Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is a group that advises the Foundation’s long term strategic objectives. The group’s role is to provide guidance on the wider direction of the Foundation based on the Strategic Plan, and also has a focus on financial development. The group is composed of experts from across sectors who advise on a variety of macro issues, such as political climate, corporate responsibility or media and public affairs.

Yasmin Waljee OBE

International Pro Bono Director, Hogan Lovells

Yasmin Waljee is a solicitor and full-time Pro Bono Manager at international law firm Hogan Lovells LLP. Yasmin’s appointment in 1997 was the first of its kind by a City law firm. Since then she has worked with partners in the firm to develop an international pro bono programme providing free 15,000 hours of legal advice to over 200 charities and individuals a year unable to afford legal advice. She is an immigration lawyer but now regularly works on human rights cases including compensation for the July 7 victims, Article 2 issues and compensation for British victims of crime and terrorism abroad. In May 2005 Yasmin was shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and in April 2000 Yasmin was awarded The Times Woman Solicitor of the Year. Yasmin was awarded an OBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2010 for her services to the Muslim community.

Rachel Hopcroft

Head of Corporate Affairs, KPMG

Rachel leads the teams that promote and protect KPMGs reputation, brand and voice. That includes corporate responsibility, public affairs and public policy. She has been active in the firm’s response to Brexit, leading our public engagement and is also responsible for social mobility. Rachel sits on the firm’s Inclusive Leadership Board and the Apprenticeships Steering Committee. Prior to joining KPMG, Rachel was Principal Private Secretary to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, at the Cabinet Office (a Director-level post) for 4 years (2012-2016). In addition she has over a decade of experience in the Civil Service in critical policy and delivery roles – largely in the justice and home affairs space.

Rachel is on the Board of Enactus UK, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. She is also on the Living Wage Advisory Council, an issue on which KPMG has a long and proud association. She is a trustee on the KPMG Foundation Board, an independent charitable foundation that focuses on education and social projects for the disadvantaged and under-privileged.

David Glass

Partner, M&C Saatchi

David Glass is a partner at international creative agency M&C Saatchi. For almost twenty years he has helped to run its export division, with global clients such as Siemens, Airbus and Etihad Airways. David has particular expertise researching and managing behaviour change and internal communication campaigns, across complex organisations working with senior management and stakeholders.

Matthew Hanney OBE

Partner, Flint Global

Matthew Hanney is a Partner at Flint Global, a business advisory firm. He advises companies in the tech, digital and sharing economy sectors, and on providing Brexit analysis. Prior to joining Flint Global he was a Special Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister in the Coalition Government between 2010 to 2015, covering policy areas including the Home Office, European relations and Constitutional Affairs. Prior to that he worked in the UK Parliament. He has also written for The Economist on European political issues.

Leah Kreitzman

Mayoral Director for External and International Affairs, GLA

Leah Kreitzman is Mayoral Director for External and International Affairs, having previously been a Senior Adviser to Sadiq Khan’s campaign to be Mayor of London. Before this, Leah was Director of Public Affairs for UNICEF UK. She has led advocacy campaigns for international NGOs such as Save the Children and ONE, as well as working for the UK’s leading international development think tank, the Overseas Development Institute. Leah has also been a strategic communications advisor to the Shadow Cabinet on criminal justice, human rights, and constitutional reform. She has an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a BSc in Philosophy and Politics from the University of Bristol.

Jessica Taplin

Chief Executive Officer, British Gas Energy Trust

Jessica has over 25 years of senior leadership experience across the corporate, grant-funding and charity sectors. She is currently the British Gas Energy Trust’s first full-time CEO, overseeing the charitable Trust’s £6m grant giving activity, whose mission it is to help people in – or at risk of – financial hardship meet their energy needs and manage their energy costs.

