Programme Mentors

Each Future London Leader is paired with a senior mentor from Future of London’s extensive cross-sector network. These mentors provide a ‘safe space’ sounding board for candidates, as well as invaluable experience and insights from their own careers.

2016 marks the creation of FoL’s Mentor Network, a growing group willing to be called on throughout the year. They are offered workshops, the option for the psychometric exercise FLL candidates undertake, and networking opportunities with candidates and alumni, other mentors, and Future of London’s steering group.

The six-month programmes start each January, April and September – if you’re interested in finding out more, contact Leaders Project Manager Sabrina Belle at


Future London Leaders Round 16 Mentors

Simon Bevan
Director of Planning, LB Southwark

Simon is Director of Planning at Southwark and has been at the centre of the borough’s ambitious regeneration plans for over 20 years, taking charge of the planning division in 2008. Simon has led the preparation of the strategy framework that has delivered consistently high levels of affordable housing for many years. His division, which includes planners, transport planners, urban designers and building inspectors, working hard to deliver 11,000 new council homes over the next 30 years while constantly improving services to all customers. For this, Southwark earned the award of Best Planning Authority 2016-17 at the recent London Planning Awards.

Barbara Brownlee
Director of Housing and  Regeneration, Westminster

Barbara spent 15 years working at various London boroughs; 6 years in the private sector, and the last 3 years as Director of Housing for Thurrock Council. She has worked in housing regeneration, delivering major public and private-sector programmes and been responsible for mixed-tenure developments and major private-finance deals. At Thurrock, Barbara set up a council-owned company to build award-winning affordable housing which now delivers an income stream for the council. In Westminster she is responsible for Church Street regeneration a £1bn scheme running from Edgware Road to Lisson Arches.

Anne Byrne
Head of Regeneration (Woodberry Down), LB Hackney

Anne Byrne is a highly experienced regeneration professional. She has worked in the housing and regeneration field for more than 25 years. She has held a number of senior roles in local government which has provided her with a breadth of understanding and perspective on the challenges and opportunities of working within the public sector. Anne is currently Head of Regeneration (Woodberry Down) in the London Borough of Hackney. This is one of the largest and most complex regeneration projects in the country and will deliver 5,500 new homes. Anne has also been an enabler for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and has now been appointed by the Design Council as a building environment expert.

Christina Calderato
Acting Head of Policy and Strategy, Transport for London

Christina is a policy professional with 12 years of policy and strategy experience, largely in the public sector. For the last 10 years, she has worked at Transport for London across a diverse range of policy areas including demand management, Congestion Charging and equality and inclusion. In her current role as Acting Head of Strategy and Policy she leads the team in TfL Planning, overseeing the development of the next Mayor’s Transport Strategy, TfL’s environment portfolio, Oxford Street Pedestrianisation and the Transport Equality Team. Christina also sits on TfL’s Equality and Inclusion Leadership Team and is working closely with City Hall and senior management within TfL to help develop a new equalities framework for London and identify the role of the GLA family bodies in tackling London’s key equality challenges. Prior to working at TfL, Christina was a researcher at Luther Pendragon, working largely with health clients after starting her career at the Department of Health.

Sue Cooper
Head of Business Development, Catalyst

I joined Catalyst Housing as a Community Development Adviser, progressing to become a Business
Development Manager, which has led to my current role of Director of Business Development.
Working within the Property Directorate I manage a small team of Business Development and External Affairs managers, with our work being focused upon growth, ‘placemaking’, identifying and bidding for new opportunities and leading the company’s external affairs function. I have a significant amount of experience in successfully bidding for and overseeing the initial stages of large scale estate regeneration opportunities – and in the development and delivery of social, economic and community investment initiatives. I am a qualified social-worker and spent several years in mental-health work, predominantly in a ‘therapeutic community’ setting. This was followed by managing a housing project for homeless teenagers and working as a community worker in a Neighbourhood Council in Hammersmith.

