We are governed by a board of trustees, which consists of eight elected trustees and up to six co-opted trustees. The elected trustees are elected from the British Red Cross' volunteers by a National Electoral College made up of two senior volunteers from each UK area that we work in.
Our co-opted trustees come from various backgrounds, such as business, the diplomatic service and the health sector, to lend their skills to the board.
Meet the board
David Bernstein (chairman)© Info
David is a chartered accountant with a CV that includes non-executive chairman roles at Blacks Leisure Group, French Connection and Sport and Leisure Group. He was also a non-executive director at Carluccio’s and joint chief executive of the Pentland Group. He is currently chairman of Ted Baker.
He has been heavily involved in the football world as chairman of Manchester City, Wembley Stadium and the Football Association. He was recognised in the 2014 New Year Honours list, receiving a CBE for his services to football.
David has recently been appointed to the FIFA taskforce to fight discrimination worldwide.
His work within the charity sector includes the role of president at Level Playing Field and chairman of its European counterpart, Centre for Access to Football in Europe. These charities aim to improve facilities and create a more accessible and inclusive match-day experience for disabled supporters throughout the UK and Europe.
David joined the organisation as chair of the board of trustees in January 2014.
Fionnuala Cook DL OBE© Info
Fionnuala has volunteered for a variety of charities in Northern Ireland. She served as vice president of the British Red Cross in Northern Ireland from 2011 to 2013.
Fionnuala was the first vice chair of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education and was a founding trustee of the Integrated Education Fund. She has previously served as chair of UNICEF in County Armagh.
From 1991 to 2001 Fionnuala led the consumer watchdog for health and social services in the southern area of Northern Ireland. In 2003 she was appointed chair of the southern health and social services board. Through her service on various bodies, she has gained wide experience of health and social care.
Fionnuala served on the general advisory council of the BBC from 1979 to 1986. She was a member, and on occasion acting chair, of the General Osteopathic Council from 2001 to 2009. Fionnuala is currently President of the Hospital Caterers Association of the UK. She is married with five children. Fionnuala joined the board in January 2014.
John Dauth AO LVO (vice-chair)© Info
John has served in the Australian diplomatic service for 44 years. Before retiring in February 2013, he held the office of Australian high commissioner to the United Kingdom. Prior to this John was the high commissioner to New Zealand (2006 to 2008) and ambassador to the United Nations in New York (2001 to 2006).
His earlier career included appointments such as assistant press secretary to the Queen (1977 to 1980), charge d'affaires in Tehran (1983 to 1986), consul general in New Caledonia (1986 to 1987), chief of staff to the foreign minister (1989 to 1991), and high commissioner to Malaysia (1993 to 1996). Throughout his diplomatic career John has been exposed to the work of the British Red Cross.
Since retiring, John has settled in London with his British partner. He is also a trustee of the London committee for Australian opera. John joined the board in January 2014.
Robert Dewar CMG
Bob has spent most of his life living and working in Africa. He worked as a teacher for Voluntary Service Overseas in Sudan. As a career diplomat he worked in several countries where the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been present (Angola, Ethiopia and Mozambique). He was formerly British High Commissioner in Nigeria and Mozambique, as well as British Ambassador to Ethiopia. He has also served as UK Permanent Representative to the Africa Union (2004–2006) and the UK Permanent Representative to the Economic Community of West African States (2007–2011).
He is particularly interested in the interface and link between periods of emergency response and sustainable development, and how governmental agencies, NGOs and the international community can produce a more co-ordinated response that focuses on capacity building.
Robert is currently also a trustee of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, a member of Oxfam’s Association, and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House’s Africa Programme. Robert joined the board in March 2013.
Hilary Douglas CB (vice-chair)© Info
Hilary is an executive coach and now works with Praesta Partners, supporting senior leaders and their teams, across a variety of sectors. Hilary became Red Cross county president for Surrey in 2010. In addition to her work with the Red Cross, Hilary is a trustee of two other charities that help ex-offenders find work and support the lowest-paid public servants when they experience personal crises. She also serves as a governor of a multicultural primary school in Kings Cross.
Hilary worked at the Royal Institute of International Affairs and later joined the civil service, serving as chief operating officer and holding other equivalent roles on the boards of the Department for Education, HM Treasury and the Department for Business. Hilary joined the board in January 2013.
