Founders4Schools has the support of many stakeholders from the worlds of education, philanthropy, banking that support our important work.

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    Sherry Coutu CBE

    Executive Chairman and Founder, Founders4Schools

    Sherry is the executive chair and founder of Founders4Schools.

    Sherry has decades of experience in the technology and education sectors which include serving as a non-executive member of the University of Cambridge (Finance Board) where she chairs the Financial Strategy Advisory Group and is a member of the Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press boards and chair of their Remuneration Committee.

    Other boards, she currently serves on include Raspberry Pi Foundation, The Royal Society (Science, Industry & Translation Committee), Zoopla and the London Stock Exchange plc, Chesterton Community College, (Cambridge).

    Previous Non-executive roles in the education sector include teaching at London Business School, serving as a Trustee for NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) and serving RM plc as a NED where she chaired the Remuneration Committee and was the Senior Independent Director.


    As an entrepreneur, Sherry founded a number of businesses and charities in the past. As a philanthropist, in addition to Founders4Schools, she is a supporter of the Crick Institute.

    Sherry was honoured with a CBE for “services to entrepreneurship”, from HM Queen in 2013, serves as an ambassador for London and the YourLife Campaign and is the author of ‘The Scale-up Report’ on UK economic growth.

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    Marc Allera

    Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer division of BT Group

    Marc is the Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer division of BT Group, where he is responsible for running the UK’s leading mobile and fixed communications company, across the BT, BT Sport, EE and Plusnet brands. Marc was appointed to the role of Consumer CEO in September 2017.

    Marc’s focus is delivering customers the best mobile and fixed, voice and broadband experience in the UK; as well as offering exclusive TV and sport content.


    Formerly, Marc was CEO of EE, responsible for the consumer mobile and broadband business, driving record results for the company. Before that, Marc was the Chief Commercial Officer for EE, responsible for all commercial and sales activities across a multi-channel operation including digital, retail, telesales, and customer base management.

    Marc joined EE in December 2011 from Three UK, where over a ten year period he held a number of senior positions including Chief Commercial Officer, and Sales & Marketing Director. He is credited as a key force in behind Three’s growth from start-up to a major player in the UK mobile market.

    Prior to joining Three’s parent company Hutchison Whampoa in 2001, Marc spent a number of years in the video game industry where he was General Manager of Sega UK.

    Marc has a Bachelor’s degree in International business studies from Sheffield Hallam University, where he graduated in 1995. In 2011, Marc completed the senior executive programme at the London Business School.

    Marc is a fan of Liverpool FC, a keen tennis player, enjoys holidays with his wife and children, and managing the Under 12 Valley End Cricket team.

    Marc is a member of the Great Ormond Street Hospital corporate partnerships board, a trustee of Founders for Schools, and investor and mentor to a number of tech start-ups.

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    Kirsten Bodley

    Chief Executive of WES (The Women's Engineering Society)

    Kirsten Bodley has significant experience in engaging young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and careers, successfully raising their motivation, aspirations and employability skills.

    Most recently, Kirsten was the Chief Executive of STEMNET, a UK-wide charitable organisation that works with thousands of businesses and schools to enable young people of all backgrounds and abilities to be inspired in STEM: to meet inspiring role models, understand real world applications of STEM subjects and experience hands-on STEM activities that motivate, inspire and bring learning and career opportunities to life.


    Kirsten began her career in industry working as a Research Development Chemist for Courtaulds (Coatings Division) for 9 years after graduation. Following an MBA, she then moved on to become a Management Consultant at KPMG Consulting supporting the R&D areas for major chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

    She subsequently changed her career path and became a teacher; continuing with her deep interest in education, she embarked on a career as STEMNET Regional Director for London before becaming Director of Networks in 2008.

    Kirsten has completed degrees in science, education and business, obtaining her MBA at Imperial College London and studying Chemistry at King's College, London.

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    Stephen Bolton

    Group Controller, Diageo plc

    Stephen has been a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants since 1992, and is an experienced finance director.


