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Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is Health Poverty Action’s governing body. It delegates management of the organisation to the Director, but the Trustees remain ultimately responsible for the affairs of the charity, ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and delivering appropriate outcomes in terms of public benefit.

Health Poverty Action constitution provides for a minimum of five and a maximum of twelve Trustees, who are responsible for the election of new members. All Trustees have to stand for election each year, and they have agreed that none should serve for more than eight consecutive years. The same Board of Trustees is responsible for linked charity, Find Your Feet.

The Board of Trustees

Oliver Kemp (Chair)

Oliver is CEO of Prostate Cancer Research Centre, which focuses on the advanced stage of the disease treatments are currently limited. Prior to this, he was the CEO of Build Africa. At Build Africa he directly supported over 400,000 people with an increase of over 500% in six years, and was awarded the prize for the “Best International Charity in the UK” in 2012.

Ruth Stern (Vice Chair)

Ruth Stern, a senior researcher and lecturer in public health at the University of Western Cape in South Africa, has several years of experience in health promotion as both an academic and a grass roots practitioner. She is based in the UK, spending up to three months in South Africa per year, teaching students from several sub-Saharan African countries. She is an active member of the People’s Health Movement – an influential global health network (of which Health Poverty Action is a part).

Denis Cavanagh (Treasurer)

Denis is currently the Chief Risk Officer for Aviva International Insurance. He has worked in the financial services industry for over 17 years, qualifying as an actuary in 2006. Since then he has taken up a wide range of risk and capital roles within Aviva, including a period as the Group Market & Credit Risk Director where he led Aviva’s initial Brexit analysis.

Mehmet Baylav

Mehmet Baylav currently works for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency as an Associate Foundations Officer. Previous to this, he worked for over 15 years as a fundraiser eventually as Head of Fundraising. He has worked for several overseas development NGOs, including Save the Children and War on Want, alongside which he also campaigned with progressive groups on issues related to development. He has successfully raised funds in all key income channels in the UK. He has a Master’s in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Elaine Gilligan

Elaine has been on an amazing local to global journey with Friends of the Earth which started over twenty years ago. Starting out as a volunteer she became a grassroots regional Lead, followed by leading the national grassroots work and then taking on a role on the Executive Committee of Friends of the Earth International including Chair of the Activities Committee for the past seven years. Elaine has set up and instigated major new programmes of work and teams on environmental justice, adapted to internal and external changes, and constantly expanded her horizons by taking on new challenges.

Anna Graham

Anna Graham is a child and adolescent consultant psychiatrist and has worked as a doctor in the NHS since 1987. She currently works with children, adolescents and families in a London CAMHS service, with clinical, educational and management responsibilities. She was Lead Safeguarding doctor at Croydon CAMHS. She also has experience of working as a junior doctor in Medicine, Surgery, Accident and Emergency Medicine and Community Paediatrics. Before specialising she worked within General Adult Psychiatry, Alcohol Rehabilitation and as part of a Learning Disabilities team in the community. She has a special interest in working with vulnerable children in care, including refugees and asylum seekers and those who have experienced trauma. She has worked at The Helen Bamber Foundation, as a teacher and supervisor of mentors at CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in SW London) and at St John’s Hospital, Mzuzu in Malawi.

Dr Rory Honney

Rory is a practicing clinician working half the week in a busy general practice in the UK and the rest of the week dual accrediting in public health medicine. Having completed his undergraduate training at Oxford University he is now studying for a Masters in Public Health at LSHTM. He has spent time working in Kenyan and Cambodia, and in Cambodia worked as an NHS Global Health and Leadership fellow alongside the Maddox Jolie Pitt Foundation. His particular interests are in the field of inequalities and environmental health.

Anuj Kapilashrami

Anuj is a Senior Lecturer / Associate Professor in Global Health Policy with an interdisciplinary background in Sociology and Public health. She works at the intersections of health politics and development praxis, with particular interest in their interface with gender, human rights and social justice. Anuj’s longstanding research interest and experience spreads over twenty years in both the academia and the civil society/ development sector in South Asia and the UK.

James Thornberry

James currently works as CEO for small INGO VMM, based in Dublin Ireland. Most recently he has worked in the disability sector at senior level with both CBM and Sense international. Previously he has worked at Médecins Sans Frontières – Holland, CAFOD, WaterAid, International Family Health and the Department for International Development (DfID). James trained as nurse, specializing in tropical diseases. He has BA degree in International Relations and French, and an MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing.

Betty Williams

Betty has an MSc in Development Studies and has been involved in international development for 16 years. She has experience of child rights, rural livelihoods, adolescent training and development education. Betty worked for International Development NGO Find Your Feet for over ten years as a Programme Manager. She managed programmes supporting tribal women and adolescents from dalit communities in India and Nepal and small farmers in Malawi. Before this Betty was an accountant and an Economics and Business Studies teacher; she used these skills to conduct financial training for accountants working in Find Your Feet’s overseas offices and partner organisations and also took a leading role in Find Your Feet’s financial management. Betty retired in 2015 but has voluntary roles with several charities concerned with international development and the environment.

Simon Wright

Simon Wright is Head of Child Survival at Save the Children UK. He has worked in both the health and development sectors since 1993, including in the UK NHS as a community development manager and a public health manager. He worked at the UK Parliament as policy advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on AIDS and the International Development Select Committee. In 2002 he joined ActionAid where he led its campaigning on HIV including through the 2005 Gleneagles G8 and Make Poverty History. In 2006, he led ActionAid’s successful funding proposal to establish the European advocacy network, Action for Global Health. After serving as its first head for three years, he joined Save the Children in March 2009. He is responsible for Save the Children UK’s global policy and advocacy activities on health, and leading its focus on child survival. He is a member of the Board of the Global Health Workforce Alliance, and a board member of Global Health Advocates (France) and Health Poverty Action (UK).