EY Foundation Trustees, Patrons and Team

Find out who is supporting the EY Foundation by being a trustee or patron, and learn more about key members of the EY Foundation team. Our trustees make strategic and policy decisions. Our patrons programme sees a new cohort of EY Foundation ambassadors who influence and raise awareness of our work.


  • Patrick Dunne

    Patrick is the Chair of boards’ consultancy Boardelta and ESSA – Education Sub Saharan Africa – and founder of Warwick in Africa. Patrick spent 26 years working with international investor 3i Group plc, latterly as communications director and a member of its Operating Committee. He is an author, a patron and former Chair of Leap Confronting Conflict, and a former member of the General Council of the University of Warwick. Patrick is a Visiting Professor at Cranfield School of Management, CMI trustee, and a member of the advisory board of Bridges Social Entrepreneurs fund.

  • David Gittleson

    David is the Managing Partner of EY’s Advisory practice across Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. The business has revenues of around $3bn and 25,000 people who help corporates and governments address the competitive, social, regulatory and disruptive forces impacting them. He has recently been leading the development of the digital, analytics and cyber capabilities in EMEIA for Advisory.

    Prior to joining EY in 2004, David spent 15 years at Coopers & Lybrand, PwC and IBM focused on financial services consulting. He specialised in finance transformation, risk management and performance improvement. He ran the EMEIA FSO Advisory practice for six years from 2010 before taking his new role in July 2016.

  • Debbie O'Hanlon

    Debbie leads EY's National Markets practice, focused on building our regional business. Debbie is a senior audit partner with significant experience of FTSE 100/250 clients in the UK and internationally. She has 25 years’ experience in the profession, including 13 years as a Partner and two working in industry. Debbie has spent her career focusing on the regional market, having worked in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, and is now based in EY’s Reading office.

Dan Richards
  • Dan Richards

    Dan’s expertise lies across the Emerging Talent, resourcing and workforce planning, specialising in Professional and Financial Services.

    He is an active leader in this space, with positions on the REC Advisory Panel, Enactus Board, London First Skills Group and a Trustee on the EY Foundation.

    Dan has led the EY Talent team to ensure social mobility is at the core of recruitment practices. From outreach and attraction to assessment and selection processes, social mobility is a central pillar and EY remains an employer of choice as one of the leading organisations listed in the Employer’s index for socio-economic diversity which is surveyed annually by the Social Mobility Commission.

  • Nafisa Bakkar

    Nafisa Bakkar is CEO of amaliah.com, a media company which amplifies the voices of Muslim women. It is a tool for cultural change, and its work has been celebrated in Forbes, CNN, Wired, CNBC, Guardian and the BBC. Nafisa’s aspiration to make it easier to exist as a Muslim woman has seen her not only impact the grassroots Muslim community, but also push to create change at an industry level by working through Amaliah's insights agency with brands and agencies such as eBay, Pinterest, WGSN and Stylist.

  • Nigel Halkes

    Nigel’s career at EY spanned 36 years, including 25 years as a partner, culminating in his last role as Managing Partner Markets for UK & Ireland. Since retiring from EY, he has pursued a second career as a Non-Executive Director with a portfolio covering the public, private and charitable sectors. As well as serving on two PLC boards, he is Deputy Chair of Visit England. He is proud to have been one of the Founding Trustees of the EY Foundation, playing a significant role in the early years establishing the charity. Nigel splits his time between Wiltshire and London. His hobbies are art, theatre, sport and travel.

  • Rebecca Robins

    Rebecca Robins is Global Chief Learning and Culture Officer for Interbrand. She heads up the Interbrand Academy – a global centre of excellence in learning and development, in collaboration with partners including Microsoft, Harvard Business School and UCL. As Global Luxury Sector lead, she is involved with the Best Global Brands study and has worked across all industries, with clients including Burberry, LEGO and LVMH.

