Board and leadership biographies

We are impatient to see a world where no family is left without shelter when disaster strikes.

Our executive team and trustees share our determination and have all pledged to help make this happen.


Each board and executive profile below is partnered with a ‘head and shoulder’ image.

If you’re in need of extra shots, check out our media photography area.

Board biographies

Dr Rob John OBE FREng, Chair

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Rob was born 1948 in Neath, South Wales. He has been married to his wife Ann for 45 years and together they have a daughter and two grandchildren, who are all now residents of Porthleven, Cornwall.

His professional career has been in materials engineering working for global industrial companies with business development posts in the UK, Sweden and the US. Rob retired as CEO of TWI, the renowned research and engineering institute, in Cambridge in 2010.

Rob first became a donor to ShelterBox in 2004 and is currently chair of the ShelterBox Board of Trustees. He is also chairman of the Structural Integrity Research Foundation, chair of Porthleven Community Group, School Governor and director of Kernow Technology Engineering Ltd.


Lydia Poole, Trustee

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Lydia joined ShelterBox as a trustee in 2015. Lydia has worked in humanitarian assistance for more than 10 years, including managing and coordinating humanitarian responses for international non-govermental organisations (NGOs) and the UN in Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan and Myanmar.

Lydia now runs an independent humanitarian policy consulting business based in Cornwall, consulting for governments, UN agencies, international NGOs and research institutes.

Lydia has a degree in archaeology and anthropology and a master’s degree in violence, conflict and development.


Bill Decker, Trustee

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Beyond his trustee role, Bill is a ShelterBox response team member and was also the Chairman of ShelterBox USA from 2010 until 2014.

Bill’s career includes roles in government relations, branding for pharmaceutical compounds, as well as strategy and risk consultancy at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Bill is co-founder of The Hub, a meeting and events space based in Philadelphia, which ranked in America’s top 2000 fastest growing companies.

Bill holds degrees from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (BS) and Thunderbird in Arizona, USA (MBA). Bill has received the US President’s Call to Service Award, which is given to people who have completed more than 4,000 hours of voluntary service, and is past president of the Rotary of Philadelphia.


Robin Bayford, Trustee

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Robin is an experienced chartered accountant who retired in 2012 from his post as finance director of the country’s largest private client fund manager, Brewin Dolphin Holdings PLC in 2012. During his time at the FTSE 350 company, Robin helped to increase the group’s turnover from £10 million to £269 million and was also on the Brewin Dolphin audit committee.

He also spent 10 years with the market research firm AGB Research PLC. Robin first encountered ShelterBox last March in Martinborough, New Zealand, where he spent some time chatting to their enthusiastic fundraising team and examined the kit. He became a trustee in June 2014.

Robin also helps with local fundraising for the charity CLIC Sargent as well as his local church.


Richard Bland, Trustee

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Richard has a master’s in business administration London Business School and gained a wide range of experience as a strategy consultant before working at Virgin Media.

Here he spent seven years in a number of roles including leading the commercial strategy team and running the sales and marketing function for Virgin Mobile. He’s now the CEO of a private hospital group based in central London.


James Vaughan, Trustee

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James is the international director at the RNLI, one of the UK’s top 10 charities, where he has worked for a number of years across a variety of roles including the post of fundraising and communications director.

Living in Dorset, James was attracted to Shelterbox by the extraordinarily simple concept of ensuring displaced people around the world can regain their dignity through effective shelter.


James Sinclair Taylor, Trustee

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James is a senior partner at Russell-Cooke Solicitors LLP and head of the organisation’s charity and social enterprise team. He is responsible for leading and developing the work of the team and supporting a variety of charities, their boards and chief executives.

James also served as chair of a housing association, a large medical services charity, two information and advice trusts, two further grant making trusts and co-founded a child protection charity and an adventure playground. James has been a trustee for ShelterBox since June 2014.

Leadership Team

Chris Warham, Chief Executive

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Chris is an entrepreneur and has set up and run a number of business in the UK and overseas.  Most recently he was chief operating officer of a large group of PR, marketing and communications businesses with operations in the UK, Germany, the USA and Singapore

In October 2011, he qualified as part of the ShelterBox response team, subsequently deploying to a number of countries. He undertakes a range of ShelterBox fundraising and speaking activities among schools, corporate and faith based groups. He was a ShelterBox trustee from May 2013 until February 2016, taking the role of interim chief executive in March 2016.


Richard Lee, Director of Fundraising and Communications

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Biography coming soon


Darren Moss, Director of Operations

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Biography coming soon


Michael Johns, Director of Corporate Services

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Michael is a chartered accountant with a strong business bias, developed whilst working both in the UK and internationally.

His career history includes manager positions at leading global accounting firms as well as several years as a partner in a local firm of accountants.

Michael left public practice in 2005 and was head of finance at another charity before joining ShelterBox in September 2009, in order to strengthen the organisation’s financial expertise during its continued expansion.


Louise Court, Head of Human Resources

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Before joining ShelterBox in November 2015, Louise was the head of human resources at Amnesty International UK.

Her previous experience was in the national museum and heritage sector, where she predominantly worked in human resources, but also held positions in press and public relations, training and development and also managed a corporate services function.


Stephen Branfield, Head of Legal and Risk

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Stephen joined ShelterBox in early 2011 and is our in house lawyer and one of the executive team. He is also a ShelterBox response team member and has deployed to Madagascar and North Korea.

Prior to joining the charity, Stephen was a partner in Foot Anstey Solicitors and specialised in company/commercial work. He provides legal advice to all departments within the organisation as well as to the board of trustees.