Our organisation

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.

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.

  • Trustees

    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 

    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.

    Keith Felton 1

    Keith Felton was director of corporate services at Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, for ten years until his retirement in 2020.

    Prior to joining Crisis in 2009, Keith spent nearly 25 years in the financial services industry, most recently as head of finance & operations at Fleming Family & Partners, following qualification as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse. Keith is currently a trustee of the Vision Foundation and UK for UNHCR and has previously served as a trustee of other charities.

    Member of Finance and Resources Committee
    Member of Nominations Committee
    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

  • Executive team

    Fight for Sight's executive team oversees the day-to-day running of the charity.

    Chief Executive: Keith Valentine

    With a track record of over 25 years, Keith has previously been Director of External Affairs at RNIB, Chief Executive of Vision UK and has been a Trustee of Retina UK and Action for Blind People. Keith is a strategic leader and a known force within government and industry when it comes to highlighting key issues affecting people with eye conditions. 

    Keith’s passion and drive comes, not least, from his personal experience of living with retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary condition, causing him to lose his sight at the age of 36.

    Deputy Chief Executive: Ikram Dahman

    With 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 leading charities, including Breast Cancer Now, Blood Cancer UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. 

    In her role as Director of Fundraising & Engagement, Ikram is passionate about bringing people together to create long-lasting impact to the lives of people with sight loss. 

    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.