Our Leadership Team

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UNICEF UK employs over 300 people. Most are based in Stratford, London, and others work remotely across the UK.

UNICEF UK is governed by a Board of Trustees and led by a Chief Executive, Jon Sparkes, supported by an Executive Team.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive

Jon joined UNICEF UK as Chief Executive in January 2022 bringing considerable experience at an executive level across the charity sector. Prior to this, he held the role of Chief Executive of Crisis UK, the national charity for people facing homelessness, from 2014. Earlier in his career, he held the roles of Chief Operating Officer at UNICEF UK and Chief Executive at SCOPE, the national disability charity.

Jon has a strong background in leading Human Resources and Organisational Development in both the public and commercial sectors, including as Director of Organisational Development at NHS Cornwall and as Group Human Resources Director for the international technology and investment firm, the Generics Group, where he was a member of the operating board of the company when it listed on the London Stock Exchange in December 2000.

Jon also has wide-ranging non-executive experience in charities and social enterprises and has led and participated in several projects on behalf of governments, including, during his time at Crisis, as Chair of the Scottish Government’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Advisory Group, Chair of the Welsh Government’s Homelessness Action Group, and as a member of the UK Government’s Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel.

Anna Kettley, Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy, Programmes and Safeguarding

Anna Kettley is our deputy executive director responsible for advocacy, programmes and safeguarding. Anna has been working in the charitable sector for nearly twenty years, specialising in the delivery of large-scale transformational programmes and innovative influencing strategies that drive social change on both a domestic and international level. Anna has a masters in voluntary sector management and is currently completing a second masters in climate change and international development. Prior to joining UNICEF UK Anna held senior roles at Save the Children and Place2Be.

 

Anna Kettley

Mike Flynn, Deputy Executive Director of Public Engagement

Mike Flynn is our deputy executive director responsible for raising income through public engagement channels. Mike has a wealth of experience in the voluntary sector where he has provided strategic leadership and delivered major income-generating campaigns, including at the NSPCC, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Cancer Research UK.

Mike is a qualified Mindfulness-Based Awareness Coach which he practices in his spare time.

Steven Waugh, CFO

Steven is a chartered accountant who has spent most of his career in the media, advertising and communications sector. He joined UNICEF UK from Accenture where he sold and integrated the independent innovation consultancy Happen. Prior to this he spent thirteen years within the global communications Group Omnicom Group Inc, starting in London as CFO of a group of digital media and integrated communications businesses. In 2011, he moved to South Africa and continued to work with Omnicom businesses taking on the TBWA South Africa CFO role. The role involved making acquisitions into the group – two in South Africa and two in Nigeria, establishing a best in class shared services function and a full finance system upgrade.

During his time in South Africa, he developed the future strategy for a non-profit organisation that provided low cost loans and business support to entrepreneurs that have been refused credit from established lenders, and set up two reading centres in schools.

Deputy Executive Director of Partnerships & Philanthropy

This role is currently being recruited.

 

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, which is a tool to help charities and their trustees develop high standards of governance.

Shatish Dasani

Shatish Dasani (Chair)

Shatish brings a broad skillset from over 20 years’ experience in senior finance leadership roles. He is currently Non-Executive Director and Audit Committee Chair at Renew Holdings plc, a £600m engineering services business. He was previously CFO at Forterra plc and TT electronics plc. He has also been a Non-Executive at Camelot, the national lottery operator, and a Public Member at Network Rail.

Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis (Vice-Chair)
Sarah Davis joined the board of UNICEF UK in 2017 and was appointed Vice Chair in 2019. Sarah is an experienced media industry General Counsel and Non-Executive Director. Most recently as global Group Legal Affairs Director at ITV Plc and before that many years at global news organisation The Guardian Media Group.
Alongside her legal career Sarah also has over 20 years’ non-executive board experience with organisations including Poet in the City, The Media Trust, UEL, Society of Authors and currently The Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Sean Carney

Sean Carney (Treasurer)
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.

Cosette

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.

Maggie Atkinson

Maggie Atkinson
Maggie is a consultant and experienced Board member. Her work focuses on safeguarding children and adults, tackling injustices and inequalities. An Honorary Professor at Keele, she enjoys the rigorous debates that work entails. From 2010-15 Maggie was England’s Children’s Commissioner, strengthening the role’s impact and championing children’s rights. Her career started in education and local government, including as a DCS and President of ADCS.

Matt Ferguson

Matt Ferguson
Matt is Director of Development & Alumni Engagement at Warwick University where he is leading an ambitious agenda to inspire a culture of philanthropy in support of world-leading research and student support. Previously, Matt spent 10 years at King's College London, latterly as Chief Development Officer. He has significant expertise in transformational philanthropy, particularly in Asia, and was part of the leadership team behind the College’s World questions|King's answers campaign that raised £610 million.

Alex Connock

Alex Connock (Vice-Chair)
Alex is a Media Business academic. He is Fellow at Said Business School, Oxford University and co-director of its postgraduate programme in Artificial Intelligence for Business. He is also Professor at the University of Exeter, teaching digital marketing, and Head of Department in Creative Business at the National Film & Television School. Commercially, he has founded and run a number of TV and advertising production companies. Alex is also a trustee at Manchester’s Halle Orchestra, and was elected to the Board in 2017.

Usama Al-Qassab

Usama Al-Qassab
Usama is Vice President Marketing, Disney + in Europe, Middle East and Africa and joined the Board in September 2020. He has led marketing, communication, media, growth and ecommerce at PlayStation and Procter & Gamble. At P&G his team helped create the Pampers UNICEF ‘one pack = one vaccine’ partnership whilst at PlayStation he was awarded the European EFFIE Grand Prix for Marketing.

Richard Hawkes

Richard Hawkes
Richard is Chief Executive of the British Asian Trust, which was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to drive positive change across South Asia. He has held a range of senior roles in the UK and international not-for-profit sector for more than 25 years, including working for the United Nations and being Chair of BOND (the umbrella body for UK international NGOs) for five years. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the World Humanitarian Forum and of the UK’s Charity Bank.

To find out about our Vice Presidents please click here.