Patrick Devlin
Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards

Patrick Devlin leads PTE’s initiatives in Third Age Housing. In 2009 he coordinated the highly influential HAPPI report – Housing our Aged Population Panel for Innovation. His current preoccupation is co-housing, an innovative form of cooperative housing well suited to older people. He writes and speaks on the subject, drawing on the latest research and on personal experience. Patrick has substantial experience in the housing, mixed-use and regeneration sectors, and has both designed and delivered a series of successful and award-winning projects, ranging from large-scale masterplans to infill sites and refurbishments. He lectures and reviews at Cardiff and Newcastle Universities.

Claudette Forbes
Director, CAF Consulting

Claudette is a highly experienced regeneration professional with 26 years’ experience of developing and implementing large scale regeneration programmes within regional and local government. A former Executive Director of the London Development Agency, she spearheaded a £125m per annum London-wide regeneration programme. More recently, as a Director at CAF Consulting Ltd, she has developed an impressive body of work as a consultant assisting a range of largely public sector organisations in their regeneration efforts. Claudette has established a reputation for working successfully with city planners, helping them to move beyond plan making to delivery.

Jenna Goldberg
Director, London Communications Agency

As well as advising clients on PR and communications, Jenna heads LCA’s dedicated research team, helping to ensure the specialist agency and its clients are one step ahead when it comes to local, regional and national politics and London news and issues. Since joining LCA in 2008, she has worked on major NHS reconfigurations as well as some of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe, helping clients to communicate change and engage with the public. Jenna also edits LCA’s award-winning monthly news magazine LDN–London in short.

Lisa Kelvey
Director – Major Projects Advisory, KPMG

Lisa specialises in supporting project leaders with strategy, planning and delivery of major projects and programmes. She has a particular interest in how decisions are made and has developed approaches to improve project and programme decision-making. Lisa’s career has included advising UK and International public and private sector organisations on improving the performance of major infrastructure projects and programmes and large mixed-use developments. She advises on the design and set up of programme governance, processes, controls, monitoring and assurance and undertakes programme health checks. She has worked on a large number of international programmes in locations as diverse as Singapore, Dubai, Kazakhstan, the Caribbean and Mexico. Lisa joined KPMG in August 2012. Her former roles include Project Manager and Senior Engineer at Arup and two years in the Programme Management Office of the Energy Technologies Institute. Lisa is also a member of the Board of the Women’s Infrastructure Network.

Félicie Krikler
Director, Assael Architecture

Félicie Krikler, director at Assael Architecture, is an experienced architect with both French and British qualifications and has lived and worked in London for 20 years. As a creative professional, Félicie is passionate about design with her main areas of expertise lying in residentially-led urban regeneration. From leading numerous large-scale, mixed-use and masterplanning projects to thinking of the smallest details of urban living, Félicie has developed an intimate understanding of what makes good spaces and communities work. Félicie has been instrumental in many of Assael’s high profile mixed-use projects over the years. Most recently, Félicie has become one of Assael’s Build to Rent leaders, designing new homes specifically for rent across the UK. Assael has been closely involved in the evolution of this sector since 2008. By researching the US multi-family model, producing several design guides and advising clients, investors and government institutions, they have become one of the experts in this emerging market. Felicie and team recently gained planning consent for Pontoon Dock, a mixed-use Build to Rent scheme for Linkcity on a GLA owned site in Newham. Assael also have several other Build to Rent projects throughout the country, some under construction and many more in the pipeline, with the aim to create new communities across all ages fostered by the Build to Rent concept. Félicie is also a member of the Urban Land Institute and was one of the experts on Lord Heseltine’s recent Estate Regeneration Panel.