    Rebecca writes extensively on brands and culture, business transformation, luxury and the future of learning, co-authoring the FT acclaimed book, Meta-Luxury: Brands and the Culture of Excellence. Culture and learning is at the heart of her wider commitments to education and she guest lectures at a number of Universities around the world.  She is inspired by what it means to be human in business and life, in a world of exponential tech, and believes in cultures of collaboration, kindness and learning as deeply human forces for change for good.

  • Peter Wallace

    Peter has had a varied career with EY, working with clients across a number of sectors. He is currently based in Edinburgh, although spends a lot of time on the road in London, Manchester, Nottingham and India. Away from EY, Peter has found time to be a trustee of the Prince’s Teaching Institute for the past six years, and has also worked as an advisor to the Audit and Risk Committee of Big Society Capital.

Photo of Joseph Watson
  • Joseph Watson

    Joseph is Chair of the EY Foundation’s new Youth Advisory Board. Currently an Economics student at the University of Leeds, he is particularly interested in entrepreneurship and improving the labour market to support more young people. As well as his interests in EY Foundation’s work, Joseph enjoys playing the guitar and reading about History, Politics and Finance.

Photo of Fahima Akther
  • Fahima Akther

    Fahima is the Vice Chair of the EY Foundation’s new Youth Advisory Board. Currently a third year Finance with Business student at the University of Greenwich, she is passionate about supporting young people, predominantly with a focus on those in care, and raising awareness around mental health issues. Outside of studying she enjoys cooking, travelling and playing football.

The Patrons

Steve Varley
  • Steve Varley

    Steve Varley is the UK Chairman of EY, responsible for a business of over 15,000 people and revenues over £2.4bn.

    Steve is the UK Government’s Business Ambassador for the professional services industry and a member of HM Treasury’s Professional Services Council. Between 2015 and 2016 he was part of former Prime Minister, David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group.

    Steve is a member of the Chairman’s advisory group at the British Museum, a founding member of the Social Business Trust and a member of its Investment Committee. He is also on the International Advisory Council for the British Chambers of Commerce and a member of the International Chamber of Commerce Governing body. He is on the board of Loughborough University and a member of the 30% Club where he is an active supporter and speaker on diversity and inclusiveness, believing that a diverse workforce is a commercial imperative for business success. Steve was recognised by the OUTstanding professional network for his impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender inclusion inside and outside the workplace and was named for the third year running in the Financial Time’s 2016 Ally Executives list.

Dame Mary Marsh
  • Dame Mary Marsh

    Mary has served as chief executive of NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) from 2000-8 and before that head teacher of two comprehensive schools. From 2008-15 she was Founding Director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme, developing leaders for charities and social enterprises. She continues with a range of cross sector non-executive roles. She has been a non-executive director of HSBC Bank plc since 2009 and in 2015 joined the Operations and Technology committee of the Board. She is a Governor and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at London Business School, a member of the LSO Advisory Council (London Symphony Orchestra) and Chair of LSO Discovery Advisory Committee. She is also a commissioner of the Financial Inclusion Commission and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Dawid Konotey-Ahulu
  • Dawid Konotey-Ahulu

    Dawid qualified in 1987 as a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn, then spent sixteen years as an investment banker. In 2006, he left the industry to set up Redington, a City firm advising large institutional pension funds with around US$550 billion in assets, and insurance companies. In 2009, Dawid set up mallowstreet, now the established specialist online community for the UK pensions and savings industry. It has over 3,000 members representing over $2 trillion in pension fund assets across 600 pension schemes.

    Most recently, he founded Partnership for Change, a collaboration platform which will combine fintech, healthcare technology, ed-tech and sustainability, with three core areas of focus: Research, an Accelerator Platform and Social Infrastructure Reform.

    Dawid is a Governor of the University of Hertfordshire, a Trustee of the Chineke! Orchestra, is on the Global Advisory Council of Tobacco Free Portfolios, and a trustee of Legacy of War Foundation. He is a frequent blogger and commentator on innovation, pensions, savings and healthcare, and is currently attempting to help build a specialist heart hospital in Ghana.

