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 31 Mentors

Virginia Blackman
Principal- National Head Site Assembly & Compulsory Purchase, Avison Young

Virginia’s particular interest is in getting involved from the start of the project through to delivery, ensuring site assembly is integrated with the commercial, planning and wider project process and team, and communication and engagement with the local community. She is a regular speaker for the Compulsory Purchase Association, Waterfront Conferences and Westminster Briefings. Recent projects include five garden communities, West Hendon Estate Regeneration, Vicarage Fields Barking, High Road West, Kings Landing Maidenhead, Calverley Square Tunbridge Wells, growth plans at Bristol City Airport and advising a number of those affected by HS2 at Euston. Clients include London Borough of Haringey, Metropolitan Housing Association, Barratt, London & Newcastle and Regus. She is a member of the RICS Working Group on Compulsory Purchase, an experienced expert witness, and a Registered Valuer. Virginia has worked with the Future of London Diversity Speaker Network and has experience of mentoring colleagues previously.

Claire Callan
Smart Places Consultant, WSP

Claire is a consultant with experience in innovation, strategy and programme management. After 20 years in Financial Services Claire took a career break to study for an MSc in Cities at the London School of Economics before joining the WSP Smart Places team.   She has designed and delivered communications strategies and case studies to educate senior management on the transformational potential of emerging technologies.  Claire is interested in human behaviour and all the places where innovation and cities meet.

Neill Campbell
Partner, BPTW

Neill joined BPTW in 2002 and became the youngest partner in 2013. His role involves managing 2 teams with multiple projects of varying scale. Over this time, he has developed a wide network of contacts in relevant disciplines, gaining experience through them which he has brought to bear in his project work. Neill has delivered numerous successful new build residential schemes and masterplanning projects, as well as leading large-scale regeneration and mixed-use developments. He is a specialist in residential design and public consultation. He has a keen interest in researching and developing housing typologies to suit changing market conditions, and expertise in the application of current and emerging housing standards. Neill regularly presents on the development potential of small sites across London and the South East.

Jamie Carswell
Director of Housing & Safer Communities, RB Greenwich

Jamie was Director for Investment and then interim Chief Executive at Tower Hamlets Homes where he led a £187million major works programme and re-established the Council’s infill new build programme. Between 2002 and 2008, he was Cabinet Member for Housing and then Deputy Executive Mayor in LB Hackney where he started the regeneration of Woodberry Down estate and Dalston town centre, and established the Hackney Housing Partnership between the council and housing associations. He was also the Executive Lead for Housing at London Councils where he reached cross party agreement on their Housing Vision, as well as championing cross-borough working.

Clare Chettle
Associate Partner, Airey Miller LLP

Clare has over 11 years’ experience of providing interim and consultancy development services to G15, national and specialist housing associations, London boroughs and local authorities as well as private sector consultancy. She has held a number of roles and led teams through restructures and transitions and specialises in troubleshooting tricky schemes. Clare is a CIHCM and undertook Planning and Development Surveying (RICS) at the University of Reading. Clare is keen to share her experience and help diversify the housing, construction and built environment sectors and to help develop female leaders and role models for upcoming generations of young women and men. In addition to her work Clare is also an Assistant Scout Leader and enjoys camping, leading walks and navigation. Clare has a female partner and 2 adopted children and lives in London.

Sara Hanrahan
Partner, Lewis Silkin

Sara is a planning partner at Lewis Silkin with over 20 years’ commercial experience. She advises on all aspects of planning and specialises in major re-development and urban regeneration projects. Sara acts for a wide range of clients including developers, housing associations, local authorities as well as high net worth individuals. She is a committee member of the City of London Law Society Planning and Environmental Committee and has been recognised as a leader in her field in both the Legal 500 and Chambers.

Leanne Keltie
Principal New Homes Development Project Manager, LB Islington

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 economic development projects in the charitable sector. After completing her MSc in Urban Regeneration at UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning in 2006 Leanne worked for a leading planning and urban design consultancy promoting key sites for residential and commercial development across England. Leanne has also managed a capital grants programme at Sport England to support schools opening their sports facilities for community users. Prior to LB Islington, Leanne was responsible for managing the Mayor’s dedicated capital programmes for specialised and supported housing at the GLA which included overseeing programme delivery, brokering relationships, and encouraging bids from Registered Providers.

Hamish Kilford-Brown
Partner- Urban Design, Pollard Thomas Edwards

Hamish, partner at Pollard Thomas Edwards, is a passionate architect and urban designer with over 30 years of experience in the built environment, working with design teams to explore, imagine and deliver complex mixed-use schemes in the public and private sectors, and engaging wider audiences in change. Bringing expertise in placemaking, the creation of new neighbourhoods, working with existing communities to push boundaries, inspiring creativity while considerate of constraints and existing contexts. A generous leader with a collaborative approach, thoughtful about enabling others through stretch opportunities, co-creating innovation, and exchanging inspirational inputs to develop the next generation of professionals.

