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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.

We are 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

(Currently on Early Moments Leave)
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.


Jillian Popkins, Interim Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy, Programmes and Safeguarding

Jillian Popkins is Interim Deputy Executive Director responsible for advocacy, programme and safeguarding. Jillian has worked globally for more than three decades in the international development and humanitarian sectors for the UK government, UNICEF and NGOs as a diplomat, adviser and leader.

She has led strategy, policy and programmes, with a focus on poverty, child rights, gender equality and social inclusion to increase impact. Before joining UNICEF UK, Jillian held senior positions with ActionAid UK, UNICEF China and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), where she set up Girl Effect Ethiopia, a joint venture with Nike Foundation to empower adolescent girls. Jillian recently finished her term as a Trustee for Action on Disability and Development (ADD) International and is a Trustee for the Baring Foundation.

Mohini Raichura-Brown, Deputy Executive Director of Partnerships & Philanthropy

Mohini Raichura-Brown is our deputy executive director responsible for raising high value income for UNICEF UK, from across teams including partnerships, philanthropy and Soccer Aid. With nearly 15 years of charitable sector experience, she has specialised in forming mutually beneficial, long-term and strategic partnerships with the private sector and high net worth individuals. Mohini is an active member of the third sector community, with a keen focus on equality, diversity and inclusion as well as social justice. Mohini is also currently a Trustee on the Board of the MS Society, a voluntary role.

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.

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 25 years’ experience in business leadership roles, including on public company Boards. He is currently Senior Independent Director at Renew Holdings plc, and Non-Executive Director at SIG plc and Speedy Hire plc. 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. Shatish has significant international experience, having travelled extensively and lived in different continents. He graduated from Oxford University, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and an MBA. He joined the Board in 2020.
Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis (Vice-Chair) Sarah 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.
Usama Al-Qassab
Usama Al-Qassab Usama has held Marketing leadership positions at Disney, PlayStation, Procter & Gamble and Marks & Spencer across UK & Ireland, Europe, Middle East, Africa, India and Australia. He joined the Board in September 2020. He has been awarded the EFFIE Grand Prix for Marketing and has expertise in communication, media, innovation, growth and ecommerce. Whilst at P&G his team helped deliver the Pampers UNICEF ‘one pack = one vaccine’ partnership which has protected 100 million women and their babies around the world and save nearly one million newborn lives.
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.
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.
Image of Maggie Atkinson smiling at the camera.
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.
Image of UNICEF trustee Matt Ferguson smiling at the camera.
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.
Image of UNICEF trustee Aneil Jhumat smiling at the camera.
Aneil Jhumat Aneil works at Government Internal Audit Agency, which he joined in 2019 as Operational Director of the Health & Home Affairs directorate, as well as the strategic lead of the Impact theme of the Corporate Strategy. Prior to joining the GIAA, he was the Director of Risk Management and Internal Audit for the Church of England. Aneil was previously the Director of Corporate Audit and Inspection at Barnardo’s and earlier in his career, worked as a Finance Consultant for Capgemini Consulting. Aneil is a qualified CIPFA accountant and completed an MBA with the University of Leicester, as well as being a Chartered Public Finance Accountant. Outside of work, he is a Trustee of the Refugee Council.
Image of UNICEF trustee Zamila wearing a red blazer and smiling.
Zamila Bunglawala Zamila recently held the role of International Director at the UK Department for Education on an extended secondment, leading on bilateral and multilateral international education partnerships, mobility programs, trade, higher education and data. She is formerly Deputy Head of Unit at the Cabinet Office, Race Disparity Unit where she was the founding architect of the world-leading Ethnicity Facts and Figures website, tackling ethnic disparities and has worked with the United Nations in conflict countries in Dafur, Sudan and Kathmandu, Nepal. Zamila also holds Director/NED roles at the Heywood Foundation, Global Institute for Women’s Leadership King’s College and Concern Worldwide and is a Fellow at the London School of Economics.

To find out about our Vice Presidents please click here.