Programme Mentors

Each Future London Leader is paired with a mentor from across the London regeneration network. These mentors provide invaluable experience and insights from their own career throughout the programme. Please see Future London Leaders mentor profiles below and check back for updates.


Future London Leaders Round Eleven Mentors

Karen Barke
Head of Estate Regeneration, LB Hackney

Karen has worked in local authority urban regeneration and housing for over 15 years. Her current role is at Hackney Council where she is responsible for the delivery of the Council’s high profile Estate Regeneration Programme. This is a Council led housing programme with aspirations to deliver over 2,500 new high quality homes alongside associated social and economic benefits. Karen started her career at Newham Council where she worked on a range of area based regeneration initiatives including the West Ham and Plaistow New Deal for Communities Programme and the Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme. Karen is an alumni of the FoL’s Future London Leaders (Round Four).

Esther Everett 
Principal Designer, Physical Regeneration and Design, London Legacy Development Corporation 

Esther is a qualified architect with many years in the private sector. With experience in education and community architecture, urban design, regeneration and public realm, she joined the public sector in 2010 in Design for London’s Lower Lea Valley team. She has since worked for the London Legacy Development Corporation leading on major projects, masterplans and regeneration programmes in and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Her current role involves coordinating programmes with partner organisations and providing design advice to planning colleagues on major live LLDC applications. Esther is also Creative Director for the 2015 RIBA Guerrilla Tactics conference, which sets up dialogue between small architecture practices and commissioning bodies across the public and private sectors.

Amy Gilham
Associate Director of Economics, Turley 

Amy has worked in economic development and urban regeneration for 10 years. She began her career at EDAW (now AECOM) and moved to Regeneris Consulting in 2007. Amy joined Turley in April 2015 to lead the Economics service in London, where she continues to specialise in land and property projects, supporting private-sector clients through the planning process and helping local authorities to develop their economic, employment and housing evidence bases. Amy’s work includes economic impact, employment land review, housing need analysis, economic strategy and evaluation of EU (ERDF) funding streams.

Debbie Jackson 
Assistant Director, Regeneration, Greater London Authority  

Debbie is responsible for a budget of over £300m, delivering cross-cutting high street, infrastructure, workplace, culture, education and regeneration projects. She is passionate about the public sector’s power to align partnerships and deliver outcomes around places, and strives for high quality and innovation across her programmes. Debbie has worked in London’s public sector for 18 years and in regeneration for over 10. At the City of Westminster, she was involved in service delivery and was responsible for the inception of the Westbourne Green regeneration project. As LB Lambeth Head of Physical Regeneration, Debbie led on an innovative procurement to leverage value from public sector assets for regeneration outcomes including a new high-quality library, performance space and leisure centre.

David Joyce
Director of Planning and Development, LB Lambeth    

David oversees one of London’s most dynamic built-environment teams, with responsibility for Planning and Building Control and one of the capital’s largest development pipelines. He also steers Lambeth’s local plan to ensure that the council has a strong vision for accommodating growth, primarily in the opportunity areas of Waterloo, Vauxhall and Brixton, whilst ensuring that borough residents, workers and businesses share the benefits of investment.  David has also worked to ensure that the council’s Building Control section has once again become a successful trading arm with a growing reputation.  Previously, David worked at LB Camden, heading planning and regeneration projects including High Speed 2 work and Gospel Oak, and held similar roles in the Thames Gateway boroughs.

Neil Kirby 
Head of Regeneration (South) LB Southwark 

Neil has worked at a senior level in regeneration and housing in London for over 20 years. He is currently responsible for co-ordinating the complex regeneration programmes in the Aylesbury Estate, Peckham and the Old Kent Road. In previous roles, he led for local authorities on the procurement of a joint venture partner in Hammersmith & Fulham and on a development agreement for major estate regeneration in Ealing. At RB Greenwich, Neil led a public/private regeneration agency for Woolwich and Thamesmead. Prior to that, Neil held a number of senior roles at LB Southwark including leading the housing programme for the Peckham Partnership and implementing housing estate regeneration programmes.

Sherine McFarlane
Head of Social and Economic Regeneration, Genesis Housing Association  

Sherine is from a social housing background and has specialised in community regeneration for the past 20 years. She is a qualified practitioner and is currently responsible for the development and delivery of social and economic programmes on two large regeneration schemes: Woodberry Down in Hackney and Grahame Park in Barnet.  She has worked with a variety of communities across London and managed an array of cross-thematic programmes, including enterprise development, employability, health & well-being, financial inclusion, children and young people, and older people.

