Our Founding Team

We are incredibly grateful to the founding team behind Right to Succeed, who saw the need for a more collective and systematic approach to overcoming inequity in left behind communities. 

Anthony Harte

Anthony is Senior Vice President (EMEA) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML). Anthony oversees the firm’s philanthropic programme and is part of the leadership team for Environment, Social and Governance in the EMEA region. Before joining BofAML, Anthony established the Community Affairs platform at Nomura and prior to this worked within the Philanthropy and Cultural Partnership team at Lehman Brothers.

Bethia McNeil

Bethia is Chief Executive of the Centre for Youth Impact, and has been with the Centre since its launch in September 2014. Prior to joining the team to set up the Centre, Bethia worked at the Dartington Social Research Unit, the Young Foundation, the National Youth Agency and NIACE (now the Learning and Work Institute), in a variety of policy and research roles. She has also worked in further and higher education as a teacher and trainer. Bethia is a 2012 Clore Social Fellow and a Senior Visiting Fellow at Nottingham Trent University.

Bethia joined the Right to Succeed Board because she cares deeply about measurement and understanding of impact – both of which have been at the heart of the RtS model since the beginning. Bethia has also been interested in the potential of collective impact models in the UK youth sector since visiting the States some years ago and seeing amazing work in action.

Chris White

Chris is Co-Founder of ZING – a seed funder of early stage organisations focusing on young people realising their potential, often in the transition between education and the workplace. ZING also brings about scalable web and mobile technologies to the not-for-profit sector.

David Sheldon

David is the Head of Treasury Product Control (EMEA) at Nomura. He has built finance teams covering derivative and funding products across banking. David qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Acting as a Financial mentor as part of social entrepreneur incubation programme David met Graeme. An interest in Social Impact Bonds and the ability to scale educational solutions led to his support for Right to Succeed since 2014.

Gemma Roycn Jones

Gemma has spent the last 10 years specialising in financing and strengthening the organisational resilience of charities and social enterprises.  Gemma’s first volunteer role came as a new graduate working in financial services when she became a governor of an inner-London primary school. Witnessing first-hand the transformational impact of a school working effectively with charities specialising in meeting children’s social and emotional needs led her to leave the City to work full time in the charity sector. She later developed the Young Academy education incubator programme which resulted in her meeting Graeme. Their shared passion for improving outcomes for all children and young people, not just those who by luck and geography have access to the right people and resources, led her to join Right to Succeed first as a founding trustee then as the second employee and Development Director. Gemma now works at the National Lottery Community Fund where as Head of Financial Resilience she combines a focus on funding policy and strategy in England with finding new ways for social investment to deliver positive outcomes for vulnerable people.

Graeme Duncan – Chief Executive

Graeme was the first graduate hired by Teach First in 2003, teaching for two years in a secondary school serving a highly disadvantaged community, where he led the Maths Faculty. He then joined London First, a business lobby group, as Executive Assistant to the CEO, Baroness Valentine, before focusing on education and immigration projects. From there he joined Teach First in 2008 to work on fundraising, policy and public affairs before, in 2010, becoming Director of Development at Greenhouse, a charity that uses sport to engage and develop young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. In June 2014, he stepped out to set up Right to Succeed.

Jo Owen - Chair

Jo is a co-founder of eight charities in education and re-offending including Teach First, the UK’s largest graduate recruiter. He is a top author and speaker on leadership: his books have reached over 50 editions globally and include How to Lead, Global Teams and Tribal Business School. He was a partner at Accenture; he started a bank, has been sued for $12 billion and was the best nappy salesman in Birmingham while working for P&G.

Sonia Blandford

Six years ago, Graeme Duncan asked for my advice on whether Right to Succeed would have a place in schools, if yes, would Achievement for All assist, and would I join the Board? The combination of partnership engagement, use of data, with delivery provided by a range of third sector providers was a model that I valued, AfA supported and I joined the RtS Board.

What followed was an active two years, beginning with the Blackpool Challenge (Paul Smith, the RSC and former AfA school partner invited Graeme and I to support). Thus, began the Blackpool RtS and AfA journey. AfA provided pro bono advice, recruiting the first RtS staff member, also partnering and hosting funding opportunities, contributing advice on reports. In turn, Right to Succeed engaged with Blackpool secondary schools (AfA supported and engaged with Alternative Provision and primary
schools). This close engagement meant an early retirement from the RtS Board.

Gaining credibility with schools, partners, funders, policy makers and providers is a challenge in most contexts, Blackpool was no exception. The impact of Right to Succeed in secondary schools and Achievement for All in primary schools continues to this day. Partnerships require long term reciprocal investment, RtS as an established charity is now in a position to invest in founding partners and others.

