Who We Are

Core team and Board

Sabeena Akhtar (she/her) Head of Projects & Programmes

Colette Bailey (she/her) Executive Director

Riah Charles (she/her) Project & Programmes Coordinator

Ndi Ekanem (she/her) Development Relationship Manager

Cathryn Fenton (she/her) Project Manager

Helena Jacques-Morton (she/her) Senior Marketing & Communications Manager

Jude Kelly CBE (she/her) CEO & Founder

Charlie Marshall (she/her) Head of Communications & Marketing

Domino Pateman (she/her) Director of Festivals & Programmes

Jeannie Scott (she/her) Office Coordinator and Executive Assistant

Laura White (she/her) Trusts & Foundations Manager (part-time)

The WOW Foundation proudly works with WOW Festival curators and partners from across the globe. We also work with brilliant freelancers on projects across the year, without whom our work couldn't be possible.


Sandie Okoro OBE (she/her)


Nazir Afzal OBE

Richard Collier-Keywood

Nusrath Hassan (she/her)

Shevaun Haviland

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon

Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala

Vanessa Ogden CBE

Barbara Reeves

About the Board


Dr Sandie Okoro (she/her) is Group General Counsel at Standard Chartered Bank, where she oversees the Legal, Group Corporate Secretariat and Shared Investigative Services functions, and is a member of the Bank’s Management Team. Previously, Sandie served as General Counsel and Senior Vice President, and Vice President for Compliance, at the World Bank Group. Sandie is an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple in the United Kingdom (2018) and was named one of the Upstanding 100 Leading Ethnic Minority Executives (2016), Top 20 Global General Counsel (2019) by the Financial Times, and was recognised as Britain’s 5th most influential person of African and African Caribbean heritage by Powerlist (2018). Sandie was appointed inaugural Chair of The WOW Foundation in June 2021, and is a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company.


Nazir Afzal OBE was Chief Crown Prosecutor for NW England and formerly Director in London. Most recently, he was Chief Executive of the country’s Police & Crime Commissioners. During 24 year career, has prosecuted the most high profile cases in the country & advised on many others and led nationally on several legal topics including Violence against Women & Girls, child sexual abuse, and honour based violence. He had responsibility for more than 100,000 prosecutions each year. His prosecutions of the so called Rochdale grooming gang and hundreds of others were groundbreaking and changed the landscape of child protection.

Richard Collier-Keywood is the Chair of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, the Chair of Fair4All Finance (the new UK financial inclusion organisation funded by dormant assets), the Chair of Humentum (an NGO based in Washington DC focussed on supporting Operational Excellence in the NGO sector), the Chair of New Forest Care (a company that provides bespoke care and education to children with complex needs) and is a Partner in YGroup (a strategy consultancy). He is also on the Board of CoGo a social enterprise based in New Zealand, the Marshall Institute at the LSE and St George’s House in Windsor. Previously Richard was Global Vice-Chairman of PwC from November 2011 to February 2017 and served as Managing Partner of PwC UK from 2008 to 2011. Richard is a barrister and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

Nusrath Hassan is the first Head of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) at the National Theatre, responsible for driving forward cultural change in the workforce, on stages, and audience reach. Her career at an Inclusive Leadership consultancy has involved working closely with the C-suite of multinational and international organisations to accelerate a sustainable culture of Inclusion. She fundamentally believes ED&I is the right and smart thing to do to drive both high-performance and a values-led environment. Nusrath is also a champion of girls’ education. Prior, she was based at Mulberry School for Girls where she coordinated Global and Women’s Education programmes on local and global platforms. Most notably, there she launched the ‘Let Girls Learn’ campaign with former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

Nusrath is also a Trustee at Mulberry Schools Trust and Chair of Governors at Mulberry School for Girls, where she is a member of both the Standards Committee and Steering Board for the Mulberry STEM Academy in partnership with Mercedes Grand Prix. For her achievements and efforts, Nusrath has been awarded ‘Winner’ at the national Women of the Future Awards and is featured on the British-Bangladeshi Power 100 List.