Simon Latham
Executive Head of Housing and Regeneration, LB Sutton

Simon is the Executive Head of Housing and Regeneration for Sutton Council, where he has worked for 16 years. Prior to that, he worked in the London Boroughs of Hackney, Brent, Wandsworth and Lambeth, commencing his career in London local government in 1984. He has led on a variety of regeneration projects, development of specialist supported living for adults with care and support needs, and has extensive experience in working with communities to make the case for affordable housing delivery. He has extensive contract management experience and has had operational responsibility at assistant director level for all housing needs and homelessness functions in the boroughs in which he has worked. Simon has also led on commissioning Adult Social Services, working with private, voluntary and independent sector providers. He is now a Director of two council-owned companies: Sutton Living Ltd (which will develop and procure a range of market and subsidised housing) and Encompass LATC Ltd, a Local Authority Trading Company responsible for the delivery of housing needs, housing advice, homelessness and support planning and brokerage functions. He is now also responsible for the Council’s Planning service, with oversight of the development and adoption of our new Local Plan to facilitate growth, and delivery of our Sutton Town Centre Regeneration Masterplan, which identifies a wide range of private and publicly owned sites for redevelopment.

Stephen McDonald
Director of Place, Capita RE

Stephen is responsible for leading Re’s ‘place making’ services in the borough of Barnet, including regeneration, planning, strategic transport and economic development. A senior professional experienced working at cabinet, ministerial and board level, Stephen has significant sector experience in the development industry, working at the public–private interface to make complex, mixed-use and mixed-tenure developments succeed. His extensive central and local government experience incorporates key strengths in efficiency and performance improvement, change and programme management.

Mark Mitchener
Managing Director, Rydon

Mark started his career as a trainee planning engineer, and soon went into project management and design management, progressing to become director of a development company. He has primarily a housing career, which has included large commercial projects such as retail, office and shopping centres, and more recently health and education. His personal business interest is in estate regeneration, with the aim of having a positive impact across the whole community through good design, engagement and employment opportunities. Mark really enjoys supporting The Prince’s Trust with the “Get Into Construction” programme which helps disadvantaged young people gain work experience and potential employment. Mark received a reward on behalf of Rydon from the Trust for demonstrating like-minded management. He adds value to the company through land asset rationalisation, urban community regeneration, and creating long-term partnership with public sector partners, funders and supply chain.

Timothy Nabbs
Project Manager/Consultant, Thames Valley Housing Association

Tim has over 35 years Sales and Marketing experience, including 20 years at Director level. His career has included working for a number of well-known multinational Consumer Products businesses where he was responsible for developing sales and marketing strategy plus the successful launch of new products and brands. He also has extensive knowledge of the New Build sector having worked for 10 years as a Divisional Sales and Marketing Director for two major UK Housebuilders. Over the past 4 years he has been employed as a Consultant in the Development Directorates of two London based Housing Associations working on a variety of projects.

Jamie Ratcliff
Assistant Director – Housing, Greater London Authority

Jamie has over ten years’ experience at a senior level in housing development. He has broad experience in housing policy & practice covering housing supply, affordable housing delivery, management standards in the private rented sector, rough sleeping services and the environmental retrofit of London’s homes. Jamie currently works as an Assistant Director at the Greater London Authority with responsibility for housing and is also a member representative on the Local Pension Board for the London Pension Fund Authority. Jamie is the author, in a personal capacity, of two recent reports recommending radical action to build the homes Londoners need – Mass-delivery of Manufactured Homes for Rent and In no uncertain terms. Jamie holds a Law degree and a Masters in Public Administration, where his dissertation explored whether the modern Olympic Games had left cash cows, white elephants or successful economic, environmental and social legacies.