    He has over 30 years’ experience of investor relations, M&A, audit, risk and compliance and operational and strategic finance, coupled with a strong understanding and experience of international markets, gained by working for two major blue chip companies: Stephen worked for Unilever plc for over 20 years, and is currently the Group Controller of Diageo plc, where he has worked for the last nine years. Stephen has a passion for talent development, has an Honorary Doctor of Business from Solent University and is a member of the Board of Governors at the university.

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    Mary Curnock Cook

    Independent Educationalist

    Mary Curnock Cook is an independent educationalist.

    From 2010 to 2017, she was Chief Executive of UCAS, the universities and colleges admissions service.


    Mary is a non-exec Director at the Student Loans Company and a Council member of the Open University. She Chairs the Access Project and is a Trustee of National Numeracy and multi-academy trust, United Learning. She is an investor and/or mentor to a number of edtech entrepreneurs and provides ad hoc advisory services to a number of organisations in the education sector.

    Mary has an MSc from London Business School and she was awarded an OBE in 2000. She is an honorary Fellow of Birkbeck and Goldsmiths, both University of London colleges, and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire.

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    Melissa Di Donato

    Chief Operating Officer, SAP Digital Core

    Melissa Di Donato is the Chief Operating Officer at SAP Digital Core.


    Prior to SAP, Melissa was an Area Vice President of Sales for EMEA and APAC at and has spent more than 20 years in technology as a leader in the digital space delivering innovative and transformative enterprise cloud solutions for customers around the globe. She is dedicated to building high performing sales teams, ensuring diversity across the business and developing multi-channel go to market strategies.

    ComputerWeekly’s 2015 Personality of the Year UK for Cloud Computing, one of 2016’s Top 10 most influential women in UK technology, awarded the Technology Woman of Achievement award by Women in the City and as head of the technology group of the 30% Club, Melissa endeavours to ensure that more women are represented at the top of leading technology companies across Europe and globally. Melissa has been appointed as the Global Customer Organisation Executive Sponsor for Diversity and Inclusion at SAP and continues to prioritise D&I programs across functions and roles.

    Melissa is a passionate advocate for women in business and girls in STEM. She is a Stemettes Godmother, a trustee for Founders4schools, a Corporate Board member for iDEA (The Duke of York's Charitable Program for digital skills for UK youth), a board member for Fourtytwo Data and The Data Science Institute at Imperial College. Ultimately, she is a mother who believes that we can change the digital world one girl and one woman at a time.

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    Herdeep Dosanjh

    Head of Regulatory Affairs for EMEA, The Bank of New York Mellon

    Herdeep Dosanjh is currently Head of Regulatory Affairs for EMEA at The Bank of New York Mellon. She has formerly acted as a senior equity-financing lawyer in the Legal and Compliance divisions of Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

    Herdeep often plays a leading role in industry initiatives in relation to depositaries, international prime brokers and hedge funds.


    Herdeep has a law degree from Cambridge University and qualified as a solicitor at Clifford Chance in 1993. She has acted as in-house legal counsel for various financial institutions post qualification including Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, DLJ, PaineWebber and Clearstream International. Herdeep is a regular speaker at industry events including AIMA, AFME, IFIA and ALFI.

    Herdeep has a keen interest in the education sector and has acted as a careers skills speaker for Morgan Stanley, a mentor for pupils (Harris Bermondsey Academy), a presenter for students for leadership skills, interviewing and CV training (Eastside Young Leaders Academy), and is a strong advocate of, and inaugural speaker for the “Inspire Me” initiative established by the Stephen Perse Foundation (Cambridge).

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    Jane Galvin

    Head of Corporate Banking UK, HSBC Bank PLC

    Jane leads HSBC's Corporate Banking segment in the UK, where she is responsible for overseeing the management of approximately 14,000 mid-market customers, served by a population of over 800 people.


    Prior to joining HSBC Jane spent 30 years at Barclays, undertaking a number of senior roles including Regional Director, Corporate Banking; Head of mid-Corporate, London; Head of Professional Services for the UK and US; Head of Retail and Wholesale mid-Corporate, and Director of the Media Team.

