Chair: Lord Paul Boateng
Lord Boateng has a long-standing commitment to development in Africa. As the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative he was instrumental in Gordon Brown’s work to deliver the Africa Commission report in 2005, which included advocating increased support for Africa’s development. He was High Commissioner to South Africa from 2005-2009 and is today involved in a wide range of charitable and business organisations working to realise the potential of Africa.
Lord Boateng was born in London but spent much of his childhood in Ghana. He read law at the University of Bristol and began his career in civil rights. He was a member of UK Parliament from 1987-2005, Minister of State for the Home Office (1998-2001) and became the UK’s first black Cabinet Minister in May 2002, when he was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury (2002-2005). He became Chair of Book Aid International in June 2014.
Honorary Treasurer: Fergus Cass FCMA
Fergus Cass is a Non-Executive Director and Audit Chair of the Inner North West London sub-cluster of Primary Care Trusts. He worked with Unilever, the international consumer goods company, initially in financial management and subsequently as a general manager, in a number of countries including Kenya and Malawi. His last assignment was as head of Unilever’s business in South Eastern Europe. Following retirement, he has been a consultant to companies in Romania. Fergus is also a Trustee of Hospices of Hope, which supports palliative care in Romania and neighbouring countries. He holds degrees in economics and is a qualified accountant (FCMA).
Currently a Finance and Operations Director with Pearson Education, Ed has wide experience in the publishing sector both in the UK and abroad. A CIMA qualified accountant, Ed has not only a strong financial background, but strong strategic and business knowledge. His geographic experience covers the UK, Europe, Middle East, USA, India, sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Africa, including having worked with the Maasai Rural Training Centres in the Kajiado District of Kenya. He is also an accomplished musician and triathlete.
Currently Deputy Executive Director/Director of Programmes at INASP, Julie Brittain is a professional librarian with over 20 years experience in the management of library and information centres, 11 of which have been based in Africa. Assignments have included Department for International Development funded projects establishing a human rights library in South Sudan, and advising on the monitoring and evaluation of an internet project for the Nigeria Law School in Abuja, as well as being part of an Institute of Development Studies team evaluating the Global Libraries Toolkit for the Gates Foundation. She has also carried out library training consultancies for the ILO, UNESCO, UNFPA, and the Government of Zimbabwe. While based in Nairobi as Regional Information Coordinator for the British Council, Julie managed 19 British Council libraries in 11 African countries.
Currently a board member of Public Health England, and the Human Tissue Authority, Rosie also chairs a Research Ethics Committee and is an independent panellist for ministerial public appointments. She represents consumers on advisory committees at the Food Standards Agency and on a health research funding board. She has a background in publishing, sales and marketing, commercial rights management, and overseas book sales for Macmillan, Oxford University Press and The Times/Sunday Times newspapers and Dr Foster (health research). She has travelled and worked in Africa and Asia.
Kate Phillips OBE
Formerly Marketing and Communications Director and an Associate Director of Christian Aid, Kate Phillips retired in December 2007 after 30 years with the charity. In her time there she lead on all aspects of marketing and communications, including publishing, supporter services, advertising, websites, fundraising, campaigning and media. Kate was an award-winning journalist before joining Christian Aid and was Assistant Editor of the CWN Newspaper Group and freelanced for the Health Education Authority, the BBC and the Guardian. In a voluntary capacity she has served as a trustee or non-executive director of Minority Rights Group International, Health Unlimited and Traidcraft. She is currently Chair of the International Broadcasting Trust and a trustee of Responding to Conflict. Kate was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to disadvantaged people.
Shoba Ponnappa OBE
Having had a distinguished and varied career with the British Council, Shoba brings extensive knowledge the international development environment, as well as the education and cultural sectors. She has lived and worked in a number of African countries as well as further afield, and at different times was Director of the British Council in South Africa, Korea and Mauritius, as well as Deputy Director in Zambia and Assistant Director in Zimbabwe.