Jessica brings her insight from significant sector leadership positions, together with an innovative approach to developing services and a track record of developing and supporting effective partnership collaborations. Previous positions include Chief Executive Designate for the Treloar Trust, Chief Executive at the social youth action charity v-inspired, CEO of the youth mental health and support charity Get Connected, and heading up Partnerships and Public Engagement at the Big Lottery Fund. In 2014, she won an ACEVO Judge’s Recognition Award for her people-centred leadership. Jessica was one of the founding Trustees of the new CIO for Neighbourhood Watch UK and is currently a Trustee of the CareTech Foundation, an independent Trust that supports and champions the Social Care sector.

Ruth Shaw OBE

Chief Executive Officer, Premier League Charitable Fund

Ruth is the General Manager of the Premier League Charitable Fund, one of the biggest sports charities in the world, with an annual budget in excess of £35m. Its goal is to help people achieve their potential and impact positively on their communities through the power of football, and it funds the charitable arms of professional football clubs to work in their local areas to achieve this. Previously she carried out a number of senior roles for Government including Head of Campaigns and Engagement at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Deputy Director for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Chief Executive of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority. She has served as a board of Women in Football, and an independent member of the Premier League’s Equality Standard Panel. She is founder of TEDxWhitehallWomen and in 2018 she was announced as one of 50 Leading Lights in the Lloyds Bank Kindness & Leadership Award. She is interested in culture, creativity, equality and leadership.

Jonathan Freeman

Managing Director, Earlsbrook Consulting Limited and Chief Executive Officer, CareTech Foundation

Jonathan is Managing Director of Earlsbrook Consulting Limited, providing strategic advisory service to charities, businesses and philanthropists. Jonathan acts as CEO (interim) to the COSARAF Charitable Foundation and other clients include NCS Trust, Careers and Enterprise Company, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Triangle Investments. Jonathan also acted as Chief Strategy Officer at the Patchwork Foundation. Jonathan is also CEO of the CareTech Charitable Foundation, the leading corporate foundation in the social care sector which supports and champions the social care sector, care workers and those living in care. Jonathan was previously Managing Director of Mosaic, HRH The Prince of Wales’s mentoring charitable initiative, and before that a member of the Senior Civil Service. Jonathan is a Trustee of the Legal Education Foundation and Field Lane Foundation.

Kano Mutinda

Product Manager, BP and Masterclass Graduate 2016

Kano is a U.S. State Department IVLP alumnus and is currently working on building a tech start-up focused on creating an at-scale solution to tackle health inequality in the U.K. Previously Kano has held leadership positions across multiple organisations including serving as COO of The Black Curriculum where he supported the organisation to double its personnel and expand into 3 cities. In less than two years, the organisation has worked with 200+ schools and trained 7000+ senior leaders and teachers to deliver diverse curriculums aimed at fostering a sense of identity and transforming pupil attainment. Kano also served as the Chief of Staff at Movemeback, a Google-funded start-up working to drive social and economic development in Africa. Beyond this, Kano is keen on widening access to British civil society and until recently was on the Executive Team of the Patchwork Foundation where he led the charity’s #GetInvolved Programme for several years before moving to a mentoring capacity to support team members in their growth and development. Having strongly benefited from Patchwork as well as having spent 6+ years working directly with Patchworkers, Kano is now looking to use his lived experiences to work alongside Patchwork’s advisors in steering the charity’s next iteration.

Nabeel Irshad

VP, Mastercard

Nabeel joined Mastercard in September 2019 and leads its Government and public sector payments business in UK and Ireland. He works closely with Government, banks and industry partners to champion the use of digital payments as a fast, secure and effective method of payment. Before Mastercard, Nabeel spent five years working at Metro Bank, one of the UK’s first challenger banks. There, he worked in both the products and finance teams to build propositions, develop business change cases and procure new services. Earlier in his career, Nabeel worked as a management consultant leading projects across Europe, the Middle East and N. America and prior to that, he was a senior political adviser and journalist at the BBC.

