Our leadership team
Under the chief executive's direction, our executive leadership team leads the day-to-day management of our employees and volunteers. The team also reports to the board of trustees.
CEO and executive leadership team
I have always been inspired to make a difference for people in crisis. As CEO, my key priority is to open up opportunities for people to unlock their human kindness by sharing their time, their connections and their cash. Together, we can help people prepare for, respond to and recover from large and small emergencies. Kindness comes in many forms. I believe we can put yours to use.Mike Adamson, chief executive
I became chief executive of the British Red Cross in October 2014. I head the executive leadership team, working closely with our board of trustees in fulfilling our charitable mission. I’m responsible for an annual income of over £243 million.
I lead and collaborate with our nearly 4,000 staff and over 18,000 volunteers, ensuring that as an organisation we are delivering maximum impact for people in crisis. I make sure that the services and programmes we provide in the UK and internationally are high quality, that we respond to the greatest need and that we are accountable to those we serve.
I began my career as an economist in commercial management consultancy. Before becoming chief executive, I performed a number of roles during my time at the British Red Cross. These included managing director of operations, head of international programme development, director for the London and south east region and director of strategy and planning and information systems.
I also held a number of executive appointments at other organisations. These included three years as director of commissioning and primary care at an NHS Primary Care Trust in Gloucestershire. I spent five years as managing director for services at the Royal National Institute for Deaf People.
Executive director of UK operations
I’ve been executive director of UK operations since early 2015. I am responsible for all our service delivery and education activities across the country.
I work with a dedicated team of national directors, over 1,900 staff and 9,500 volunteers. We’re committed to ensuring that everything we do is underpinned by a person-centred approach. We share a humanitarian mission to respond compassionately and impartially to the needs of people in crisis.
I’m so grateful to all of my colleagues up and down the country for their daily commitment to respond to crises with simple acts of kindness.
Interim executive director of people and learning
Debbie Viner, FCIPD, NLP
As interim executive director of people and learning, I cover human resources, volunteering, leadership development, organisational development and change management. My remit also extends to learning and development, youth engagement, employee relations, international security, health and safety, diversity and environmental/carbon reduction.
During my time with the British Red Cross, I have held the position of director, people and learning operations and strategic partnerships. I also played a critical role in overseeing new structures and processes in the people and learning function and making sure that they continue to work well.
Before this, I worked as a major strategic change consultant in both the charity and commercial sectors. I was also executive director of HR in a number of large commercial organisations and social enterprises.
Working in an organisation made up of people who practise their kindness every day means never having to feel like you are at work.
Chief supporter officer
I joined the British Red Cross in July 2018 as its new chief supporter officer. Before that I was executive director of fundraising and engagement at the MS Society. I have also held director of fundraising roles at Diabetes UK, NSPCC, and RNIB.
I was recently made a fellow of the Institute of Fundraising, which I also chaired. In addition, I served as chair of the International Fundraising Congress, Europe’s largest annual gathering of fundraisers.
I am passionate about the work of the British Red Cross, as are our loyal, committed and energetic supporters. My role is to ensure anyone who wants to support us can do so in ways that suit them.
This could range from raising funds to volunteering in our shops or giving their time or skill in other ways. And I want our supporters to have the best possible experience, so that they want to inspire others to connect with our vital work.
Executive director of international
I’ve worked for the British Red Cross since 2015 - first as director of programmes and partnerships and now as executive director of international.
I’m responsible for making sure that we support people in crisis overseas wherever the need is greatest. I do this through leading an outstanding team based in the UK and abroad – who support programmes and emergency response work in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. We all work to ensure that the British Red Cross, through the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, is timely, relevant, empowering and accountable in the way that it works globally.
We know the humanitarian challenges are far bigger than our capacity to respond, but we also know that we must do what we can.
I took this job after heading international missions across the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa over 15 years. For ten of those years, I was regional representative for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, supporting responses to epidemics, droughts, floods and violence.
I was able to see first-hand the power of a network of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies supported by international partners. I try to bring that experience to this role in the British Red Cross.
Chief information officer
I have a passion for using technology to do great things in the world and I am excited by how new innovations can help us reach more people.
At the British Red Cross, I am responsible for all things technology, digital and data. This means ensuring that our internal systems support all of our staff and volunteers, that our web platforms and applications provide the information that people need and that we are responsibly ensuring that the data that we hold is safe and secure.
I began my career working for large technology firms, moved into being an IT strategy consultant and then moved into the not-for-profit sector. I am a governor of a local school.
Chief financial officer
I was appointed chief financial officer at the British Red Cross in October 2016 and provide leadership for finance, property, planning, strategic change and legal.
I joined from Unilever where I held global roles in finance, and most recently completed two years in Vietnam where I held the role of vice president of finance. Prior to this, I held senior finance roles with Alberto Culver, Kingfisher and Procter & Gamble.
I qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte and have an MBA from the Open University.
Executive director of communications and advocacy
My role heads up communication and advocacy at the British Red Cross. In practice, that means marketing ourselves strategically as well as using evidence to advocate on behalf of those in crisis. Another way of describing that is: influencing how people think, feel and act in support of our humanitarian aims.
We have an exciting and special role in helping to sustain and grow the movement that connects human kindness with human crisis. We want everyone to know four things: how to save a life, help those in crisis in their community, help those forced to flee in search of sanctuary and help in times of international emergency. We have done our job well if the public and people in power are inspired to join us in order to help make the world a kinder place.
I have a strong belief in the power of creative communications and compelling argument to change hearts and minds for the better.
Before becoming executive director in late 2015, I worked at the children’s charity Barnardo’s – and before that I spent nearly a decade working in government and politics in Whitehall and Westminster.
I am so proud to be part of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. I am humbled every day by the compassion with which our volunteers and staff reach out to help people in times of crisis.
See our senior pay
The salaries for our executive leadership team, including our chief executive, are available on page 43 of our 2018 Trustees’ report and accounts (PDF).
Our senior-level salaries are below those for similar-sized organisations in the private sector and some areas of the public sector.