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Our Board of Trustees
Matthew is an investment fund director and serial technology and finance entrepreneur.
Born in an RAF hospital to a family with strong links to the RAF, he studied Law at Oriel College, Oxford, with professional qualifications in corporate finance and regulation as well as quantum computing and artificial intelligence from MIT. He is a qualified barrister.
After practising at the bar where he specialised in financial regulation, he moved into equity capital markets and fund management with a focus on emerging Europe with CA-IB/Bank Austria/EMAC and global equities with Taube Hodson Stonex Partners where he was also responsible for new fund structuring, marketing and fundraising from institutions and wealth managers.
Matthew is Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner for a pan-European industrial real estate group and co-founder of high-tech start-ups in the UK and Canada. In 2010 he founded a boutique spirits company making award-winning gin.
He is a member of the Chartered institute for Securities and Investments, Royal United Services Institute and the Institute of Directors as well as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and British Interplanetary Society - the UK’s learned society for astronautical science and space advocacy.
Air Marshal Peter Ruddock CB CBE FRAeS RAF (Ret’d)
Peter Ruddock was Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin UK between January 2016 and April 2021; he also served as chairman of the main fiduciary board and as a director on six subsidiary boards. Peter retired from the RAF as a 3-star early in 2011 and joined Lockheed Martin, as Business Development Director for the UK, later the same year. Peter was appointed a Trustee of the RAF Museums in 2021.
Air Marshal Ruddock’s early career as a fighter pilot included running the RAF’s equivalent of ‘Top Gun’ and displaying the Spitfire and Hurricane for 5 seasons. He held a number of high-grade staff appointments and commanded RAF Coningsby, where he was operational on the Tornado F3. Peter was the Director of Air Staff and completed an operational tour as the Commander of the UK Air Component for both Afghanistan and Iraq. Latterly, Peter served as the RAF’s Air Secretary / Personnel Director, prior to spending five years delivering a multi-billion pound a year defence portfolio for the UK MoD overseas.
Peter was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 2011, Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2001 and awarded the US Legion of Merit for outstanding leadership on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a Freeman of the City of London and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Waseem Mahmood is a strategic communications expert having developed and managed several major projects specifically in Countering Violent Extremism and illegal migration. An award-winning broadcaster, he remains one of the youngest credited producers on BBC television. He worked for eight years at BBC Pebble Mill, producing and directing a variety of shows. He left the BBC to set-up and run TV Asia, Europe’s first satellite channel for ethnic minorities. More recently, Waseem has been working as a consultant overseeing the production of television programmes all around the world. From minority Russian language programming in Estonia to a youth culture show in Kenya, from documentary programming in Jordan to local consumer programmes in Vietnam, Waseem’s programme portfolio is as varied as the multitude of locations he has worked in.
In 2005’s New Year’s Honours List, Waseem’s work was acknowledged with the award of an OBE for services to the reconstruction of media in post-war countries. He has been advising many governments on communication strategy; his last posting was in Northern Nigeria. where he was responsible for the launch of a Hausa language TV station in Northern Nigeria which he set up and ran for the US State Department supporting the Counter Terrorism Bureau’s CVE agenda in the North.
Other highlights of his career include developing a comprehensive five year strategic communication strategy countering violent extremism in Pakistan. This included running a successful Pashto radio soap for young people, 'Da Duniya Zamung Duniya' (Our World) and the 'Yeh Hum Naheen' (This is not us), anti-terrorism foundation in Pakistan aimed at de-radicalising young Muslims. In 2008, developed and ran a major multimedia campaign which culminated with world-record-breaking 62.8 million Pakistanis signing a petition condemning terrorism.
He is currently back in UK getting back into production making films that tell extraordinary stories of extraordinary endeavour and passion.
Waseem was awarded an OBE in 2005 in Her Majesty’s New Year’s Honours List 'for services to the reconstruction of Media in post war countries” and received the KAPPA lifetime achievement award “for most outstanding contribution to media'.
David Cooper CBE
David joined the Royal Air Force in 1988 as a fast-jet navigator. During his flying career he accrued over 1,500 hours on the Tornado GR1/GR4 and on various training aircraft. He served on the front-line, as an instructor, and in numerous headquarters in the United Kingdom, in Canada, and on frequent deployments across the world. During his 32 years in the RAF, David conducted operational service in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan, including disaster relief and evacuation operations.
David’s appointments included command of No. 617 Squadron, the Dambusters, and Royal Air Force Marham. He also gained extensive experience in operational Command and Control with the Royal Air Force and within Joint headquarters, working alongside Royal Navy and British Army colleagues. In 2014 David completed a 12-month deployment as the Director of Air Operations in Kabul overseeing NATO air activity in Afghanistan. This was followed by a post as the United Kingdom’s Joint Force Air Component Commander. David’s most recent military appointment was Air Officer Commanding No. 2 Group, responsible for the Royal Air Force’s air mobility and security forces.
