Consultancy team

Our NCVO consultancy team consists of skilled and experienced team members who know the voluntary and community sector and understand the pressures organisations face. The consultancy team specialise in:

Find out more about NCVO consultancy.


Dan Francis

dan francis 96x96Dan is responsible for NCVO’s governance consultancy offer, focusing on governance reviews, board performance and trustee training. He joined NCVO from the National Union of Students (NUS) where, as a long standing consultant, he supported the organisational development of local students’ unions as charities. Dan has experience of interim senior management assignments in the voluntary sector and has served as trustee for small and medium sized community and education charities. Prior to joining NUS Dan’s background was in higher education governance and administration having worked for the Universities of Swansea and Southampton.

Emma Herbert

Emma Herbert

Emma is an experienced governance consultant, focusing on reviews and board performance. She brings a wealth of experience, having worked with a range of voluntary and community sector organisations, from large household name charities through to small, local community groups. She is a qualified employment solicitor (currently non-practising) and has worked with employers of all sizes around issues of strategic planning, change management, discrimination, workplace disputes and employment tribunal disputes.

Anne Moynihan

Anne Moynihan

Anne was head of our governance and leadership team until 2011. She is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the Charity Law Association and a governance course leader for Civil Society Media’s national trustee training programme. Anne was, until recently, a member of the steering group for Good Governance: a Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector and a board member of Trustees Unlimited. Anne was co-author of a publication for trustees of Trust Schools and co-author of ‘ Sustainable Funding: a guide for Trustees’.

Sue Pearlman

Sue has wide experience as a trustee and a senior manager in the voluntary sector. She is a skilled facilitator, trainer, supervisor and mentor with experience gained mainly through her involvement with the Citizens Advice Bureau service. She is chair of Community Action Hertsmere and a trustee at The Movement for Reform Judaism. Her particular interests include governance, trustee/staff relationships, developing partnerships and collaborative working.

Ian White

ian white

Ian has been the chief legal officer and/or company secretary for both listed and major private companies, leading him to develop an expertise in corporate governance and working with boards on effectiveness and performance.

Over the last 18 months he has undertaken five board evaluations for FTSE 250 companies and others in the non-profit sector, and has undertaken board facilitation work. In 2016 he spent six months as an internal governance consultant for a FTSE 100 international bank, working on board effectiveness and governance matters for the holdings board. Ian currently sits on the board of a medium-sized incorporated charity as vice chair elect.


Howard Exton-Smith

Howard Exton Smith

Howard has over 20 years’ experience as a consultant and trainer specialising in personal and organisational development, transformation and performance improvement. As an adviser to boards and senior management teams, he creates value and delivers positive change by building capacity and strengthening individuals and organisations. Howard has been a charity trustee and chair and has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and North America.

Kita Jiwani


Kita holds a graduate diploma in law and started her career in the third sector, working initially on implementing government strategy in primary education for a national charity before going on to work as director of operations for an East London-based youth charity. In that role she delivered to public, private and third sector organisations and developed specialisms in capacity building amongst voluntary and community organisations and bid writing, securing funds from various sources including the European Social Fund, local and national government as well as private trusts and foundations.

Srabani Sen OBE

Srabani Sen OBE

Srabani works particularly at board level on issues of leadership, strategy and campaigning. She has 10 years’ experience as a successful CEO and over 20 years’ experience as an effective board member. She was awarded an OBE in 2013 for her work with children and families.

With a strong track record of transformational change she is passionate about organisational effectiveness and connecting leadership, strategy and governance to the needs of beneficiaries and customers in a meaningful and measurable way. Through her work in the voluntary sector Srabani has built a high profile in the press, regularly appearing on national media such as BBC Breakfast, Sky News and the Today Programme.

Lee Robinson

Lee Robinson

Lee has spent over 10 years working in and with organisations that have a social agenda. This has spanned the voluntary and public sectors including universities, charities, social enterprises, NHS Trusts, government departments as well as private business.

Lee is a Member of the British Psychological Society (MBPsS) and general member of the Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP), as well as a registered occupational test user for personality and ability instruments with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Ros Jenkins

Rosaline Jenkins

Ros leads our work on strategic income diversification and income management – particularly organisational strategy, fundraising, relationships and marketing.

Ros is the Chair of her local NCT branch and a trustee for the Grandparents Association. For the past six years at NCVO, Ros has specialised in Sustainable Funding – developing tools, resources and publications and supporting a wide range of organisations to take an integrated and holistic look at their financial stability. 

Sarah Gilbert

Sarah Shimmin Gilbert

Sarah leads our work on campaigning and works nationally and internationally to support people and organisations to further their charitable aims through achieving social and political change. She chairs our Certificate in Campaigning and is a member of the sector's Campaigning Advisory Board.

Sarah has a background in public policy and campaigning on health and disability rights, has completed an in-depth learning programme from the Tavistock Institute’s MA in organisational consulting and holds a Certificate in Executive Coaching. She also holds an MSc from LSE in European policy.

Brian Lamb

Brian Lamb

Brian specialises in public policy, public affairs, campaigns and strategy and his clients span the voluntary, public and private sectors. He works on campaigning planning and development using a theory of change approach developed from his NCVO report on Theory of Change. He also wrote our Guide to Campaigning and Influencing for the Charity Sector.

He has worked extensively with government and chaired a national inquiry which led to a number of changes in legislation, and also helped found a new charity Achievement for All, which he chairs.

He holds an MSC in politics and sociology and is also a visiting fellow at London South Bank University at the Centre of Government and Charity Management and Visiting Professor in Special Educational Needs and Disability at Derby University.