Deborah has over 25 years of health care experience, and a particular interest in exploring avenues and opportunities where technology can be used to improve social care and support the health and wellbeing of people.
In her current role as senior director with the NHS, Deborah is responsible for public-facing digital services in the NHS and leading the digital strategy for the transformation of the urgent and emergency care system. She is an experienced board member and holds board level roles across a range of organisations.
Deborah was appointed to the board as trustee in December 2016.
Liz Hazell (treasurer)
Liz has been a member of our finance and audit committee for more than five years. She was appointed as a trustee in the role of treasurer and as chair of the finance and audit committee by the board in December 2016.
Liz is a partner at Saffery Champness and head of the firm’s not-for-profit group. Prior to this, she headed the national charities practice at PwC. She has a wealth of experience in the charity and not-for-profit sector which she brings to the Red Cross.
Lewis joined the board in January 2018. He is a director at Finsbury, a strategic communications firm. His area of expertise relates to campaigns, coalition building, public policy and the role of business in society. Lewis was formerly the founding director of the Fair Education Alliance, an advocacy coalition of over 90 charities and corporates seeking to change the education system. Prior to that he worked at Brunswick.
Lewis is the coach of the England Schools Debating Team and was a former world university debating champion for Oxford University. He has coached debating and public speaking in over 11 countries over the past 10 years.
He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at New College Oxford and served as President of the Oxford University Students Union.
Gill has been an active member of the Red Cross since her school days. Her professional background is in education, both as a teacher of mathematics and in the field of special educational needs. She sits on ethnic minority, health and social care and civic bodies within her local council and health service.
Gill’s Red Cross service has taken her from Shetland to Zimbabwe, with a number of visits to the Federation and ICRC in between. Gill has helped to deliver services in international tracing and messaging, emergency response, psychosocial support, therapeutic care, and training across our services. Gill is passionate about the work of the Movement. She is a past volunteers council chair, and joined the board in January 2013.
Geeta became a trustee in January 2018. A doctor by training, Geeta is also the founder and medical director of Create Fertility; a senior consultant gynaecologist and lead consultant for reproductive medicine at St George’s Hospital, London.
She is a member of the Tiffany Circle, a society of women leaders who support the British Red Cross. Geeta is also the London vice president for the British Red Cross and sits on the board of trustees for the London Emergencies Trust. Geeta has also previously served as a senior governor of primary and secondary state schools in south London. She has been involved in charities promoting education, women’s health, equality and social mobility for over a decade.
Daniel has volunteered for the British Red Cross for five years, starting as an event first aider in Nottinghamshire, and progressing to ambulance crew level. His main involvement with the Red Cross has been with ambulance support, providing cover at events and undertaking support shifts for the ambulance service.
Daniel works as an emergency department doctor in south west London, following his medical studies at the University of Southampton. He started his NHS career as an emergency medical dispatcher in the 999 control room. He was a governor and vice chairman for a large infant school and joined the board in January 2013.
Keith has spent most of his career in the police service. As chief superintendent, he taught strategic management at the Police Staff College and chaired a United Nations conference in Mozambique, giving the keynote speech on policing elections after the civil war.
After retiring, Keith ran a hotel, became East Knoyle parish council’s parish clerk, and managed its community shop. He was independent chairman of Wiltshire Council Standards Committee, and chairman of trustees for a classical music festival.
Keith joined the British Red Cross in 2010 as an event first aid volunteer, and has gone on to become group leader; training volunteers, running schools first aid courses and community drug and alcohol rehabilitation groups. Keith volunteers with Helensburgh RNLI, and is on its management team. Keith joined the board in 2012.
Paul Taylor (vice-chair)
Paul started his career in industrial engineering then gained extensive experience in human resource management in the UK and internationally. For 14 years he worked with a Hong Kong non-profit organisation, and was most recently director of personnel at the Elizabeth Finn Trust.
Paul joined the Red Cross as an emergency response volunteer in 2004. He has held various roles, including fire and emergency services support (FESS) duty officer, undertaking numerous projects in the south-east and beyond, and served in his local coastguard’s search and rescue and first responder teams. Paul is an active magistrate; a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Essex Advisory Committee, and a school governor. Paul joined the board in 2012 for his first term and is now vice-chair.
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