Accountability and Governance

Home > Accountability and Governance

We take accountability seriously

In order to achieve our mission and to ensure that our work has the greatest impact on the lives of children, we believe it is vital to be accountable – particularly to the supporters who fund our work.

Unicef UK takes the responsibility of using our supporters’ donations to the best effect seriously and aspires to the highest standards of good governance.

Our Trustees

Unicef UK is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Board is responsible for overseeing that Unicef UK is achieving its mission and strategic objectives and that it complies with legal requirements and charity regulations. The Board also appoints the Executive Director. Trustee roles are voluntary positions filled by open recruitment processes

Unicef UK’s Board is guided by the voluntary Charity Governance Code for larger charities, using it to as a tool to identify areas of continuous improvement and development.

The Right Honourable Douglas Alexander (Chair)
Douglas served for eighteen years in the UK Parliament and nine years in Government under Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. As well as serving as the UK Governor to the World Bank he held various cabinet positions including Secretary of State at DFID. Douglas was elected onto the Board as Chair in 2018.

Sarah Davis (Vice-Chair)
Sarah is Director of Group Legal Affairs at ITV. She was previously Group Commercial Legal Director at the Guardian Media Group in the newspaper’s digital division, in-house lawyer at NDS and a solicitor at Stephens Innocent. Sarah has extensive non-executive experience with Poet in the City, Media Trust and European Newspapers Association.

Caroline Underwood OBE (Vice-Chair)
Caroline is an expert in fundraising and philanthropy. Her career has focused on maximising private sector fundraising and organisational change to drive income growth. She is CEO for the Philanthropy Company, a small agency working with not-for-profits and philanthropists. Caroline was elected to the Board in 2016.

Cosette Reczek (Chair, Audit & Risk Committee)

Cosette has held a variety of leadership roles at the executive level in the UK’s largest banks. The focus of her most recent work includes governance, delegation of authority, organisation design, and transformation. She recently founded her own consulting firm to advise and support others pursuing such efforts. Cosette has been a Trustee since 2016.

Sir Tony Redmond (Treasurer)

Tony brings a wealth of experience in financial stewardship and administration to the Board. Until 2010 he held posts of Chief Executive for some twenty-three years in a range of organisations, most recently as Chairman and Chief Executive of Commission for Local Administration in England as well as Local Government Ombudsman. Tony was elected to the Board in 2011.

Sean Carney
Sean is the COO/CFO of Telemos Capital, a family-funded private equity firm. Previously he was COO of The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, after a career in corporate finance/investment banking with Merrill Lynch, HSBC and Merrill Lynch. He holds a US Law degree from the University of Chicago and an honours BA in economics from Harvard College. Sean was co-opted in 2019.

Alex Connock
Alex is a specialist in the study and production of digital content. Academically, he is Fellow at Said Business School, Oxford University. Commercially, he has run production companies Ten Alps (with Bob Geldof), Endemol Shine North and now Missile. Alex was elected to the Board in 2017.

Steven Day
Steven has over 25 years’ experience in journalism, communications and brand marketing, and is a co-founding partner of Pure Planet, a renewable energy supplier. Steven has helped to raise millions of pounds for Unicef through text message appeals during global emergencies. Steven was elected to the Board in 2014.

Kirsty Gill
Kirsty brings a wealth of experience in developing innovative people solutions that deliver high performance, high engagement and progressive organizations. Kirsty is the Chief People Officer at Arm reporting into the CEO, previously working at start-up company, GF-X, and at Accenture. Kirsty was elected to the Board in 2019.

Trustees report

Every year, Unicef UK publishes a Trustees’ Report detailing its work, impact and audited accounts for the last financial year. The report is an important accountability tool, showing how our supporters’ donations were used to make a positive impact on the lives of children around the world.

Unicef UK Trustees Report 2018


Articles of Association

Our Articles of Association (or Constitution) lay out the rules by which Unicef UK is governed. They specify Unicef UK’s charitable objectives, how Trustees are elected and held to account by our Members (usually at an Annual General Meeting), and how key decisions are taken. It also details the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees and of its subcommittees.

Articles of Association


Conflict of Interest Policy

UNICEF UK is committed to ensuring transparency in its governance practices and complying with legal requirements. Our Conflict of Interest Policy sets out our approach to managing actual, perceived and potential conflicts of interest or loyalties. A ‘conflict of interest’ is any situation in which a person’s personal interests or interests of a connected person could, or could be seen to, prevent them acting only in the best interests of the charity.

Conflict of Interest Policy