David started working for Nova Systems in 2020, with whom he is an Executive General Manager, and he maintains a Royal Air Force Reserve commitment.
Helen Selby was appointed as Asda’s General Counsel and Company Secretary in April 2020. Helen is a member of the Asda Board and Executive Committee. Her remit encompasses legal, company secretariat, regulatory, governance and compliance and she manages a team of over 130 colleagues.
Over the last 15 months she has presided over and played a pivotal role in the sale of Asda out of Walmart and into private equity ownership - one of the largest leveraged M&A buyouts in over a decade in the UK. She has also played a key role in helping to navigate the business through the COVID pandemic and the ultimate remit of 'feeding the nation'.
Prior to joining Asda, Helen spent the majority of her legal career working for a number of food manufacturers, including Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK and Hovis, where she held the positions of General Counsel and Company Secretary.
Whilst at Mars Wrigley, Helen was a member of the Senior Leadership team contributing to and helping form the strategy in the company's lead market, together with being ultimately responsible and accountable for all legal, compliance and regulatory matters. At Hovis, Helen had similar responsibilities and was a member of the Executive Committee and the Board.
Prior to qualifying as a Solicitor, Helen served as an Officer in the Royal Air Force both in the UK and overseas. Helen has a Business degree and also an MBA from Cranfield University and won Legal Week’s Counsel of the Year in 2011. In addition, in January 2021, she was named by The Lawyer magazine as one of their 'Hot 100' lawyers.
Helen splits her time between Buckinghamshire and Leeds, and in her spare time enjoys skiing, running and walking her dogs.
John is a qualified accountant with a 30-year career in financial services. He built and managed Finance and Risk reporting teams for a number of global investment banks, UK retail banks, pension and life companies. Often recruited to address corporate crises, his troubleshooting includes an international joint venture, a merger, a new global banking division, and a banking bail-out.
John combines his professional finance background with further qualifications in the delivery of change and the management of risk, frequently working on regulatory initiatives across data, governance, risk and control.
As a trustee of a local Mind he was previously Chair of Finance and then Chair of Governance, Quality and Performance. He is currently Chair of Finance committee for a national mental health charity having previously been Chair of Audit & Risk committee. He has also been the independent member of Audit & Risk committee for the housing association, Settle.
Jonathan currently runs John Lewis in Welwyn Garden City and has previously run John Lewis Norwich, Peterborough, Brent Cross and Watford. He has been a Partner in John Lewis for 18 years. He has previously worked for Sainsburys where he was responsible for the development and roll out of Sainsburys Convenience stores on Shell Petrol Stations.
Before that, he worked for M&S where he held a variety of operational roles, including running stores in the Kings Road, Croydon and Maidstone.
He currently Chairs the Welwyn Business Improvement District (BiD) and previously chaired the Watford BiD. He also chaired the Oxford Summer School Advisory Board from 2011-2019. Whilst at Sainsburys, he was a non Exec Director of the National Association of Convenience Stores in the USA representing Britain's convenience store sector. He is currently a mentor on the National Be The Business mentoring scheme, working with a number of SME’s and helping them with their business plans and leadership skills.
Outside of work, Jonathan is a keen footballer and recently represented team GB at an over 55’s tournament. He can often be found in the Gym or in the garden growing organic produce and sharing it on his Instagram account, @farmer_field
Jonathan has been married to Lorraine for 33 years and they have 3 grown up children, Emily, Jessica and Louis. They are looking forward to celebrating the weddings of both Emily and Jessica during 2022.
Air Vice-Marshal Simon Edwards MA
Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Strategy)
Simon joined the Royal Air Force in 1990 through a Sixth Form Scholarship scheme. He is an Air Transport pilot, initially flying the C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster. He was also a Qualified Flying Instructor on the Shorts Tucano. AVM Edwards commanded the RAF’s C-17 Squadron from 2008 until 2010, led No. 904 Expeditionary Air Wing at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan in 2011, and was the Station Commander for RAF Brize Norton from 2014 until 2017, home to Air Mobility operations and military parachuting; he gained his parachutist’s wings in 2016. Edwards’ staff tours in between have been focused in the Joint and Capability areas at both MOD and Air Command.
Graduating from the Royal College of Defence Studies in the summer of 2017, Edwards worked briefly in the Cabinet Office as a policy adviser in the National Security Secretariat. He completed the Higher Command and Staff Course before taking on the role of Assistant Chief of Staff for Capability Delivery at Headquarters Air Command. In that role he completed the Major Projects Leadership Academy for high-risk, high value government projects and was the Senior Responsible Owner for a wide portfolio, including the A400M Tactical Airlifter and the United Kingdom Military Flying Training System (MFTS). Promoted to Air Vice-Marshal in May 2021, Simon has returned to the Ministry of Defence as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Strategy).
Simon is married with two grown-up sons. He is an Assistant to the Court of the Worshipful Company of Coopers in the City of London, and occupies his spare time with DIY at home, or preventing his ageing riverboat from succumbing to the River Thames.