Sarah Evans Founder - Oxford Youth Lab

Sarah Evans founded Oxford Youth Lab (“OYL”) in 2016, as a social lab focused on today’s most complex problems around youth. OYL was created after 5 years of workshops and seminars with academics and practitioners working around youth in urban areas. OYL, like other social labs around the world, brought together people with local-level knowledge around challenges shared with other stakeholders. Participants in OYL stated that, with the benefit of collective knowledge and perspective, especially input from those at the coalface, they better understood problems facing youth, and together were able to generate transformative solutions with collectively decided research-led measurements that were more in line with their goals.

OYL connected thought leaders and change-makers across sectors, drawing inspiration from a global network of innovators to promote evidence-based innovation:

  •       Supporting the piloting of proposed solutions, helping to scale the ideas that work, and focusing on the factors needed for change; and
  •       Convening multiple stakeholders, helping academics and policy makers to better understand the nature of problems and build collective mind-sets to focus on possible solutions.

OYL and Right to Succeed came together in 2017 with an agreed locally-focused social lab approach, and an initial focus on specific youth-related problems around educational inclusion, as well as access to sustainable employment. The latter is a project helping key personnel in local authorities access evidence of best practice from elsewhere and understand priorities when deciding objectives for sponsored youth employment programmes.

Our Founding Team

We are incredibly grateful to the founding team behind Right to Succeed, who saw the need for a more collective and systematic approach to overcoming inequity in left behind communities. 

Anthony Harte

Anthony is Senior Vice President (EMEA) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML). Anthony oversees the firm’s philanthropic programme and is part of the leadership team for Environment, Social and Governance in the EMEA region. Before joining BofAML, Anthony established the Community Affairs platform at Nomura and prior to this worked within the Philanthropy and Cultural Partnership team at Lehman Brothers.

Bethia McNeil

Bethia is Chief Executive of the Centre for Youth Impact, and has been with the Centre since its launch in September 2014. Prior to joining the team to set up the Centre, Bethia worked at the Dartington Social Research Unit, the Young Foundation, the National Youth Agency and NIACE (now the Learning and Work Institute), in a variety of policy and research roles. She has also worked in further and higher education as a teacher and trainer. Bethia is a 2012 Clore Social Fellow and a Senior Visiting Fellow at Nottingham Trent University.

Bethia joined the Right to Succeed Board because she cares deeply about measurement and understanding of impact – both of which have been at the heart of the RtS model since the beginning. Bethia has also been interested in the potential of collective impact models in the UK youth sector since visiting the States some years ago and seeing amazing work in action.

Chris White

Chris is Co-Founder of ZING – a seed funder of early stage organisations focusing on young people realising their potential, often in the transition between education and the workplace. ZING also brings about scalable web and mobile technologies to the not-for-profit sector.

David Sheldon

David is the Head of Treasury Product Control (EMEA) at Nomura. He has built finance teams covering derivative and funding products across banking. David qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Acting as a Financial mentor as part of social entrepreneur incubation programme David met Graeme. An interest in Social Impact Bonds and the ability to scale educational solutions led to his support for Right to Succeed since 2014.

Gemma Roycn Jones

Gemma has spent the last 10 years specialising in financing and strengthening the organisational resilience of charities and social enterprises.  Gemma’s first volunteer role came as a new graduate working in financial services when she became a governor of an inner-London primary school. Witnessing first-hand the transformational impact of a school working effectively with charities specialising in meeting children’s social and emotional needs led her to leave the City to work full time in the charity sector. She later developed the Young Academy education incubator programme which resulted in her meeting Graeme. Their shared passion for improving outcomes for all children and young people, not just those who by luck and geography have access to the right people and resources, led her to join Right to Succeed first as a founding trustee then as the second employee and Development Director. Gemma now works at the National Lottery Community Fund where as Head of Financial Resilience she combines a focus on funding policy and strategy in England with finding new ways for social investment to deliver positive outcomes for vulnerable people.

Graeme Duncan – Chief Executive

Graeme was the first graduate hired by Teach First in 2003, teaching for two years in a secondary school serving a highly disadvantaged community, where he led the Maths Faculty. He then joined London First, a business lobby group, as Executive Assistant to the CEO, Baroness Valentine, before focusing on education and immigration projects. From there he joined Teach First in 2008 to work on fundraising, policy and public affairs before, in 2010, becoming Director of Development at Greenhouse, a charity that uses sport to engage and develop young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. In June 2014, he stepped out to set up Right to Succeed.

Jo Owen

Jo is a co-founder of eight charities in education and re-offending including Teach First, the UK’s largest graduate recruiter. He is a top author and speaker on leadership: his books have reached over 50 editions globally and include How to Lead, Global Teams and Tribal Business School. He was a partner at Accenture; he started a bank, has been sued for $12 billion and was the best nappy salesman in Birmingham while working for P&G.

