Directors and staff

Andrew Neal, Chair

Andrew Neal, Chair of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust
Andrew Neal, Chair of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust

Andrew Neal was born in Hastings and graduated from the University of York with a Masters degree in political philosophy. He went on to train as an accountant and is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Between 1987 and 2003, he worked for Unilever in the UK and the Netherlands in a variety of finance and management roles. Andrew then worked for Lancaster University between 2003 and 2012, first as Director of Finance and Resources and then as Chief Operating Officer. He is currently an independent consultant.

Andrew was appointed as a Director of JRRT in October 2008. He became Vice Chair in 2013 and was appointed Chair in 2017.


Sal Brinton

Sal Brinton, Director of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust
Sal Brinton

Sal Brinton (Baroness Brinton) is a working Liberal Democrat peer in the House of Lords. She is the Vice President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE).

Sal was the Director of the Association of the Universities in the East of England until she went into the Lords in 2011. In 1997 she won the East Anglian Businesswoman of the Year award for her work as Bursar of Lucy Cavendish College Cambridge, and she was later Bursar of Selwyn College Cambridge from 1997 to 2002. Sal was a founding member of the Board of the East of England Development Agency to December 2004, and Chair of the Cambridgeshire Learning and Skills Council from 1999 to 2005.

Sal joined the Liberal Party in 1975. She was the Liberal Democrat party’s parliamentary candidate for the marginal seat of Watford in 2010 and 2005, and for South East Cambridgeshire in 2001 and 1997. She also served as a county councillor in Cambridgeshire between 1993 and 2004, first as the Education Portfolio holder, then as the Leader of the Opposition.

Sal joined JRRT’s Board in July 2013.


Roger Clarke

Roger Clarke
Roger Clarke

Roger began his career as a community development worker in the west of Scotland. He has been CEO at the Youth Hostels Association and a Director at the Countryside Agency and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. He has served as Chair of Friends of the Earth and the Civil Society Advisory Board at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Vice-Chair of the international development charity Practical Action.

Roger is a board member of the Foreign Policy Centre. He has also been a board member of various environmental organisations, including Natural England, the Peak District National Park Authority, the National Forest Company, the Woodland Trust, and The Conservation Volunteers.

Roger has a BA in geography from Oxford University and a PhD from McGill University, Montreal. He is married with two sons, and lives in Derbyshire. Roger is a member of Bakewell Quaker Meeting and has served on various national Quaker groups.

Roger joined JRRT’s Board in September 2018.


Amy Dalrymple

Amy Dalrymple

Amy Dalrymple is based in Edinburgh. She is Associate Director for Policy for Marie Curie in Scotland and has previously held senior public policy roles at the Royal College of Nursing and Alzheimer Scotland. Amy’s professional interests are in health, social care and inequity, and participation and how these interlink with each other and with wider democratic culture.

Amy has a longstanding association with democratic reform campaigning. She first got really engaged when she became the Coordinator for the JRRT-backed ‘Fairshare’ campaign in 2001, which by 2003 was successful in building a coalition of support to change the voting system for Scottish local government elections to the Single Transferable Vote. She continued to be involved in the democratic reform movement first as a Council member, and then by establishing and leading the Scotland office of the Electoral Reform Society (ERS).

During this time she also served as a Council member for Unlock Democracy, and began serving as a Board member of the Centre for Scottish Public Policy (CSPP) in 2009, a leading, independent, membership-based, cross-party and non-party think tank. She has been vice-chair of CSPP since 2014. Amy also serves on the Board of Down’s Syndrome Scotland and contributes enthusiastically to her child’s school Parents’ Council – community empowerment at its best!


Alison Goldsworthy, Vice Chair

Alison Goldsworthy, vice chair
Alison Goldsworthy, JRRT Vice Chair

Alison (Ali) Goldsworthy is CEO of The Depolarization Project and co-author of Poles Apart which will be released in 2021 with Penguin Random House.  The focus of her work is to reduce political polarisation when it reaches pernicious levels. Previously Ali was Head of Supporter Strategy and Engagement at the consumer champion Which?, oversaw the successful campaign to introduce opt-out organ donation in Wales and worked in Parliament and the Senedd. Ali joined the board in 2012 and became Vice Chair of the board five years later.

In 2016, Ali moved to California to study as a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University and continues to divide her time between the US and UK. She lives with her husband and  in her spare time is a mediocre powerlifter.


Dr Julian Huppert

Dr Julian Huppert
Dr Julian Huppert

Julian Huppert is an academic and politician. He now runs an interdisciplinary centre, the Intellectual Forum at Jesus College, Cambridge, which brings people together to discuss some of the most important issues of our time.