Sereena Abbassi

Having forged a career from primarily taking activism into the corporate space, Sereena Abbassi is committed to creating organisational transformation grounded in a deep-seated belief that all our liberations are tied to each other; her approach is both creative and strategic and done with lots of heart. Sereena is also an Equity & Inclusion Practitioner, Advisor, Holistic Life Coach, Public Speaker and Writer. She was formerly the Worldwide Head of Culture & Inclusion at M&C Saatchi Group. She has written for Campaign Live, Communication Arts, The Drum and has been featured in The Observer and Stylist Magazine, and has contributed to titles such as Biracial Britain by Remi Adekoya, F*ck Being Humble by Stefanie Sword-Williams and The Reset by Elizabeth Uviebinene.

Sereena has sat on Advisory Boards for Hudson Bec Group, Hidden, Masculinity In The Workplace, IPA Leadership Talent Group, Advertising and Media Taskforce, DIMA Summit, OK Mentor and The Other Box. Over the years, she has done extensive charitable work with young people, from mentorship in an unofficial and official capacity, such as with You Make it, and within her previously held role as Board of Trustee for the charity Sour Lemons. She regularly shares her life journey with teenagers via charities Be Her Lead and Speakers For Schools, where she has travelled around the U.K. to deliver talks to communities with some form of inequity(ies). As an awards judge, she has given time to D&AD New Blood, Great British Businesswoman and the Patchwork Foundations’ MP of the Year Awards. Whether working with young people, or her work with Crisis at Christmas, or with Houria, who support migrant women and those affected by modern-day slavery back into safe and regular work; those impacted by economic, political and environmental displacement through circumstance is what drives Sereena’s deep sense of duty and her mission for greater fairness.

Sereena is British, Persian-Iranian, and Jamaican –– and has lived and worked in the U.S., the Netherlands, Iran and Spain. Sereena has a B.A. in Visual Art, Performance and Music from The University of Brighton and an M.A. in Postcolonial Culture & Global Policy from Goldsmiths University, London. This year, she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Sharon Blackman OBE

Managing Director & General Counsel, Citi

An English Barrister, NY Attorney and recently named GC of the Year, Legal Business Awards 2022, Sharon heads the FX and Local Markets Legal Team for Europe, Middle East & Africa. She is Chair of the Bank of England FXJSC legal subcommittee, co- chairs Citi’s EMEA pro bono committee and sits on Citi’s EMEA and Global Diversity Councils. Sharon is a founding member of the Inhouse Pro Bono Group, a trustee and playing member of the Croydon Symphony Orchestra, a Corporate Advisory Board member for Urban Synergy and the Patchwork Foundation and BACFI representative on the Bar Council’s Race Working Group. In 2021 she was named in Cranfield’s Women to Watch 2021, became a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn and was recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honors for services to the financial sector.

Zahra Latif

Head of Policy (Windrush), Home Office

Throughout her career, Zahra has sought to have a positive social impact – encompassing working at the grassroots on youth-led initiatives to shaping national policy on some of our most complex social challenges in government. She is currently Head of Policy for Windrush in the Home Office. Previous roles in government include in the Prime Minister’s Implementation Unit advising on serious violence and as a Private Secretary in No 10 in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit. She has also worked in the award-winning Open Innovation team and the Office for Civil Society’s Youth Policy team. Zahra’s career has also spanned working on community cohesion, interfaith and creating opportunities for young people from under-represented backgrounds to participate in politics through the Patchwork Foundation, National Union of Students and the Lokahi Foundation. She holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Oxford where she was a Blavatnik scholar and graduated with a degree in English Literature and History from the University of York. She was a speaker at TEDxOxbridge, where her subject was the power of listening. She is a trustee of the Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights.

Imran Sanaullah MBE

Chief Strategy Officer, London Lions & Head of Foundation, Basketball Foundation

Imran co-founded Patchwork in 2012 and lead the charity as CEO from 2016-2023. He oversaw the Foundation’s successful transition from company to charity status, transitioning the Foundation from a voluntary initiative to a charity with national and international reach. Imran now works for the London Lions and Basketball Foundation, where he is developing a larger basketball ecosystem in the UK while focusing grassroots development to galvanising support from national decision makers. 

