Our Trustees

We are incredibly fortunate to have a strong team of trustees that have guided Right to Succeed through its start-up phase and continue to guide us as we learn and grow. Each of our trustees is an expert in their field and we are continuously grateful for the time, knowledge and experience they share with us. 

Our Patron

Dame Julia Cleverdon – Patron

Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE is a passionate and practical campaigner who has gained an international reputation for ‘connecting the unconnected’, inspiring individuals and organisations to work together for the common good.

As Vice President of Business in the Community and former Special Adviser to The Prince’s Charities she promotes collaboration among senior leaders from business, government, education and community organisations to build a more robust civil society.

Our Trustees

Suzanne McCarthy – Chair

Suzanne began her career in law, working both as a practising lawyer and lecturer at university before entering the civil service. Suzanne worked first at the Home Office, where she served as Private Secretary to two Home Secretaries, and then at HM Treasury. She moved into running Arms-Length Bodies becoming CEO of both the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Her last Executive role was as the UK’s Immigration Services Commissioner.

Currently she is Chair of Depaul UK, a homeless charity focused primarily on young people, Chair of Lepra,  which works directly with communities in Bangladesh, India, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to find, treat and rehabilitate people affected by leprosy and related tropical diseases, Chair of the Joint Audit Panel for the Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime and the Metropolitan Police Service, Chair of the Fire Standards Board and Deputy Chair of the Valuation Tribunal Service. She is a member of the Fundraising Regulator’s Board and chair of its Standards Committee, the Senior Independent Director of the Advertising Standards Authority and a member of the Board of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority. In addition, she serves as the Independent Appointed Person for the Greater London Authority reviewing allegations of misconduct made against elected officials. Her previous Board appointments include the University of London, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the General Medical Council. In addition to her law qualifications, she has a MSc in International Development and Project Management.

Alita Benson – Trustee

Alita has 30 years experience as an HR professional, recently acting as  Group Director of People at EasyJet, she is now Human Resources Director at Kokoro Global. Alita continues to provide Right to Succeed with valuable Human Resources insight and guidance the charity grows. Alita is a  Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.

Anthony Harte – Trustee

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 he worked within the Philanthropy and Cultural Partnership team at Lehman Brothers.

Charles Scott – Trustee

Charles has had 33 years as a management consultant and was a founding partner of The Berkeley Partnership, a highly regarded independent consultancy. His current activities are varied: non-executive chairman of T H White, a mechanical engineering business; a qualified Meyler Campbell business coach; chair of a small music charity for young people; and school governor of Ark Conway primary school.

Chris White – Trustee

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 – Treasurer

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.

Debi Bailey – Trustee

Debi has over 18 years experience working in schools, progressing from a subject lead to Head teacher and Executive Head as well as working as a Ofsted Inspector. Debi is currently Chief Executive of a multi academy trust in the East of Newcastle. She also leads the Teaching School and Research School based within the trust and is a National Leader of Education. Debi sits on a number of boards including the Newcastle Promise board. 

Born in Byker, in the East of Newcastle, Debi has a wealth of knowledge and experience of, and love for, the community in which she works. Debi believes that we must empower young people and communities to find their own solutions which has brought her to us at Right to Succeed.

Jo Owen - Trustee

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.

John Rowlands – Trustee

John is an experienced leader in education, holding various senior leader positions, recently Principal of an academy in Manchester, and currently an Executive Principal of a Multi Academy Trust in an area of significant social disadvantage. John is an ambassador headteacher for the Youth Sport Trust and a board member of the Manchester PE association. He brings a wealth of experience in supporting an equitable education, social justice and youth opportunity.

Julia Grant – Trustee

Julia is an experienced Non Executive Director and Trustee. She was formerly Chief Executive of Pro Bono Economics where Julia led fundraising for the charity and trebled income in her first three years. Previously Julia served as Chief Executive and Portfolio Director of Impetus the Private Equity Foundation and as Chief Executive of the National Gardens Scheme and Surrey Community Action, in both these roles, Julia developed deep expertise in building key partnerships.

Currently Julia is a non-executive member of the Department for International Development, a Trustee of the Education Development Trust, and a Forestry Commissioner. Previously Julia served on the BVCA Impact Investment Committee, the Advisory Board of Big Society Capital and was a member of the G8 Task Force on Impact Investment. 

Michael Wells – Trustee

Originally from Bristol, Michael has lived in Manchester with his family for over 25 years. Michael qualified as a Chartered Accountant in London at the beginning of his career and has worked in the profession for two law firms, as well as, for nearly two decades, at Accenture.

Michael has used his spare time to act as treasurer of a local amateur rugby club, a coach for Teach First and, more recently, has been a trustee of Depaul, a homelessness charity with a focus on youth.

Michael enjoys watching sport, playing tennis and golf and walking. Michael also likes to read, in his own words, “trashy science fiction novels.”

Advisor To The Board

Dame Joan McVittie

Dame Joan McVittie - Advisor to the Board

Joan is an experienced Education Consultant, she was awarded a Damehood in honour of her contribution to education in December 2012. Joan has 18 years’ experience as a secondary head in inner city schools in challenging areas, including Woodside High, Haringey, in 2006 which Ofsted rated as outstanding in two successive inspections. Between 2011 and 2012, Joan was the President of the Association of School and College Leaders. She was a member of the governing council of the National College, a trustee of the Youth Sports Trust, is still a trustee of the Education and Employers Task Force and is the Lay member on the Heart and Lung Transplant Board for NHS Blood and Transplant.

