People, Partners & Funders
Women and Children First has four members of staff.
Ros Davies (Chief Executive)
With over 20 years’ experience of maternal and child and sexual and reproductive health in the international development field, Ros became our Chief Executive in 2007. Ros has worked on programmes in Asia, Africa and Latin America and engaged in high-level advocacy work. She has previously been a consultant for UNAIDS, the Chief Executive of Interact Worldwide and held senior positions at International Family Health and Marie Stopes International. She holds a Masters in Area Studies (Latin America).
Ruth Duebbert (Senior Programmes Manager)
Ruth manages our programmes in Ethiopia and Uganda and family planning work in Malawi. Ruth also leads our policy, advocacy and gender work including building partner capacity. Prior to this Ruth managed our five year strategic programme in South Asia, focusing on getting research evidence into policy and practice. During the 2010 UK general election she successfully co-ordinated a campaign to increase UK government support for mothers and babies’ health in developing countries. Before joining us, Ruth worked on policy and programmes in Asia, Africa, Europe and the South Pacific with VSO and terre des hommes (Germany), living overseas for almost a decade. Ruth has an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an MA from the Universities of Edinburgh and Bologna (Italy).
Mikey Rosato (Director of Programmes and Technical Assistance)
Mikey’s expertise is in supporting organisations in developing countries to run programmes that empower local communities to find solutions that help prevent mothers and babies dying from preventable conditions. He has a PhD in Global Health and Development and a Masters degree in Anthropology. Mikey leads on our programme development, monitoring and evaluation and provides technical advice on women’s groups programmes.
Ollie Lloyd-Houldey (Programmes Manager)
Ollie has expertise in monitoring and evaluation, programme development and grant management having spent 3 years working for Amref Health Africa UK. Prior to this , Ollie worked at EveryChild, a child protection and rights NGO as well at Afrika Tikkun, based in South Africa working on a programme which aimed to improve the quality of life of children with disabilities and their families. Ollie has an MSc in Global Health and Development from UCL.
Julia Garden (Administrator)
Julia has experience in administration, press and publications, volunteer management and recruitment and has worked as a freelance editor for charities such as Great Ormond Street and Action Aid. She also sets up and runs engagement programmes within the mental health arena. She has a post-graduate qualification in Environmental Studies.
Our commitment to a partnership approach means that we support programmes which are set up and run by local communities, and we assist in developing the necessary resources and capacity to carry out these programmes at low cost.
We believe in working in partnership with governments, health service providers, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and local communities, to find out what works best to reduce infant deaths. Our partners are:
Malawi - Ministry of Health
Malawi - Adventist Health Services
Baroness Afshar of Heslington
Haleh Afshar, Baroness Afshar OBE, (born 1944) is a Professor in Politics and Women's Studies at the University of York and Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at the Faculté Internationale de Droit Comparé. Of Iranian origin, she worked as a journalist before and after her initial studies at York, where she returned after receiving her PhD from Cambridge University. Afshar serves on several bodies, notably the British Council and the United Nations Association, of which she is Honorary President of International Services. She was appointed to the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours list of June 2005. On October 18, 2007 it was announced that she would be created a baroness and join the House of Lords as a cross-bench (non-party political) peer. She was formally introduced into the House of Lords on December 11, 2007, as Baroness Afshar of Heslington in the County of North Yorkshire.
Currently Director of SOAS, University of London, Valerie Amos served as Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the UN from 2010-2015. Baroness Amos served in a number of roles in the public sector including in local government and as Chief Executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission. She was an adviser to the Mandela Government on leadership and change management issues and was appointed a Labour Life Peer in 1997. Baroness Amos went on to become the first black woman to sit in the British cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development. She became Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council in October 2003 and served as UK High Commissioner to Australia before joining the UN.
Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran
Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran has a distinguished career in the field of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. He is President of both the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FIGO) and the British Medical Association (2013-14) and is Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St. George’s, University of London. He was President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists between 2007 and 2010. He is a Fellow of the Singapore College of O&G (FCOGS) and a recipient of the Honorary Fellowships of FSOGC (Canada), FACOG (America), FSCOG (Sri Lanka), FICOG (India), FCPS (Pakistan), FANZCOG (Australia & New Zealand), FDGGG (Germany) and FSACOG (South Africa). He is Editor in Chief of Best Practice & Research in Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology. In June 2009 he was made Knight Bachelor in recognition of Services to Medicine in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Kathy Lette, a supporter of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, divides her time between being a full time writer and mother. After several years as a singer with the Salami Sisters, and working as a newspaper columnist in Sydney and New York and a television sitcom writer for Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles, her ten novels became international best-sellers. Through witty wordplay, Kathy's satires on the sex war touch on real issues - from exploring how young Australian girls allowed themselves to be treated as human handbags by their boyfriends to marriage, infidelity and childbirth. Her quips persuade us that for the female of the species it's probably a case of laugh or die, especially when thinking of the horrors of the Pudding Club.
Baroness Massey of Darwen
A former teacher and education advisor, Baroness Doreen Massey was the Director of the Family Planning Association from 1989 to 1994. She was made a Life Peer of Darwen in the County of Lancashire in 1999 and has worked in the House of Lords as member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated and Complementary Healthcare. She is a very active member of the House of Lords and has focused keenly on the Children and Young Persons Bill.
Juliet Stevenson is one of the most respected actors of her generation. Having studied at RADA, she started her stage career in the early 1980s with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her television career took off when she appeared in the popular TV serialisation of Catherine Cookson’s novels, The Mallens. Juliet made her name in films in 1991 playing Nina opposite Alan Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply, a performance that won her the Evening Standard Film Award for Best Actress. Other accolades include the Laurence Olivier Best Actress Award, for Death and the Maiden, plus a BAFTA nomination for The Politician’s Wife. One of her most high profile roles was in Bend it Like Beckham. Juliet was awarded a CBE in 1999. A committed supporter of women’s issues and rights, Juliet became a Patron of Women and Children First in March 2011.
Surina Narula has devoted almost two decades to highlight the plight of street children globally. An MBA and a Master’s in Social Anthropology at University College London, she has raised large funds for charitable causes through numerous high profile events, combining her commitment to street children with her passion for the arts. A recipient of several awards for her philanthropic work, she was commended for The Beacon Prize for her contribution to charitable and social causes in 2003. Surina was honoured with the Asian of the Year Award in 2005 and with an MBE in 2008.
JP has substantial experience in international finance and banking. In 2012 he founded Derivatives Value Advisor Ltd (DVAL), providing advisory services on derivatives and financial market solutions. Previously, JP has worked for global banks including Lloyds Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC. JP has a Masters in International Finance (MIF) from University of Amsterdam, and a Master of Technology (M. Tech) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, India.
Sarah is an international NGO Director with a 15 year track record of driving creative and tactical programmes for change, at all levels from grassroots to global. An advocacy and communications specialist, Sarah has extensive experience of research, policy analysis, lobbying, coalition-building and communications. Sarah is currently Director of Keeping Children Safe. Previous roles have been at International Campaign to Ban Landmines, End Water Poverty, Save the Children UK and Oxfam. Sarah has also worked as a freelance journalist and has gained post graduate qualifications in Environment and Development.
Deborah Botwood Smith
Deborah is Director of Marketing at the Association for Financial Markets in London, which represents a broad range of European and global participants in the wholesale financial markets. Deborah has advised companies at the most senior level on reputation and governance issues, marketing, thought leadership and crisis management for over twenty five years. She has an MA in law from University of Cambridge. She is married with one son.
Meg is a specialist in sexual and reproductive health and rights, with wide experience in programme design, management and technical assistance in developing countries. She has worked in the public and NGO sectors and has 25 years practical experience in programme development in SRHR, public-private partnerships, work with adolescents, and innovative financing methods. She has also worked on integrated rural development, housing and micro-credit programmes. She has Masters degrees in Operational Research and Economics. She lived and worked in Latin America for over 20 years, and now works as a freelance consultant.
