Our Trustees – Vision Foundation
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Our Trustees

Our Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for our governance with oversight for our strategic direction. They meet four times a year to discuss, decide and review our strategies and policies. Our trustees work for the Vision Foundation voluntarily to make sure we’re doing all we can to reach and improve the lives of people with sight loss living across London.

Heather Giles

Headshot of Heather Giles, Chair of Trustees Chair of Trustees

Heather Giles PhD, HonFBPharmacolS, has held international leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry, spanning drug discovery, clinical development and delivering new medicines to patients.  Previously, she was a nurse.  Currently, Heather’s career portfolio include Chief Operating Officer(COO) of a company developing diagnostics for neurodegenerative diseases, adjunct Professor at University of Houston and membership of several scientific advisory boards.

Heather is partially sighted due to myopic degeneration. She is committed to the charity sector and is currently a member of the Finance and Audit committee at British Pharmacological Society. She sits on our Social Impact and Scientific Research Committee (SISR), and was previously a Trustee at RNIB.  Thus has a deep understanding of the needs of the sight loss sector.

In her spare time Heather practices yoga, and enjoys gardening, hiking and international travel.

Darren Barker

Darren Barker

Trustee

Darren joined the Vision Foundation Board in December 2020. Darren had most recently held the role of CEO of Hostelling International, working closely with the operations and governance teams of 65 Not-for-Profits all around the globe for just under 6 years.

Darren started his career in the more commercial aspects of Finance before taking on responsibility for Technology, Sales and later moving across into General Management. Darren has worked in retail, technology and travel industries before cutting across into the 3rd sector in early 2015.

Darren lives in London and is partially sighted with a rare eye condition (Rodmonochromatism).

Professor M Francesca Cordeiro

Trustee

Professor M Francesca Cordeiro is a Professor of Ophthalmology at Imperial College London, the Western Eye Hospital, and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and also has a chair at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

She is Chairman of ICORG (Imperial College Ophthalmic Research Group) and Director of the ICORG Clinical Trials Research Unit.

Her research is mainly funded through the Wellcome Trust and is focused on novel and translational approaches to retinal and neurodegenerative diseases.

She serves on a number of international committees, including the ARVO, Cophy, European Glaucoma Society, EVI, EVICRnet and EVER. She is on the Editorial Board of various journals, including Investigative Ophthalmology, Experimental Eye Research and Ophthalmic Research.

Victoria Currey

Victoria Currey

Trustee

Victoria Currey has 20 years of international experience working in the field of Human Resources and is currently Director, Business Partnering & Talent Management at British International Investment PLC.

An expert at leading programs of change and growth, as well as having a full suite of HR generalist experience, Victoria is also a qualified UK lawyer with strong technical employment relations knowledge globally.

Keith Felton

Treasurer

Keith Felton was director of corporate services at Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, for ten years until his retirement in 2020.

Prior to joining Crisis in 2009, Keith spent nearly 25 years in the financial services industry, most recently as head of finance & operations at Fleming Family & Partners, following qualification as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse. Keith is also a trustee of UK for UNHCR and has previously served as a trustee of other charities.

Elizabeth Honer

A shot from the waist up of Elizabeth standing with her arms folded. She's wearing a green, long-sleeved top.Trustee

Elizabeth is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA). Her career spans more than 30 years in the public sector, including in the former Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Houses of Parliament and the National Archives. She is a qualified accountant (CPFA) and chartered internal auditor (CMIIA), with substantial expertise in strategy, governance and risk management at Board level. Elizabeth is a champion of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, actively seeking different perspectives and regularly mentoring women and BAME emerging leaders. When not at work, she enjoys cycling, ballet and classical music.

Alina Kessel

Trustee

Alina has 25+ years of experience building brands, growing client businesses, and running communication agencies. She is a Global Client Leader at WPP, leading multi-disciplinary teams servicing some of the world’s largest consumer and healthcare brands.

She has lived and worked in the USA, Australia, Germany, and the UK.

Alina has been a Trustee of Fight for Sight since 2017. She is also a non-executive director of DS Smith, a FTSE 100 packaging company, a Trustee of Glyndebourne, the opera house, and on the advisory board of WPP Stella, a leadership group to inspire and enable WPP women to maximize their potential.

Ly Lam

Image of Ly Lam

Trustee

Ly Lam brings a wealth of experience from a career working in the reinsurance industry and has more than 15 years of market experience. She was previously the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Strategy for Reinsurance at MS Amlin and before that was CATCo’s Chief Operating Officer. Ly is a qualified chartered accountant and holds degrees in Chemistry and Law from Exeter University in the UK. Outside of the office she enjoys yoga, hiking and is a keen cook. Ly has also taken part in Swim Serpentine to raise funds for the Vision Foundation.

Sylvester Oppong

Trustee

Sylvester Oppong qualified as a chartered accountant at Deloitte before moving into investment banking and has nearly 20 years of experience. Sylvester started his investment banking career at Goldman Sachs International, where he advised clients on UK and international mergers & acquisitions (M&A). He later spent a number of years at Hawkpoint Partners and Smith Square Partners.

Sylvester is currently Head of Healthcare Services M&A at EY. Sylvester has an MA (Hons) in Classics from the University of Cambridge.

Dr Amit Patel

A headshot of Dr Amit PatelTrustee

Dr Amit Patel is a disability rights campaigner, best-selling author, motivational speaker and independent consultant. Amit studied medicine at Cambridge University and qualified as a doctor, specialising in emergency medicine and major incidents, but during medical school was diagnosed with keratoconus.

Eventually losing his sight in 2013, Amit has now registered as severely sight impaired (blind).

Today, Amit is an active campaigner for accessibility, speaking out against the issues that disabled people face daily. In his corporate life, he works with clients across the spectrum, from law firms and financial services to medicine and the arts, advising on diversity and inclusion.

Professor Roy Quinlan

Trustee

Professor Roy Quinlan is a Professor in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University. He is a member of the Association for Research into Vision and Ophthalmology, the International Society for Eye Research, the British Society for Cell Biology and the British Biophysical Society.

Professor Quinlan’s research interests include a focus on the lens of the eye and how this functions. He is a past Chair of our Grants Assessment Panel.