about us all about Community Links
Our Board of Trustees
We are extremely proud to have an excellent Board of Trustees, bringing a diversity of skills and experience to benefit Community Links.
Michael Smyth CBE (Chair)
Michael Smyth was for more than twenty years a partner in Clifford Chance, the leading city law firm that has supported Community Links for many years. He led the public policy and government affairs practice, and had overall responsibility for the firm's pro bono activities. He is author of Business and the Human Rights Act (2000), is chair of Law for Life: the Foundation for Public Legal Education, is a member of the Press Complaints Commisssion, and was awarded a CBE in 2009 for his pro-bono legal work.
With over 20 years experience as a Civil Servant, Althea worked in the Department for Children, Schools and Families until 2010, when she moved to work closer to the community in a local secondary school. Althea lives in Newham, and is also an experienced school governor.
Radhika is a Community Worker currently working for the Young Foundation as Director of "The U" a citizens university. Radhika returned as a Trustee having stepped down in 2008 to work with Community Links supporting the last Government’s Council for Social Action. Radhika is involved in a number of local community activities including Forest Gate Festival and Newham Make Poverty History and is a founder trustee for the Asha Trust (Sri Lanka).
Born and bred in East London, Jeff is Head of Paid Service at the Greater London Authority and is also responsible for overseeing policy and implementation on a range of Mayoral strategies which include economic and business policy, community safety, health, culture, sport, and social policy. Previously, Jeff worked in central government in roles at the DCMS and DETR, was Principal Private Secretary to John Prescott, and led the government team which helped win London the 2012 Olympic bid.
Stephen Jacobs OBE
Another east Londoner, Stephen's career is characterised by innovative regeneration work within inner-city areas. He established London's largest not-for-profit regeneration company, and has occupied a number of executive and non-executive positions in housing, health, social care and employment at a senior level. He had a key community relations role within the successful London 2012 Olympic Bid Team, is involved in a number of voluntary organisations which have a variety of functions within inner city communities and is a visiting Professor at the Universities of Coventry and of London South Bank.
Maria was, until February 2010, the Director of Human Resources at Islington Council, where she worked for eight years, and before that worked at Newham Council as acting Head of Strategic HR where she was involved in the Plaistow Community Forum. Maria is Director HR and Development at Unite the Union. She first came across Community Links through a Common Purpose course.
Adam is a solicitor by background and has worked throughout his career with some of Community Link’s biggest corporate supporters, including Clifford Chance and Citigroup. Prior to joining Close Brothers as General Counsel for the Bank Division, Adam was a Director at Citigroup in the Fixed Income Division of the Investment Bank for seven years. Adam has been a supporter and fundraiser for Community Links in recent years including having donated the profits from a CD in which he plays guitar in a jazz trio.
Pascale is a Chartered Accountant. She began her career with Deloitte twelve years ago and as a senior manager led a wide range of work for government, charities and multi-national listed corporations. She was actively involved in Deloitte’s community investment programme and in early 2009 made a permanent move into the charity sector. She is now Head of International Accounting at the Secretariat of Amnesty International. Pascale was a co-opted member of Community Links' Finance and Audit Committee before becoming a Trustee in 2010.
Haydn is an Educational Consultant and former Secondary School Headteacher. Haydn has been a supporter of Community Links for 30 years and a Trustee for eight years. He is an East London School Governor and a member of London Cycling Campaign.
Fiona Rawes MBE
Fiona is the Director of Community Impact at Teach First. She started her career as a Solicitor in the City before moving into for the not-for-profit sector. Fiona has been a long term supporter of Community Links work and a Trustee since 2008 bringing to the board her expertise from her former roles as Chief Executive at Heart of the City and Director of Education Campaigns at Business in the Community.
An accredited business coach, facilitator and consultant, Fiona has extensive experience working in public relations businesses both in the UK and internationally. She has a strong track record in delivering both strategic and practical HR consultancy solutions with clients from many differing sectors.
David's career has been in Finance. He cut his commerical teeth as a Financial Controller at British Gas/Centrica during the introduction of both gas and electricity competition. Since 1999, David has specialised in financial management in the public and voluntary sector, with Finance Director roles at a University, Housing Associations, NCVO, and both grant-giving and service-delivery charities. David came to Community Links as interim Finance Director, and has stayed on as a member of the Board of Trustees.