Future London Leaders Mentors
Each Future London Leader is paired with a senior mentor from Future of London’s extensive cross-sector network. These mentors provide a ‘safe space’ sounding board for candidates, as well as invaluable experience and insights from their own careers. See here for more about mentoring.
Future London Leaders Round 18 Mentors
Partner, Trowers & Hamlins
Sara is Head of Real Estate and specialises in development, regeneration, PPP projects, partnerships, joint ventures and regeneration. Sara has more than 20 years’ experience working with a range of local authorities, private providers and central government to develop public and private projects. She is an expert in providing innovative structuring advice in relation to property projects and regeneration transactions. Sara is acknowledged as a leader in the field of social housing in the Chambers & Partners’ Guide to the Legal Profession 2017. She is also acknowledged as a leading individual in the field of social housing in the 2016 edition of the Legal 500.
Partner – Real Estate, TLT Solicitors
Linda has 30 years’ experience advising the social housing sector on property issues. She acts for a range of Registered Providers, has worked with local authorities, and specialises in new affordable mixed-use or standalone-scheme housing. She deals with issues including negotiation of complex development agreements, conditional contracts, setting up joint ventures, planning agreements, shared-ownership leases and service charges. Linda has also been involved in the development and management of extra-care and supported housing, including services agreements and funding arrangements and bespoke retirement leases. Linda is well acquainted with the regulatory framework of the Homes and Communities Agency. She is a board member of a housing association, is recognised as an expert in the field of Social Housing by Chambers UK and Legal 500, and has supervised a number of trainee solicitors.
Executive Director People & Communications, Optivo
Kate started her career in homelessness and mental health 25 years ago. After completing a Master’s degree in Housing, she moved to the National Housing Federation, where she rose to Assistant Director and led on policy and lobbying for affordable housing for London and the South East. She moved to AmicusHorizon in 2013 as Executive Director of People and Strategy. She continued this role for Optivo following a merger in May 2017. Kate is the Chair of the CIH London Board and an external examiner for Westminster University.
Director of Regeneration, Poplar HARCA
Paul started his career in construction, working for main contractors in a variety of roles from management trainee to director. During this time, Paul worked in many sectors including education, retail, commercial and housing with projects ranging from £1m to £200m. In 2010, Paul joined Poplar HARCA as Director of Estate Regeneration to lead the Housing Choice programme, a £145m programme to regenerate more than 3,000 homes on six estates across Poplar in East London. Following the successful completion of the Housing Choice programme, Paul now works on a number of exciting development schemes for Poplar HARCA.
Principal Designer, London Legacy Development Corporation
Esther is a qualified architect and experienced regeneration client with extensive experience in urban design, public realm and architecture. After working as an architect in the private sector, including at HawkinsBrown, Fluid and Meadowcroft Griffin Architects, she joined Design for London in 2010 and has since been ensuring high-quality design across significant regeneration projects including at the London Legacy Development and Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporations. She is committed to securing high-quality strategies and architectural design proposals to ensure good pieces of integrated city are established within a context of growth. Esther is also a member of Haringey’s Quality Review Panel and has recently been Creative Director at the RIBA for their Guerrilla Tactics Conference.
Director of Regeneration, Hadley Property Group
A highly experienced and enthusiastic specialist in development, regeneration, Steve has operated in client and consultant management, and led delivery teams on a wide variety of mixed-use regeneration schemes. He joined Hadley in 2015 after leading a number of major private/public partnership projects across the capital. From 2008 – 2012, he served as Director of Land & Development at the London Development Agency, leading the team responsible for the 2,000-acre, £600m land portfolio; this included the specialist team responsible for concluding the land purchase in Stratford’s Olympic Park. As part of the ‘Urban Communities Development’ team at Land Securities, Steve also led urban extension projects across the south east. This included the Ebbsfleet International Eurostar station, Harlow North and the White City masterplan.
Senior Project Officer – Supported & Specialist Housing, Greater London Authority
Leanne has more than 15 years’ experience working in the private, public and voluntary sectors, focusing on housing and community development. She began her career in Canada in 1997, supporting social and economic development projects in the charitable sector. After gaining an MSc in Urban Regeneration at UCL’s the Bartlett in 2006, Leanne worked for a leading planning and urban design consultancy, promoting key sites for residential and commercial development across England. She also managed a capital grants programme at Sport England to help schools open their sports facilities for community users. In her role at the GLA, Leanne manages the Mayor’s dedicated capital programmes for specialised and supported housing. This includes overseeing programme delivery, brokering relationships, and encouraging bids from Registered Providers.
Head of Social & Economic Regeneration, Genesis
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.
Associate Director – Integrated City Planning, Arup
Lynne is a spatial economist and local growth policy specialist, with experience across economic analysis, impact appraisal and evaluation (economic, socio-economic and equalities), cost benefit analysis, and national, regional and local growth policy development. She started at Arup as a transport economist, and now has a broad-ranging economic portfolio within the Integrated City Planning team. She has an excellent understanding of policy context and key political drivers, and her current specialism is the interface between economic, transport and planning policy: understanding what drives economic growth and regional economic disparities. She has an advanced degree in public economic policy awarded jointly by the London School of Economics and Columbia University in New York.
James is a Director in the Multifamily team at Greystar London, focused on the delivery of ‘Build to Rent’ communities in the UK. He works with project stakeholders and leads Greystar’s public-sector engagement at a time when Build to Rent and multifamily housing are emerging strongly. With 20 years’ experience delivering housing across all tenures, James understands the priorities of local communities and policymakers in delivering long-term rental developments that are purpose-designed and -managed and focus on placemaking. James sits on the DCLG Build to Rent Joint Committee, the British Property Federation’s Build to Rent committee and the Urban Land Institute’s UK Residential Council. He is a regular commentator, including at MIPIM London and at the launch of the Future of London/LSE report, Making the Most of Build to Rent, and contributed to ULI’s Build to Rent Best Practice Guide. Prior to joining Greystar, James led the Residential Projects team at Deloitte Real Estate in London for 12 years, during which he undertook ancillary roles at the HCA and RICS.
Director of Property, City of Westminster
Guy has 28 years’ experience across various property-industry disciplines . He spent 20 years in City consultancy, including as a Drivers Jonas Partner responsible for establishing and running the firm’s international investment team. Guy was CEO of Clarenco, a property and venture-capital business which he helped grow from a start-up, and ran his own consultancy providing advice to new property enterprises and troubleshooting for businesses and portfolios in difficulty. He was approached by Westminster City Council to fulfil a similar role and is now Director of Property, responsible for Corporate Property, Investment and Development teams managing almost £1bn of commercial real estate and a development programme of £2.6bn GDV. Guy is a member of the Investment Property Forum, a Professional Member of the RICS and has an MSc in Property Investment from Cass Business School.
Visakha Sri Chandrasekera
Visakha is an experienced housing professional, with particular expertise in strategic housing policy, the
affordable housing sector and the delivery of residential-led regeneration. Her career started at LB Newham and then LB Islington, where she led partnership and investment delivery. This included co-writing (with planners) one of London’s first SPGs on Affordable Housing. She went on to work for the Housing Corporation as an Area Manager and later as Deputy Director of Investment for London, where she led the team through the merger with English Partnerships to create the Homes & Communities Agency. In 2010, she joined the private sector, working for Lovell Partnerships on London business development and creating a popular forum for the public sector to debate emerging housing policy. In 2016, she set up a consultancy, helped develop the Housing Zones Network (now London Housing Network) with Future of London and the GLA, and now works principally in development for Rydon.
Barney is a consultant specialising in the social and economic impact of development, with a track record including many of the biggest regeneration projects in the country. A commercial focus combined with 25 years’ experience from all sides of planning and policy, as a journalist, researcher in Parliament, at the CBI, London Development Agency and as an entrepreneur. Specialties include: Demographics, Economics, Schools, Health, Planning, Policy, Housing, Employment, Transport.
