Executive team

  1. Senior management team

  2. Caroline Mason CBE, Chief Executive

    Before joining Esmée, Caroline was Chief Operating Officer at Big Society Capital and preceding that, Charity Bank. Caroline was also the co-founder of Investing for Good, a social investment advisory firm and one of the first Community Interest Companies. Before joining the social sector, Caroline had an eighteen-year track record of creative and innovative product development in the financial services sector. With Reuters, she managed the global development of real-time news and television services and then pioneered the introduction of web technology products. She also had her own consulting company, working with several financial institutions to develop new business and products including an electronic brokering service and a global wealth management business for a private bank. Caroline is a Board Member of EVPA (European Venture Philanthropy Association). She is also a trustee of SafeLives, Impetus-PEF, and is on the advisory board of Big Society Capital.

  3. James Wragg, Director of Operations

    James manages the operation of the Foundation’s support services including the administration of governance, grant-making systems, finance, information systems, human resources, facilities, communications, planning and policy.  He is deputy to the Chief Executive. James is Chair of a charity working with children and families in North East London, a school governor, and is also a Trustee of the Association of Charitable Foundations. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2002, James worked for the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales.

  4. John Mulligan, Director of Funding Development

    Specialist area:  social change (lead)
    John is responsible for funder collaborations, overseeing development of the future funding pipeline and working with the team to ensure a consistently high standard of funding. John has worked substantially within the voluntary sector, plus additionally two years at a commercial consultancy. He was originally a lawyer with Cardiff Law Centre before moving to Advice UK where he managed the London regional development team and oversaw policy in the field of publicly funded advice work. 

  5. Sharon Shea, Director of Funding

    Specialist area:  social change
    Country/regional responsibility: South East
    Sharon is responsible for the management of our existing portfolio of grants and social investments.  This includes new ways of grant management, productivity, customer care, consistency and quality and designing skills and development plans to achieve our funding strategy. Sharon's career has been spent mostly in the charitable sector and prior to joining the Foundation in 1998, she worked for Tudor Trust.  Sharon is also a Justice of the Peace.

  6. Marie-Mathilde Suberbère, Finance Director

    Marie-Mathilde is responsible for the oversight and day-to-day management of the Foundation’s finance function. Before joining the Foundation in 2012, Marie-Math worked in various financial management roles in industry and banking, before joining Panos London as Director of Finance and Resources.

  7. Funding team

    The Funding team has a mixed portfolio of work in addition to the specialist areas listed below, it is therefore usual for the range of their work to span our areas of interest for funding. Each grants manager also takes a lead on one or more UK country or English region, with applications from organisations based in London and Northern Ireland allocated across the team. All grant and social investment applications should be made through our application process see apply for funding. Please do not send initial applications direct to staff members.

  8. Hannah Alcock, Grants Manager

    Specialist area: social change
    Country/regional responsibility: Wales
    Prior to joining the foundation in 2015 Hannah worked at BBC Children in Need for four years, leading grant management across the West Midlands. Before this she worked at Oxfam, with a focus on supporting women and girls in developing countries.

  9. Laura Bowman, Grants Manager

    Specialist area: environment
    Country/regional responsibility: Scotland and South  West
    Prior to joining the Foundation in 2015, Laura was a Grants Manager for ten years at the Tudor Trust. Before that she managed Westminster City Council's Voluntary Sector Unit. Laura also co-convenes ACF’s Asylum Refugee and Migration Network.

  10. Jenny Dadd, Grants Manager

    Specialist area: environment (lead), built heritage
    Country/regional responsibility: Yorkshire and the Humber
    Prior to joining the Foundation in 2008, Jenny worked in Yorkshire and the South East in a variety of heritage and grant-making roles in the third and public sectors.

  11. Annabel Durling, Grants Manager

    Specialist area:  social change, Female Genital Mutilation Initiative
    Country/regional responsibility: Eastern
    Before joining the Foundation in 2006, Annabel held a variety of roles in the third and public sectors. She is a member of the government-led FGM forum group as well as the Association of Charitable Foundations network groups covering domestic abuse, asylum, refugee and migration issues and gypsy and traveller communities.

  12. Gillian Goode, Grants Manager

    Specialist area: arts and heritage
    Country/regional: East Midlands and Scotland
    Gillian joined the Foundation in 2015 and previously held grant-making roles at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund.

  13. Catherine Hillis, Grants Manager

    Specialist area: children and young people (lead)
    Country/regional responsibility: Wales and South West
    Prior to joining the Foundation in 2015, Catherine worked for The Communication Trust, a consortium of not-for-profit organisations working to support children and young people’s communication skills.  Before that, Catherine worked for London Councils, RNIB and for a consultancy supporting arts and cultural organisations. Catherine has taught literacy in an FE college and is a school governor in Tottenham.

  14. Alison Holdom, Grants Manager

    Specialist area: arts and heritage (lead), the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund
    Prior to joining the Foundation in 2001, Alison had a variety of roles in the theatre sector.

  15. Laura Lines, Grants Manager

    Specialist area: social change
    Country/regional responsibility: North East
    Laura joined the Foundation in 2007 as Administrator - Communications and Resources becoming Grants and Communications Officer in 2014 and Grants Manager in 2016.  Prior to joining the Foundation Laura worked in fundraising as Project Manager for the Aplastic Anaemia Trust.

  16. Trupti Patel, Social Investment Fund Manager

    Trupti is currently on maternity leave.

    Specialist area: social investment
    Trupti leads on the Finance Fund, the Foundation’s social investment fund. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2013, Trupti worked at Social Finance, an intermediary that provides a range of financial advisory services to help build the social investment market.