Mike Ward
Director, Mojo Advisory Service

Mike has specialised in housing development and business growth in the social housing sector for more than 20 years. Before moving into the not-for-profit world he spent 13 years in residential property in the private sector during which time he ran agency offices for Prudential and Woolwich Property Services. Prior to joining Campbell Tickell Mike served for three and a half years as an Executive Director for Circle Housing Group which, with around 67,000 homes across London and the south east of England, was one of the largest affordable housing providers in the UK. Mike’s executive roles were initially as Executive Director of Property and then as Executive Director of New Business. Both roles had responsibility for the development and regeneration programmes for the Group, with the latter role focusing especially on innovation and growth through mergers and acquisitions. Before joining the Group Executive team Mike’s experience with Circle included successful delivery of a number of stock transfers. He took the lead for the bidding, consultation and post ballot completion programmes and acquisitions which saw Birmingham based Mercian Housing Association join the Group. Earlier roles saw him spending time as a development and leasehold manager delivering programmes of new build, refurbishment and specialist property adaptation for a wide range of tenants and leaseholders. Until leaving Circle when its merger with Affinity Sutton was successfully concluded Mike served as vice-Chair of European Federation for Living which is an international network of social housing providers, supply chain companies and academic institutions.


Future London Leaders Round 15 Mentors

Linda Convery
Partner, TLT Solicitors

Linda is a solicitor and a partner in TLT’s Real Estate group with 30 years’ experience of advising the social housing sector on a whole variety of property issues. She acts for a wide range of Registered Providers and has worked with local authorities. She specialises in the development of new affordable housing as stand- alone projects or as part of mixed use schemes. She deals with a range of issues including the negotiation of complex development agreements, conditional contracts, the setting up of joint venture vehicles, planning agreements, shared ownership leases and service charges. Over the years Linda has also been involved in the development and management of Extracare housing and supported housing, which often involves negotiating services agreements and funding arrangements as well as drafting bespoke retirement leases. Linda is well acquainted with the regulatory framework of the Homes and Communities Agency and how this impacts on the supply of affordable housing. She is also a board member of a housing association. Linda is independently recognised as an expert in the field of Social Housing by Chambers UK and Legal 500, independent guides to the legal profession and she has also supervised a number of trainee solicitors.

Sue Cooper
Head of Business Development, Catalyst

I joined Catalyst Housing as a Community Development Adviser, progressing to become a Business
Development Manager, which has led to my current role of Director of Business Development.
Working within the Property Directorate I manage a small team of Business Development and External Affairs managers, with our work being focused upon growth, ‘placemaking’, identifying and bidding for new opportunities and leading the company’s external affairs function. I have a significant amount of experience in successfully bidding for and overseeing the initial stages of large scale estate regeneration opportunities – and in the development and delivery of social, economic and community investment initiatives. I am a qualified social-worker and spent several years in mental-health work, predominantly in a ‘therapeutic community’ setting. This was followed by managing a housing project for homeless teenagers and working as a community worker in a Neighbourhood Council in Hammersmith.

Donald Farquharson

Donald is an experienced director with a track record in developing business, successfully starting and completing major projects. He has worked in health, education and regeneration in PFI and PPP with Central and Local Government and within the private sector. He is an original thinker who has written a number of articles and chaired conferences. Donald led the formation of GEN² Property a new company wholly owned by Kent County Council as well as being the Executive Head of the Capital Programme Delivery Team. He is responsible for the management and delivery of varying capital projects of around £270m a year on projects such as Basic Need school place provision, regeneration, new Schools and Academies, Waste Recycling Centres, Mortuaries, Libraries, Children Centres, car and lorry parks etc as well as the provision of a new main line new railway station.

Helen Fisher
Tottenham Programme Director, LB Haringey

Helen Fisher has over 20 years of experience working in urban regeneration in both the public and private sector. She is the Director for the Tottenham regeneration programme at Haringey Council, an area spanning 560 hectares across 8 wards with plans to deliver 10000 new homes, 5000 new jobs and a major improvement in the life chances of young people. Previous roles include Project Director for Nine Elms on the South Bank Partnership and Programme Director for Canning Town in the LB of Newham.