He was the Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge between 2010-2015, serving on the Home Affairs Select Committee, the Joint Committee on Human Rights and as the Liberal Democrat spokesman on Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities.

His research studied unusual structures of DNA, identifying potential new anti-cancer drug targets. He was Deputy Chair of the NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, and a member of the Home Office Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group, as well as Chair of the Panel of Independent Reviewers for DeepMind Health, pioneering a new approach to oversight and governance in technology companies. In 2013 he was made the ISPA ‘Internet Hero of the Year’ for his work defeating the Communications Data Bill.

Julian joined JRRT’s board in June 2016.


Ben Lyons

Ben Lyons
Ben Lyons

Ben Lyons is an advocacy and communications specialist. He led campaigns for charities and businesses as an Associate Director at FleishmanHillard Fishburn, and was Senior Communications Manager at Virgin Media. He has also worked at the Centre for American Progress. He founded and chaired Intern Aware, a campaign for fair internships, which secured a step change in policy and practice, helping to double the proportion of paid internships in the UK.

Ben was named a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a Sheila McKechnie Foundation Campaigner of the Year. He graduated from Tsinghua University in 2018 (Master of Management Science in Global Affairs, Schwarzman Scholar) and from Oxford University in 2011 (BA, History).

Ben joined JRRT’s Board in September 2018.


Professor Sue Mendus

Professor Sue Mendes
Professor Sue Mendus

Sue Mendus is Morrell Professor Emerita in Political Philosophy at the University of York.  She has published extensively on theories of liberalism,  the concept of toleration, and the relationship between morality and politics. She is a Trustee of the C & J B Morrell Trust, and a former Director of the Morrell Centre for Toleration at the University of York.

In 2012 she gave evidence, as an expert witness, to the Leveson Inquiry.

Sue joined JRRT’s Board in June 2016.


Lisa Smart

Lisa Smart
Lisa Smart

Lisa Smart is a Liberal Democrat Councillor on Stockport Council where she chairs the Werneth Area Committee. Lisa sits on the Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee and represents the council on the Greater Manchester Pension Fund Management Panel.

Lisa is a Regional Lead Peer for the Local Government Association and holds various non-executive positions including as an Independent Panel Member for the HS2 Community & Environment and Business & Local Economy Funds, a Trustee of the Stockport Canal Boat Trust for Disabled People and as a school governor for over sixteen years.

Previously, Lisa was Chief Executive of a charitable trust and held senior executive positions with several grant-making charities. She spent the first twelve years of her career in international investment management working with some of the world’s largest pension funds, charities and foundations.

Lisa graduated from the University of Durham with a maths degree and has an Executive MBA from London Business School.

She joined JRRT’s Board in June 2016 and chairs the Finance Committee.


Fionna Tod

Fionna Tod
Fionna Tod

Fionna Tod is a communications and advocacy specialist, currently working for Global Health Strategies and specialising in campaigns on global health. She previously worked in the UK Parliament, first as a researcher and then as the Liberal Democrat adviser on Foreign Affairs, Europe, Defence and International Development.

Prior to that, Fionna worked as a campaign organiser and ran as a parliamentary candidate in Mid Norfolk in the 2017 General Election. She has also worked on two US presidential elections, in 2008 and 2012.

Fionna graduated from the University of York in 2010 and has also studied at the University of California in San Diego. She grew up in Cambridge in a Quaker family and is a member of Jesus Lane Friends Meeting.

Fionna joined JRRT’s Board in January 2019.


Click here to download a complete list of trust directors, past and present.


Individual directors are free to exempt themselves from discussion and/or decision on specific issues. JRRT’s support for a particular organisation, campaign or issue does not imply that every director shares that commitment.


JRRT Board diversity audit

JRRT is committed to transparency and improving the diversity of our Board. Our current Board is constituted as follows:

Gender:   Female   60%;   Male   40%

Ethnicity:   White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British   90%;   White: Any other White background   10%

Disability:   Yes   20%;   No   80%

Age:   25-34   20%;   35-44   40%;  55-64   10%;   65+   30%

Sexual orientation:   Heterosexual/straight   90%;   Bisexual   10%


The Trust office, based in York, is staffed by:

Fiona Weir, Chief Executive

Liz Elsworth, Finance Manager and Company Secretary

Ben Williams, Programme Manager (Grants)

Ellen Berry, Head of UK Democracy Fund

Betsy Dillner, Grants & Learning Manager (Democracy)

Nicky Milsted, Administrator