The RNIB Board of Trustees is responsible for taking the major decisions that affect RNIB and its subsidiaries, including our Associate Charities.
Including the Honorary Officers, we have eight trustees, six of whom are blind or partially sighted.
Eleanor Southwood, Chair
Eleanor Southwood was born in 1982 with a genetic condition called Leber’s congenital amaurosis and she has never had any useful sight. She grew up in Derby with her parents and younger sister, who also has Leber’s congenital amaurosis.
She joined RNIB as a Trustee in 2010. During her time as a Trustee Eleanor has held several roles, including as a Governor at Sunshine House. She led the development of RNIB’s growing Connect Community of blind and partially sighted people, their friends, and supporters. She became Vice Chair in 2012.
Eleanor has taken a particular interest in how RNIB and partner organisations can tackle the lack of employment opportunities and representation in civic and public life for blind and partially sighted people.
Outside RNIB, she is a local Councillor in Brent, north west London. Eleanor was first elected in 2014 and now has borough-wide responsibility for waste, parking, transportation, roads, pavements and open spaces.
She has worked in the public, commercial, and not-for-profit sectors. Her roles have included policy and research work on improving public services, recruitment for senior jobs in a range of public and charitable organisations, and consultancy work to help organisations going through change.
Eleanor has a Masters in Organisational Behaviour and a first degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University. She lives in Wembley, north west London, with her partner.
Alan Tinger, Honorary Treasurer
Alan is a Chartered Accountant (FCA) and Companion of the Chartered Management Institute (CCMI). He is currently Chair of LOC Central Support Unit, Non-Executive Director / Consultant of the Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians, a Member of the Optical Confederation Leaders Group and a Trustee of Eyecare Trust.
His interests outside the optical sector include being Chair of a Housing Association. Alan’s previous appointments include directorships of listed companies, including a major opticians group and financial consultant to the General Optical Council, the regulator of registered opticians.
Derek Child, Trustee
Derek has been blind for 40 years having lost his sight in his late 20’s resulting from prolonged childhood illness. Derek entered higher education as a mature student, where he eventually gained a postgraduate degree in Advanced Social Policy plus a social work qualification. His career was principally in higher education at the Open University and he retired as a senior manager in 2010.
Derek recognised the crucial importance of further and higher education in making disabled people more equal and employable, and he campaigned for over 35 years for improved support students in post 16 education and training. Derek has wide experience of working with the voluntary sector in various capacities both nationally and locally. He is a keen advocate of user-led governance in ensuring that charities focus strategy on meeting the needs of their beneficiaries.
Ozzie Clarke-Binns, Trustee
Ozzie is in his first term of office as a Trustee, having been appointed to the Board in 2017. Ozzie has spent the last 15 years as an independent consultant for various organisations including the London 2012 Organising Committee and Business in the Community. At 13 he became the youngest ever independent advisor on youth and policing policy for London working with the Metropolitan Police. In 2018 Ozzie successfully co-led the bid for London to host the 10th anniversary One Young World Summit in 2019.
Ozzie is an experienced talent and organisational development specialist helping organisations successfully implement global people strategies and innovate during times of rapid change and uncertainty. Ozzie has a particular passion about youth engagement, in addition to issues relating to ‘race’ and inclusion within the workplace. Ozzie lives in London.
Simon Finnie, Trustee
Simon is in his first term of office as a Trustee, having been appointed to the Board in 2014. He has held several senior executive roles across the commercial sector and is currently the Group Strategic Projects Director for Laing O'Rourke, the largest privately owned construction company in the UK.
As part of Laing O'Rourke’s senior team, he is responsible for driving strategic improvements across the whole organisation. Simon has over 20 years’ experience across a wide range of sectors. He is married with children and lives in Hertfordshire.
Dr Heather Giles, Trustee
Heather is in her second term of office as a Trustee, having been re-appointed to the Board in 2014. Professionally, she has held senior scientific positions in the pharmaceutical industry and has a PhD in Pharmacology. She is currently Chief Scientific Officer for a small pharmaceutical company.
Heather has a personal understanding of the challenges facing people with sight loss because she is partially sighted herself and also, even before becoming a Trustee, she was supporting RNIB’s work as a local campaigns volunteer. She lives in London.
Dr Mike Nussbaum, Trustee
Mike joined the RNIB Board in May 2011. He was forced to cut short his career as a research chemist after his eyesight suddenly failed. However, he soon forged a second career in local government and public policy development. He was Chair of Volunteering England from 2002 to 2009.
Mike holds a number of other appointments, including as a Trustee of Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, a Trustee of Vision 2020 UK, a Trustee of Shaw Trust and a member of the Equality and Diversity Forum.
Sandi Wassmer, Trustee
Sandi Wassmer was registered blind in 2008. She became a Trustee of RNIB Board in 2016. Sandi is currently leading the development of digital services at Jewish Care, which includes Jewish Care Interact, a digital hub for older and disabled people, the KC Shasha Centre for Talking News and Books and an ambitious digital engagement strategy around Jewish Care's Karten Centres.
Sandi is a passionate thought leader in inclusive design and accessible ICT, as well as a businesswoman, human rights advocate, marketer, writer and public speaker. She has worked in a range of commercial organisations throughout her career, as CFO and COO of Universal Studios' SyFy UK TV Channel, COO of Unilever's first dotcom investment and MD of digital agency, Copious.
Our Committees and Steering Groups
The Board delegates authority to several second-tier governance committees and steering groups. The Board sets the terms of reference for each second-tier committee and steering group.
Currently, the Board has established three committees (all of which have delegated decision-making powers) and three steering groups, which do not have delegated decision-making powers, but which act in an advisory role.
The Committees are: Audit and Risk Committee, People Committee, and Regulated Services and Safeguarding Committee.
The Steering Groups are: Business Change Steering Group, Customer Steering Group and Relationships Steering Group.