Our voluntary Board of Trustees meets five times per year, with executive staff present.
Kate took on the role of Chair in February 2023, having joined Alzheimer’s Research UK as a Trustee and Chair Designate in October 2022.
Kate is currently Chairwoman of IVC Evidensia, Europe’s leading veterinary care group; Chairwoman of Moonpig Group, the online cards and gifts retailer, Chairwoman of ParquesReunidos, one of the world’s leading theme park companies, and also chairwoman of Beijer Ref, a leading distributor of air conditioning and refrigeration parts. Kate also sits on the Board of Zooplus, a German eCommerce business.
Kate began her retail career with Tesco before working with some of the UK’s best-known companies, including HomeprideFoods, Coca-Cola Schweppes and Dixons Stores Group. She then joined Homebase, ultimately in the role of managing director, and in 2000 was made managing director of Argos. Kate joined WH Smith as Chief Executive Officer in 2003. Kate joined SSP in 2013 floating it on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. SSP won the best new PLC in 2015 and its share price has well over trebled since flotation. Kate stepped down from SSP in June 2019.
She was ranked number 21 in the Financial Times’ ‘Europe’s Top 25 Women in Business’ in 2006, and in the same year Fortune listed her as one of the 50 most powerful women in business.
Kate graduated from the University of Bradford in 1986 with a BSc in Business Management, received an honorary doctorate from the University in 2007 and was appointed Chancellor in 2015 until 2021.
Kate says: “I take on roles where I can make a difference and I can’t imagine making a bigger difference to people’s lives than helping to find cures for dementia. So, it’s an honour to become the next Chair of Alzheimer's Research UK.
My mum was a force of nature, the matriarch of our family - but dementia took all of that away from her and from us. Not only does dementia devastate lives, but it is also destroying our economy. By 2030, dementia will cost the UK economy £30 billion a year – making it the most expensive health condition in the UK. Just looking at the maths alone, we simply cannot continue down this path. That’s why I’m backing Alzheimer's Research UK.”
Mike has been a Trustee since 2014 and was appointed Deputy Chairman in 2016, bringing a wealth of experience from his many years working in the advertising industry. He sits on both the Nominations and Governance Sub Committee and the Investment Sub Committee at ARUK.
Mike started out at Saatchi & Saatchi in 1984 and has worked at Omnicom Group for the last 25 years, where he has held a variety of roles.
He became CEO of PHD Worldwide in 2007, a position he held for 12 years. Today PHD is one of the world’s fastest growing and most awarded media agencies. In 2019 Mike was appointed Group CEO of Omnicom Media Group across EMEA and Asia Pacific in 2019 and early in 2022 he became vice Chairman of Omnicom Europe.
Mike says: “Dementia has touched my family like many others. I am extremely passionate about creating hope for sufferers both current and future.”
Nick is our Treasurer and was appointed as a Trustee in 2015.
After beginning his career in the oil industry, Nick spent many years in the City of London where he was employed as an equity investment analyst specialising in valuing assets and companies in the oil and gas sector. He now works as a consultant both to the energy and to the investment industries, and as a financial trainer.
Nick chairs the Investment Sub Committee of the Board and works closely with the Executive Director of Finance and Operations. He is also a member of the Board of EDoN, the Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases initiative, representing the interests of ARUK in promoting the success of that initiative.
Nick says: “Research into the causes and prevention of dementias is essential if we are to alleviate or cure these terrible conditions. My background is in finance, and I felt that I could best help Alzheimer’s Research UK with its strategic financial control and with its investment asset allocation. Both are proving to be hugely interesting and rewarding.”
Giles joined the Board of Trustees in April 2017. He was formerly a Partner and head of the Corporate Group at the law firm Simmons & Simmons and is currently a Partner and head of the Technology M&A Group at Eversheds Sutherland, the international commercial law firm.
Giles sits on the Audit and Risk Sub Committee and the Legacy Sub Committee of the board, bringing valuable legal expertise. He is also a member of the Board of EDoN, the Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases initiative, representing the interests of ARUK in promoting the success of that initiative.
Giles says: “Dementia touches the lives of so many of us, and yet until recently lagged significantly behind many other medical conditions in terms of public understanding and support, so I became a trustee of Alzheimer’s Research UK in the hope that I could play some small part in changing that situation and by so doing help in the search for an end to the devastating impact of dementia."
Dr Rupert Evenett
Dr Rupert Evenett is the chair of the Audit and Risk Sub Committee, which has oversight of all areas of financial audit, risk and compliance. He joined as a Trustee in 2014 and brings vast experience from investment and finance roles in the private and public sectors, as well as social investment and wide board experience in the charity and educational sectors. He is also a chartered accountant.He plays a key role at Alzheimer’s Research UK working with different departments, to ensure there is strong oversight of all areas of risk and compliance.
Rupert says: “Science and research have achieved so much in health that they are formidable creators of hope. I can’t think of a better contribution to human wellbeing than supporting their fight against dementia”.
Prof Rob Howard
Rob says: “Both my grandfather, Jack, and my step-father, Harold, suffered with Alzheimer’s disease and in both cases the experience for our family was protracted, sad and painful. Our failure to translate the astonishing advances that I have seen in Neuroscience during my working lifetime into treatments that can have meaningful impact on the lives of the people with dementia and their families that I work with just shows what a pivotal point we have reached in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. This is what drives me and my colleagues in our research and is why I wanted to support Alzheimer’s Research UK in their mission to see life-changing treatments in the next decade”.