Imran also uses his expertise to support a number of other organisations including, London Arts Council (Council Member), Naz Legacy Foundation (Trustee), LEO Academy Trust (Trustee) and Ernest Bevin Academy (Governor). Imran’s work has been recognised by the likes of HM the King, the Mayor of London and Prime Minister. Imran was awarded an MBE in Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours List in 2019 for services to young people.

Kiran Horwich

Partner, Flint Global

Kiran joined Flint as a consultant when the company was founded in 2015 and has risen rapidly to the rank of Partner. She works with a wide range of clients dealing with challenges in policy, regulation and organisational change in the UK and EU in many sectors including financial services, life sciences and manufacturing. She is based in London.

Previously Kiran worked in the UK Parliament and with European parliamentarians for the Liberal Democrats during the 2010 –2015 UK Coalition Government. She has also consulted for energy company Hess on corporate social responsibility strategies, as well as Barclays’ investment team in New York on prospects for oil exploration and development in the Arctic.

Mike Farnan

Founder and CEO, Redstrike Group

Mike is Redstrike Group’s founder and CEO. Mike has over 20 years’ experience in sports marketing, principally as MD of Manchester United International during the Club’s most successful period (’99-2000). He is renowned for developing the commercial strategy that drove the club’s meteoric rise in popularity throughout the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.  

Nizam Uddin OBE

Chief Strategy Officer, Algbra

Nizam is Chief Strategy Officer of Algbra, a values-focused and sustainable FinTech headquartered and regulated in the United Kingdom. Nizam was previously the Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration at The Prince’s Trust, where he oversaw the organisation’s community cohesion and social integration activities and led Mosaic, an independent Initiative founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to engage diverse Muslim communities across the UK.

Nizam has a strong interest and background in overcoming the societal and economic challenges that prevent disenfranchised and minority communities from fulfilling their potential. He is a 2019 Greenberg World Fellow at Yale University and a 2019 US State Department International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) participant.

Nizam is currently Vice-Chairman of SOAS, University of London, a Trustee of the Aspen Institute UK and a member of the Mayor of London’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Group. He holds an MA in Public Policy from King’s College London and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours list for services to social mobility and community integration.

Shiraz Jiwa

Founder and CEO, The Valesco Group

The Founder and CEO of The Valesco Group is Mr Shiraz Jiwa, who has a distinguished track record spanning more than 2 decades. Mr. Jiwa has successfully closed and managed over €5 billion of European commercial real estate investments, delivering strong target-exceeding returns to sovereigns, institutions and family offices. Prior to founding Valesco, Mr Jiwa was managing director and head of real estate investments at AGC Equity Partners, a sovereign backed alternative asset investment firm. He closed and managed numerous European real estate investments across core/core+, complex restructuring, development and special situations during his tenure. Previously, Mr Jiwa was a partner and portfolio manager at the Rainbow Global High Yield Fund. His areas of focus were special situations, real estate, distressed debt and derivatives. Mr Jiwa directed investment strategy and executed transactions across the capital structure. Prior to this, Mr Jiwa was at Morgan Stanley where his expertise was utilised to develop, analyse, structure and execute portfolio optimisation and yield enhancement strategies and solutions. Mr Jiwa executed several significant capital markets as well as securities division transactions. Mr Jiwa started his career as part of the credit derivatives structuring and trading team at Bear Stearns. Mr Jiwa has developed an expertise across all major asset classes, notably in real estate, real estate private equity, complex restructurings and special situations. Mr Jiwa received a BSc. Joint Honours in Mathematics with Management from Imperial College London. Mr Jiwa is Chairman of The Valesco Foundation, a registered charity whose 4 purposes are (i) the advanced of education; (ii) the prevention or relief of poverty; (iii) the advancement of diversity and (iv) the advancement of health.