Executive Leadership Team

Our day-to-day activities are managed by the Executive team, which is made up of senior managers from across the organisation. 

Portrait of Jeremy Farrar

Director of the Wellcome Trust

Jeremy Farrar

Before joining Wellcome in October 2013, Jeremy was Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam for 18 years. His research interests were infectious diseases, tropical health and emerging infections. He has published over 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers, mentored many dozens of students and fellows, and served as Chair on several advisory boards for governments and global organisations, including the World Health Organization. He was named 12th in Fortune's list of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders in 2015.

Jeremy was appointed OBE in 2005 for services to tropical medicine, was awarded the Memorial Medal and the Ho Chi Minh City Medal by the Government of Vietnam, and has been honoured by the Royal College of Physicians in the UK and the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He is a Fellow of both the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society.

Jeremy is married with three children. He loves all sport and walking in the Alps.

Chris Bird, Wellcome's head of legal

General Counsel and Company Secretary

Chris Bird

Chris is Wellcome's senior legal adviser, and is responsible for managing all the legal needs of Wellcome and its subsidiaries.

During his time here, Chris has been involved in and led some of our highest profile projects and policy interests.

Before joining Wellcome in 2000, Chris was an Associate Solicitor with Osborne Clarke LLP. 

Portrait of Wellcome Executive Board member Steve Caddick

Director of Innovation

Stephen Caddick

Stephen joined Wellcome in June 2015. Previously, he was Vice Provost (Enterprise & London) and Vernon Professor of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology at University College London. 

Stephen is a member of the Royal Society Science, Industry and Translation Committee. He is co-founder of Synthetic Pages, an open access website, and Thiologics, an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) biotech spinout company. His laboratory focuses on chemical modification of proteins and antibodies for development of therapeutics and diagnostics. 

He has played an important role in the development of the chemical biology strategy and facilities in the Francis Crick Institute.

Stephen has a part-time professorship in the Chemistry Department of University College London (UCL) and is a member of the Council of the University of Sussex. In line with our Conflicts of Interest Policy [PDF 137KB], he plays no part in any Wellcome funding decisions related to UCL, the University of Sussex, or their employees. 

Portrait of Wellcome Executive Board member Simon Chaplin

Director of Culture & Society

Simon Chaplin

Simon joined Wellcome in February 2010. Before taking up his current role in November 2014, he was head of the Wellcome Library, where he led a highly successful digitisation programme and an exciting redesign of the library's public spaces.

Simon originally studied zoology, before an interest in the history of science and medicine led him to join the Science Museum, where he worked on the Wellcome medical collections and managed the PRISM Grant Fund for preservation of industrial and scientific material.

Before joining Wellcome, Simon was Director of Museums and Special Collections at the Royal College of Surgeons, where he led the curatorial team responsible for the redevelopment of the Hunterian Museum.

His academic research interests include the history of anatomy and medical museums.

Alyson Fox

Director of Grants

Alyson Fox

Alyson joined Wellcome in November 2010. She has responsibility for the management and governance of our grant funding and review processes.

Before Wellcome, she pursued a research career, at University College London and Imperial College, and then in the pharma industry. Alyson spent 13 years working in drug discovery at Novartis, ultimately leading a therapeutic area responsible for a portfolio of projects from target discovery and preclinical development to clinical trials.

She has experience in neuroscience, respiratory and gastrointestinal research areas.

Peter Pereira Gray, joint managing partner of investments

Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Investments

Peter Pereira Gray

Peter joined Wellcome in January 2001. He works with a team managing Wellcome's £20 billion multi-asset global investment portfolio. Peter's day-to-day responsibilities include overseeing Wellcome's privately held assets (private equity, real estate, venture capital and private direct holdings). In addition, he is Chair of the farming and land management business, FarmCare Ltd, and of Premier Marinas Ltd. Peter is also a Main Board Director of Vero Group Limited, the newly formed student housing joint venture with Goldman Sachs.

He is a life member and past Chair of the Investment Property Forum, a past founding and advisory board member and member of the management board of INREV, a member of the Bank of England Commercial and Residential Property Forums, and a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Peter is also an Advisory Board member for Composition Capital Partners, an honorary vice-president of Cambridge University Land Society, a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and an Advisory Board member and Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Continuing Professional Development.

Mark Henderson, Head of Communications

Director of Communications

Mark Henderson

Mark leads all aspects of our communications, with a particular focus on building and sustaining Wellcome's reputation and influence so that our work contributes more to health and society. His team's responsibilities include brand, media relations, digital products, content, campaigns, design and understanding our audiences. 

Mark joined Wellcome in 2012. Before that, he had a 15-year career in journalism at The Times of London, where he was Science Editor and won several awards for his reporting.

