Meet our Executive team, Board of Trustees and the President of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
David Ramsden, Chief Executive
David Ramsden joined the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in 2016. He worked at Ernst & Young before joining the charity sector, where he has been for almost 20 years.
After working at the British Red Cross, he has spent the last 10 years as Chief Executive of Children in Need, during which time he oversaw record levels of income and impact for children and young people across the UK.
Dr Janet Allen, Director of Strategic Innovation
Dr Allen has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, having started her career as a clinician before moving into biomedical and molecular research in both academic and commercial environments.
A snapshot of the positions she has held include:
- 2008-2011, Director of Research for Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
- 2005-2008, Director of the Conway Institute for Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin
- 2001-2005, Director of Discovery Biology, Inpharmatic Ltd
- 1998-2001, Director of Cell and Molecular Biology, Parke Davis Global Research & Development, Pfizer, France
Dr Keith Brownlee, Director of Policy, Programmes & Support
Keith joined as the Trust’s first ever Director of Impact in 2015, a role which subsequently became the Director of Policy, Programme & Support in 2018. As well as over 30 years of experience caring for children and families with cystic fibrosis, Keith has a special research interest in respiratory infections and management of airway clearance in people with cystic fibrosis. He also has a long-term interest in medical education and is a published author on paediatrics.
Keith’s previous experience includes the role of Consultant Paediatrician for children with respiratory conditions at Leeds Teaching Hospital. He currently works with Leeds Medical School, Leeds West CCG and is Chair of Leeds West CCG Asthma Group.
Rebecca Cosgriff, Director of Data and Quality Improvement
Rebecca Cosgriff joined the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in summer 2014 as the UK Cystic Fibrosis Registry Lead, and became Director of Data and Quality Improvement in September 2018. Rebecca’s previous experience includes clinical audit in NHS mental health, neurology and ophthalmology. From working within NHS Trusts Rebecca moved to University College London, where she managed both the National Adult and Congenital Heart Surgery Registries. Rebecca has also worked with the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership to publish, for the first time, consultant-level outcomes derived from 13 national clinical audits and registries across a range of specialties, including orthopaedics, bariatrics and endocrinology.
Alison Hopkinson, Interim Director of Finance and Resources
Alison has recently joined the Trust as Interim Director of Resources. She joins us from Oxfam GB where she was the Finance Director. She qualified as an accountant with PWC.
Before joining the charity sector she spent many years in the commercial sector including 12 years in various finance director roles with Dell Computers.
Dr Anne Shinkwin, Director of Fundraising
Anne has a wealth of experience working in senior fundraising roles within the charity sector over the last 15 years, including at Ambitious about Autism, the British Red Cross, UNICEF UK and Anthony Nolan. She has a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and has worked for Cancer Research UK. Before joining the charity sector, Anne worked as a project manager for Kimberly-Clark in Europe and the United States. Anne is also a Trustee of the MS Society.
The diverse members of the Board combine their experiences and expertise to guide the Chief Executive, who works with the Senior Management Team to achieve the charity's vision.
Our current Trustees are:
Richard Hunt CBE, Chair of Trustees
Richard was appointed Chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in July 2018, and was previously Chair of the London Ambulance Service from 2009–2016.
Richard is an executive coach and runs leadership development programmes, and is also currently Commanding Officer of the Engineer and Logistic Staff Corps RE(V), a group of senior industry advisors to the Ministry of Defence, whose role dates back more than 150 years. Richard’s private sector commercial background includes working as Chief Executive of Exel Europe (now DHL) and Chief Executive of the Aviation Division of Go Ahead Plc. A key figure in creating the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Richard served as UK Chairman and International President, and was made an International Honorary Fellow in 2010.
Richard trained as a British Airways pilot before settling on a commercial career, and was appointed CBE in 2004 for services to Logistics and Transport.
Joanna is the Policy and Public Affairs Manager at NSPCC Scotland, where she has worked since 2011. Prior to that Joanna held policy and parliamentary roles at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and the National Autistic Society. Joanna has a degree in Scots Law, a diploma in Spanish law from the University of Deusto, Bilbao, and a post-graduate certificate in Public Policy. She is married with four young children, two of whom have cystic fibrosis.
Anne is a commercial and strategic lawyer in the real estate sector, having been a partner at global law firm Linklaters LLP and more recently General Counsel & Director of Corporate Services at Capital & Counties Properties PLC, a property investment company in the FTSE250. She was a non executive director of the Learning Trust, a not for profit company responsible for the provision of education in the London Borough of Hackney until 2012. Anne’s sister, Janet, lived with cystic fibrosis until 1992.
Sean Collins had a forty-year career with the accountancy firm KPMG, both in the UK and internationally, acquiring deep and extensive experience of finance, audit and corporate governance. He is a Crown Representative at HM Government Cabinet Office, where he helps oversee efficient procurement of resources. He is also a Non-Executive Director at Jersey Telecom as well as being a member of the Conduct Committee at the Financial Reporting Council, which regulates the UK accountancy profession. For many years he has been a Governor and Chairman at More House School in Farnham, a school specialising in the education of boys with learning difficulties, and also spent ten years as an advisor to Oak Lodge, a school for the profoundly deaf. He is also a trustee of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, an educational charity, and has previously been Deputy Chairman of the Farnham Branch of Arthritis Research UK. He has a grandson who was diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis.