Sonia Blandford

Six years ago, Graeme Duncan asked for my advice on whether Right to Succeed would have a place in
schools, if yes, would Achievement for All assist, and would I join the Board? The combination of
partnership engagement, use of data, with delivery provided by a range of third sector providers was a
model that I valued, AfA supported and I joined the RtS Board.
What followed was an active two years, beginning with the Blackpool Challenge (Paul Smith, the RSC
and former AfA school partner invited Graeme and I to support). Thus, began the Blackpool RtS and AfA
journey. AfA provided pro bono advice, recruiting the first RtS staff member, also partnering and
hosting funding opportunities, contributing advice on reports. In turn, Right to Succeed engaged with
Blackpool secondary schools (AfA supported and engaged with Alternative Provision and primary
schools). This close engagement meant an early retirement from the RtS Board
Gaining credibility with schools, partners, funders, policy makers and providers is a challenge in most
contexts, Blackpool was no exception. The impact of Right to Succeed in secondary schools and
Achievement for All in primary schools continues to this day. Partnerships require long term reciprocal
investment, RtS as an established charity is now in a position to invest in founding partners and others.

Sarah Evans, Founder - Oxford Youth Lab

Sarah Evans founded Oxford Youth Lab (“OYL”) in 2016, as a social lab focused on today’s most complex problems around youth. OYL was created after 5 years of workshops and seminars with academics and practitioners working around youth in urban areas. OYL, like other social labs around the world, brought together people with local-level knowledge around challenges shared with other stakeholders. Participants in OYL stated that, with the benefit of collective knowledge and perspective, especially input from those at the coalface, they better understood problems facing youth, and together were able to generate transformative solutions with collectively decided research-led measurements that were more in line with their goals.

OYL connected thought leaders and change-makers across sectors, drawing inspiration from a global network of innovators to promote evidence-based innovation:

  •       Supporting the piloting of proposed solutions, helping to scale the ideas that work, and focusing on the factors needed for change; and
  •       Convening multiple stakeholders, helping academics and policy makers to better understand the nature of problems and build collective mind-sets to focus on possible solutions.

OYL and Right to Succeed came together in 2017 with an agreed locally-focused social lab approach, and an initial focus on specific youth-related problems around educational inclusion, as well as access to sustainable employment. The latter is a project helping key personnel in local authorities access evidence of best practice from elsewhere and understand priorities when deciding objectives for sponsored youth employment programmes.

Right to Succeed Logo

“Right to Succeed’s research-informed approach is made sustainable through their commitment to harness the power of the collective.”

Sir Harvey McGrath, British business and philanthropy Executive and Right to Succeed funder

Right to Succeed
2019-03-14T14:50:34+00:00

Sir Harvey McGrath, British business and philanthropy Executive and Right to Succeed funder

Right to Succeed Logo
“Right to Succeed’s research-informed approach is made sustainable through their commitment to harness the power of the collective.”
Right to Succeed Logo

"They have challenged our thinking, provided tools to help us improve our outcomes for young people and remained consistent throughout the process to date."

Head SLT Ed Diversity

Right to Succeed
2019-03-21T20:41:08+00:00

Head SLT Ed Diversity

Right to Succeed Logo
"They have challenged our thinking, provided tools to help us improve our outcomes for young people and remained consistent throughout the process to date."
Right to Succeed Logo

"It shows me that the work that you are doing is enormously important. You are acting as filters, brokers, and relationship-builders. You are nudging, monitoring and linking the work in the region. You are generating momentum, funding, and enthusiasm."

David Weston CEO at Teacher Development Trust

Right to Succeed
2019-03-21T20:45:45+00:00

David Weston CEO at Teacher Development Trust

Right to Succeed Logo
"It shows me that the work that you are doing is enormously important. You are acting as filters, brokers, and relationship-builders. You are nudging, monitoring and linking the work in the region. You are generating momentum, funding, and enthusiasm."
Right to Succeed Logo

"After 30 years in this profession and eight years as a Head Teacher I can honestly say that I have never before worked with such professional people who have been able to challenge my thinking and inspire my practice"

Wendy Casson, Headteacher, Educational Diversity Pupil Referral Unit, Blackpool

Right to Succeed
2019-03-21T20:19:42+00:00

Wendy Casson, Headteacher, Educational Diversity Pupil Referral Unit, Blackpool

Right to Succeed Logo
"After 30 years in this profession and eight years as a Head Teacher I can honestly say that I have never before worked with such professional people who have been able to challenge my thinking and inspire my practice"
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