Board Biographies  

Robert Napier CBE, Chair

After Cambridge University, Robert had an industrial career culminating in being Chief Executive of the FTSE company Redland PLC, the UK and international producer of building materials. He then moved to the charity sector and ran the World Wildlife Fund for eight years.

More recently, he has worked within the public sector having been chairman of the Met Office and, for the last seven years, was Chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) reporting to the Housing Minister. He retired from the latter role in December 2015, enabling him to take on the Chairmanship of St Mungo's.

Robert has taken a particular interest in deprived communities around England and their resulting huge social challenges including homelessness. Closely aligned to the work of St Mungo's, the HCA funds the Homelessness Change programme which supports hostels for people experiencing homelessness. Robert has visited many such hostels.

In his time at Redland, Robert committed the company to be a major sponsor of Shelter. In addition, Robert became a Trustee and Chairman of CRASH, the building industry homelessness charity.

Sir Leigh Lewis, Vice Chair, retired civil servant / consultant

Leigh was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions from 2005 until his retirement from the Civil Service at the end of 2010.

Leigh entered the then Department of Employment in 1973 after studying Hispanic Studies at Liverpool University. During his early career he worked on a wide variety of subjects including trade union legislation, benefits delivery and EU business. He was Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham from 1984 to 1986 subsequently spending three years on secondment at Cable & Wireless as Group HR Director. 

Leigh became Chief Executive of the Employment Service in 1997 and the first Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus in 2001. From 2003 to 2005 he was Permanent Secretary for Crime, Policing and Counter-terrorism in the Home Office and was in that role at the time of the 7/7 attacks.

Since retiring from the Civil Service, Leigh has also chaired the Bill of Rights Commission for the Government. He holds non-executive roles at Aviva PLC and PriceWaterhouseCoopers and is a visiting Fellow at Greenwich University Business School. Most recently he has become Chair of Drinkaware, the trust which exists to reduce alcohol misuse.

In September 2014 Leigh published ‘How to be a Minister, a 21st century guide' - written jointly with former Secretary of State, John (Lord) Hutton.

 Otto Thoresen, Hon Treasurer, Chair of the National Employment Savings Trust 

Otto is Chair of the National Employment Savings Trust. He is a former CEO of Aegon UK and former Director General of the Association of British Insurers. He is a trustee of both Young Enterprise, a charity which supports financial and business education for young people, and Step Change, the debt advice charity. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries. In 2007 he led a review for HM Treasury on financial advice which was published in 2008, with its recommendations accepted by government.

Rolande Anderson MA FRSA, former Director General of the Office for Civil Society

Rolande has had a wide ranging senior career in government and now works as an independent non-executive. She is a member of the Bar Standards Board and chairs its Equalities and Diversity Committee. She is a Governor of London Metropolitan University as well as a trustee of Volunteering Matters and of the mentoring charity Brightside. She was also involved in housing for many years as a non executive Director of Genesis Housing Association. In government, she was Director General of the Office for Civil Society in the Cabinet Office until 2010 and, prior to that, Director-General at the Office for National Statistics. She is an Honorary Associate of Newnham College, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Yvonne Arrowsmith, CEO of East Thames Housing

Yvonne started her career within health before moving into housing, and has been working within the social housing sector for the past 20 years. She is CEO of East Thames Housing, having previously held posts of Operations Director and Group Director of Supported Housing at Family Mosaic. 

Michael Foster, retired

Michael is currently Chairman of Impression Technologies Ltd, a technology spinout from Imperial College, and other private companies.  He was CEO of Charter International plc, a FTSE 250 international engineering company, until June 2011 having previously held senior roles at RMC Group plc, Kvaerner Metals, Trafalgar House plc, and GKN plc.  He is a solicitor and a Fellow of the Association of Corporate Treasurers.  He was formerly a barrister in private practice and has an MA from the University of Cambridge in Engineering and Electrical Sciences.

Tim Gadd, independent consultant

Since 2002 Tim has worked mainly in the third sector where he also has considerable Board level experience. Prior to that he worked in financial services for over 20 years. He was a Broadway Board member from 2011 to 2014, serving on the Finance and Real Lettings sub committees.

­­­Ashwin Kumar, Director of Liverpool Economics

Ashwin is a non-executive director of the National Housing Federation and the New Charter Housing Trust as well as St Mungo's. He has previously worked as a Senior Civil Servant at the Department for Work and Pensions, Rail Director at the consumer watchdog Passenger Focus and as an economic adviser to Gordon Brown.

John Maxted, entrepreneur

John founded Digby Morgan, the leading international HR recruitment company, which was acquired by Randstad in 2011. He resigned as CEO of Digby Morgan following the sale of the business and is now actively involved with the homeless charity sector, politics and working with private companies as an adviser and investor.

Dr Helen Walters, public health specialist

Helen is Head of Health at the Greater London Authority (GLA) and also works for Public Health England, a part of the Department of Health. Prior to her current job, Helen has been Director of Public Health in Westminster, a consultant in public health in Portsmouth, a GP in Hampshire and has served as a district councillor.

Alexandra Beidas

Alexandra Beidas is a commercial lawyer and a partner at Linklaters where she leads the Incentives practice, advising on corporate governance and remuneration. Alongside her legal career, Alexandra has been a non-executive director of Pop Up Projects community interest-company and a school governor in Tower Hamlets.

Dan Corry

Dan Corry is currently Chief Executive of New Philanthropy Capital, having held a variety of posts in public policy and economics including as Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister on the Economy from 2007 to 2010. Dan has a number of non-executive roles including as trustee for the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and of 19 Princelet Street and is a member of the Advisory Boards for Big Society Capital and the Centre for Public Scrutiny.

Jeff Shear

Jeff Shear is a fundraising adviser and consultant specialising in Major Donor campaigns who has worked with many voluntary sector clients and philanthropists through Solid Management, the company which he founded in 1997. Jeff was previously a social worker and then Associate Chief Executive at Jewish Care.