM sustainability in FM survey for the last 7 years. 

David Klaasen FCIPD, MIoD

David brings over 30 years’ experience of developing Leaders and Management Teams the group.   His strategic approach to Leadership, Management and Team Development, and his pragmatic approach to HR issues, earned him recognition as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in 2002.  He has been a member of the IoD since 2000.   

He has a very robust operational background that was forged in the intense furnace of 5 Star Hotel and Michelin starred Kitchens during his first career as a chef. As someone who made a significant career change he is very interested in transferable skills and the future of work. 

He is one of the founding directors of Talent4Performance, a specialist strategic organisational development practice. As a recently qualified Practitioner in Brain and Behaviour Change, David facilitates deeper understanding of the personal needs and motivations of board directors.  

Darren Mee 

Darren grew up in Yorkshire and was the first of his family to go to university (Loughborough), where he studied Physics. Despite finishing with a first-class degree in Physics, he opted to become a Chartered Accountant, and over 30 years ago moved to London to start his career with PwC.

Since then Darren has worked in several senior finance roles in different sectors including one of the biggest recruitment businesses in the UK and has had the privilege of working with many people around the world and getting to know and understand different cultures.  He has significant experience in many areas of finance and operations and in September 2016 Darren joined the International Schools Partnership (ISP) as Chief Financial Officer.  ISP employs 7,000 people and is now one of the leading schools businesses globally and in his role he has responsibility for Finance, Legal, IT and People Operations and Talent matters. 

Science, Innovation and Tech

Yinka Olarinnde 

Yinka is the founder and a managing partner at Siep Global Consulting Ltd, a professional consulting company that provides Strategy and Technology advisory services and design solutions within the infrastructure industry. Yinka’s professional engagements has mostly been within the infrastructure industry - developing technology, asset management and investment strategy for sustainable infrastructure systems. 

Yinka has experience delivering complex projects in the energy sector. Further to delivering strategic highways ITS projects working in a global engineering consulting company, Yinka was a project  sponsor for investments in railways electrification & plant assets and recently engaged with National Grid Ventures as an asset policy & strategy engineer for the High Voltage Direct Current(HVDC) Interconnector systems portfolio. 

He holds a B.Eng(Hons) degree in Electrical & Electronic engineering from the University of Plymouth and a master of Science(MSc) degree in Electronic Engineering from Staffordshire University. Yinka is a member of the Institute of Directors(MIoD) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology(MIET). 

Steve Bennett

After completing a Chemistry degree, Steve first joined Johnson Matthey, working in R&D, before moving into Production, Operations and then Technical Sales.  He spent 2 years in Milan as MD of an Italian manufacturing business, before returning to the UK, taking on several operational, commercial, and business leadership roles within industrial SMEs, involved in the commercialisation of science, innovation, and technical products.   

In 2003, Steve moved into Executive Search, founding TransitionPlus Ltd the following year to specialise in the senior level recruitment of key individuals across science, innovation, and technical based organisations. After completing the IoD Diploma in Company Direction and becoming a Fellow of the IoD, he established a science & innovation network across the IoDNW region before, in 2016, founding the inaugural “Business of Science Conference (BoSC)” to actively promote the ‘commercialisation of science’, policy development, sustainability and to encourage commercial growth which delivers both economic and social benefit. 

Steve has recently been appointed to the University of Leeds NEXUS Innovation Hub as a Mentor within the unique MiT created programme to encourage the scale-up of innovative businesses. 

Michael Ambjorn  

Michael Ambjorn is the Managing Director of Urbantech. The Urbantech Program is built around the idea that in order to have an impact on the world, startups need to integrate deeply into their ecosystems to be successful. We do that by working closely with some of the biggest built-environment partners in Europe. Startups in our accelerator program have access to top executives and some of the sharpest minds in this industry. We invite them to work collaboratively to make a lasting impact.  

Earlier, Michael held leadership roles at IBM, Motorola and the 260–year–old Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (RSA), where he remains a Fellow. 

Dr Phil Clare  

Phil Clare is Deputy Director of Research Services at the University of Oxford. 

