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Our Board

UNBOXED is governed by an independent board drawn from the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) sectors.

Vikki Heywood HS

Dame Vikki Heywood DBE

Board Chair

Vikki Heywood was Chair of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. She was previously Chair of the Royal Society of Arts and Mountview Drama Academy; Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company; Joint CEO of the Royal Court Theatre; a Board member of the National Theatre; and a trustee of the Foyle Foundation.

Vikki previously led the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value, and served on the Boards of the Society of London Theatre and the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. She was awarded a CBE in 2012 and a damehood in 2020.

Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE

Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE

Board Member

Maggie Aderin-Pocock is a space scientist whose passion is presenting science to a general audience. She has spent her career making novel, bespoke instrumentation in both industrial and academic environments. Maggie is the founder of Science Innovation Ltd, through which she conducts public engagement activities, shares her love of space and encourages underrepresented communities to take up STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths).

An author, TV presenter and co-host of The Sky at Night, Maggie recently won the Institute of Physics gold medal for exceptional services to science education and physics communication, and is President of the British Science Association.

Amali de Alwis MBE FRSA

Amali de Alwis MBE FRSA

Board Member

Amali de Alwis is CEO of Subak, the world’s first non-profit accelerator that scales climate impact through data, policy and behaviour change. She was previously Managing Director of Microsoft for Startups UK and CEO of Code First: Girls. Amali is a Board member at Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

A founding member of the Tech Talent Charter, she was named as ‘the most influential woman in UK IT’ by Computer Weekly, and was awarded an MBE in 2019 for services to diversity and training in the tech industry.

Headshot of Liam Hannaway

Liam Hannaway

Board Member (Northern Ireland)

Liam Hannaway is a former Chief Executive and Chief Accounting Officer of local district councils. Liam has a wealth of experience in the delivery of major projects, having successfully managed the delivery of the Irish Open golf tournament in 2015 as well as the annual National Famine Commemoration. Liam has also been a Board member for YouthAction NI and a Festival Director for Lislea Drama Festival, an all-Ireland drama festival, for the last 15 years.

In February 2021, Liam was appointed by the Minister for Communities to the role of Chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Headshot of PRIYA LAKHANI

Priya Lakhani OBE

Board Member (England)

Priya Lakhani is the Founder CEO of CENTURY, an award-winning artificial intelligence (AI) technology company.

In 2008, Priya left her career as a barrister to launch a successful cooking-sauce business, which through its charitable foundation provided millions of meals and thousands of vaccinations to the underprivileged. She was appointed to the UK Government’s AI Council in 2019, and in 2021 was appointed as Non-Executive Board Member to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport in 2021 with specific focus on online safety and technology. Priya holds numerous trustee and non-executive posts, and was awarded an OBE in 2014.

Headshot of Roger Lewis

Roger Lewis

Board Member (Wales)

Roger Lewis is President of National Museum Wales; Chair of the Churchill Lines Foundation and the Racecourse Media Group; a trustee of Compass for Life; and a member of the Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours Panel.

Roger’s previous positions include Head of Music at BBC Radio 1; Managing Director of EMI Records’ Classical Division; President of the Decca Record Company; Managing Director and Programme Controller of Classic FM; Managing Director of ITV Wales; and Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union and Millennium Stadium. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Institute of Welsh Affairs.

Headshot of Dr. Bridget McConnell CBE

Dr. Bridget McConnell CBE

Board Member (Scotland)

Bridget McConnell is former Chief Executive of Glasgow Life, a charity that helps Glasgow’s diverse communities experience the life-changing benefits of participating in culture and sport.

Bridget was instrumental in bringing the 2014 Commonwealth Games to Glasgow, and in overseeing the delivery of the 2018 European Championships. She also oversaw the refurbishment of Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum; the opening of the Riverside Museum and the Emirates Arena; the refurbishment of the Kelvin Hall; and the ongoing project to refurbish and redisplay The Burrell Collection. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Dr. Hayaatun Sillem CBE

Dr. Hayaatun Sillem CBE

Board Member

Hayaatun Sillem is CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation. She chairs the UK Government’s Business Innovation Forum and the St Andrews Prize for the Environment, and recently co-chaired with Sir Lewis Hamilton his Commission on Black representation in UK motorsport.

Hayaatun is a trustee of EngineeringUK and the Foundation for Science & Technology and is a member of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council. Named as one of the ‘Inspiring 50 Women in Tech’ and one of the most influential women in engineering, she was awarded a CBE in 2019.

Headshot of Rob Smith MBE

Rob Smith MBE

Board Member

Rob Smith is a product designer and Director of the Active Hands Company, which manufactures and sells products for people with reduced hand function.

Rob suffered a spinal cord injury in 1996, which affected his lower body and grip strength. Struggling to find suitable equipment to overcome grip problems, he began designing gripping aids and the Active Hands Company was born. Rob has been recognised in the Shaw Trust Power 100, is a winner of the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs, and has been a finalist in the Blackwood Design & Inclusive Technology Awards. He was awarded an MBE in 2020.

Headshot of FARAZ TASNIM ACMA

Faraz Tasnim ACMA

Board Member

Faraz Tasnim is a chartered management accountant and highly experienced financial leader with over 15 years’ experience of delivering in complex and multi-stakeholder environments.

Faraz is Commercial Business Services Director at Quilter PLC, and has held senior leadership finance and technology roles across Direct Line, Hastings Direct, Lloyds Bank and Rolls-Royce. He is also Treasurer of the Runnymede Trust, a non-executive role overseeing finance, audit and risk for the race equality charity.

Headshot of Andrew Thompson

PROFESSOR ANDREW THOMPSON

Board Member

Andrew Thompson is Professor of Global & Imperial History and Professorial Fellow at Nuffield College, and Co-Chair of the Global & Imperial History Centre at the University of Oxford. His research interests span the effects of empire on British life during the 19th and 20th centuries, and he is currently researching international humanitarianism and the aid sector.

From 2015 to 2020, Andrew was Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Until 2021, he was the UKRI International Lead for the £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund. He was awarded a CBE in 2021.