Trustees

The Institute is governed by a Board of expert Trustees, pledged to uphold the values of the Commonwealth and to promote its growth. Current Board members include significant representation from major NGOs and the private sector. They are ambassadors for the Institute, support new projects and the strategic development of the Institute.

Dr Ajay Agrawal is an entrepreneur who has been an advisor, consultant and mentor to pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide. He is a Board member of ImmuPharma plc, an AIM-listed Company in London with operations in France and Switzerland which won “the New Economy Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Awards for 2010" for the best European drug development company. Ajay is a member of four advisory boards for international journals from the USA.

David Coles is a Chartered Accountant, having qualified with KPMG in 1988. Since then he has held a variety of positions in the City, in management consultancy and more recently he has run his own business. He works in finance for an international charity working on Malaria prevention in Africa and Asia.

Richard Evans has been involved in education and the charity sector for several decades, first with Voluntary Service Overseas and then as a teacher and in senior management in the educational sector. He has worked as Development Director for the international HIV/AIDS charity ACET International. Richard has extensive experience as a charity trustee and is currently serving on the boards of the MedicAlert Foundation, the Campaign for Learning and the Friends of the Commonwealth Foundation.

John Hilary is the Executive Director of War on Want since 2008. Prior to joining War on Want as Campaigns and Policy Director, he worked as a Trade Policy Advisor for Action Aid and Save the Children. He also spent time teaching in Pakistan and China in the 1980's before joining the BBC World Service as a specialist in East Asian Affairs. An accomplished author on international development and trade issues, John Hilary also contributes to leading newspapers and broadcast media.

Sunder Katwala is the Director of British Future. Its ambition is to inform and deepen the public conversation on issues of identity, immigration, integration and opportunity. He was previously general secretary of the Fabian Society, leader writer and internet editor at the Observer, a research director of the Foreign Policy Centre and commissioning editor for politics and economics at the publisher Macmillan. He regularly contributes to national print and broadcast media.

Dr Chris Nonis currently High Commissioner for Sri Lanka since 1st September 2011 is a doctor and business man. He trained in medicine at the Royal Free Hospital, University of London, spending his electives at Harvard Medical School and carried out his postgraduate studies at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.
He heads his family business, Mackwoods, a Sri Lankan company established in 1841 which operates across a range of industries including healthcare, agribusiness and plantations, infrastructure development, energy, tourism and financial services, including stockbroking and fund management.

 Mark Robinson is a former Member of the UK Parliament who served for several years at the United Nations and the Commonwealth Secretariat His Parliamentary career followed his time in international diplomacy, and he maintained his commitment to the Commonwealth, both as a Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and as Parliamentary Private Secretary first to the Minister for Overseas Development, Baroness Chalker, and then to the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Lord Douglas Hurd. He also served as Her Majesty’s Under Secretary of State for Wales (1983–85).
He has served on the boards of several organisations dealing with development in Commonwealth member states such as the Commonwealth Development Corporation, the Commonwealth Press Union 1997-2002 and the Council for Education in the Commonwealth.

Sir Ronald Sanders is a former High Commissioner of in the UK for Antigua and Barbuda and is known International consultant, writer, and former Caribbean diplomat who served on Commonwealth and on international advisory Committees and as a trade negotiator. He has written extensively on small states and served on numerous committees, task forces and advisory boards to formulate and implement policy for the Caribbean and the Commonwealth. He has served as the elected Chairman of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force against drug trafficking and money laundering (2003-2004).
He also served on the Board of the International Programme for the Development of Communication at UNESCO (1983-1985) and as an elected member of the Executive Board of UNESCO (1985-1987). In 2010 Sir Ronald was appointed as one of 10 members of an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) established to make recommendations to modernise the Commonwealth. He is also a member of International Advisory Board of the Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs which is a scholarly journal published six times a year

Derek Smail has acted as Chairman, Managing Director and Non Executive Director with newspaper publishing companies operating in the UK Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and New Zealand for more than 40 years. He is currently Executive Chairman of African Media Investments Ltd, which was established in 1998 to develop independent media in southern Africa. He is a founder director and represents the foreign investors in Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe Ltd, which launched the Daily News in 1999 to become Zimbabwe's market-leading daily newspaper. He is an Advisory Board member of Today Translations Ltd, whose database of some 2,600 linguists interprets and translates in more than 200 languages for global blue chip clients. A board member of the Business Council for Africa as well as the Institute of Export, he sits on the Commonwealth Organisations' Committee on Zimbabwe, where he represents both the Commonwealth Press Union Media Trust, of which he is a trustee, and the Commonwealth Media Group. He is also a Senior Board Advisor to Homestrings, an electronic platform that allows members of the Diaspora and other interested parties to know about and have the opportunity to invest in worthwhile projects in Emerging Markets, which were previously the exclusive preserve of financial institutions.

Andy Watkin-Child is a board level business leader who has worked for a range of successful blue chip companies and led business transformation programmes, including defining strategic change programmes and delivering significant organisational benefits across a number of industry sectors: engineering, manufacturing, insurance, investment and corporate banking. He was Director-Head of Quality, Risk and control compliance, Information Security and Programme Management, Mizuho Corporate Bank. Prior to this Andy was the Manager of change programmes for AXA UK and managing Director of CPKapability Ltd. He was Head of Business Process Management for Prudential Assurance and Manager of Business Improvement and IT strategy - Rolls Royce Energy Operations. In 1995 Andy was also a teaching company Associate at Warwick University.