Shaun Lynes

Shaun is a Lean Sigma Master Black Belt with a broad range of industry experience including aerospace, space, technology, IT and financial services. Shaun’s domain expertise includes Lean Sigma, Lean Start Ups, Change Management, Collaboration and Innovation techniques. He has experience of facilitating problem solving within cross functional teams and programme management of lean deployment in complex environments.

Mary Davies

Mary has over 16 years’ experience supporting people and organisations of all types and sizes in the private, public and voluntary sectors, both in the UK and globally. She focuses on working with clients to deliver improvements through understanding work processes and ensuring changes are sustainable through the appropriate use of quality systems. Mary holds a PhD in Chemistry, as well as a post-doctoral research fellowship. She was the treasurer of Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust for six years.


Nick Ockenden

Nick Ockenden

As well as being NCVO’s head of research, Nick is also the head of the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR). He has worked on numerous programme and organisational evaluations, the development of volunteering strategies, sector-wide reviews of volunteering, and studies into volunteering behaviour and impact. Nick’s particular research interests are focused on volunteering within small, community-based organisations and environmental and conservation volunteering. 

Nick is a Trustee of the Social Research Association. He is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London and a Visiting Fellow at Northumbria University.

Kim Donahue

Kim Donahue

Kim specialises in research and has more than 20 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector. Kim has extensive applied research and report writing experience and has worked with hundreds of organisations including local, national and international groups. Kim was the regional manager of Outreach and Training at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation from 1992 until 2002, a post which included responsibility for the organisation’s volunteer programme.

Jurgen Grotz

jurgen grotz 96x96Jurgen is the research manager of the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) with an in depth knowledge of the voluntary sector both in theory and practice. With over 25 years of experience gained in the UK, Germany and China as a social policy researcher, Jurgen's main interest is community action, disability issues, volunteering, participation and engagement.

Jurgen is also a visiting research fellow at the University of East Anglia.

Andy Curtis

andy curtis 96x96Andy Curtis is the senior research officer of the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR). He is currently working on the Big Lottery Fund research project Volunteering for Stronger Communities, and the evaluation of the vCashpoint programme delivered by vInspired.

He has worked in research roles in the voluntary and education sectors for over ten years and has conducted research on homeless young people's experience of education, worked for the charity Centrepoint and led evaluations of government grant and empowerment programmes at the Community Development Foundation.

He completed his PhD in 2007 where his thesis explored the concept of social capital and its relationship with civic engagement.

Joanna Stuart

joanna stuartJoanna is the senior research officer of the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR), she leads IVR's work on volunteering impact assessment, impact evaluations and provides support to organisations to assess the difference volunteers make.

Joanna has undertaken research projects and evaluations with Crisis, City Year UK, the National Trust, the Natural History Museum and the National Offender Management Service and has previously worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Westminster where she researched social exclusion.

She is interested in volunteer management and youth engagement and is a reviewer for the International Journal of Volunteer Administration (IJOVA).

Matthew Hill

matthew hill 96x96Matt is the senior research officer of the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) and is currently focussing on a two year project exploring volunteer management in palliative care funded by Dimbleby Cancer Care and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

He is involved in the evaluation of City Year London and the International Citizen Service pilot and is working towards his PhD at Northumbria University exploring issues of power in voluntary organisations that deliver public services with Professor Irene Hardill and Nick Ockenden supervising this PhD.

Gareth Lloyd

gareth lloyd 96x96Gareth is research officer of the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) and works to extract information and guidance for the voluntary sector from a Nesta-funded Innovation project. He is also working on the European Commission funded project REVEAL to develop multilingual self-assessment and training materials for the voluntary sector.

He previously worked on health services research in the London Ambulance Service and before joining IVR introduced a knowledge bank of research and evidence-based practice at a small charity. Gareth's academic background is in cognitive and health psychology and his PhD, completed at UCL's Health Behaviour Research Centre, assessed young women's attitudes towards the HPV vaccination.


Kristen Stephenson

Kristen Stephenson

Kristen is our volunteer management and good practice manager. She holds an ILM Level 5 qualification in leadership and management and works closely with key stakeholders including the Association of Volunteer Managers, to help to raise the profile of volunteer management as a profession. Kristen also develops and manages our good practice materials and practical support on volunteering to support front-line organisations. She has experience of developing and writing guidance, content and producing resources to support people to manage volunteers and deliver volunteering projects for different audiences.

Jarina Choudhury

jarina choudhury 96x96Jarina is our volunteering development consultancy officer, responsible for developing consultancy and training with the aim of improving volunteering practice across the public, private and voluntary sectors. She provides consultancy in volunteering strategy and development of policies, income generation, and the design and implementation of volunteer programmes. Jarina’s recent clients have included National Trust, Amnesty International UK, AstraZeneca, Association of Voluntary Service Managers and Crimestoppers UK.

Prior to joining NCVO, Jarina supported community groups to deliver European Social Fund volunteer-led projects, and redesigned Bond’s training offer to improve quality, course content and to increase unrestricted income. 

Consortium development

Neil Coulson

neil coulson

Neil Coulson has supported/advised on the development of over 100 voluntary sector consortia nationally, and delivers nationally accredited training for social enterprise advisors and mentors. He specialises in supporting the sector to grow its role within public service delivery and, collectively, the consortia he has worked with have gone on to secure hundreds of millions of pounds in public sector contracts. He also supports organisations to explore social investment, having worked on scores of investment proposals and delivered numerous investment readiness masterclasses across the country.

Contact us

If you have an issue that you think we may be able to help with, please get in touch. If we can help, we will. If we can’t, we’ll point you to someone who might.

You can:

  • complete our short enquiry form
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  • call us on 020 7520 2587.



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