We value our relationships with grantholders. Our trustees are involved at every stage of an application, and we always visit or meet an applicant before a grant is made.
Sufina Ahmad MBE
Sufina became Director in January 2020. She works closely with trustees, the team and our stakeholders, including the organisations we fund, to deliver all aspects of our work effectively, especially in terms of our strategic direction, governance and grantmaking. Alongside her role, Sufina started a two year Executive MBA course in April 2020 with Warwick Business School. Before joining the Foundation, Sufina worked in corporate strategy and performance at the City of London Corporation. Sufina has previously worked for the National Lottery Community Fund and City Bridge Trust, in grantmaking, strategy, policy and stakeholder relations roles. Sufina also held service delivery and business development roles within the charity sector, working with adults with learning disabilities and older people mainly. Sufina holds trusteeships with Just for Kids Law, We Belong, The Charterhouse and the Association of Charitable Foundations. Sufina previously volunteered with the Institute of Fundraising, as Chair of their Expert Panel on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – in July 2019 she was made an honorary Fellow of the Institute. She has been a fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) since February 2020.
Head of Finance & Resources
Matthew was appointed in January 2016. He works with trustees to oversee and implement the investment strategy for the Foundation’s endowment and ensure the Foundation’s sound financial management, accounting and reporting.
Before joining the Foundation, he was Chief Financial Officer for Aggregated Micro Power and Climate Exchange plc, both companies working in the broad sector of climate change mitigation. Previously, Matthew was a Director at Schroders and Citigroup, where he specialised in raising finance for companies in the public and private capital markets.
He is a trustee of Global Village Energy Partnership, a small charity which seeks to provide energy access, chiefly in sub-Saharan Africa. He is also a governor at Sherborne School. These roles are an expression of Matthew’s interests in the environment, energy and education.
Head of Grants
Dorothée joined the Foundation at the end of 2015 as Head of Grants. Working closely with the Director and Trustees her role is to oversee the Foundation’s grant-making operation by managing the assessment and monitoring process.
From 2010 until 2015 she was part of the grants team at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, most recently as Grants Manager, with a particular focus on widening access and participation in the arts. During the previous six years she worked at the Rothschild Foundation Europe, where she looked after their Archives, Libraries and Museums Programmes. Prior to that, Dorothée worked as a freelance editor and translator of Jewish literature.
Gareth joined the Foundation in March 2020. His role assists with all aspects of the Foundation’s grant making, as well as providing administrative and strategic support to the Director, Head of Grants, as well as other colleagues and the Trustees. Before joining the Foundation, Gareth worked as Programmes Manager at UK Community Foundations and a Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at the SHINE Trust. Prior to entering the third sector he completed an MA in Art History in Canada and worked as a Gallery Manager at a commercial art gallery in London.
Philee started as a Grants Assistant with the Foundation in September 2019 via the CharityWorks Graduate Trainee scheme. She became a permanent member of the team in September 2020. Philee supports the day to day operations of the grants team, participates in special projects and contributes to the administration of the Foundation as required.
Before joining the Foundation, Philee worked as a Research Assistant in Clinical and Health Psychology. Philee is a Charityworks Fellow and a Mentor for The Kids Network.
Office Manager & Executive Assistant
Rian joined the Foundation in March 2020. Her role oversees the smooth running of the Foundation’s office, administrative processes and governance; as well as providing executive support to the Director, and organisational support to colleagues and the Trustees. Before joining the Foundation Rian worked as Office Manager at the Clore Duffield Foundation, and prior to that as Administrator at the Royal Academy of Arts. Rian has a BA in Photographic Arts and a keen interest in environmental and social action issues, volunteering with UK and international charities working in these respective areas.
Hugh became Chair of the Foundation in 2018 and has been a trustee since 2010. That same year he finished a six-year term as a member for Scotland of the UK Sustainable Development Commission. He has been a board member of Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB, and environment advisor to the UK Foreign Secretary and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. He chairs the Open Seas Trust and the Environmental Funders’ Network (of which the Foundation is a member), and has non-executive positions in the private and public sectors.
