The Board of Directors

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The current Board members are:

Caroline Hutton

Caroline Hutton, Chair of the Board.

She was Director of  Martineau Gardens for 15 years, retiring from this position in 2018. One of many lasting legacies of her time at Martineau Gardens was obtaining the funding (from the Jo Malone Foundation) and building of the fabulous Courtyard Garden, formally open by the WMCA Mayor Andy Street on 26th June 2018.

She was also a founder member of ‘Growing Birmingham‘, a network of organisations within the city who are active in community food growing.

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Kate Cooper

Kate Cooper is an Executive Director, as well as a Board director. Kate served as Chair of the Board 2014-2018, stepping down at the December Board Meeting.

She is also a Visiting Professional Fellow at the Crisis Management Centre, Aston Business School.

After an erstwhile career which included some 35 years as a consultant to blue chips,  she founded The New Optimists in 2009 as a way of putting regional scientists on the map. Over 130-strong, among other activities, they took part in the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project (2011-14) exploring possible food futures for Birmingham which, in turn, led to Birmingham Public Health asking her to set up the Birmingham Food Council.

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Dr Gilles de Wildt is Associate Clinical Professor (Global Health) at the University of Birmingham. He is a GP in the city and a GP appraiser with particular interest in health and health care inequalities as well as global, migrant and mental health. He was a long serving member of  the Health Inequalities Standing Group of the RCGP and is a current member of the Adoption and Impact Reference Panel of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).

He graduated as a medical doctor in the Netherlands where he trained in the programme for hospital and community health care in remote and under-resourced areas in low and middle income countries. This prepared him to work in patient-facing care and public health in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana, including in circumstances of violent conflict. Before moving to Birmingham, he qualified and worked as a clinical public health specialist and epidemiologist for The Hague City Health (GGD Den Haag) in the Netherlands.

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Junaid Haroon is a Partner at Mills & Reeve. He’s a corporate lawyer who advises on all aspects of corporate law with a primary focus on M&A, private equity investments and disposals.

Junaid leads the food and agribusiness team in the Midlands and is also one of the most experienced corporate lawyers advising clients in the independent health and care, the life sciences and biotech sectors.

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Jon Miller UK Sales Director at Partners& and recently co-founded BFPS Black Leaders Network.

As an experienced insurance broker across all sectors, he’s worked with many food manufacturing and agricultural businesses across the UK from grain marketing to multinational producers.

Jon is our Board lead on our horizon scanning work.

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Dr Lauren Traczykowski is Senior Lecturer in Law (Ethics) at the Aston Law School.

Her research interests are within applied ethics and emergency situations. At Aston Lauren teaches Business Ethics and Professional Conduct & Ethics and contribute to the integration of ethics into the LLB.

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The work of the Board is supported by Rowena Evans, who also has responsibility for some of the activities we run.

note: Dr Gilles de Wildt and Adam Phillips have only just joined our Board and we’re still in the process of registering their names at Companies House.

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