Shevaun Haviland
is Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce. Shevaun joined the BCC from the Cabinet Office where she lead Business Partnerships. She joined the Government in 2016 and also ran the Inclusive Economy Partnership for HMG.

Shevaun started her career in consultancy in London and New York. She then moved to the Walt Disney Company in strategic planning before joining Disneyland Paris, opening the second theme park. Shevaun then joined the agency world, running global accounts for Millward Brown, Mindshare and WPP. Following this, she became a partner in a start-up digital innovation agency and venture builder, Independents United, where she also became an Advisor for the Danson Foundation. Most recently, Shevaun was the New Ventures Director for Avado, building new businesses in Edtech and founding the Academy of Digital Business Leaders.

Shevaun has a passion for business as a force for good. She is a social impact investor, sits on the Ventures Advisory Board of UnLtd, and is Trustee of Barefoot College International.

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE is a keynote speaker, presenter and co-founder of Stemettes, the award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) roles.

Being the youngest girl ever to pass A-level Computing, and going on to be one of the youngest ever to be awarded a Master’s degree in Mathematics & Computer Science by the University of Oxford, aged 20, Anne-Marie, unsurprisingly, continued to soar. In recognition of her influence and achievements, Anne-Marie was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours for services to young women and STEM sectors. In June 2017, she became an Honorary Fellow at Keble College, Oxford and in 2019, she was voted the 2nd most influential woman in tech in the UK by Computer Weekly.

She regularly appears in international media and is a sought-after presenter and conference facilitator. In addition to hosting the highly popular Women Tech Charge podcast for the Evening Standard, Anne-Marie featured on the 2019 Royal Institute Christmas Lectures and has conducted live interviews with famous faces from the tech world and beyond, including Jack Dorsey, Rachel Riley and Lewis Hamilton.

Not only a champion of getting women into STEM positions, Anne-Marie has previously worked with Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard and Deutsche Bank, amassing a wealth of experience. A recognised and respected thought-leader in the tech space and trustee at the Institute for the Future of Work, Anne-Marie has spoken across the globe for some of the world’s biggest digital companies and conferences, including Facebook, ASOS, Google, SXSW and Founders Forum.

Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala is a women's rights activist with 15 years of experience in the field of women's rights and gender equality. She holds a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies from the University of Sussex in UK. In 2016, she became the first Sri Lankan person to summit Mount Everest. In recognition of this achievement, from 2016-2019 she was appointed the Goodwill Ambassador for Women's Rights by the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Sri Lanka. In 2017, she was also included in the BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world. As an independent consultant, she is currently co-creating ‘Delete Nothing’ – an online platform aimed at addressing technology related violence in Sri Lanka. Through her work with Chrysalis, she is also co-leading a global outcome on the prevention of gender based violence on behalf of CARE International.

Barbara Reeves
is a Partner and Head of Mishcon de Reya's Family department. She is an accredited specialist in all aspects of divorce and family law, having led cases involving substantial wealth, complex multi-jurisdictional disputes and trust issues. She is renowned for her handling of the financial fall-out from divorce, with significant experience in cases with an element of non disclosure and enforcement issues. She is also adept in dealing with the wider issues affecting families, such as separation; property disputes; injunctions; marital agreements; cohabitation and all private children arrangements, including residence and contact arrangements, overseas relocation, surrogacy and adoption. Barbara has acted in a number of high profile cases in relation to divorce, matrimonial finance, and financial provision for the children of unmarried parents. Her clients include high net worth and international clients from a wide range of backgrounds, including entrepreneurs, owners of family businesses, City professionals and the independently wealthy. Barbara is a qualified mediator and is a member of the ADR Group, which is recognised for its cross disciplinary depth in the fields of family, civil, and commercial mediation. She is a member also of the Advisory Panel of Insuring Women's Futures, a programme established by the Chartered Insurance Institute, aimed at promoting and enhancing the insurance and financial planning profession’s role in relation to women and risk. She is also a member of the Development Board of the Young Vic.

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