  17. Jo Rideal, Grants Manager

    Specialist area:  education and learning
    Country/regional responsibility: North West
    Prior to starting work at the Foundation in 2002, Jo worked in the medical grant-making sector, having previously held posts at RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) and worked as a teacher and researcher both in London and abroad.

  18. Laurence Scott, Grants Manager

    Specialist area: social change, Community Land Trusts and food
    Country/regional responsibility: West Midlands Laurence, who has been at the Foundation since 2001, has a background in working with people with learning difficulties and he maintains a strong interest in disability issues.

  19. Jules Tompkins, Social Investment Manager

    Specialist area: social investment
    Country/regional responsibility: Northern Ireland and South West
    Before joining the Foundation in 2015 Jules worked for the British Red Cross within UK services development. Prior to that she gained a range of experience in grant-making and social investment with a variety of national funding organisations.

  20. Christine Chang, Social Investment Fund Manager

    Specialist area: social investment
    Christine leads on the Foundation’s social investment fund. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2016, Christine worked at Big Society Capital, an independent financial institution with a social mission, set up to help grow social investment in the UK.

  21. Finance and investment team

  22. Adam Andrews, Finance Manager

    Adam is responsible for the financial management, audit and legal reporting.  Before joining the Foundation, Adam spent more than five years working in the hedge fund administration industry, and prior to that, four years in public accounting in his native Canada.

  23. Matthew Cox, Investment Director

    Matt joined in 2013 and is responsible for overseeing the performance of the Foundation’s investment portfolio.  His previous experience includes ten years as an analyst and portfolio manager in the investment management industry and three years in the private banking sector managing a variety of client portfolios.

  24. Bharat Naygandhi, Finance Assistant

    Bharat supports the Foundation’s finance and investment function. Before joining in 2005, he worked in the educational and commercial sectors.

  25. Nishat Miah, Investment Officer

    Nishat is responsible for the smooth running of the Foundation's investment due diligence, execution and performance reporting. Before joining the Foundation, Nishat spent three and a half years at PwC's Insurance and Investment Management practice where she specialised in the audits of real estate and private equity clients, and worked on non-audit related assurance engagements.

  26. Resources team

  27. Gina Crane, Communications and Learning Manager

    Gina leads on our approach to impact: how we understand the difference we make as a Foundation and through those we fund, and how we learn from that understanding to improve our practice. Gina also works on ‘Grants Plus’ support and the Foundation’s communications and social media.
    Before joining the Foundation in 2007 Gina worked as a fundraiser, PA and Office Manager in the corporate and public sectors and was alumni officer at a Cambridge college.

  28. Kate Freeman, Resources Officer

    Kate provides a range of resources and grant-making support to the Foundation. She works closely with the Director of Operations on governance administration and supports the Funding Directors. She is also the lead on various internal projects. Before joining the Foundation in 2017, Kate worked in research, monitoring and evaluation in the New Zealand public sector and completed a Master of Arts in Indigenous Studies.

  29. Marette Kroonenberg, Grants and Administration Manager

    Marette oversees the funding systems, process and data across the Foundation. She administers the Foundation’s applications and small applications committees and assesses and manages a portfolio of grants.
    Specialist area: social change
    Country/regional responsibility: North East
    Prior to joining the Foundation in 2010, Marette worked at the Dutch Victim Support Foundation as a Policy and Grants Officer.

  30. Hannah Luz, Funding Administrator

    Hannah provides administrative support and contact to the Foundation's grantees working closely with the Grants and Administration Manager. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2016, Hannah was a fundraiser and impact officer for Leap Confronting Conflict. Hannah moved to the third sector after completing a Masters Degree in Social Research in 2012.                                                            

  31. Matt Mayer, ICT and Facilities Officer

    Matt leads on the provision of the Foundation’s information and technology systems including maintenance, management and future strategy as well as dealing with issues relating to the management of the Foundation’s office. Prior to joining Esmée Fairbairn, Matt worked in hotel management for hotel groups such as Mandarin Oriental, Hilton and Rocco Forte Hotels. In 2007 Matt decided to leave the corporate sector for the charity sector, started work with Esmée Fairbairn and during this time completed a Masters in Social and Political Theory.

  32. Jennie Pfeffer, PA to Chief Executive

    Jennie joined the Foundation in 2012. Prior to this she worked in various PA roles in the corporate sector, during which time she was a committee member and Trustee for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Children’s Miracle Foundation.

  33. Tereasa Robinson, Administrator - Reception

    Tereasa is the Foundation’s Receptionist, dealing with guests and all initial contact whether it be letter, phone, email or in person. Tereasa also administrates our web based application system, handling first stage applications, and the Foundation’s meeting room hire services for grantees. Having previously worked in the music and events industries, she joined the Foundation in 2004 after working as an NHS Physiotherapy Assistant at two special needs schools in London.

  34. Sonja Tilson, Resources Officer

    Sonja is currently on maternity leave.

    Sonja provides a range of resources and grant-making support to the Foundation. She works closely with the Director of Operations on governance administration and supports the Funding Directors. She is also the lead on various internal projects. Before joining the Foundation in 2012, she worked in marketing and events in the corporate sector and made the change into the voluntary sector by project managing an NHS mental health film and art festival which then became an independent charity, Happy Soul Festival Trust.

  35. Shemain Wahab, Communications and Learning Officer

    Shemain provides grantee communications support and grants plus. She also maintains our website and supports the Communications and Learning Manager.  Prior to joining the Foundation in 2014, Shemain held roles within the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, ranging from Advice Coordinator, Researcher, and PA, through to Executive Recruitment Consultant for the Third Sector.

  36.                                                                      The Foundation is a Living Wage Employer.