Trustees and senior staff

Our trustees and senior staff are dedicated to leading the fight against lung disease across the UK.


Professor Sir Michael Marmot

MichaelMarmotProfessor Sir Michael Marmot, founder of the Institute of Health Equity, has over 35 years’ research experience focused on how people’s social circumstances affect their health.

His work as Principal Investigator on the Whitehall Studies of British civil servants fundamentally changed the public health focus of preventing ill health from lifestyle behaviours to social causes. Sir Michael also chaired the World Health Organisation’s ‘Commission on Social Determinants in Health’, and the landmark English review of health inequalities (the ‘Marmot Review’).

He is a former President of the British Medical Association and previous winner of the Balzan Prize for Epidemiology and William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research.

Our trustees

Chair of the board of trustees – Peter Dolphin

Peter DolphinPeter has enjoyed a successful 40-year career in advertising and marketing. His first business, Moxon, Dolphin & Kerby, grew over the next 20 years to become one of the leading specialist recruitment advertising companies in the UK, before being sold to American advertising group TMP. Peter was kept on as CEO and over the next five years he led the way in acquiring similar businesses across Europe.

In 2001, Peter took responsibility for developing the internet brand throughout Europe. He helped turn Monster into the continent’s leading online recruitment business with a sales turnover of US$500 million by 2006.

Vice Chair – Professor Stephen Spiro

Stephen SpiroStephen is a professor of respiratory medicine. He was Head of Department at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) until retiring from the NHS in December 2008 and is now an honorary consultant physician at UCLH and the Royal Brompton Hospital, London.

Stephen helped form the London Lung Cancer Group, which has run clinical trials for more than 30 years. He has also undertaken research into respiratory physiology, sleep disordered breathing and screening in people with a high risk of lung cancer.

He is now working to improve undergraduate teaching at UCLH, alongside further research, seeing private patients and working for the BLF.

Treasurer - Graham Colbert

Graham joined Genomics England, a company set up by the Department of Health to carry out a programme of 100,000 whole genome sequences, in February 2014 as CFO and chief operating officer.

Previously he spent 25 years with AstraZeneca in various senior roles, most recently serving as chief financial officer for world-wide commercial operations.

He is a chartered accountant and an alumnus of Exeter University, where he gained a BSc in Chemistry. Graham is a non-executive director of South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Ralph Bernard CBE

Ralph BernardRalph Bernard’s media career has spanned over 30 years. He was responsible for the UK’s first commercial radio merger, which ultimately created GWR Group, the country’s largest radio group until 2008.

In 1991, Ralph had the original idea to launch Classic FM, Britain’s most successful commercial radio station. Ralph led the GWR Group for more than 25 years, stepping down as Chief Executive in 2008. He received a CBE for services to broadcasting in the 2002 Jubilee Honours.

In addition to his work with the BLF, Ralph is also Chairman of the Central School of Ballet and Chairman of Classic FM.

Lord Borwick of Hawkshead

Lord Borwick of HawksheadJamie is a parliamentarian, managing director of Love Lane Investments and chairman of Federated Trust Corporation Ltd. He was previously CEO of Manganese Bronze Holdings, best known for manufacturing London taxis.

He also serves on the board of trustees for The Ewing Foundation, a charity that promotes inclusive education for deaf children, and the Edwin Borwick Charitable Trust, which funds research into the causes of congenital heart problems.

Jamie is also a director of the corporate trustees of the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity. He became Lord Borwick of Hawkshead in 2007, and in 2013 became a member of the House of Lords.

Richard Chappell

Richard ChappellRichard has had an expansive career in retail marketing. He previously worked as regional director with Lidl, overseeing the opening of their UK operation and their first 65 stores.

Other roles have included managing director of Recruit, part of the Carlisle Group; managing director of Carlisle Security; and CEO of Carlisle Support Services, where Richard oversaw the rebranding, reorganisation and expansion of the business.

