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: Ed Bowers
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.
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).
Pam is a professional librarian and has been a lifelong champion of school libraries and librarians. For 23 years she managed the London Borough of Islington’s Education Library Service and Pam currently teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses on children’s literature at London Metropolitan University. She is Chair of the Akili Trust, a small charity supporting educational development in rural Kenya and also Chair of IBBY UK (International Board on Books for Young People). Pam joined the Book Aid International Board of Trustees in September 2015.
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.
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.
Currently the International Director at Hodder Education, Robert has 30 years’ experience of the publishing industry, over 25 of which have been in international educational publishing with a particular focus on African markets. This has included stints at publishing houses in Botswana and South Africa, where he helped develop a list of titles for South Africa’s first post-apartheid school curriculum. Robert is a Member of the International Board of the UK Publishers’ Association and served a three year term as an elected councillor at Reading Borough Council between 1992 and 1995. Robert joined the Book Aid International Board of Trustees in May 2015.