Head of Housing Supply Initiatives & Partnerships, LB Camden
Karen has been at LB Camden for 20 years, and during that time has held a number of positions, taking the lead for housing strategy, performance and commissioning. She recently held the post of Programme Director HS2, steering Camden through the parliamentary process of the HS2 Hybrid Bill. She has been seconded out of the organisation on two occasions, to work with Louise Casey in the ASB Unit at the Home Office and to the Metropolitan Police.
Head of Forward Planning, RB Kensington & Chelsea
Jonathan is an RTPI-accredited urban planner with more than 25 years’ experience in the UK public sector. My experience covers the breadth of planning, including management positions in Development Management and Planning Policy, mostly in London. Jonathan is adaptable and used to working across a variety of disciplines from writing planning policy through project management and assessing major planning applications to negotiation. In his current role, he has driven high-profile strategic projects which were priorities on the corporate agenda.
Deputy Divisional Director, Planning & Building Control, LB Tower Hamlets
David has responsibilities across Planning & Building Control and, together with the Director, leads and manages 153 staff. He didn’t follow a traditional planning path, starting in surveying, but soon changing tack and shifting to urban regeneration and planning, with a career-long focus on delivery. He started at in LB Lambeth Planning Implementation team, initiating, defining and delivering government-funded improvement projects from public realm schemes and housing estate initiatives, through the creation of affordable workspace – and perhaps most notably, as part of the team that brought Brixton’s Ritzy Cinema back into use as part of a wider scheme.
Future London Leaders Round 17 Mentors
Head of Estate Regeneration, LB Hackney
Karen has worked in local authority urban regeneration and housing for more than 15 years. At Hackney Council, she is responsible for the delivery of the Council’s high-profile estate regeneration programme, with aspirations to deliver more than 2,500 new high-quality homes with associated social and economic benefits. Karen started her career at LB Newham, where she worked on 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 alumnus of the FoL’s Future London Leaders.
Associate Director, Arup
Sophie is a creative masterplanner with more than 17 years’ experience – five in senior management – who leads large, integrated, multidisciplinary design teams focused on sustainable placemaking. She has a passion for making better places for communities with a focus on regeneration, delivery and people. Sophie’s experience includes major UK and international projects. She was the design lead for the Tottenham regeneration strategy after the 2011 riots and on a transport and housing investment strategy for Tottenham High Road. She has also been masterplanning lead on a sports-led mixed-use masterplan in the Middle East worth £300m. Prior to joining Arup in 2008, Sophie worked at Alan Baxter and Penoyre & Prasad Architects.
Director, Ikon Consultancy
Chris has more than 30 years of residential market experience, specialising in affordable housing across housing association and consultancy sectors. He started at the Homes & Communities Agency, then spent 17 years at Moat Housing Group, helping to establish the business as the leading provider of intermediate housing in the South East before becoming the group’s Director of Development. In this period Moat became a major developer of new housing and secured significant regeneration projects including Christianfields in Gravesend, Ashford Stanhope PFI and Meridian Delta in Greenwich. Since joining Ikon in 2006, Chris has provided consultancy and brokered numerous affordable housing deals to housing association, local authority and private sector clients. Ikon was acquired by Countrywide Group in 2015.
Head of Area, Greater London Authority
Fiona is a Chartered Surveyor, specialising in regeneration. Her background is in the public sector and she started her career at LB Southwark, carrying out a range of surveying duties before specialising in acquisitions, sales and development. In 1998 she joined English Partnerships and became involved in regeneration projects in the Thames Gateway. She moved into the LDA in 2000, and continued to work in the Gateway and also on the successful bid to bring the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to London. She has led and delivered major projects including industrial, office and residential-led mixed use developments. Fiona has been Head of Area in the HCA/GLA since 2009 and manages the team to deliver the Affordable Housing Programme, as well as leading the work on the eleven North East London Housing Zones. She is also a board director of Barking Riverside Ltd, one of the largest regeneration projects in London and is on the London Regional Board of the RICS.
