accessibility & help

Our executive leadership team

Flags showing the red cross and red crescent

Meet our executive leadership team who, under the direction of the chief executive, are responsible for the management of the organisation.

Chief executive

Mike Adamson

Mike became chief executive in October 2014. 

Prior to this, he was managing director of operations, responsible for the leadership of the British Red Cross' UK and international programmes and its advocacy work, overseeing a unified approach to all operations. 

Mike took on this role in October 2010, but he had previously held several other positions in the organisation between 1992 and 2003, including head of international programme development, director for the London and south-east region, and director of strategy, planning and information systems. 

Executive director of UK operations

Norman McKinley

Norman joined the Red Cross in 1997 as a regional director before occupying a number of senior positions across the organisation. 

He is now executive director of UK operations. Previously he was UK director for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Prior to his appointment with the Red Cross, Norman had a successful career within personal health and social services in Northern Ireland. 

Executive director of people, learning and strategic change

Roger Smith OBE

Roger joined the Red Cross in 1993 as its head of training, after a successful career in education including nine years as a head teacher. 

After a year as head of HR and three years as director of support services, he spent six months as lead director in the period leading up to the appointment of Sir Nicholas Young as CEO. 

As director of people, learning and strategic change, Roger’s current responsibilities cover human resources, volunteering, leadership development, organisation development and change management, learning and development, youth engagement, employee relations, security, diversity and carbon reduction. 

Executive director of fundraising

Mark Astarita OBE

Mark joined the Red Cross as director of fundraising in 2003, moving from The National Deaf Children's Society where he held the position of deputy chief executive. 

Mark has over 20 years’ experience of fundraising in the voluntary sector and during his eleven years at the British Red Cross, he has been responsible for launching over 60 emergency appeals, including appeals for the 2011 Japan Tsunami, the 2005 London Bombings, the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan appeal and most recently the Ebola Appeal.  

Mark has management responsibility of £150m of income, around 950 staff, and the 10,000 volunteers who give their time to fundraising and retail. He is one of the few UK fundraisers who has been responsible for raising over a billion pounds during his career. 

Mark is widely known in the voluntary sector, often utilising his experience through his involvement in a variety of charities and public bodies. In 2008, Mark became a trustee of the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and was its chair between 2011 and 2014. He is now a trustee on the board of his local hospice, St Joseph’s. For the last three years he has been voted by his peers as the most influential person in fundraising. 

Executive director of international

David Peppiatt

David leads British Red Cross' international directorate, which is responsible for international disaster response, support to resilience programmes and organisational development of our partner Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It also covers humanitarian policy and advocacy activities, and international humanitarian law. 

David joined the Red Cross in 1996 as a disaster management advisor and held posts in London and Geneva, as well as working on operations overseas. From 2002 to 2006, he was head of the Secretariat of the World Bank's ProVention Consortium, a global partnership on disaster risk management. Returning to the British Red Cross in London as head of humanitarian policy, he then became international director in 2009. David leads a team of 120 people at headquarters and is responsible for British Red Cross staff deployed to international field operations.

David holds a master’s degree from the Centre for Development and Emergency Practices in Oxford and the Refugee Studies Centre at the Oxford Department for International Development. He also holds a BA from the University of Birmingham.

Executive director of finance, planning and resources

Phil Hughes

Before joining the Red Cross Phil also had interim roles at Merlin and NATCEN. Prior to that he was the chief financial officer for Castrol, the global lubricants company and was a non executive director of Castrol India PLC.

Most of his career has been spent working for BP in various commercial, planning and accounting roles in the UK and abroad.

He trained as a chartered accountant in Oxford and obtained his degree from Loughborough University.  

Chief information officer

Rosie Slater

Rosie Slater joined the Red Cross as chief information officer in April 2015. 

She brings with her significant experience in both technology and digital roles, having previously worked for the Children’s Society, Cancer Research UK and NSPCC, as well as consulting experience in the private sector with PA Consulting and IBM. 

Executive director of communications and engagement

Zoe Abrams

Zoe joined the Red Cross in December 2015. Her previous role was director of marketing communications at Barnardo’s. Here she led integrated engagement with a diverse range of audiences to raise funds and campaign for the UK’s most vulnerable children. 

Prior to joining the voluntary sector in 2011, Zoe spent a decade working in Whitehall and Westminster. She worked in the press offices of the Department for Education and Defra. She was responsible for overseeing the Ministry of Justice’s first major marketing campaign. Zoe also managed government communications about the EU at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Related Tags: