The charity is also governed by a Grants Assessment Panel of ophthalmology experts, who assess research applications and make recommendations for research funding.
Our Executive Team oversee the day to day running of the charity, including the dedicated staff team that work so hard to achieve the charity's mission.
Board of Trustees
Fight for Sight is governed by a Board of Trustees who meet at least four times a year to agree the strategy and areas of activity for the charity including consideration of grant-making, fundraising, investments, reserves, and risk management policies and performance. Certain Trustees also sit on sub-committees of the Board.
Chair: Louisa Vincent 1
Louisa Vincent joined as a Trustee in early 2015 and has been a member of the Finance & Resources Committee since that date. She became Chair in March 2020 following the retirement of Nigel Pantling. She chaired the Data Protection Committee to ensure readiness for the introduction of GDPR and has been a member of the Appointments Panel for several years.
Louisa has nearly 30 years' experience in institutional, wholesale and retail financial services in the UK, Australia, NZ, Benelux, Nordics and the Gulf. Most recently, she was a Managing Director at Lazard Asset Management Limited and before that, at State Street Global Advisors in both London and Sydney. Louisa began working in the investment field in 1988 in Sydney, Australia. She is also a non-executive director for a UK investment trust and has a Master's of Business Administration (Executive) from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM). In 2018, Louisa did a tandem skydive from 13,500 feet to raise funds for Fight for Sight, which is close to her heart as both diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration are risks in her family.
Thomas Bjorn 2,3
Thomas Bjorn is an internationally experienced life sciences lawyer and expert in providing legal advice to the pharmaceutical, biotech and food manufacturing industries. He has worked in private legal practice and in-house in England, Switzerland and Denmark and as a lecturer at the University of Copenhagen. He joined the London City firm Royds LLP, as a Solicitor, in 2013.
Professor M Francesca Cordeiro 3
Professor M Francesca Cordeiro, is Professor of Ophthalmology at Imperial College London, the Western Eye Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and also has a chair at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. She is Chairman of ICORG (Imperial College Ophthalmic Research Group) and Director of the ICORG Clinical Trials Research Unit. Her research is mainly funded through the Wellcome Trust, and is focused on novel and translational approaches to retinal and neurodegenerative diseases. She serves on a number of international committees including the ARVO, Cophy, European Glaucoma Society, EVI, EVICRnet and EVER, and is on the Editorial Board of various journals including Investigative Ophthalmology, Experimental Eye Research and Ophthalmic Research.
Alina Kessel is a global executive at WPP, the world leader in marketing communications. She has over 25 years of experience building brands, growing client businesses and running advertising agencies. Alina has lived and worked in the USA, Australia and Germany prior to the UK. She currently leads a multi-agency team to service Procter & Gamble, driving strategies and communication across audiences and media channels for their global Brands. She is also a Board Trustee of Glyndebourne Opera.
Sylvester Oppong 1
Sylvester Oppong qualified as a chartered accountant at Deloitte before moving into investment banking and has nearly 20 years’ experience. Sylvester started his investment banking career at Goldman Sachs International, where he advised clients on UK and international mergers & acquisitions (M&A) and then spent a number of years at Hawkpoint Partners and Smith Square Partners. Sylvester is currently Head of Healthcare Services M&A at EY. Sylvester has an MA (Hons) in Classics from the University of Cambridge.
Professor Roy Quinlan BSc PhD 3
Professor Roy Quinlan is a Professor in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University. He is a member of the Association for Research into Vision and Ophthalmology, International Society for Eye Research, the British Society for Cell Biology and British Biophysical Society. Professor Quinlan’s research interests include a focus on the lens of the eye and how this functions. He is a past Chair of our Grants Assessment Panel.
Jenny Williams 3
Jenny has a wealth of policy and governance experience and is currently a board member of the Fundraising Regulator and of the GB Greyhound Regulatory Board. She was from 2005 until late 2015 the CEO and a Commissioner of the Gambling Commission UK and had worked previously as a senior civil servant at the Inland Revenue, Departments of Transport and the Environment and the Lord Chancellor's Department (now Ministry of Justice). She has been non-executive director of Northumbria Water Plc, National Campaign for the Arts and for Morley College and until recently Vice Chair of the homeless charity The Connection at St. Martin’s.