Nathaniel Peat
  • Nathaniel Peat

    Nathaniel Peat is a Multi-Award Winning Entrepreneur, International Speaker (inc TEDx), Business Coach, Engineer, Pilot and man of many talents and achievements. He is listed on the 2017 Black Power List, 2018 & 17 EMPower Financial Times List and 2016 saw an entry onto the Financial Times Upstanding 100 BME Executive List. Nathaniel is co-founder of Gennex Solar which provides innovative renewable energy products in Africa. He also founded The Safety Box; a company whose training and development programmes assist with reducing youth violence & help young people develop important skills such as leadership, communication and conflict resolution. In 2015 Peat was the only UK entrepreneur selected by Virgin Unite to attend a week long leadership gathering on Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson. Nat was also a former Trustee and co-founder of EY Foundation since 2014.

Liz Bingham
  • Liz Bingham OBE

    A former EY Partner in Restructuring and latterly in People Advisory Services, Liz was awarded an OBE for services to equality in the workplace in 2015. She is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusiveness, and is determined to create an environment where people from all backgrounds can succeed and flourish at work. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour’s power list; was No 31 in the World Pride power list; No 18 in the FT’s Top 50 OUTstanding in Business list, and has received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Bath for her contribution to social mobility and fair access to the professions. BPP University and the Open University have also recognised Liz for her contribution to professional services. Liz was also one of the EY Foundation’s founding trustees and serves on the board of Governors of University College School in Hampstead.

Chris Achiampong
  • Chris Achiampong

    Chris is an alumnus of Smart Futures and EY’s School Leaver’s programme. He is currently working at IBM and was recently awarded Higher or Degree Apprentice of the Year for London. He is committed to helping young people and was a member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Foundation’s first Youth Panel, he is also a governor at his old school. His profile, inspirational skills and network has already significantly contributed to raising awareness of the Foundation’s work.

The EY Foundation Team

  • Ewan Bennie

    Director of Communications
    Ewan’s career started in TV and online journalism, where he worked across a range of platforms and organisations, including IMG and the BBC. After joining the civil service he specialised in climate change communication, directing advising minsters and leading the government’s overall engagement strategy. He joined the EY Foundation in 2018 as Director of Communications, responsible for delivering a new strategic approach to engagement. This will support the Foundation’s ambition to transform the workplace by helping ensure all young people in the UK, whatever their background, can unlock their potential.

  • Sian Browne

    School to Work Lead
    Sian has over 20 years’ experience in business consultancy across a variety of industries. She was previously Head of Procurement for a large Local Authority. She has particular knowledge and expertise relating to Government Procurement and Commercial Strategy and procedures, both in the UK and internationally.

    She was an Associate Partner with EY for over 10 years and spent 4 years from 2010 working for EY Sub Sahara Africa building their Supply Chain and Operations practice. She was part of the UK Local Public Services leadership team and led their Education Advisory work.

    Sian left EY in June 2017 and spent a few months enjoying sailing and travelling.

    She joined EY Foundation in January 2016 and is leading their school to work programme. She is also setting up and will be the Head of their Innovation team.

  • Jenny Freeman

    Head of Social Enterprise Services (Acting)
    Jenny joined the EY Foundation in 2015 having qualified in Assurance at EY, and is passionate about using the skills of EY professionals to help social entrepreneurs scale and grow. Jenny currently delivers all social enterprise activity across the UK, including the Accelerate programme in 5 locations.

  • Margaret Gibson

    Deputy Chief Executive

    Prior to joining the EY Foundation Margaret was the Chief Executive of Women's Enterprise Scotland, a social enterprise working to engage more women into business.

    Her work has seen her support young people for almost 30 years. She was previously Deputy Chief Executive of The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust. She has also established several small businesses.

    Margaret is passionate about giving back. She is a volunteer with Young Enterprise Scotland, a Governor with the University of the West of Scotland, and a Trustee of the charity The Lens, working with Public Sector and Third sector organisations to examine intrapreneurship and innovation in their processes. She is a founding trustee of award winning charity smartSTEMS, inspiring young women into STEM careers.