Patient wellbeing and clear communication have always been Ffyona’s passion. She originally trained as a nurse in the NHS, bringing her patient insight with her when she joined the respiratory clinical development team at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). During her time at GSK, Ffyona held a variety of senior roles over a 10 year period.
Ffyona feels strongly that everyone should have access to understandable information about their condition and the medications they are taking. She has instilled this passion for patient education in the medical communications agency she founded in 2007. Ffyona has gained the respect of numerous clients she has worked with across the globe, and also the respect of her team, a large part because of her internal focus and commitment to corporate social responsibility. Over the last few years, the team have fund-raised for a variety of charities including the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Ffyona has both friends and family members living with cystic fibrosis and her desire to raise awareness about the condition stems from observing the real-life impact the condition has on people close to her.
Richard is a specialist in medical communication and policy. He is currently Director of Communications at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, where he set up the department and established new functions in policy, public affairs and public engagement. He sits on several boards within the ICR, including the leadership team for The London Cancer Hub – a project to create a global centre for cancer innovation. Richard previously worked in journalism, including as Editor of the medical magazine Pulse, and earlier led the science media team at Cancer Research UK. He began his career in the laboratory doing research on cancer, before training in science communication. During time as a freelance writer and policy analyst, he worked for The Lancet, the World Health Organization and BBC Focus Magazine.
Professor Andrew Jones
Prof Andrew Jones has been a Consultant Physician at the Manchester Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre since 2002 and holds an Honorary Clinical Chair at the University of Manchester. He has published over 100 papers. Prof Jones chaired the UK Cystic Fibrosis Trust Infection Control Group that developed national guidelines for control of B. cepacia complex, P. aeruginosa, MRSA and M. abscessus. He is a member of the UK Cystic Fibrosis Trust Microbiology Standards Working Group, and was previously a member of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust Research Advisory Committee 2004-2013, then a member of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust Research Strategy Implementation Board 2013-2014.
Louise is a Technical Team Manager at Legal & General, and brings first-hand experience of life with cystic fibrosis, and a determination to make her “time on earth worthwhile” to her role, which she joined in March 2015.
Michelle qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and has since practiced exclusively in the area of employment law. After several years of working for regional and commercial law firms, Michelle set up her own specialist law firm and headed up its Employment Department, a role which she found to be hard work but rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable. In 2018 Michelle joined the professional support team at Richard Nelson LLP, a national law firm, supporting professionals and professional organisations with regulatory matters and issues involving employment law.
Michelle was a Trustee of Doncaster Healthwatch until 2017 and was one of the team members who successfully converted the organisation into a Community Interest Company that tendered for and won the continuation of the local authority contract.
When not working Michelle enjoys spending her time with her family and her very spirited six-year-old daughter.
As a person with CF Michelle has always relied on the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as a source of reliable information and is delighted to be in a position to contribute.
Professor Rosalind Smyth CBE
Rosalind Smyth is Director of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, and Honorary Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician and non-executive director of Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She graduated in medicine from Clare College, Cambridge and Westminster Medical School and trained in paediatrics in London, Cambridge and Liverpool. Until September 2012, she was Professor of Paediatric Medicine at the University of Liverpool and was Director of the NIHR Medicines for Children Research Network, which supported all clinical research with children in England, from 2005-2012. She was a member of the UK MHRA’s Commission on Human Medicines Committee 2009-13 and chaired its Paediatric Medicines Expert Advisory Committee (2002-13). Rosalind’s research interests began in the 1980s as a Cystic Fibrosis Research Fellow and include cystic fibrosis and respiratory virus infections. She has been responsible for the clinical care of cystic fibrosis patients for over 30 years.
Rosalind is a fellow and recent council member of the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) and through the Academy has a number of national roles in academic training and careers. She is a member of AMS Mentorship Advisory Committee since 2015, a judge and organiser at AMS Spring Meeting since 2014 and has represented the Academy on NIHR Dean’s Advisory Committee since 2010. She is Chair of the MRC Clinical Training and Careers Committee. She was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2015 for services to the regulation of medicines for children.
David has over 25 years’ experience in both large and small financial services organisations with a particular emphasis on customer acquisition and database management. His corporate background includes working at a senior level in public and privately backed businesses. He has also led companies both as CEO and as a board director. Latterly David headed the marketing function of webuyanycar.com and is recognised as an expert in digital marketing and advises businesses on cost effective customer acquisition and marketing in the digital space. David is chair of the remuneration and nomination committee.
Michael joined the Board in March 2015, bringing his experience of living with cystic fibrosis. A fundraiser who has worked in the charity sector for over 7 years with a focus on securing big gifts from high net worth individuals. He currently works for the UK's biggest children's charity Barnardo's as a Senior Philanthropy manager. Michael has taken on a number of challenges to raise funds for the Trust including running the London Marathon, skydiving and twice playing in the Nicky Whisper Challenge football match and in his life-time has raised close to £100,000 to support our work.
Dr Jim Littlewood (OBE) qualified in medicine at Leeds University in 1956, and has devoted his professional time entirely to cystic fibrosis since 1994. He was a member of the Research and Medical Advisory Committee from 1983 to 1988, and accepted an invitation to chair it from April 1995. In July 2003 Dr Littlewood was appointed Chairman of the Trust, retiring in 2011.
He was appointed Honorary President in December 2011. A fount of knowledge about cystic fibrosis, Jim is an invaluable resource and a great advocate and representative for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.