Richard’s early experience in retail has left him with strong views about the importance of the customer and the need to become and stay engaged with customers.

Professor Duncan Empey

Prof Duncan EmpeyDuncan is Emeritus Professor in the School of Postgraduate Medicine at the University of Hertfordshire and a consultant respiratory physician. He was previously Director of the London Chest Hospital Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre for 16 years, and Medical Director of Barts and The London NHS Trust for 7 years.

Duncan has also worked within the national clinical governance support team at the NHS Modernisation Agency. He has been Editor of the British Journal of Diseases of the Chest and was formerly Secretary General of the European Society for Clinical Respiratory Physiology.

Duncan has published more than 50 papers on respiratory and medical management topics and was co-author of ‘Lung Function for the Clinician’. He has been Group Medical Director of BMI Healthcare since 2008.

David Gill

david gillDavid has a vast business experience; he currently runs his own publishing consultancy and, in a distinguished career spanning 35 years, he has held a number of senior management positions including at The Economist newspaper.

He began to work with the BLF after he experienced some serious lung problems.

David joined the BLF’s Board of Trustees in 2012 and is also currently chair of the BLF communications sub-committee.

Richard Pettit

Richard Pettit

Richard's career as a solicitor began in Baker Street in his family firm, before spending thirty years as a partner of Clifford Chance LLP, based in the City.

He founded and managed the firm's office in Singapore for seven years. He is now a consultant with Thorp Alberga, an offshore law firm.

Outside the practice of law, he was a non-executive director at a subsidiary of Mizuho Corporate Bank; and he spent five years as an original trustee of Sparrow Schools Foundation, a Dulwich based charity which funds schooling for disadvantaged children living in Johannesburg townships.

Richard Pinckard

Richard Pinckard

Richard obtained a degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and then qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG, where he has been a partner since 1996 working with many of its major international clients across a wide range of industries.

Richard is also a governor of Alleyn’s School and a member of the Financial Reporting Review Panel, the UK’s financial reporting regulator.

Professor Stephen Holgate

Professor Stephen HolgateStephen Holgate is Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the School of Medicine, Southampton, UK.

Stephen spent two years at Harvard Medical School to acquire skills in allergic disease mechanisms. On returning to Southampton, Stephen set up a research group focused on the mechanisms of asthma. He is a past president of the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and British Thoracic Society.

Currently Stephen is chair of the MRC Population and Systems Medicine Board; Member of MRC Strategy Board and chair of Panel A of the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014. He is also chair of the UK Government Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances and member of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants.

Professor Warren Lenney

Professor Warren LenneyWarren Lenney is professor of respiratory child health at Keele University and consultant respiratory paediatrician at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in Stoke on Trent.

He is chair of the national Paediatric Formulary Committee and was director of the West Midlands Medicines for Children Research Network from 2006 to 2014.

From 2002 - 2009, he was research and development director for the UHNS NHS Trust from 2002-2009 and editor-in chief of Paediatric Respiratory Reviews.

He is the author of over 200 medical articles and editorials and has research interests in asthma therapy, breath analysis, cystic fibrosis and respiratory infections. He works closely with the BTS the BPRS and the British Lung Foundation and lectures widely in the UK and abroad.

Our senior staff

Chair, scientific committee - Professor Stephen Holgate,

Chair, communications subcommittee - David Gill

Chief Executive - Dr Penny Woods

Director of Operations and Innovation - Steven Wibberley

Director of Fundraising and Communications - Clare Cox

Director of Finance and Corporate Services - Alex Fowles

Director of Research - Dr Noel Snell 

Head of Research - Ian Jarrold

Head of Patient Services - Mike McKevitt

Head of Wales - Chris Mulholland

Head of Scotland and Northern Ireland - James Cant

Honorary Medical Advisers
Professor Mark Britton
Dr John Moore-Gillon
Dr Keith Prowse
Chris Fehrenbach (Honorary Nurse Adviser)