Dr Ruth McKernan CBE
Ruth says: ‘"I am joining Alzheimer’s Research UK because we all know someone who has suffered from the disease. I just want to bring what I have to help".
Caroline van den Brul MBE
Caroline became a supporter of the work of Alzheimer’s Research UK during the time her husband and mother were both living with Alzheimer’s disease; she became a Trustee in 2017. She had a distinguished 30-year career with the BBC as a programme maker (credits include Horizon, Tomorrow’s World Hospital Watch and the Ri Christmas Lectures) and as the creativity leader for the implementation of an ambitious culture-change programme. Currently she coaches scientists in communication skills.
Caroline is Chair of our Inspire Fund Review Committee and also sits on the Audit and Risk Committee.
Caroline says: "Many previously deadly diseases are no longer life limiting, or even significantly life-changing. Alzheimer’s disease is not one of them - yet. I want that to change. It is too late for my mother and my husband who both faded and then died with Alzheimer’s but it is not too late for some of those they loved. I am a Trustee of Alzheimer’s Research UK because of them, and because I believe the only way to make Alzheimer’s a treatable condition is to fund the essential research.”
Shirley Cramer CBE
Shirley became a Trustee in 2014, after having been Interim Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2012 for six months. She sits on our Nominations and Governance Committee and our Scientific Advisory Board, playing a key role in driving Alzheimer’s Research UK strategy and excellence. She is formerly Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health and is an experienced voluntary sector leader in both the UK and the USA. She is a Commissioner of the UK Food, Farming and Countryside Commission and Chair of the Rare Dementia Support Advisory Board at University College London.
Shirley says: "When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, I began to realise that dementia research was way behind other diseases like cancer. I felt there needed to be more of an urgency to prioritise dementia research, which is why I’m passionate about what Alzheimer’s Research UK does. I know there will be solutions in the future, such as new treatments and earlier diagnosis, and I’m really proud to be a part of it."
Christopher became a Trustee in 2015 and brings a wealth of expertise from the financial sector. He sits on the Investment Committee and also works closely with the philanthropy team around potential opportunities.
Since 2012 he has been a Senior Advisor to Morgan Stanley and prior to that served in a number of capacities for the company, including Vice Chairman – Institutional Securities, Head of Global Capital Markets and a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. He joined Morgan Stanley in 2006 from CQS, a hedge fund group, where he served as Chairman. He previously spent 19 years at Credit Suisse in a wide range of senior investment banking and executive positions. Christopher is Chaiman of Artorius Wealth Management Limited.
Chris says “I was attracted to the opportunity of an association with Alzheimer’s Research UK because of family and friends who have been afflicted with dementia. I want to help in any small way I can to advance the fight against dementia through the work of Alzheimer’s Research UK.”
Amanda became a Trustee of Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2021. She sits on the Audit and Risk Sub Committee.
She has held some of the most high-profile leadership roles in the BBC including Editor of the TV One and Six O Clock News, Deputy Editor, Newsnight and Bureau Chief in Washington DC.
As Project Executive London 2012 she was involved in developing some of the BBC’s key external partnerships around the London 2012 Olympics including with The London Organising Committee and the London Mayor’s office. She sat on the BBC’s 2012 Steering Group, helping to formulate the BBC's vision, editorial strategy and plans to cover all the major 2012 events including the Olympic Torch Relay, the Cultural Olympiad and the Olympic Games.
Amanda’s last job at the BBC was as Head of Visual and Data Journalism bringing together journalists, designers and developers to produce high impact, highly visual and personalised news across all domestic and global outlets on TV, social media and the web.
Amanda has extensive board experience in the charitable sector and is currently a Trustee at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, having spent six years on the board of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. She was also a board member of the Global Editors Network and on the Advisory Board for a major piece of work on inequality at the Nuffield Foundation. She also chairs a volunteer-led group called Newcomers and Visiting Scholars at Cambridge University.
Amanda says “My family has been touched by dementia as have so many in this country and the world. Both my parents donated their brains to Alzheimer’s research and I too wanted to contribute to the cause of finding treatments and ultimately a cure for Dementia. I’m extremely proud to have become a Trustee at Alzheimer’s Research UK.”
Divya Chadha Manek OBE
Divya became a Trustee of Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2021. She sits on the Nominations and Governance Sub Committee.
Divya is currently Senior VP, Clinical Development at Eyebio, an opthalmology biotech company. In this role, Divya is responsible for the company’s clinical development strategy and execution.
Prior to this, Divya held various roles at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) having joined in 2007 most recently serving as the Clinical Research Network’s Director of Business Development and Marketing, leading a team responsible for increasing investment into UK health and social care research from both non-commercial and commercial research sponsors.
In 2020, Divya was seconded to the UK Vaccines Taskforce (VTF) which was set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to lead the UK’s search for a safe and effective vaccine. She was responsible for supporting global pharmaceutical companies to rapidly generate the evidence required for marketing authorisation of COVID-19 vaccines and played a pivotal role in conceptualising and developing the NHS Vaccine Research Registry.
Divya holds a degree in Psychology, Royal Holloway and following this, was awarded an India academic scholarship to study a Masters of Clinical Research at University of Birmingham.
“One of the greatest challenges we face as society is Dementia. Having started my career in clinical research, recruiting people with dementia and their families into studies, I have had first-hand experience of the devastation dementia causes families. Research is the way to fight this challenge. I am passionate about getting new treatments faster to patients through innovative research. ARUK is at the forefront of supporting innovative research and advancing science in dementia- I want to bring my skills and expertise to help”