    She was the first woman in Scotland to receive the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2015 and was awarded an OBE in the 2017 New Year's Honours List. Margaret was recently presented with the Woman of Influence Award by Action for Children.

Maryanne Matthews
  • Maryanne Matthews

    Chief Executive

    Maryanne has worked in the public and private sectors, as well as with the voluntary sector and social enterprise for over 20 years. She started her career in education as a secondary school teacher and then worked extensively in local economic development, focusing in particular on the long term unemployed and marginalised communities. She joined KPMG’s public sector practice as a management consultant then moved to Atos Consulting, joining EY in 2007, whereby as a Director she worked within Business Development and Advisory as Lead for Education and Social Care until 2014.

    In 2014, she then established EY Foundation as the Chief Executive in which the Foundation works across the UK with young people and giving them a great start in their working lives.

  • Mark Smith

    Mark is a chartered accountant, secretary and director. He has over 25 years of experience in not-for-profits and charities and of leading organisational change. He has extensive experience of the education sector from his time as executive director at The Learning Trust in Hackney, as a Deputy Chief Executive of a Further Education College, and in setting up a multi-academy trust.

    Mark is also a personal coach and consultant.

Nick Hodder
  • Nick Hodder

    Director of Technology and Transformation
    Nick has over 20 years’ experience in technology, and worked at Google and Sun Microsystems before moving into the charity sector 5 years ago. He has worked across digital transformation, software, product development and marketing, creating digital products for brands such as Panasonic, Frommers, KLM, Hilton, BA, Microsoft and Google. Nick is passionate about technology disruption, especially in the charity sector, and believes that digital isn't just a fundraising tool – technology can enable charities to completely rethink how they deliver social change.

  • Lynne Peabody

    Head of Income and Supporter Development
    Lynne joined the Foundation prior to its launch in July 2014 and is now Head of Income and Stakeholder Development. Lynne is responsible for diversifying and building upon our reliable income streams, raising funds via employee engagement, grants and partnership working. Lynne has worked across communications, programme delivery and fundraising during her time with Foundation – contributing to over £2m of independently raised funds. Prior to joining the Foundation Lynne worked in the field of corporate social responsibility and sustainability, implementing global strategies across a variety of businesses. Lynne is a firm believer in the positive impact that businesses can contribute towards social good and the potential they have to develop innovative solutions.

  • Robert Pope

    Southern Hub Leader
    With over 13 years’ experience of working within the sphere of education-business links, Robert has a broad set of skills including programme management, team leadership and business development within the context of preparing young people for their transition into work. He has extensive experience of managing teams in relation to the delivery of employability and career related programmes with young people. His key achievements include implementing a careers programme for primary schools across 20 schools/10,000 students, establishing a corporate engagement/funding model and overseeing the delivery of employer led programmes which has enhanced the employability skills of thousands of young people. Robert joined the team in September 2017 and oversees our programme delivery across southern England.

Jodie McNally
  • Jodie McNally

    Head of Young People Services
    Jodie has worked predominantly in the third sector for the past 15 years, supporting young people from a broad range of backgrounds with their transition into employment. She is passionate about developing the employability skills of young people with a particular focus on employer led/supported initiatives. Jodie was previously Head of Employer Engagement at Street League and worked for several years within Education Business Partnerships in the North West. Jodie is Head of Young People’s Services overseeing all delivery.

EY - Nil Neale
  • Nil Neale

    Nil has worked across the private, voluntary and social enterprise sectors for 16 years. She started her career at Air France Services Ltd at Heathrow Airport and then worked at EY where she qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2009, and managed complex UK and cross border transactions across a variety of industries including shipping, consumer products and hospitality. Since 2012, Nil has worked closely with disadvantaged and disengaged young people, leading the design and implementation of the first Smart Futures and Accelerate programmes, and in the development and delivery of the pilot Our Future programme in 2015. Nil sits on the Foundation Executive Leadership Team and is responsible for delivery of all young people and employer programmes and is the lead designated safeguarding officer for the Foundation across the UK.