Keith was appointed to the Trustee Board in January 2018. He is a qualified accountant who has spent most of his career in investment management for large institutions. This has involved roles with organisations in the public, private and charitable sectors, including Investment Strategist with the BP Pension Fund and Chief Investment Officer with the Railways Industry Pension Schemes.
Keith now runs his own consultancy as well as acting as Chair of the Independent Audit Committee of a local authority and a Trustee of the Dunhill Medical Trust.
Geraldine was appointed to the Trustee Board in July 2016. Geraldine’s career has been in the charity sector, most recently as Chief Executive of Community Links, a social action charity tackling inequality in east London and sharing the learning nationally. She also founded a social enterprise, GAP Research, which supported residents and service users to help design and champion more effective public services.
Geraldine is a member of the National Early Action Task Force and the London Communities Commission.
Gary was appointed to the Trustee Board in July 2016 and as of January 2017, he was appointed the Chairman of the Finance and Investment Committee. Gary is a non-executive director at asset management firms Sarasin and Partners and CBO Investment Management, and has over 35 years’ experience working in the investment industry. This includes high profile positions as Chief of the Investment Unit at the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C., Chief Investment Officer of Wellcome Trust, the world's largest endowed medical research charity, and Chief Executive of British Petroleum's UK pension plan.
Gary also held non- executive positions with SVG Capital, a leading UK private equity company, and was Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. He served on the Investment Committees of the University of Cambridge Endowment (2002-6) and The Kings Fund (2006-2009).
Peter joined the Board in 2014, following a career in the arts and cultural sector spanning theatre, dance, arts management and education.
His former roles include Director-General of The English Speaking Union, Chief Executive of The Scottish Ballet, Chairman of the Centre for Contemporary Arts and Dean of the Arts Educational Schools, London and leading the development of Shakespeare’s Globe as Chief Executive.
Peter is currently Chairman of the University of Westminster, Chairman of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Chairman of the Centre for Magic Arts, Honorary President of Tavaziva Dance Company, and a Trustee of the Noel Coward Foundation. He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and an Honorary Fellow of South Bank University.
Tufyal Choudhury joined the Board in May 2018. He is an Assistant Professor of Law at Durham University, a Senior Associate of the Canadian Network of Researchers on Terrorism, Security and Society and a fellow of the German Marshall Fund Trans-Atlantic Forum on Migration and Integration. His research focuses on human rights, integration and counter terrorism law and policy. He is also a trustee of the Democratic Audit and Director of MFest, Festival of Muslim Cultures and Ideas.
Annika was appointed to the Trustee Board in June 2018. A social entrepreneur, she is co-founder of CAST, a charity that works to build a more resilient and responsive social sector using digital technology. Prior to CAST, Annika was CEO of Nominet Trust, which, under her leadership, invested more than £40m in early-stage ventures that deploy technology for social innovation. Previous roles include founding Generation Global, which brings together young people from different cultures to learn from one another, and CEO of Futurelab, which uses digital means to open up education to some of the most disadvantaged young people around the world.
Annika is a Trustee of Access Foundation and a Non-Executive Director of Lightful. She was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours for services to social innovation and digital technology.
Becca joined the board in September 2018. She brings experience of working in the charity sector in policy, campaigns and public affairs. In her spare time, she is co-director of the award-winning IC Change campaign, which aims to end violence against women. She has a strong interest in enabling people with lived-experience to participate in and lead social change, developed through her employment, academic interests and personal experience as a disabled woman. Becca’s work has been recognised through the Gender Campaigner of the Year award from Sheila McKechnie Foundation, acknowledgment by President Obama and inclusion on the University of London’s 150 ‘Leading Women’ list.
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The Foundation was set up as a generalist grantmaking trust in 1971. We continue with the broad philanthropic interests of our benefactor Sir John Ellerman, while reflecting changing times.Find out more
Our values reflect how we work. We are a responsive funder, listening and responding to what applicants judge is important.Find out more
The Foundation was created from the wealth and generosity of a father and son. The first Sir John Ellerman was a trained accountant who went on to become the richest man in Britain.Find out more
We exist to make grants to charities and wish to do so for the long term. Investing our endowment provides us with greater capacity to make grants to charities into the future.Find out more