Our board

We are governed by our Board of Trustees, who are responsible for setting our overall strategy and direction, ensuring that we comply with all necessary rules and legal obligations and that we use our resources effectively.

We are also grateful for the long-standing support we receive from our President, who provides vital awareness that helps us to continue to reach those who need books most.

Our President: Nigel Newton

Nigel Newton was born and raised in San Francisco. He read English at Selwyn College, Cambridge and in 1986 started Bloomsbury Publishing. Nigel was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2021 New Year Honours for services to the publishing industry. He is also appointed as President of the Publishers Association.

Nigel has previously served as a member of the Booker Prize Advisory Committee, Chairman of the Charleston Trust, Chair of World Book Day, member of the Publishers Association Council, Trustee of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Chairman of the British Library Trust, and head of the Selwyn Association.

Book Aid International is a phenomenal organisation with the admirable ambition of bringing books to all. They shape people’s lives through the books they donate and the skills that those books give people.

Dr Alice Prochaska, Chair

Dr Alice Prochaska has led some of the world’s most important libraries and archives. She has served as a board member of the Bodleian Library and Yale University Press, worked at the UK National Archives and as Director of Special Collections at the British Library and led one of the largest research libraries in the world as University Librarian at Yale.

As Chair of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Standing Committee of the International Federation of Library Associations Dr Prochaska joined the fight against the destruction of libraries in areas of conflict. She has a special interest in the preservation of international heritage collections and has published, curated exhibitions and broadcast on topics dealing with archives and libraries.

Dr Prochaska holds the degrees of MA and Doctor of Philosophy in Modern History from the University of Oxford, and she served as Principal of Somerville College Oxford 2010 to 2017. Her other interests include the history of women’s education and diversity in universities, and in her spare time she volunteers with homeless and refugee charities.

Honorary Treasurer: Nick Allen

Nick Allen is a geographer and Fellow of Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge. He has extensive experience of the corporate and the charity sectors and has worked in both Africa and Latin America. From 2008 to 2018, he was the Bursar of Sidney Sussex College. While there he was also a Director at the Royal Society Ltd and the Cambridge Business Improvement District.

Prior to this, Nick worked for Unilever in roles in finance, risk management and general management. During this time he spent ten years working with businesses in Africa. In his last two roles at Unilever, he was the UK’s Chief Finance Officer and the Managing Director of Unilever’s Corporate Venturing & Innovation Group. Nick is a member of the Finance, Risk & Audit Committee of Farm Africa.

Pam Dix

Pam is a professional librarian and has been a lifelong champion of school libraries and librarians. For 23 years she managed the London Borough of Islington’s Education Library Service, as well as teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses on children’s literature at London Metropolitan University. She is currently researching the role of illustration in children’s information books. She is Chair of the Akili Trust, a small charity supporting educational development in rural Kenya and also Chair of IBBY UK (International Board on Books for Young People).

Dhivya O’Connor

Dhivya O’Connor is a charity leader with over 22 years’ experience who has served as CEO of United World Schools, Chartered Institute of Fundraising and Children with Cancer UK. She sits on the Steering Committee of Groundbreakers, a network promoting women leaders in the voluntary sector and is Governor of a London state primary school.  She has also held various strategy, business development and leadership roles, and helped drive transformative growth at Lloyds Bank, GE Capital and OctopusTravel (now part of Expedia Group). She is the creator and executive producer of The Charity CEO Podcast and has also volunteered with NGOs in India, South Africa and Cambodia.

Jonathan Hargreaves

Jonathan is UK Special Representative for Syria at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) with responsibility for FCDO’s humanitarian and development work in the Middle East. He was previously Head of DFID’s office in Jerusalem and DFID’s Somalia programme. Jonathan has specialised in governance and development across Africa and eastern Europe, and was Head of DFID’s Governance, Open Societies and Anti-corruption Department. He has also worked for the UN Development Programme and the European Commission and, as a management consultant for KPMG, he worked on organisational development and value for money projects for local and central government.

Charly Nobbs

Charly has over 40 years’ experience of warehousing, supply chain, systems and inventory management in the publishing industry. He spent 15 years at Cambridge University Press as Distribution Director and was Vice President of Global Supply Chain at John Wiley & Sons where he was responsible for over 300 staff involved in the global warehousing, distribution and inventory management. Today, Charly heads up an independent global consultancy focussing on supply chain optimisation where he uses his extensive experience of delivering significant and sustainable improvements across local, regional and global supply chains.

Robert Sulley

As former International Director at Hodder Education, Robert has 30 years’ experience of the publishing industry, over 25 of which have been in international educational publishing with a particular focus on African markets. This has included stints at publishing houses in Botswana and South Africa, where he helped develop a list of titles for South Africa’s first post-apartheid school curriculum. Robert is a Member of the International Board of the UK Publishers’ Association and served a three year term as an elected councillor at Reading Borough Council between 1992 and 1995.

Zainab Umar

Zainab serves as the communications lead at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, a think tank focused on African governance and leadership. She is responsible for all the Foundation’s communications across all channels and leads the Foundation’s youth initiative, Now Generation Network. She also sits on the Steering Committee for the African Youth Network Movement. Zainab began her career in local government working for public libraries across London and has significant PR and reputation management experience across multiple markets. She was a recipient of the 2020 Gold SABRE awards for a public relations campaign.

More about our team

Our staff

We employ a team of 31 dedicated staff, including two programme team members who are based in Nairobi.

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Our Royal Patron and friends

Our Royal Patron, Vice Patron and celebrity friends help us advocate for the book, raise our profile and reach new book lovers.

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