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Our Board of Trustees
Sir Andrew Pulford GCB CBE DL
Chair of Trustees
Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford joined the Royal Air Force in 1977 as a Support Helicopter pilot. During his flying career he accumulated over 5,000 hours on both Wessex and Chinook helicopters, serving primarily in Germany but including exchange tours with the Royal Navy’s Commando Helicopter Force and the Royal Australian Air Force. He has seen operational service in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Lebanon, the Balkans and the Gulf.
Sir Andrew enjoyed a wide variety of junior ground appointments including staff posts in Headquarters Northern Ireland and the British Army’s doctrine organisation, and two years as Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of the Air Staff. As Station Commander of Royal Air Force Odiham, he commanded the UK Chinook Force through a period of unprecedented operational activity, including large scale deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.
His senior appointments included: Director of Air Resources and Plans; command of the Royal Air Force’s Air Transport, Air-to-Air Refuelling and Surveillance forces; two years as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations); and three years as Deputy Commander Capability at Air Command, responsible for all RAF personnel and equipment procurement matters.
Sir Andrew took command of his Service as Chief of the Air Staff in July 2013 and served a full 3 years in post, overseeing the Royal Air Force’s contribution to operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and leading the successful Air input to the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015.
He joined BAE Systems as Senior Military Adviser in 2017.
Laurie Benson is CEO of Upnexxt Ltd, a media consultancy specialising in business transformation and new digital business models. Her clients include legacy media companies as well as digital start-ups. In addition, she is a regular industry speaker.
Laurie has extensive experience in television, print, digital and event media in both the U.S. and Europe, Middle East, Africa.
Ms. Benson served as Publisher for Time Magazine in Europe, Middle East, Africa. She then led the commercial activities of Bloomberg’s Publishing and Digital operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
She sits on the board of The Medical Algorithms Company.
Dr Carol Cole
Carol is Chair of the Staffing and Remuneration Committee, a member of the Nominations and Governance Committee and one of the board’s two Whistleblowing trustees.
A behavioural psychologist by background, she was a change management consultant with the NHS, a director at the Office for Public Management and a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford, before establishing her own consultancy in organisation development and systemic change. Carol has extensive experience in strategy, leadership and governance, applying psychology to enhance business, team and individual effectiveness. She has worked across the public and private sectors, from blue chips to charities, and led successful consulting projects and leadership programmes in Europe, North America and the Middle East.
Carol is chair of Together for Mental Wellbeing, vice chair at Central London Community NHS Trust, a trustee of Age UK and a council member at the University of Roehampton. She has previously held several other board roles in the NHS and charitable sector and is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is interested in military history and has strong family connections with the RAF.
Dr Rodney Eastwood
Dr Rodney Eastwood was Secretary of Imperial College London from October 2007 to April 2012 and before that held various posts in the College in strategic planning and management information. Prior to joining the College, he worked at the Natural History Museum, finishing as Assistant to the Director.
Rodney is currently a non-executive Director of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, a trustee of the London school of ESCP Europe Business School, a member of the Board of Trustees of the RAF Museum, a governor of Chelsea Academy and the Audit Chair of the Society of Biology.
He was awarded an MBE for services to higher education in the June 2012 honours list.
Julie is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and has 30 years’ experience in strategic communications, brand building, sponsorship activation and reputation management.
She has provided counsel to blue chip clients in the private, public and third sector across aviation & transportation; tourism, arts & culture; sport & leisure; retail, property & construction; food & drink and financial services.
Julie is the former co-founder of 3×1 Group, an independent communications and digital consultancy with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. She is a past-chair of CIPR Scotland; former adviser to the University of Stirling’s MSc in Public Relations and non-executive director of the arts charity Culture Republic. Her media career spanned the BBC World Service and Radio Clyde after graduating from the University of Strathclyde in Arts and Business Studies.
Nick is a engineer by training and spent the early part of his career in the aerospace industry with Rolls Royce and Lucas Aerospace ( now part of Collins Aerospace) in a variety of technical and operational roles.
He then moved into the Private Equity industry firstly as CEO of CompAir ( an air compressor manufacturer) and then Deloro Stellite ( a specialist materials business). He then became a founding partner of Better Capital LLP where he took on the role of Executive Chairman of Gardner Aerospace.
Nick now manages a portfolio of private businesses and advises Private Equity firms on new or existing investments.
A life long aerospace enthusiast he was involved with the Vulcan to the Skies trust before becoming a Trustee of the RAF Museums.