Tricia Patel
Equity Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards 

Tricia has spent over 20 years delivering regeneration initiatives and has planned and led numerous community engagement programmes on housing estates and in established mixed-tenure neighbourhoods. Her enthusiasm and listening skills can draw from clients and user groups a deep understanding of what they really want from their project, and she uses those insights to produce successful outcomes. “I really enjoy meeting people and finding out what they think about their home, their school or their street. They often have practical insights which might not otherwise occur to professionals.” Tricia has long experience in the housing, mixed-use and regeneration sectors, and has designed and delivered successful and award-winning projects, from large-scale masterplans to infill sites and refurbishments.

Simon Powell 
Assistant Director, Strategic Projects and Property, Greater London Authority  

Simon is a Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years’ experience in the housing and regeneration sectors. His responsibilities at the GLA include procuring development partners for the GLA’s 660ha of land, including the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula, and the associated delivery of development on the land.  Simon also leads the GLA’s work on getting surplus public-sector land into development via the recently established London Land Commission. He was previously Head of Area, South London at the GLA and before that at the Homes and Communities Agency, with responsibility for affordable housing investment and procurement of development partners in south London.  Prior to joining the public sector in 2004, Simon was a consultant project manager for the Symonds Group for nine years.

Eshwyn Prabhu
Team Leader, Spatial Planning & Transport, LB Islington

With nearly 20 years as a spatial and transport planner in local government, Eshwyn covers a broad range of major transport and development projects. Recently, he has led on mixed-use redevelopment of council sites including a new school, a leisure and integrated energy centre, and over 500 new homes with a strong focus on affordable housing. He also leads on major transport projects in Islington, including Crossrail and Old Street roundabout. Eshwyn’s previous experience includes high profile sites such as the Royal Mail development at Mount Pleasant, the Arsenal regeneration project (300,000 sqm of development including 3,000 new homes and over £10m of transport investment), and the EC1 New Deal for Communities £53m regeneration programme. Before that he worked as a lawyer – but he’s trying to forget those days.

Pete Smith
Head of Development Management, LB Croydon

Pete has been a town planner for over 30 years, primarily in development management, for seven London boroughs and the private sector. Pete has held similar positions to his current role in Tower Hamlets, Lewisham and Merton. He now leads Croydon’s development management service, working proactively with developers and other stakeholders to promote sustainable development opportunities. Pete also worked for four years for Lambert Smith Hampton as a town planning specialist, including advising the Ministry of Justice on planning permissions for prison development and managing planning applications for private- and public-sector clients. Pete is current chair of the Association of London Borough Planning Officers (Implementation Group), affiliated to the Planning Officers Society.

Oliver Steele
Economic Policy Manager, Mott MacDonald   

Oliver is a trained economist and accountant with expertise spanning the strategic planning and development of major infrastructure projects, including business case support, economic evaluation and funding and financing advisory, with a focus on transport and regeneration. He joined Mott MacDonald from Infrastructure NSW in Australia, where he was Executive Director of Economics and Planning. Oliver led the New South Wales state infrastructure strategy, which generated high-profile transport projects including the WestConnex toll road scheme and Sydney Metro. Prior to that, Oliver spent six years with HM Treasury in London, working on infrastructure financing and economic issues including funding arrangements for Crossrail and the restructuring of the London Underground public–private partnership.

Barney Stringer 
Director, Quod 

A consultant specialising in the social and economic impact of development, Barney’s track record includes many of the biggest development projects in the country. His commercial focus is combined with 20 years’ experience from all sides of planning and policy. As a director at Quod Consulting, his diverse specialisms include demographics, economics, schools, health, planning, policy, housing, employment and transport.

Neil Wightman

Director of Housing Management, LB Lambeth 

Neil has worked in local government for 25 years, and prior to that worked in Citizens Advice. Starting his public-sector career in LB Camden as a housing adviser, Neil has risen steadily within housing services and is now Director of Housing at Lambeth. He is responsible for managing the council’s 34,000 homes, delivering a major Decent Homes programme, and managing housing needs services including homelessness, environmental health and housing advice. Neil has been a member of the DCLG’s Beacon Advisory Panel and the Legal Services Board’s Consumer Panel. He currently chairs the Association of Housing Advice Services.