Neil Parlett
Director- Planning Development & Regeneration, Lambert Smith Hampton

Neil enjoys advising on major development projects where the success of the scheme is best measured by the quality of the design solution, integration of public and community requirements into commercial solutions and good public/private sector partnerships. Neil has worked on diverse projects such as securing a new town hall complex for Lambeth Council and delivering mixed-use development solutions in towns such as West Bromwich, Aylesbury and Woolwich. Neil is a Chairman on the RICS APC programme and a member of the Education Committee of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors, with responsibility for supporting St Saviour’s and St Olave’s students gain access to employability skills, apprenticeships/placements and mentoring. Neil also sits on the Property and Development Committee of the RMBI Care Home Company, concerned with the successful management, operation and investment of 19 care homes across England and Wales.

Joe Richardson
Head of Housing Development, LB Wandsworth

Joe leads the Housing Development Team at Wandsworth Council, responsible for delivering over a thousand homes on infill sites throughout the borough. His background includes various senior roles in Housing Associations and private sector developers, delivering a range of mixed use, mixed tenure schemes with both public and private funding. Joe oversees the end-to-end development process, overseeing a team of project managers, appointing design teams and overseeing planning applications before commissioning main works contracts and handing over completed homes to customers. With a professional background in planning and urban design, Joe takes a great deal of pride in ensuring schemes are delivered with a well thought out public realm and quality landscaping.

Hilary Satchwell
Director, Tibbalds

Hilary is a founding director of Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design and an experienced architect and urbanist who brings strategic leadership to a range of housing and mixed-use intensification projects. Much of Hilary’s work is around leading and coordinating multidisciplinary public sector teams through making best use of their land, creating good places and delivering affordable homes. She is fascinated by how projects come together and the influences, actions, decisions and behaviours that lead to successful project outcomes for all involved. Hilary was involved in RIBA’s procurement reform group and is on a number of design panels including Southwark, Lewisham and Design South East. She is also one of the Mayor of London’s recently appointed Design Advocates.

Juliet Seymour
Planning Policy Manager, LB Southwark

Juliet worked at LB Harrow for 5 years where she gained a perspective on consultation, working in an outer London borough and working in a complex and challenging political environment. She led on many London and European Projects. She then worked for LB Southwark in a similar role before moving to the Planning Policy Team. Juliet is one of the Planning Division management team leading on digital change, a Graduate Development Programme, a Planner Development Programme and the Development Plan. She has mentored staff for over a decade as part of LB Southwark’s mentoring programme.

Jonathan Wade
Head of Spatial Planning, RB Kensington & Chelsea

I am an RTPI accredited urban planner with over 25 years’ professional experience of working within the public sector in the UK. My experience covers the whole breadth of the planning field, with management positions both within Development Management and Planning Policy, most of which is within the London context. I am adaptable and flexible and used to working over a variety of disciplines from writing planning policy, to project management as well as assessing major planning applications with the accompanying negotiation skills. In my current role as Head of Forward Planning at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea I have driven forward a number of high profile strategic projects which were priorities on the corporate agenda.

Matthew Waters
Partner, Devonshires LLP

Matthew works with organisations across the housing sector – registered providers, funders / investors, local authorities and developers – on a broad range of commercial, corporate and regulatory matters. On the transactional side this includes corporate structuring, joint ventures, group reorganisations, estate regeneration, public / private partnerships for large scale housing & regeneration projects, structuring of development deals and investment / funding models. Advisory work includes regulatory compliance, new registrations, governance and HRA matters.

Lucy Webb
Managing Consultant, Inner Circle Consulting

As a consultant operating at a senior level across local authority, housing association, private and voluntary sectors. Lucy specialises in supporting sustainable growth plans that drives benefits to all delivered through a multi-disciplinary and multi-sector approach. Lucy has led on a number of complex projects and programmes including housing estate regeneration; high street renewal; social infrastructure planning; public realm schemes; and socio-economic regeneration initiatives. Lucy is currently in a leadership role at Inner Circle Consulting, a management consultancy firm working with a broad range of public and private sector clients.