Karen Galey
Head of Placeshaping & Economic Development, LB Camden

I started my career in the housing directorate of the Department of the Environment. I have over 20 years’ experience working for a number of London local authorities delivering innovative regeneration and place shaping programmes. In my current role I am responsible for Placeshaping and Economic Development in Camden managing strategic planning and implementation, regeneration, place development, infrastructure and growth. This entails ensuring that teams work together to realise the ambition of the Camden Plan delivering jobs, homes and growth while protecting the unique character of the borough. Ensuring that major infrastructure projects like Tottenham Court Road, Crossrail, HS2 are well designed and integrated pieces of city. Supporting key strategic partnerships like the West End Partnership and the Knowledge Quarter to attract significant investment into the borough and make the case for economic growth whilst delivering positive outcomes for the people who live and work in the borough.

Sherine McFarlane
Head of Social & Economic Regeneration, Genesis

Sherine is from a social housing background and has specialised in community regeneration for the past 20 years. She is a qualified practitioner and is currently responsible for the development and delivery of social and economic programmes on two large regeneration schemes: Woodberry Down in Hackney and Grahame Park in Barnet. She has worked with a variety of communities across London and managed an array of cross-thematic programmes, including enterprise development, employability, health & well-being, financial inclusion, children and young people, and older people.

Nigel Minto
Head of Housing Policy & Strategy, LB Hackney

Nigel has over 25 years’ housing experience at senior local authority, national, regional and RP Board level. Having served as a Board member at Habinteg and previously worked for the NHF, ODPM, the Government Office for London, as well as London Councils and five other local authorities, he now leads on housing strategy and policy at Hackney. He has extensive experience of working with senior leading politicians in the areas of housing management, regeneration, policy development, public affairs, media and lobbying as well managing the direct delivery of a range of housing services. Most recently providing expert technical advice to the DCLG on a number of technical working groups including pay to stay and the forced sales of higher value Council homes. He has successfully taken forward a number of lobbying campaigns including the localisation of local authority HRAs, ALMO funding, LHA caps, stock transfer gap funding, pay to stay and more recently Hackney Council’s ‘10 Steps to a better private rented sector’, securing a number of changes in Government PRS policy. Nigel’s approach incorporates a strong focus on community involvement and he is focused on increasing housing supply in Hackney and on what steps can be taken locally and nationally to improve the affordability and conditions in the private rented sector in Hackney.

Paul Nichols
Divisional Director, Regeneration Enterprise & Planning, LB Harrow

Paul is with the London Borough of Harrow as the Divisional Director for Regeneration Enterprise and Planning. Harrow town centre is one of London’s newest Opportunity Areas and Paul’s remit is to implement their new Area Action Plan, to deliver some 5,000 new homes, and to accelerate delivery as one of the GLA’s new Housing Zones. Prior to this, Paul was Head of Planning, Transport and Sustainability at Southampton City Council for over ten years. In this role Paul worked on city centre masterplanning, delivery of the city centre Area Action Plan and sub-regional strategic planning with the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH). Paul also led on the development of the city’s transport planning and sustainable travel capability, management of the city centre CHP contract (with Cofely), development of additional district heating schemes and creating a comprehensive approach to flood risk management in the city. Paul’s earlier career was in planning consultancy, largely with Halcrow (now CH2M Hill). Paul worked on a wide range of UK and international planning projects, including sustainable development masterplanning in the Caribbean, major developments in the middle- east and a long period in the Maltese islands, working with a consultancy team to create and implement their national planning system ahead of European accession.

Claire O’Shaughnessy
Director, Deloitte (mentoring in an individual Capacity)

Claire currently works for Deloitte Real Estate as a Director in Real Estate Consulting, focusing on the public sector, including the NHS. Her role includes developing estate strategies, public sector land release and disposal, business case delivery, and programme development and management. She is also a non-Exec on the Board of Sovereign Housing Association. Before Deloitte, Claire led the development of the estates strategy at the Ministry of Defence. Prior to that she was a senior executive at the Homes and Communities Agency working on public sector land disposal, investment in housing projects and wider public: private partnerships. Claire has previously worked for the London Development Agency and at LB Barking and Dagenham.