1 Member of Finance and Resources Committee
2 Member of Nominations Committee
3 Member of Research, Policy & Innovation Committee
Core Grants Assessment Panel
The Grants Assessment Panel (GAP) members help us in assessing grants and make recommendations to the Research, Policy and Innovation Committee. Its members are:
Professor Alan Stitt (Chair)
Dean of Innovation and Impact, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queens University Belfast
Professor Marcela Votruba (Vice Chair)
Professor of Ophthalmology, School of Optometry and Vision, Cardiff University, Cardiff
Professor Alastair Denniston (Vice Chair)
Consultant Ophthalmologist, Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, Birmingham University, Birmingham
Professor Lynda Erskine
Chair in Developmental Neurobiology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Aberdeen University, Scotland
Professor Jeremy Guggenheim
Director of Research, School of Optometry and Vision, Cardiff University, Cardiff
Professor Alison Hardcastle
Professor of Molecular Genetics, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London
Professor Chris Inglehearn
Professor of Molecular Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Leeds University, Leeds
Professor Timothy Jackson
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, King’s College Hospital, King’s College London
Professor Rachael Pearson
Professor of Developmental Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London
Professor David Steel
Consultant Ophthalmologist, Sunderland Eye Infirmary and Honorary Professor of Retinal Surgery, Newcastle University
Professor Jessica Teeling
Professor of Experimental Neuroimmunology, Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton
Professor Colin Willoughby
Professor of Ophthalmology, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, Ulster University, Northern Ireland
College of Experts Grant Assessment Panel
The College of Experts help assess applications and make recommendations to the Research, Policy and Innovation Committee. Its members are:
Professor Maria Balda
Professor of Cell Biology, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London
Dr Katie Bentley
Group Leader, Francis Crick Institute, London
Dr Anil Anthony Bharath
Reader in Image Analysis, Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College, London
Professor Che Connon
Professor of Tissue Engineering, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle
Professor Ted Garway-Heath
Honorary Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London
Professor David Keegan
Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon and Head of Department, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Ireland
Professor Majlinda Lako
Professor of Stem Cell Science, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle
Mr. Frank Larkin
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London
Professor Andrew Lotery
Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Southampton, Southampton
Dr Patrick Yu-Wai Man
Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge
Professor Paul McGraw
Allen Standen Chair in Visual Neuroscience, School of Psychology, Nottingham University, Nottingham
Professor Barbara Pierscionek
Associate Dean Research and Enterprise, Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent
Professor Stuart Peirson
Associate Professor, Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, University of Oxford, Oxford
Dr Tony Redmond
Senior Lecturer, School of Optometry and Vision, Cardiff University, Cardiff
Miss Cathy Williams
Reader in Pediatric Ophthalmology, Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, University of Bristol, Bristol
Professor Rachel Williams
Professor of Ophthalmic Bioengineering, Eye and Vision Science, University of Liverpool, Liverpool
Professor Heping Xu
Professor of Ocular Immunology, Centre for Experimental Medicine, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland
Fight for Sight's executive team oversees the day-to-day running of the charity.
Chief Executive (Interim): Ikram DahmanWith a track record of over 20 years’ in the voluntary sector, Ikram has extensive experience of delivering winning strategies and organisational change at some of the UK’s most loved charities, including Breast Cancer Now, Blood Cancer UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.As interim Chief Executive, Ikram is leading on the development of Fight for Sight’s new organisational strategy and creating partnerships across the sector to create long-lasting impact to the lives of people with sight loss.Ikram is passionate about bringing people together, improving how things are done and helping make the world a better place.
Director of Finance and Operations: Andy Cottrell
Andy is an experienced charity sector finance specialist. He has worked across a number of charities in senior finance and operations roles, and his experience includes strategic planning, budgeting, costing and systems development. He has broad experience in managing corporate support and operations functions. Andy has acted as Trustee and Treasurer for YoungMinds and the Domestic Violence Intervention Project.
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