Future London Leaders Round 30 Mentors

Jon Abbott
Head of Regeneration North, LB Southwark

Jon has worked in planning and regeneration for three local authorities for over 30 years, 25 of which have been at LB Southwark. He is a member of the RTPI and started work as a planner but moved across to the council’s regeneration team in 1993. Initially Jon was part of a small team preparing what became the council’s successful Single Regeneration Budget Bid for £60m to regenerate the North Peckham estates and revitalise Peckham Town Centre. In 1999 Jon moved to the council’s Elephant & Castle regeneration project as assistant project director and subsequently from 2007 as Project Director. Jon led the preparation of development framework for the area and partner selection processes which resulted in Lendlease becoming the council’s development partner for the Heygate estate. He was involved in consultation with residents and delivering a package of early homes to help rehouse them, and was the council’s lead witness at the subsequent CPO public inquiry. In 2011 Jon started his current role, focusing on the ongoing regeneration of Elephant & Castle including the shopping centre. From 2014 he has been leading the commercial negotiations with British Land to establish a JV to regenerate Canada Water.

Paul Augarde
Director, Augarde Consulting

Paul is a hands-on placemaking consultant with 15 years’ experience in regeneration – conceiving, structuring and delivering a range of strategies and initiatives across the capital and further afield. His experience includes estate regeneration, high streets, economic and commercial strategies, community & cultural placemaking, social value, asset value maximisation, and stakeholder engagement. Previously, as Director of Placemaking at housing association Poplar HARCA, Paul established the award-winning Accents placemaking team. Work included design of a sustainable fashion and creative cluster for the Lower Lea, and delivery of the first phase, the £6m Poplar Works, with the GLA and London College of Fashion. Paul also helped set up the Mayor of London’s Creative Land Trust, co-founded the Placemaking Collective UK, and is a trustee at arts charities ACAVA and UP Projects.

Karen Barke
Head of Strategic Development, LB Lewisham

Karen has worked in local authority urban regeneration and housing for over 18 years. Her current role is at Lewisham council where she is responsible for the delivery of the council’s housing development programme with aspirations to deliver new high quality homes alongside associated social and economic benefits. Prior to this Karen worked at Hackney Council where she was responsible for the delivery of the council’s high profile Estate Regeneration Programme. This was a council led housing programme with aspirations to deliver over 2,500 new high quality homes. 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 FoL’s Future London Leaders round four.

Steve Beard
Partner, Beacon Partnership LLP

Steve has worked in the social housing sector since the mid-1990s and has worked with over 30 housing associations and local authorities in development and finance. These have included key providers such as London & Quadrant, LB Camden, Guinness, as well as the Greater London Authority and smaller providers across the UK. Steve has developed sophisticated appraisal tools for housing providers across the UK and has an interest in new housing tenures and innovative funding mechanisms. He has overseen the delivery of over a thousand homes for social housing and has a postgraduate diploma in Quantity Surveying.

Christina Calderato
Head of Transport Strategy Planning, Transport for London

Christina has spent the last 12 years working across a diverse range of policy areas at TfL and led the team that developed the current Mayor’s Transport Strategy. In her current role, Christina is responsible for developing strategic transport policy across the TfL network over the next 30 years. This includes working closely with the Mayor of London, GLA and other senior TfL Managers to set the direction of the Mayor’s transport strategy, develop policies to deliver strategic objectives and ensure delivery across TfL.

Patrick Duffy
Director of New Business, Southern Housing Group

Based in Clerkenwell, but covering a large area stretching across London, the Home Counties and down to the Isle of White, Patrick leads Southern Housing Group’s diverse land and planning function to deliver a pipeline of opportunities for new development. He also oversees strategic asset management including the Group’s stock acquisition and rationalisation activity. Patrick was previously Assistant Development Director at Peabody, responsible for a £2.25 billion development programme. He was part of the team that grew the organisation’s development activity from a standing start to the largest in London, including a Stirling Prize nomination along the way.

Jackie Fearon
Director of Resident & Community Services, Housing Solutions

With over 25 years of experience in housing, a deep love of sport, music and new found desire to keep busy, Jackie has mentoring experience that ranges from short term ad hoc meetings to longer term arrangements. She’s worked in small charities, to some the largest housing associations and local authorities in the country. This has helped not only to understand behaviours, challenges and frustrations but to use her experiences to support others. Just as important have been the experience she has had of her own mentors throughout her career, and the benefits that they have brought her on a personal and professional level.

Dan Hill
Director, Real Urbanism Ltd

Dan is an independent consultant working with community groups, residents, businesses, partners and colleagues on a range of projects seeking to make fairer and more resilient communities and neighbourhoods. He has led regeneration teams at a senior level within Local Government and Housing Associations. His work focuses on delivery of new and better homes, more resilient high streets, community hubs and parks, squares and gardens. He has a particular passion for local food and is trying to start up a new farm for London. In his spare time he likes running and exploring new places.