    In addition to her current role at HSBC, Jane sits on a number of external boards; Chair of CBI East of England; Trustee of Founders4Schools; Chair of Stipends and Benefits Committee, Newnham College, Cambridge and Member of the Finance Advisory Committee, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

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    Peter Gotham

    Accountant working with charities and social enterprise

    Peter has been providing both accounting, consultancy and corporate recovery services, to the not-for-profit sector around the country, for over 30 years. Gotham Erskine had a national reputation when it merged with MHA MacIntyre Hudson where Peter became head of charity services until 2016. Recently Peter’s professional work, operating through Gotham Consulting, has largely been assisting in change management.


    Peter began his work with the sector in east London in the 1970s, working with local organisations, including leading roles in the formation and development of various housing and other organisations. Working in that area, with local people, showed Peter the importance of good governance. Peter is passionate about assisting boards and staff teams to better understand their organisation's finances, and the practical use of IT, particularly as a shared resource.

    Peter has had a number of national roles. At the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) Peter chaired the Charity and Voluntary Special Interest Group. In the course of this Peter increased membership by a factor of 10, and led the development of the Diploma in Charity Accounting (DChA) with Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness. Peter was on the Charity Commission national account setting SORP committee until 2015, and is a Visiting Fellow at the Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness at City University.

    Peter is active as a trustee, and honorary advisor to a number of charities.

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    Joanne Hannaford

    Partner, Goldman Sachs

    Jo is a partner within the Engineering Division at Goldman Sachs, joining the firm in 1997, she was named managing director in 2008 and partner in 2014. During her time at the firm, Jo has held a number of roles across Technology both in New York and London, predominantly focusing on the buildout of all functions related to data architecture, software engineering, workflow, runtime management software change and development practices.


    Jo has spent the past two years managing the development of software platforms to enable significant, longer-term efficiencies for the various businesses within the firm. She manages over 1,500 engineers and her responsibilities are extended to both technical architecture and commercial projects. Jo has extensive experience of corporate governance, she serves on the Technology Executive Leadership Group and the Firmwide Technology Risk Committee and is global co-sponsor of the Women in Technology Network.

    In addition to her role at Goldman Sachs, in February 2016 Jo was named as an advisor to the newly formed UK Government Digital Service advisory board. In 2014 Jo was made a fellow of the British Computer Society.

    Prior to joining the firm, Jo undertook research in computation semiotics in addition to a 1st Class degree in Computer Science.

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    Jonathan Pearl

    Ex-Executive Vice President, Legal & Compliance, Sony Electronics

    Jonathan recently completed a 24-year career at Sony, which culminated in him having two concurrent roles: Executive Vice President, Legal & Compliance, for Sony Electronics based in California and Corporate Vice President & General Counsel of Sony Mobile Communications (formerly Sony Ericsson) Headquartered in Tokyo.


    In the U.S.A., Jonathan oversaw Sony’s Law Department, IPR, Compliance, Information Security, Trade Affairs, Government Affairs, Technical Standards & Corporate Security functions. He managed a team of over 60 professionals based in San Diego, New Jersey, Miami and Washington D.C., supporting the electronics businesses in the Americas.

    In his leadership role at Sony Mobile Communications, Jonathan headed a Global team of 60 professionals located in Sweden, France, Germany, U.K., U.S.A., Singapore, Japan and China, dedicated to supporting Sony’s worldwide mobile communications businesses including smartphones and IoT.

    Jonathan has been Company Secretary of several U.S. and Japanese legal entities and was a member of the Executive Management Teams of both organizations.

    Before he joined Sony Ericsson in 2005 as General Counsel, Jonathan spent 12 years working at Sony Electronics Europe, prior to which he worked at Apple. From 1986-1990 Jonathan trained as a U.K. Solicitor and worked in private practice as a company commercial solicitor at Bates Wells & Braithwaite, the UK’s leading Charity lawyers.