Eleanor Purser
Director of Regeneration, Notting Hill Housing

Eleanor Purser is Director of Regeneration for Notting Hill Housing Association. Her key role is leading the Aylesbury Estate Regeneration in partnership with LB Southwark. This 20 year project will deliver 3500 homes of which 50% will be affordable. Prior to this role, Eleanor lead the economic development, planning and sustainability services for LB Sutton leading on projects as varied as “Opportunity Sutton” the development strategy which levered £300m investment into the borough, the new Local Plan and the development of a life- sciences cluster jointly with the Royal Marsden and the Institute of Cancer Research. She has a background in public sector development and housing, having worked for the GLA/HCA as Head of Housing for South London, where she oversaw an investment portfolio of £150m+ and led on commercial negotiations for major regeneration sites of up to £1bn.

Maggie Rafalowicz
Associate Director, Campbell Tickell

As an Associate Director at Campbell Tickell, Maggie is a dynamic senior executive with successful track record in housing, development and regeneration sectors. She has led and managed complex programmes and has in-depth knowledge and experience of public, voluntary and commercial sectors. Maggie led on affordable housing supply and housing regeneration at Brent Council including Wembley and estate based schemes. She has experience of leading complex teams in a matrix environment and is a successful programme manager with knowledge of industry standards. She has developed strong communication skills while working with national network of contracts and has particular strengths in leadership, influencing, problem solving, negotiating and partnership working.

Joe Richardson
Head of Delivery South, Home Group

Joe joined Home Group in June 2015 and heads up the Delivery (i.e. construction) function in their Southern development team. His background prior to joining Home included similar roles at other commercially-focussed Housing Associations and private sector developers, delivering a range of mixed use, mixed tenure schemes with both public and private funding. In his role at Home Group, Joe’s input begins pre-contract, overseeing a team of project managers covering the technical due diligence process prior to build contracts being negotiated and on through the construction phase until handover and conclusion of defect periods. With a professional background in planning and Urban Design, Joe takes a great deal of pride in ensuring schemes are delivered with a well thought out public realm & quality landscaping.

Visakha Sri Chandrasekera
Director, Urbancube

Visakha is an experienced housing professional, with particular expertise in strategic housing policy, the
affordable housing sector and the delivery of residential led regeneration. Her career started in Local
Authorities, firstly at LB Newham and later at LB Islington, where she led partnership working and investment delivery. This included co-writing with planners one of London’s first SPG’s on Affordable Housing. She then went on to work for the Housing Corporation as an Area Manager and later as Deputy Director of Investment for London, where she led the team through the merger with English Partnerships to create the Homes and Communities Agency. In 2010 she joined the private sector working for Lovell Partnerships on London business development and created a regular forum for the public sector to debate emerging housing policy. Most recently she has set up her own consultancy and having worked for Future of London on the Housing Zones Network is now working principally in development for Rydon Construction.

Oliver Steele
Economic Policy Manager, Mott MacDonald

Oliver is a trained economist and accountant with expertise spanning the strategic planning and development of major infrastructure projects, including business case support, economic evaluation and funding and financing advisory, with a focus on transport and regeneration. He joined Mott MacDonald from Infrastructure NSW in Australia, where he was Executive Director of Economics and Planning. Oliver led the New South Wales state infrastructure strategy, which generated high-profile transport projects including the WestConnex toll road scheme and Sydney Metro. Prior to that, Oliver spent six years with HM Treasury in London, working on infrastructure financing and funding arrangements for Crossrail and the restructure of the London Underground public–private partnership.

Jonathan Wade
Head of Forward Planning, RB Kensington & Chelsea

I am a RTPI accredited urban planner with over 25 years’ professional experience of working within the public sector in the UK. My experience covers the whole breadth of the planning field, with Management positions both within Development Management and Planning Policy, most of which is within the London context. I am adaptable and flexible and used to working over a variety of disciplines from writing planning policy, to project management as well as assessing major planning applications with the accompanying negotiation skills. In my current role as Head of Forward Planning at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea I have driven forward a number of high profile strategic projects which were priorities on the corporate agenda.