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 led by a group of Trustees and a Chief Executive, Jon Sparkes, supported by an Executive Team. To meet our trustees and find out more about how UNICEF UK is governed and held accountable, visit our Accountability and Governance page.

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.

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.

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

Deputy Executive Director of Partnerships & Philanthropy

This role is currently being recruited.

 

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.

 

 

Vice Presidents

UNICEF UK is grateful to each and every individual that volunteers their time to advise, support and further our work.

Among these are our Vice Presidents, a select group of well-respected leaders who have an interest in using their expertise and networks in support of children’s rights. Vice Presidents take on this role in their individual capacities, as volunteers, and do not have formal or legal governance responsibility for the organisation.

UNICEF UK’s Vice Presidents are:

Marc Bolland is Head of European Portfolio Operations of private equity businesses at Blackstone. He was previously Chief Executive of M&S and has been involved with UNICEF UK since 2010, by volunteering his time to our London and Copenhagen offices during a sabbatical, and by acting as a Vice-President.

Tim Clark OBE is Managing Director of ie:music, managing Robbie Williams and many other artists, and has been involved with UNICEF UK since 1988. He has been a Vice-President since 2002 and was instrumental in helping to develop Soccer Aid for UNICEF. He received an OBE in recognition of his services to UNICEF in 2009.

Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE became a Vice-President in 2011. He is KPMG’s Global Head of Citizenship and Diversity, a non-executive director of British Telecom and a Trustee of the Vodafone Group Foundation. In January 2003, Michael was awarded a CBE in recognition of his services to crime reduction, and in 2005 was awarded the honour of an independent peerage to the House of Lords .

Mark Makepeace is Chief Executive and founder of FTSE Group. He became a Vice-President in 2011 and has been a long-time supporter of UNICEF, being awarded an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of innovative charity work by UNICEF UK in 2002.

Dame Carolyn McCall joined ITV as Chief Executive in January 2018. Prior to joining ITV, Carolyn was Chief Executive at easyJet, a UNICEF corporate partner which has raised more than £8 million since 2012. She is also a non-executive director of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and of Burberry Plc. In 2016 she was awarded a Damehood for services to aviation and became a Vice-President of UNICEF UK in February 2017.

Lord Jack McConnell was First Minister of Scotland from 2001 to 2007 and UK Special Representative for Peacebuilding 2008-2010. He is Co-Chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development; a global adviser on international development and post-conflict reconciliation; and was appointed Chancellor of the University of Stirling in 2019. He became a Vice-President for UNICEF UK in 2015.