John Griffin, Finito Chairman

John Griffin founded Addison Lee in 1975 with just one car, and sold the company to The Carlyle Group for £360 million, in April 2013.

He set up The John Griffin Foundation in 2014 as a focus for his growing charitable and philanthropic activities. The Foundation has committed £10 million to building an extension to the Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research in north London, one of the UK’s leading units engaged in pre-clinical research, surgical training and leading the way in regenerative medicine, specifically around the development of natural tissue scaffolds to replace surgically removed or traumatised tissues.

Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan, MP

Nicky worked at the heart of the UK government during one of its most important political and economic periods. She served as a senior Cabinet Minister under David Cameron in both of his governments, responsible for Education, Women and Equalities, having previously worked alongside George Osborne at the Treasury, as Economic, then Financial Secretary dealing with the 2012 Autumn Statement and 2013 Budget.

During her time in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Education, and Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky oversaw the publication of the 2016 Education White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere.

She championed schools becoming academies, curriculum reforms which ensured young people are prepared for the world of work, the setting up of the Careers & Enterprise Company, the first Department for Education Character Awards and ensured there was specific ministerial responsibility, within education, for children’s mental health. She also led work by the Government Equalities Office on the introduction of the gender pay gap regulations, getting more women on the boards of listed companies and policies to address transphobic, biphobic and homophobic bullying in schools.

Prior to this she was a Government Whip in the Coalition Government, a member of the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Universities Minister.

Nicky was originally elected as the Member of Parliament for the Loughborough constituency in 2010, was re-elected in 2017 with a significant majority.

She studied Law at Oxford University and spent 16 years as a solicitor in the City of London, mainly working in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.

Elizabeth Diaferia

After a distinguished and extensive career in international financial markets and politics, Elizabeth has her own consultancy working in tech, creative industries, public affairs and with entrepreneurs. She has specialised in tech from her work at the government-backed Tech Nation promoting UK digital businesses. She led a delegation of UK digital businesses to the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting and regularly promotes the UK digital economy and ecosystem via international and local engagement. She is particularly interested in the Edtech, Fintech and Smart cities sectors, having been involved in her own Edtech startup. She was Advocacy Director for London Tech Week in 2016.   She is Head of Brexit Media Policy working within the Broadcasting Industry for Expert Media Partners.

She was previously Head of New Business for The Conservative Party, and worked closely with senior parliamentarians, SMEs and entrepreneurs. Her first career in investment banking spanned senior positions within major US, UK, Japanese and European banks, specialising in Fixed Income, where she held senior positions in both Sales and Fund Management.

She is a Mentor for Commonwealth First, a Programme developed by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council with the Foreign Office.  Elizabeth sits on the Advisory Boards for ADA, the National College for Digital Skills and Hastee Pay, an award-winning Fintech company disrupting pay cycles as well as promoting financial wellbeing.

Neil Carmichael

Neil Carmichael represented Stroud as a Member of Parliament from 2010 to 2017, and served on the Education Select Committee throughout that period, latterly as Chair. Now a respected writer and speaker on education issues in the UK, Neil is currently writing a book about reforming education, and has lectured at the University of Nottingham and appeared as a keynote speaker at frequent conferences.

Neil is a Senior Adviser at PLMR, the London-based public affairs and communications agency, and is a Non-Executive Adviser on Education at Wild Search, the executive search and advisory firm. He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees at FESTOMANE, the Festival of Manufacturing and Engineering, which is a voluntary organisation helping young people to learn more about engineering and manufacturing.

Neil is engaged with a Westminster Foundation for Democracy project to develop parliamentary scrutiny of education policy in Myanmar, and is a Trustee of the Sir Heinz Koeppler Trust, promoting international peace and security. Two years ago, he established Modern Europe, an independent think tank with a special focus on engaging with young people.

Neil’s other interests include the environment and Europe. He piloted the Antarctic Act 2013 through Parliament and was an active member of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee for five years.

He farmed livestock in Northumberland for 17 years and retains the land holding, where several woodland areas have been created.

Introducing The Finito Advisory Board

Finito’s supporters include many captains of British industry, as well as experts in education and the development of young people. We are delighted to have an Advisory Board full of individuals with a wealth of experience, both in recruiting, developing and retaining young talent, and in supporting smart candidates in the early phases of their careers.

Dame Mary Richardson

Dame Mary has worked with young people all her life. She took her degree and qualified as a teacher at Liverpool University, and immediately on leaving university became an officer in the Women’s Royal Army Corps. She continues this interest and chaired the Department for Education and Ministry of Defence’s London Challenge Cadet Partnership Pilot Project, and is currently Vice President of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets and a trustee of the Cadet Bursary Fund.

From 1985 to 1999, Mary was the headteacher of the Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College in Brent. In 1999 she was asked to join HSBC to set up, and be Chief Executive of, HSBC Global Education Trust, at a time when HSBC operated in 81 countries and territories. She left HSBC in 2008. During her time the HSBC Global Education Trust encouraged international understanding through the teaching of languages, particularly Mandarin, in UK schools, and supported projects globally for deprived children including street children, orphans, and children in care.

Mary was Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Education to the High Commissioner for Lesotho; Chairman of Four Pillars, an organisation specialising in good governance; and Deputy Chairman and then Chairman of the English Speaking Union. She continues on a number of grant-making trusts, is a trustee on several boards and a governor in three schools and a university. Mary holds several honorary doctorates and Fellowships and is a Founding Ambassador of Teach First. She was awarded a DBE in 1999 for services to education.

Sir Anthony Seldon

Sir Anthony Seldon is a political historian and commentator on British political leadership as well as on education and contemporary Britain. He is also Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham.

He was previously the Headmaster of Wellington College, one of the country’s most famous and historic independent schools, and was co-founder and first Director of the Institute of Contemporary British History, the internationally-renowned body whose aim is to promote the study of British history since 1945.

Anthony is author or editor of more than 40 books on history, politics and education, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and King’s College London. He was knighted in the Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours list for services to education and modern political history. He founded Action for Happiness, a movement with a vision to create a happier world, with Professor Lord Richard Layard and Geoff Mulgan. He is governor of several bodies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is Chair of The Comment Awards.

Ty Goddard

Ty Goddard is a respected writer and adviser on education reform and the future of education, and has been cited in the Evening Standard’s list of the most influential people in London for an unprecedented three years in a row from 2012. He is Co-Founder of The Education Foundation, an independent organisation focused on reform, technology and innovation across education, and he also leads the strategic body EdtechUK, accelerating the edtech sector in the UK and globally.

Ty previously worked as an adviser to the Department for Education on Extended Schools and the co-location of services, and founded influential public/private membership charity, British Council for School Environments. He was Managing Director of SchoolWorks, and pioneered service co-location of schools as Brighton & Hove Council’s Schools Strategic Manager.

In 1998, Ty was elected to Lambeth Council and became Chair of Education. Under his leadership, in two Ofsted inspections there were steady improvements in the Local Education Authority and it was described as unrecognisable from the ‘days of despair’. He has also worked as the UK and European Public Affairs adviser to the NSPCC, and as the first National Campaigns Co-ordinator for Scope, the disability charity.


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