Our board and trustees

Baroness Sally Morgan (Chair)

Baroness Morgan is the Chair of Ambition School Leadership Board of Trustees and advisor to Ark which runs academies in the UK and works internationally in education. A King’s alumna, Sally began her career as a secondary school teacher. She then went on to work for Tony Blair and served as Director of Government Relations until 2005. Since then she has held a number of appointments in the public and private sector including board member of the Olympic Delivery Authority and Chair of OFSTED.

Currently, Sally is also Chair of the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, Vice-Chair of the Council of King’s College, London, and a non-executive Director of Carphone Warehouse PLC and Countryside Properties PLC. Baroness Morgan was made a life peer in 2001 and is a member of the House of Lords Science & Technology Committee.

Amanda Timberg

Head of Staffing Programmes, Google and former Executive Director, Teach First 

Amanda is Head of Staffing Programs - EMEA for Google. Prior to Google Amanda spent ten years at the education charity Teach First, most recently as Executive Director of Programmes. An alumnus of Teach For America, Amanda taught primary school in Compton, California and worked at Teach For America and the Los Angeles Unified School District in southern California.  

Amanda serves on the Ambition School Leadership board because it works to transform chances for young people through school leadership. She is also on the Board of Achievement for All and holds an MsC in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School.

Celia Berenguer

Managing Director, Head of Leadership & Learning, Barclays

Celia has twenty years’ experience in leadership development, learning and talent, focused on building organisational capability to drive performance. She has designed, facilitated and coached in programs for high potentials and senior management. She has advised senior leaders in a multitude of industries. Celia was previously the Director of Global Capability Development at BP and before she was an Associate Partner for Monitor’s Leadership & Organization Practice. Celia began her career in executive development in business schools, namely Harvard Business School.

Jo Owen

Former Chair of Teaching Leaders, leadership writer and social entrepreneur 

Jo Owen is a best-selling and multi-award winning leadership author and social entrepreneur. He is co-founder of eight charities, including Ambition School Leadership and the UK’s largest graduate recruiter Teach First for which he was awarded the OBE. Previously he was a partner at Accenture, started a bank, built a business in Japan and worked in brand management at P&G. His books include How to Lead, Global Teams, Tribal Business School and Mindset of Success and have been published in over eighty editions globally. He recognises that great teachers and leaders are the only sustainable way of addressing educational disadvantage.

Jonathan Simons

Director of Policy and Advocacy, Varkey Foundation

Jonathan is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Varkey Foundation, a global Foundation dedicated to improving education standards across the world.

Previously, Jonathan was Head of the Education Unit at Policy Exchange, where he wrote over 15 major reports, book chapters and policy documents across all aspects of education. Jonathan has also worked at Serco Group, as Head of Open Public Services in the Cabinet Office, and as Head of Education in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit in the administrations of both Gordon Brown and David Cameron. Outside of work Jonathan is the Chair of Governors and Co-Founder of Greenwich Free School, a Trustee of REAch4 Multi Academy Trust, and a TES columnist.

Nick Turner

Managing Director, Stratforma

Advisor, corporate strategist and futures thinker, Nick Turner has over 25 years’ experience offering counsel to senior leaders and decision-makers, helping them make better choices today for an uncertain tomorrow.

Prior to founding Stratforma, Nick served as a Managing Director at both Morgan Stanley and Nomura and was the Co-President of Global Business Network (GBN) / a Senior Partner at Monitor Group.

After 15 years of promoting economic development and welfare-to-work in London and the UK, Nick is convinced that access to high quality education is the key driver of opportunity for all.

Sonia Sodha

Chief Leader Writer, The Observer 

Sonia Sodha became a trustee of Ambition School Leadership because she's passionate about the role of school leadership in closing the attainment gap. She is chief leader writer and columnist at the Observer. Sonia also makes documentaries on economic and social issues for Radio 4. She is a former head of public services and consumer rights policy at Which?, the Consumers’ Association, where she led their work on public services. 

Prior to this, she was a Senior Policy Adviser to Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, the Leader of the Opposition. She has also worked as Head of Policy and Strategy at the Dartington Social Research Unit and led programmes of work on public services, education, children and families at the think tanks Demos and the Institute for Public Policy Research. She is also a trustee of City Year UK and the Trust for London, and has been a primary school governor.

Richard Harpham

Former Head of Strategy, Pret A Manger and CFO, Harris & Hoole 

Richard Harpham has been Chief Executive Officer at Escape Hunt Plc since May 03, 2017 and serves as its Director. He served as Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director at Harris + Hoole, responsible for its turnaround. Before this he spent over four years at Pret A Manager as Global Head of Strategy. He has also held a number of strategic and financial positions at companies including Constellation Brands, Shire Pharmaceuticals and Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

Sir Nick Weller

CEO, Dixons Academy Trust

Sir Nick Weller is CEO of nine Dixons Academies in Bradford and Leeds: four primaries, four secondaries and one all-through 4-19 school. It includes both sponsored turnaround academies addressing educational failure and new free schools meeting growing demand.  He was designated a National Leader of Education in 2009 and was awarded a knighthood for services to education in 2015.  His report to the Treasury and DfE on schools in the Northern Powerhouse region was published in November 2016.

Sir Nick joined the Board of Ambition School Leadership in November 2016.  It is his belief that middle and senior leadership development is crucial in a growing trust.  Ambition has been essential to developing that pipeline successfully.