Director of Development, Swan Housing
Andy has worked in the property sector for 15 years across private and public sectors. At Swan, he is responsible for the Group’s development, new business, and regeneration functions. Swan’s development programme consists of ca. 4,000 homes and includes Blackwall Reach in Tower Hamlets, which will deliver 1,575 new homes (50% affordable), and a Basildon scheme with 1,000 new homes. The future phases of this project will deliver custom-build homes using modular CLT construction produced by Swan and in-house contractor Nu Living. Prior to Swan, Andy worked at East Thames where he led development and new business. He has also worked for Savills PLC, consulting for clients across the country.
Head of London, GVA
Ros is responsible for the management of GVA’s London office and supports the financial success and growth of the business through business development and internally through recruitment and effective liaison underpinned by a strong culture of collaboration. Ros has worked in real estate for nearly 30 years, joining GVA in 1986, and has been a committed member of the specialist and market leading Restructuring team since 1989. She was promoted to lead the London team in 2013 and took up the role as National Head a year later.
Director, Assael Architecture
Dipa is an architect with more than 20 years’ experience in commercial, retail, residential and acoustic design. Assael specialises in the design and implementation of residential-led, mixed-use regeneration schemes, and Dipa and the firm are passionate about creating sustainable mixed-tenure communities with social value. Dipa has extensive experience in the Build to Rent sector and contributed to ULI’s Build to Rent: A Best Practice Guide. She worked on secondment as programme manager for LB Brent’s Regeneration Team, and is on its Design Review Panel. She is on the Board of Catalyst Housing Charitable Trust, and has recently been appointed one of the Mayor’s Design Advocates.
Senior Manager, Housing Programmes & Services, Greater London Authority
Debra is responsible for the GLA’s rough-sleeping programme and Private Rented Sector initiatives, the supply of new supported and specialist housing, and the delivery of housing mobility schemes. She was previously GLA Housing Policy Manager, focusing on the development and delivery of the London Housing Strategy. Since starting her career in local government in 1985, her work has included developing and delivering buildings energy efficiency programmes, the development and delivery of housing programmes and services, strategy and policy development, research, analysis and evaluation. She has also worked at the London Research Centre, the National Housing Federation and the Greater London Council.
Director of Planning, Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation
Michael is a chartered town planner who started his career with LB Haringey before joining the GLA planning and regeneration team. There, he advised on the Mayor’s strategic planning, design and regeneration projects including the Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks for Park Royal (2010) and Croydon (2012) and led the Mayor’s regeneration programme for Croydon and Tottenham from 2012 to 2014. In 2014, on behalf of the Mayor, Michael established the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) which came into existence on 1 April 2015 and where he is now Director of Planning.
Operational Director of Housing, LB Redbridge
Jackie is a qualified CIPFA accountant and spent 16 years in local authority finance before becoming a director of regeneration company Tower Hamlets Housing Action Trust. Over the next 10 years, she worked on this major housing regeneration programme, delivering a complex private-finance deal and completing the programme on budget and a year ahead of schedule. Returning to local government, she has led major housing regeneration schemes and joint ventures with private-sector partners, developed an ambitious Housing Strategy for an inner London authority, and championed the development of closely aligned housing, planning and regeneration services. She joined LB Redbridge in 2016; having developed a new Housing Strategy, she is now implementing plans to increase housing supply and reduce the unacceptably high numbers of families in temporary accommodation, and is also working on the regeneration of Ilford town centre.
