Our governance

The non-executive board of the Charity Commission.

The board

Whilst day-to-day and operational management is delegated to our Chief Executive, our board is ultimately responsible for all that we do. This includes:

  • our overall performance
  • our values, integrity and reputation
  • how we meet our statutory objectives and use our legal powers
  • our business direction and strategy
  • our management team’s performance, governance standards and delivery against plans

Our board pays particular attention to:

  • maximising our impact and effectiveness
  • identifying and managing risks
  • listening and responding to stakeholders
  • maintaining our independence from government and the sector we regulate
  • making sure we use public funds prudently
  • making sure we act fairly, responsibly, transparently, proportionately and ethically

See the commission’s statement of mission, regulatory approach and values.


Register of board members’ interests

William Shawcross, Chairman

Current work • Freelance Writer
Current unpaid work • None
Recent former paid work • Freelance Writer
Current trusteeships • None
Former trusteeships • Response
• Henry Jackson Society
• Anglo-Israel Association
• Wiener Library
Other (current) • None

Mike Ashley

Current work • Non-Executive Director, Barclays Bank
• Chair of the Government Internal Audit Agency
• Member, HM Treasury’s Audit Committee
Current unpaid work • Member, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ Ethics Standards Committee
• Vice Chair, European Financial Reporting Advisory Group’s Technical Expert Group
• Governor and Director, Dulwich College Preparatory School Trust
Recent former paid work • Head of Quality and Risk Management, KPMG Europe LLP
Current trusteeships • None
Former trusteeships • None
Other (current) • None

Laurie Benson

Current work • Founder, Upnexxt Ltd (consultancy firm)
• Board Member, The Medical Algorithms Company
Current unpaid work • Board of Trustees: The Royal Air Force Museum (2016 - )
• Non-Executive Director: The Medical Algorithms Company (Medal) (2013 - )
Recent former paid work • Managing Director, Bloomberg Media, Europe, Middle East and Africa (2009-2013)
• Publisher, Time and Time.com Europe, Middle East and Africa (2005-2009)
Former Trusteeship  

Eryl Besse

Current work • None
Current unpaid work • Campaign Board, Development Committee, Magdalen College School
• Advisory Board, Teach First Cymru
Recent former paid work • Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Current trusteeships • None
Former trusteeships • None
Other (current) • Avocat Honoraire, Barreau de Paris, Solicitor

Orlando Fraser QC

Current work • Barrister
Current unpaid work • Pro Bono Unit of the Bar
Recent former paid work • None
Current trusteeships • None
Former trusteeships • None
Other (current) • None

Tony Leifer

Current work • Double Negative Limited, Consultant
• Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Consultant
• General Counsel (part-time), Curtis Brown Group Limited
Current unpaid work • None
Recent former paid work • Olswang LLP, Partner
Current trusteeships • Chairman of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality
• Trustee of the Corinne Burton Memorial Trust
• Trustee of YaD
• Trustee of The Olswang Foundation
Former trusteeships • UK Jewish Aid and International Development
• World Jewish Relief
Other (current) • Member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews (Chairman of its Constitution Committee and non-voting Member of its Executive Committee)

Paul Martin

Current work • Strategy Adviser to Context Information Security
• Risk and security consultant
• Writer
Current unpaid work • Honorary Principal Research Fellow, Imperial College London
• Senior Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI)
Recent former paid work • Director of Security, UK Parliament
Former Trusteeship  
Other • Member of the Society of Authors

Catherine Quinn

Current work • Chief Operating Officer and Associate Dean, Said Business School, Oxford University (since 2013)
• Non-Executive Director, Oxford Said Business School (OSBS) Ltd
Current unpaid work • Trustee, The Royal British Legion
• Non-Executive Director, National Memorial Arboretum Ltd
Recent former paid work • Chief Executive and Under Treasurer, The Middle Temple (2011-2013)
• Head of Grants Management, The Wellcome Trust (2007-2013)
Former Trusteeship • Governor & Board Member, The Contemporary Dance Trust (‘The Place’) (2008-2014)
• Trustee, London Children’s Ballet (2010-2013)
Other • Non-Governing Body Fellow, Wolfson College Oxford (unpaid)
• Fellow, Zoological Society London (unpaid)