Phil’s responsibilities at Oxford include leading or contributing to Knowledge Exchange in all its forms, including the Development of Oxford’s Innovation District.  He works closely with Oxford University Innovation Ltd, the University’s wholly-owned technology transfer company and is part of the Strategic Business Team, leading industry-facing initiatives. He works with the University’s Pro Vice Chancellors to support the regional agenda and is determined to find more ways to contribute to the growth of Oxford’s Innovation Ecosystem.  He led regional teams that undertook Oxfordshire’s Science and Innovation Audit and crafted the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Innovation Strategy. 

He is a Council member for Research England, former director of and Ambassador for PraxisAuril, the UK professional association for Knowledge Exchange Practitioners, and has previously been on the board of ARMA, the Association of Research Managers and Administrators. He is a registered technology transfer professional (RTTP), a Member of the Institute of Directors (MIoD) and is also a director of Fluvial Innovations Ltd.  He has an MBA from Oxford and an MA in Intellectual Property Management from Bournemouth University.  He used to be a chemist, courtesy of King’s College London and the University of Bath. 

Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. Anino Emuwa  

Dr Anino Emuwa has over 25 years’ experience in banking, international management consulting and research. A former corporate banker with Citibank, she is the founder of Avandis Consulting, a strategy and financial advisory firm in France. Anino sits on the board of several organisations including Nottingham Trent University. 

Dr Emuwa is a member of the global advisory board of 20-first, a management consulting firm advising on building gender-balanced businesses. She is also a Grant Advisory Committee member of the Sustainable and Inclusive Digital Financial Services initiative supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

An award-winning international speaker on emerging technologies, entrepreneurship and diversity in leadership, she was recognised this year as one of the 100 Most Inspiring Women Advancing Equality by Leading Ladies Africa, and one of the 125 people to follow on LinkedIn about Diversity and Inclusion. Anino convenes communities for women including Women@Davos and the Women CEOs Network, and hosts a global leadership webinar series, the Women CEOs Roundtable.  

Vijay Luthra

Vijay is a commercially astute, agile and analytical business leader, with extensive experience of working in the public and private sectors, including professional services, real estate and defence. Since 2012, Vijay has been a consultant, working with a number of firms including PwC.  

Amongst other activities, Vijay is supporting greater diversity in the start-up world as a scout for Ada Ventures, a diversity focused VC fund. Outside work, Vijay is an advocate of organ donation; having been the lucky recipient of a cadaveric kidney transplant in 2006.  Vijay is a Chartered Project Manager, RSA Fellow and is currently undertaking an Executive MBA at Warwick Business School. 

Damian Joseph Bridgeman

Damian Joseph Bridgeman is a seasoned entrepreneur with a social mission. He runs a successful coaching company specialising in executive coaching for government leaders, decision makers and civil servants. Damian also runs Mediquip Solutions which supplies Social Care and Health Solutions for government and Healthcare organisations. 

Damian is an ethical and avid investor in disruptive Health and Fitness Technologies in business, tech and apps. He is now a fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management in recognition of his work in this field and is recognised by the European Coaching and Mentoring Council as a Master Coach. He is also an ambassador for Wales with the Institute of Directors. Damian’s autobiography “I’m Not a Spaz! I’m Safe!” has been No1 on Amazon UK and Top 10 in the USA. It has brought him representation from the agent who deals with Richard Branson, Cher and Graham Norton, to name a few. 

Julie Ashworth 

Julie Ashworth is an experienced Executive, Non Executive Director and Board Advisor. She is currently CEO at BroadReachltd, an International leadership consultancy with strong roots in the Retail sector   She sits on the IoDs’ Scottish Advisory Board and is Chair of the Edinburgh branch. 

Julie is the Scottish lead, Ambassador and presenter for Women On Boards UK a highly influential and inclusive network of over 30k members. WOB UK provides information, encouragement and pragmatic connectivity to help all minorities get to the top of their organisation or to take on a Non Executive role.Julie sits on the Scottish Advisory Board of Founders4schools, and until recently on Connect UK and George Watson’s College. She currently serves on the Court of the Royal Company of Merchants and the Advisory board of Scottish Business Network.

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