Suzanne Johnson
Head of Area Regeneration, LB Hackney

Suzanne is a regeneration professional and chartered town planner with experience in the development and delivery of social, economic and physical regeneration programmes in urban areas. Suzanne advises on regeneration, economic development and planning policy issues and practice, and has delivered a number of regeneration programmes and projects across London including leading on the regeneration of Tottenham High Road as part of the Tottenham Regeneration Programme.  Suzanne is responsible for delivering area regeneration in Hackney; by working across council departments and externally with partners and stakeholders she ensures that economic growth and development benefits as many residents and businesses as possible.

Bevan Jones
Associate Director, Turner & Townsend

Bevan has over 10 years’ experience working in sustainability in the public and private sectors in which time he has contributed to a number of key studies and reports such as the UK’s first Climate Risk Assessment, The Economics of Climate Resilience for DEFRA and Future of London’s Stresses and Shocks study. Before joining Turner & Townsend Bevan worked at Sustainable Homes as well as Catalyst Housing where he delivered the sustainability strategy as well as on embedding sustainable approaches to business and development in new build. Bevan has also worked for Dutch consultancy Ecofys where he delivered work for the UK Government and contributed to EU projects.

Tricia Patel
Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards

Tricia is an equity partner and leads one of PTE’s design workshops delivering projects from concept to completion, especially for large residential-led regeneration projects. Her enthusiasm, and talent for listening, can draw from clients and user groups a deep understanding of what they really want from their project. She is skilled at using the insights gained to produce successful outcomes. Tricia has over 28 years’ experience in the housing, mixed-use and regeneration sectors, and has both designed and delivered a series of successful and award-winning projects. She has planned and led numerous community engagement programmes and Tricia is also one of the practice’s ambassadors for young people and has won the Junior Open House Architectural Mentor award.

Lizzie Pillinger
Real Estate Senior Associate, Trowers & Hamlins

Lizzie is an experienced Real Estate development lawyer. Her practice is varied but primarily focuses on investment into and development of places people live – particularly later living and affordable housing. She acts for investors, developers, and operators in both the public and private sectors. She has mentored and been mentored formally and informally for several years both within and outside of her firm and has been an advocate of reverse mentoring within her firm. When not working, she’ll be found doing daft things like rock climbing or jumping into cold lakes or with her head (or earbuds) in a book.

Sandeep Sankoli
Head of London Land and Partnerships, Hill

Prior to his role at the Hill Group, Sandeep was a Director at Countryside Properties. He is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Sandeep has over 15 years’ housing experience at regional government and private practice. He specialises in mixed-use development, private rented sector investment and urban regeneration. Sandeep started his career as a Housing Economist at City Hall, advising the Mayor of London on housing supply barriers. He also spent time at L&Q advising on their entry into PRS and strategic growth planning.

Allison Sofekun
Director of Corporate Services, CDS

Allison is a senior level executive with a strong track record in strategic leadership of people, change, financial and operational management with over 30 years of experience. Allison led the Corporate Services at Gateway Housing and has extensive experience developing potential through mentoring and coaching. As Group Director for Corporate Services at Genesis Housing, she led the strategies and delivery of HR, IT, Communications, Diversity, Business Excellence, and other enabling services. Allison qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG and further expanded her areas of expertise through becoming a Chartered Fellow with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD). Allison led the achievement of the ‘Times Top 50 Employers for Women’ at Genesis and is an individual national award winner, Excellence in Practice – BITC, championing balanced leadership teams for superior business performance.

Karen Swift
Director of Housing and Regeneration, LB Tower Hamlets

Karen has worked in local government for over 25 years with secondments to the Home Office and Metropolitan Police. Her local government career started in LB Camden, with a stint at LB Enfield and a return to LB Camden. She is currently Divisional Director of Housing and Regeneration at LB Tower Hamlets. During her career she has overseen initiatives and services related to homelessness, housing options, temporary accommodation, private sector conditions, commissioning, asset management as well as being Head of Housing Strategy at LB Camden for 10 years. In her current role she oversees a new build council homes programme, a housing options service undergoing transformation, sustainability and fire safety. Karen has a MSc in International Housing.

Janet Townsend
Director of Development (South), London Legacy Development Corporation

Janet is a Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years property development and regeneration experience. Working previously for public bodies such as London Transport Property, English Partnerships and the London Development Agency, she has been involved in large scale regeneration and development projects around London including the Royal Docks, Greenwich Peninsula, and Lewisham Town Centre. She is currently Director of Development at the London Legacy Development Corporation, where she is responsible for their Housing Delivery Programme, delivering of over 5,000 new homes across the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding communities.

Dritan Uka
Director of Asset Management, Optivo

Dritan currently works as the Director of Asset Management for a large G15 Housing Association.  He has previously worked with other large housing associations, local authorities and also in the private sector. Dritan has extensive experience in strategic asset management, sustainability, facilities management and investment planning. He is also a board member at Ability Housing Association.