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 purpose and strategy
  • 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
  • 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

Baroness Stowell of Beeston MBE, Chair

Current work • Chair of the Charity Commission
• Non-executive Director, Impellam Group plc
• Non-executive Director, ABTA Ltd
Current unpaid work • Director, Stannary Street Management Company Ltd (a not-for-profit company)
Recent former paid work None
Current trusteeships None
Former trusteeships • Crimestoppers (ceased 22nd Feb 2018)
• The Transformation Trust (ceased 22nd Feb 2018)
• Dorneywood Charitable Trust (ceased Jul 2016)
Other (current) • Member of the House of Lords (independent)

Mike Ashley

Current work • Non-Executive Director, Barclays Bank
• Board member and Chair of Audit and Risk Committee, Cabinet Office
Current unpaid work • Member, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ Ethics Standards Committee
• Member, International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants
• Director, Dulwich Preparatory Schools Trust
• Governor and Director, Dulwich Prep Cranbrook
Recent former paid work • Chair of the Government Internal Audit Agency
• Head of Quality and Risk Management, KPMG Europe LLP (retired September 2013)
• Member, HM Treasury’s Audit Committee
Current trusteeships None
Former trusteeships None
Other (current) None

Laurie Benson

Current work • Founder, Upnexxt Ltd (consultancy firm)
• The Medical Algorithms Company
• Board member, Christie Group plc
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)
Current trusteeships See above
Former trusteeships None
Other (current) None

Eryl Besse

Current work None
Current unpaid work Advisory Board, Teach First Cymru
Recent former paid work Partner and Of Counsel, Debevoise and Plimpton LLP
Current trusteeships None
Former trusteeships None
Other (current) Avocat Honoraire, Barreau de Paris, Solicitor

Kenneth Dibble

Current work Visiting lecturer on Charity and Regulatory Law and Practice, Cass Business School
Current unpaid work None
Recent former paid work Director of Legal Services, Charity Commission
Current trusteeships None
Former trusteeships None
Other (current) None

Tony Leifer

Current work • General Counsel (part-time), Curtis Brown Group Limited
Current unpaid work None
Recent former paid work Olswang LLP, Partner
Current trusteeships • Trustee of the Corinne Burton Memorial Trust
• Trustee of The Olswang Foundation, now called CMS Future Foundation
Former trusteeships • Chairman of UK Jewish Aid and International Development
• World Jewish Relief
• Chairman of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality
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 CBE

Current work • Strategy adviser to a cyber security company (part-time salaried employee)
• Self-employed consultant on risk and security
• Self-employed writer
• Director of The Shepherds Group, a risk consultancy
Current unpaid work • Honorary Principal Research Fellow, Imperial College London
• Senior Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI)
• Member of the advisory board, Cambridge Security Initiative
Recent former paid work Director of Security for Parliament (Feb 2013 to Sept 2016)
Current trusteeships None
Former trusteeships None
Other (current) Member of the Society of Authors• Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology

Catherine Quinn

Current work • Private Secretary to HRH The Duchess of Cambridge
Current unpaid work • Non-Executive Director, The Met Office
• Director, C.E. Strathearn Ltd
• Non-Executive Director, Lord Chamberlain’s Committee, The Royal Household
Recent former paid work • Chief Operating Officer and Associate Dean, Said Business School, Oxford University (2013-2017)
• Chief Executive and Under Treasurer, The Middle Temple (2011-2013)
• Head of Grants Management, The Wellcome Trust (2007-2013)
Current trusteeships None
Former trusteeships • Governor and Board Member, The Contemporary Dance Trust (‘The Place’) (2008-2014)
• Non-Executive Director, National Memorial Arboretum Ltd
• Business School (OSBS) Ltd (2015-2018)
• Trustee, Royal British Legion (2013-2018)
Other (current) • Non-Governing Body Fellow, Wolfson College Oxford (unpaid)
• Fellow, Zoological Society London (unpaid)

Helen Stephenson CBE

Current work Chief Executive, Charity Commission    
Current unpaid work None    
Recent former paid work • Director of Early Years and Childcare, Department for Education (2014-2017)
• Director, Office for Civil Society and Government Innovation Group (2011-2014)
Current trusteeships None    
Former trusteeships • Chair, National Childbirth Trust (2015-2017)
• Member, Advisory Council, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (2014-2017)
• Board member, Big Society Trust (2013-2017)
Other None

2018 Governance framework

The commission’s governance framework sets out the roles, responsibilities and procedures for the effective and efficient conduct of its business.

Read the Commission’s governance framework.

2018 - 2023 Statement of Strategic Intent

The Commission’s purpose is a statement of what we stand for. This purpose will inform everything we do and how we approach our work.

Read our Statement of Strategic Intent and our five strategic objectives.