RNIB is governed by our experienced Board of Trustees.
The Board has overall responsibility for all RNIB activities and delegates the day-to-day management of RNIB to the Executive Leadership Team, which includes our Chief Executive Officer, and eight second-tier governance committees, and sets terms of reference for these.
Currently, these Committees are:
Audit and Risk Committee
Governance Transformation Implementation Group
Income and Partnerships Committee
Regulated Services and Safeguarding Committee
Each Committee generally has two or three members who are Trustees, and several also have up to three non-Trustee members who have particular skills and expertise relevant to that Committee. This ensures that the Board can call on a range of experience to support oversight and decision-making. Each Committee is chaired by a Trustee, save for the Audit and Risk and Regulated Services and Safeguarding Committees, which each have an independent Chair.
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, four of whom are blind or partially sighted (including the Chair). We are presently recruiting three new Trustees to join the Board in 2020.
Eleanor Southwood, Chair
Eleanor Southwood was born 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 the same sight condition.
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, and Chair in 2017.
Eleanor has 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.
Sir Martin Davidson, Vice Chair
Martin is in his first term as a Trustee, joining the Board in September 2019. Martin is a highly experienced Trustee and Chief Executive. He was previously CEO of the British Council, where he developed a close and effective working relationship between the trustees and executive, while maintaining a clear separation of the roles.
Martin is currently Chair of the Great Britain China Centre, and previously served as Vice Chair of Leonard Cheshire Disability. At Leonard Cheshire, he chaired the Nominations and Governance Committee of the Board and was a member of the People Committee. He also led the charity on governance of the newly established group structure.
In addition, Martin is currently a trustee of United Purpose, a medium sized international development charity, and of the Dorset Community Foundation, which delivers charitable outcomes in his local county. His other non-executive experience includes a period on the Board of House of Fraser, where he chaired the Nominations Committee and sat on the Audit and Remuneration Committees.
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 for youth engagement, in addition to issues relating to race and inclusion within the workplace.
Nora Colton, Trustee
Nora is in her first term as a Trustee, joining the Board in September 2019. Nora is the Director of Education for the Institute of Ophthalmology at UCL and Moorfields and has a strong academic background as both an economist and social scientist. She is also on the board of Vision Aid (International).
Nora is the Board's Safeguarding Lead. Promoting good safeguarding has been a key focus in her day job, and she is clear about the absolute requirement for it to be at the heart of all organisational decisions. She also has significant previous experience of leading organisations through strategic change.
Isabel Hunt, Trustee
Isabel is an experienced senior executive with strong digital, transformation and leadership skills gained in both public and private sectors.
She works as the Executive Director, Innovation and Insight on the National Lottery Heritage Fund and has previously held executive roles at NHS Digital, the Home Office, Royal Mail and the University of Leeds. She has a particular interest in digital technologies, innovation and transformation, in sustainability and in accessibility, diversity and inclusion. At NHS Digital she was the executive lead on diversity and was a member of the national NHS Equality and Diversity Council.
She has previously volunteered as a trustee of Age UK and a board member of the Leeds based Thackray Medical Museum. She has degrees from the universities of Birmingham and Reading, an MBA from Cranfield University and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Iain McAndrew, Trustee
Iain is in his first term, having joined the Board in April 2019. He is currently Director of Development and Communications at Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS). Experienced in implementing strategic business change, he led the development and introduction of the CHAS brand identity, which delivered year one substantial income growth and brand awareness.
Iain has held non-executive positions with Remember a Charity and Will Aid as a charity Trustee. In addition, he was previously a Trustee with ADD International, an organisation which advocates for the protection of human rights for disabled people across the globe.
Amanda Rowland, Trustee
Amanda is in her first term as a Trustee, joining the Board in September 2019. Amanda is a qualified and experienced lawyer, recently retired and keen to give more time to the visual impairment and disability sector, and particularly keen to see charities in the VI sector working together more closely. Amanda is also on the Board of Blind in Business, where she serves as Treasurer, and is a member of the Macular Society.
Anna Tylor, Chair-designate
Anna joined the Board in July 2020.
As Chair of the Vision Foundation, Anna has overseen a transformation of the charity’s branding, strategy and finances and established a collaborative approach to working with partners within the sector.
Previously, she initiated the establishment of the UK educational collection, now RNIB’s Bookshare, to offer blind and partially sighted and other disabled learners equal access to the curriculum. Her early career included working on employment programmes, delivering training and development within a service organisation, leading training on the roll out of equalities legislation, working on inclusion programmes including with City of London Police, banks and the retail sector. She is a trained mediator with a Masters in Sociology and Social Policy.
Anna is a long-time advocate for greater inclusion of disabled people and blind and partially sighted people in particular. She has lived experience of sight loss. This experience drives her commitment to equal citizenship for blind and partially sighted people.
Liz Walker, Honorary Treasurer
Liz is in her first term as a Trustee, joining the Board in September 2019. She is a Chartered Accountant and currently Finance and Corporate Services Director and Company Secretary for the Children’s Society.
With a commercial background but with almost 20 years’ experience in the charity sector, Liz has an excellent understanding of charity governance, implementing key improvements in this area in her various roles in charities working in regulated services. In addition, she has extensive experience of strategic planning in fast-paced, changing environments, as well as experience in delivering strategic finance implementation, including property, investment and pension strategies, and organisational change.