Assistant Director – Development, City of London
Ted is a member of the RTPI and the Planning Officers’ Society, and worked at Basildon District Council as a planning trainee before starting at the City of London in 1978 as a planning officer. He became team leader in 1982 and has managed teams of planners and design officers since. He now manages a team of 13 planners who process and determine more than 1,000 applications a year for planning permission and listed-building consent. He and his team have dealt with major projects including the Gherkin, Cheese Grater, Paternoster Square and Millennium Bridge, all of which provided difficult and interesting challenges. Ted has been particularly involved with major infrastructure and engineering, including Crossrail and the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
Director, Tibbalds Planning & Urban Design
Hilary is a founder-director of Tibbalds, a consultancy set up in 2003 to continue the legacy of Francis Tibbalds in ‘Making People-Friendly Places’. She is an experienced architect and urbanist who brings strategic leadership to a range of housing and mixed-use intensification projects that prioritise placemaking, people and ‘good growth’. Much of Hilary’s work is in helping the public sector make the best use of its land and delivering affordable homes and good places; she and her team do that by working proactively with the planning system and through delivery. She coordinates and leads multidisciplinary teams, and is fascinated by the influences, actions and behaviours that lead to good project outcomes. Hilary was involved in the RIBA’s procurement reform group and works to ensure that public sector procurement is focused on good outcomes. Hilary is on a number of design panels including Southwark, Lewisham and Design South East, and is one of the Mayor’s Design Advocates.
Partner, Potter Raper Partnership
Nicola’s team specialises in delivering housing and regeneration schemes for housing associations and local authorities. She started as a Quantity & Building Surveyor, and has used that experience to become a highly accomplished Project Manager and Employer’s Agent. In 2015, Nicola completed her LLM in Construction Law, with a focus on procurement. She worked as Client PM for the Church Commissioners for England and the National Health Service as well as for main contractors and sub-contractors. This has helped her develop a holistic approach through an understanding of the aims, objectives and needs of all parties. Nicola has experience in delivering schemes across a variety of sectors for public- and private-sector clients. She is also an APC assessor for the RICS and an APC supervisor and Counsellor for internal and client staff.
Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards
Carl is an equity partner at PTE and heads up one of the two design workshops focused on projects from concept to tender stage. Carl has more than 17 years’ experience in housing, mixed-use and regeneration, and has designed and delivered successful and award-winning projects from large-scale masterplans to smaller bespoke buildings. A number of Carl’s projects are at the forefront of residential design innovation, including pre-fabricated modular homes, large-scale custom-build communities, and regeneration projects that imaginatively integrate homes alongside workplaces, leisure, education and retail. Carl promotes design quality throughout the practice and set up PTE’s weekly ‘Sounding Wall’ design review. Carl is judge for World Architecture News residential projects and a Design Advisor for RB Greenwich, and has been a visiting critic and lecturer at UCL The Bartlett, London Metropolitan and London Southbank universities.
Regeneration & Strategic Partnerships Director, Hyde Housing
Simon joined Hyde in 2000, when housing associations were very different. Through his time at Hyde, he has led on the Bermondsey Spa Regeneration in Southwark, Hyde’s first real move into market sale; driven operational efficiency by divesting non-core activities such as student and health accommodation; developed a joint venture approach to working with local authorities, and recently assessed Hyde’s own estates to understand the regeneration opportunities within them and increase the number of new homes it builds. Before joining Hyde, he owned and ran a restaurant and bar, and worked with a building contractor and estate agency. The overriding theme of his diverse career has been the need to work with people to ensure that whichever aspect of the transaction you’re involved in, you achieve success.
Partner, Blackstock Partnership
Eleanor started as a project and policy officer for Leeds City Council and at the Association of London Government (now London Councils). From 2000 – 2008, she worked for London Mayor Ken Livingstone as his Senior Adviser on Planning & Development, responsible for producing the first London Plan and advising on major planning applications. Eleanor also led the GLA group’s approach to supporting boroughs in key opportunity areas. A consultant since 2008, she currently advises Ealing on the Southall Opportunity Area and housing zone and provides direction for the Southall Big Plan, a £40m programme of public investment to support regeneration around the Crossrail station there. She also manages other projects for Blackstock Partnership, focused on supporting growth around key infrastructure.