Our Trustees

We are made up of passionate individuals with a range of experience from the education and youth sectors, but we all have one thing in common, we want to see all children and young people in the UK getting an equal start in life.

Our Patron

Dame Julia Cleverdon - Patron

Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE is a passionate and practical campaigner who has gained an international reputation for ‘connecting the unconnected’, inspiring individuals and organisations to work together for the common good.

As Vice President of Business in the Community and former Special Adviser to The Prince’s Charities — concentrating on responsible business practice and focusing connecting the unconnected in disadvantaged communities — she promotes collaboration among senior leaders from business, government, education and community organisations to build a more robust civil society.

Our Trustees

Suzanne McCarthy - Chair

Suzanne began her career in law, working both as a practising lawyer and lecturer at university before entering the civil service. Suzanne worked first at the Home Office, where she served as Private Secretary to two Home Secretaries, and then at HM Treasury. She moved into running Arms-Length Bodies becoming CEO of both the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Her last Executive role was as the UK’s Immigration Services Commissioner.

Currently she is Chair of Depaul UK, a homeless charity focused primarily on young people, Chair of Lepra,  which works directly with communities in Bangladesh, India, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to find, treat and rehabilitate people affected by leprosy and related tropical diseases, Chair of the Joint Audit Panel for the Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime and the Metropolitan Police Service, Chair of the Fire Standards Board and Deputy Chair of the Valuation Tribunal Service. She is a member of the Fundraising Regulator’s Board and chair of its Standards Committee, the Senior Independent Director of the Advertising Standards Authority and a member of the Board of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority. In addition, she serves as the Independent Appointed Person for the Greater London Authority reviewing allegations of misconduct made against elected officials. Her previous Board appointments include the University of London, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the General Medical Council. In addition to her law qualifications, she has a MSc in International Development and Project Management.

Alita Benson – Trustee

Alita has 30 years experience as an HR professional, recently acting as  Group Director of People at EasyJet, she is now Human Resources Director at Kokoro Global. Alita continues to provide Right to Succeed with valuable Human Resources insight and guidance the charity grows. Alita is a  Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.

Anthony Harte – Trustee

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.

Charles Scott – Trustee

Charles has had 33 years as a management consultant and was a founding partner of The Berkeley Partnership, a highly regarded independent consultancy. His current activities are varied: non-executive chairman of T H White, a mechanical engineering business; a qualified Meyler Campbell business coach; chair of a small music charity for young people; and school governor of Ark Conway primary school.

Chris White – Trustee

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 – Treasurer

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.

Debi Bailey - Trustee

Debi has over 18 years experience working in schools, progressing from a subject lead to Head teacher and Executive Head as well as working as a Ofsted Inspector. Debi is currently Chief Executive of a multi academy trust in the East of Newcastle. She also leads the Teaching School and Research School based within the trust and is a National Leader of Education. Debi sits on a number of boards including the Newcastle Promise board. 

Born in Byker, in the East of Newcastle, Debi has a wealth of knowledge and experience of, and love for, the community in which she works. Debi believes that we must empower young people and communities to find their own solutions which has brought her to us at Right to Succeed.

In her spare time Debi loves taking her therapy dog Ned (a cockapoo) for walks after a day of reading with children across her trust and supporting her boys from the touchline as they both enjoy playing football.

Jo Owen - Trustee

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.

John Rowlands - Trustee

John is an experienced leader in education, holding various senior leader positions, recently Principal of an academy in Manchester, and currently an Executive Principal of a Multi Academy Trust in an area of significant social disadvantage. John is an ambassador headteacher for the Youth Sport Trust and a board member of the Manchester PE association. He brings a wealth of experience in supporting an equitable education, social justice and youth opportunity.

Julia Grant - Trustee

Julia is an experienced Non Executive Director and Trustee. She was formerly Chief Executive of Pro Bono Economics where Julia led fundraising for the charity and trebled income in her first three years. Previously Julia served as Chief Executive and Portfolio Director of Impetus the Private Equity Foundation and as Chief Executive of the National Gardens Scheme and Surrey Community Action, in both these roles, Julia developed deep expertise in building key partnerships.

Currently Julia is a non-executive member of the Department for International Development, a Trustee of the Education Development Trust, and a Forestry Commissioner. Previously Julia served on the BVCA Impact Investment Committee, the Advisory Board of Big Society Capital and was a member of the G8 Task Force on Impact Investment. 

Michael Wells - Trustee

Originally from Bristol, Michael has lived in Manchester with his family for over 25 years. Michael qualified as a Chartered Accountant in London at the beginning of his career and has worked in the profession for two law firms, as well as, for nearly two decades, at Accenture.

Michael has used his spare time to act as treasurer of a local amateur rugby club, a coach for Teach First and, more recently, has been a trustee of Depaul, a homelessness charity with a focus on youth.

Michael enjoys watching sport, playing tennis and golf and walking. Michael also likes to read, in his own words, “trashy science fiction novels.”

Advisor to the Board

Dame Joan McVittie – Advisor to the Board

Joan is an experienced Education Consultant, she was awarded a Damehood in honour of her contribution to education in December 2012. Joan has 18 years’ experience as a secondary head in inner city schools in challenging areas, including Woodside High, Haringey, in 2006 which Ofsted rated as outstanding in two successive inspections. Between 2011 and 2012, Joan was the President of the Association of School and College Leaders. She was a member of the governing council of the National College, a trustee of the Youth Sports Trust, is still a trustee of the Education and Employers Task Force and is the Lay member on the Heart and Lung Transplant Board for NHS Blood and Transplant.

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

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

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"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

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"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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