Carol Bradford (Chair)
Carol is an independent consultant in sexual and reproduction health, with field experience in Latin America, South Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. With technical expertise in reproductive health, including family planning and abortion, maternal health, HIV/AIDS and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, Carol has extensive experience in organisational development, monitoring and evaluation and strategic planning. Carol has worked for a wide range of organisations and clients in the USA and the UK including Marie Stopes International, DFID, International Planned Parenthood Federation and the World Bank and has an MA in Sociology and Demography from Georgetown University in Washington DC.
Peter Clokey (Treasurer)
Peter is a consultant to the corporate finance practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has extensive international experience, having led a World Bank project in Tanzania and advised clients in the Middle East and across south-east Asia, where he lived for several years. He previously sat on the Board of Directors of a listed company and currently sits on the Council of the Society of Share and Business Valuers.
Patricia Croll (Vice Chair)
Patricia has twenty-one years’ experience as a senior international development executive and manager operating at a strategic level in the voluntary sector. As Director of External Relations and Resource Development at Marie Stopes International (MSI), she built from scratch the External Relations and Resource Mobilisation team, evolving the structure, systems, procedures and setting strategy. Her work on Public Affairs, Media and Parliamentary Advocacy, Publications Production aimed at both positioning MSI as the leading agency in its field and building awareness of a range of complex issues among a variety of audiences. Prior to working at MSI Patricia had many years experience in education, counselling and training.Patricia also serves on the Board of Pupil Parent Partnership, which works with young people and their families in West London.
Meera has 5 years’ experience in various roles in finance under the NGO sector particularly in sexual, reproductive and maternal health. She has been heavily involved in producing statutory reports, monthly reporting and has more recently been a regional finance advisor in ensuring there is compliance to accounting policies and understanding of the SORP. Prior to this she has had 5 years working in the social housing sector where she was specialized in Capital and component accounting.
Roz qualified as a solicitor in 2007 and has worked in a variety of commercial and compliance departments for organisations such as Mercer Ltd and WorldPay. Roz is currently working for Lloyds Banking Group as a senior lawyer in the commercial cards team, where she has gained experience of advising the board and senior stakeholders on complex legal issues. Roz has a first class degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University and has completed the Close Brothers Trustee Leadership Programme.
Audrey is a senior lecturer at UCL's Institute for Global Health. She works closely with the Indian civil society organisation Ekjut in eastern India. Together they have conducted two large cluster randomised controlled trials of participatory women's groups to improve maternal and newborn health in largely tribal areas of Jharkhand and Odisha. They are currently working on expanding the use of participatory approaches with community groups to improve child health and nutrition beyond the neonatal period, as well as adolescent health. Audrey is an associate editor of Trials, and interested in the design and analysis of trials of complex social interventions.
Laura is the Head of Community and Volunteer Fundraising at VSO based in London. Laura has over 10 years of experience working in the charitable fundraising sector for a range of organisations including Amnesty International UK, The Free Tibet Campaign and Concern Universal. Laura feels strongly about social justice, and particularly issues pertaining to gender equality and has an MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation from the LSE.
Esther has been a midwife for over 15 years and is a member of the Royal College of Midwives and Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. She has a wide range of experience in working in a range of midwifery settings across London as well as previously holding management responsibilties in public health roles and working in Afghanistan to improve maternal health. Esther currently works as a National Facilitator for Best Beginnings, a charity working to give all UK babies the best start in life. She is married with two children.
Jo is a Consultant and Coach, working in the legal sector. She is a Barrister and experienced litigator with particular experience of high profile, local and cross-jurisdictional investigations and proceedings in the criminal, regulatory and civil aspects of financial and corporate wrongdoing, money laundering and asset recovery and her legal practice encompasses each of these areas. Jo has lectured extensively in all her areas of expertise, was previously Chair of the Female Fraud Forum (a networking organisation for female professionals working in financial crime and regulation) and continues to mentor junior lawyers. Jo also works as a Business and Executive Coach, offering both one-to-one coaching and a business consultancy service addressing all aspects of business development and practice strategy.
Tony is a retired consultant paediatrician who worked in neonatal intensive care at St George's Hospital for over twenty-five years. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and of the Royal College of Physicians. He maintains a number of advisory roles with governmental and non-governmental organisations, particularly in the field of child nutrition.