He has written two books: 'The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters', which explores the relationship between science and politics, and '50 Genetics Ideas You Really Need to Know'. He is an avid skier.

Chonnettia Jones

Director of Insight and Analysis

Chonnettia Jones

Chonnettia joined Wellcome in 2012. She has responsibility for assessing the performance and impact of our funded research and activities. Before taking up this role in January 2016, she headed the science integration team, which managed the coordination, monitoring and assessment of major science funding initiatives. 

Before Wellcome, Chonnettia studied developmental neurobiology as a Ruth L. Kirschstein research fellow at Emory University. She went on to lecture at American universities before managing a collaborative scientific research programme at the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 

Chonnettia is an active mentor, and has acquired a new interest in history and architecture since moving to London to complement her love of travel.

Portrait of Wellcome Executive Board member Tim Livett

Chief Financial Officer

Tim Livett

Tim joined Wellcome in December 2014 and is responsible for the leadership of the Finance and IT departments.

After graduating in chemistry, he joined ICI/Zeneca and trained as an accountant. He has spent the majority of his career in commercial aviation, working for British Airways and, after a short break, at Virgin Atlantic, most recently in the role of Chief Financial Officer.

Nick Moakes, Wellcome's joint managing partner of Investments

Managing Partner of Investments and Chief Investment Officer

Nick Moakes

Nick is directly responsible for Wellcome's global equity, FX and derivatives exposure, as well as playing a key role in broader investment strategy and management of the Investment Team. He is a member of our Investment Committee.

Nick joined Wellcome in 2007 from BlackRock Investment Management where he was Head of the Asia Pacific investment team and co-head of Emerging Markets. He has 27 years' professional experience in Asia, and 22 years' experience in global equity markets.

He graduated in Modern History and Economics from Balliol College, Oxford, and is a CFA charter holder.  Before joining BlackRock in 1997, Nick lived in Hong Kong for nine years. He is a Chinese speaker. He started his career in the Diplomatic Service.

Nick is Chair of the Imperial College London Endowment Fund and a Non-Executive Director of the Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust. He's also a Board Member of the UK Investor Forum, which aims to align the interests of listed companies and long-term shareholders.

Kathy Poole, Wellcome's Director of People

Director of People

Kathy Poole

Kathy joined Wellcome in August 2018 and leads the People Department. Working in collaboration with leaders, teams and individuals across the business, she is focused on creating the conditions for our people that will ensure our ideas thrive and deliver against our global ambitions. As part of making sure that the best and most far-reaching ideas are developed and implemented, Kathy is committed to bringing about true diversity and inclusion within Wellcome and beyond our borders where we have influence.

After graduating from Imperial College with a Master's in Organisational Design, Kathy has spent her career within HR in a variety of different organisations including British Airways and Channel 4.

Outside Wellcome, Kathy is a member of the Board of Governors for the Institute of Employment Studies.

Jim Smith, Wellcome's Director of Science

Director of Science

Jim Smith

Jim joined Wellcome's leadership team on 1 December 2016. He's responsible for leading the Science Division, developing Wellcome's science research strategy and managing a broad research portfolio.

A globally recognised developmental biologist, Jim's research interests include inductive interactions in vertebrate development and applying the principles of developmental biology to stem cell differentiation.

His previous roles include Director of the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute and Director of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), where he oversaw its transition to the Francis Crick Institute. More recently, he has been Deputy CEO and Chief of Strategy at the Medical Research Council, and Director of Research and Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute.

Jim has a distinguished career in scientific research as a Fellow of the Royal Society (1993), a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (1998) and a member of the Academia Europaea (2000). He has also been awarded the EMBO Medal (1993) and the Waddington Medal (2013). Jim was knighted in the 2017 Queen's New Year's Honours list.

Jim has kept his lab at the Francis Crick Institute but is no longer a Crick employee or part of its leadership team. In line with our Conflicts of Interest Policy [PDF 137KB], he will play no part in any Wellcome funding decisions related to the Francis Crick Institute or its employees.

James Thomas, Wellcome's chief technology officer

Chief Technology Officer

James Thomas

James joined Wellcome in April 2016. He is responsible for leadership of our technology and digital services. 

Before Wellcome, James had an extensive career in the private and public sectors, delivering transformational change through technology and data.

His career began in the oil and water industries, with BP and Veolia. He moved to global technology provider Oracle to develop and lead technology consulting services for clients, including banking, defence and manufacturing. 

He then moved into healthcare, with technology leadership roles in the NHS. This included eight years as a Director of UCL Hospitals, establishing UCL Partners, London NHS Procurement Partnership and the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre. Following this, James became an Associate Partner at Atos Consulting, including working with Genomics England to review its Informatics and bioinformatics capabilities.

Ed Whiting

Director of Policy and Chief of Staff

Ed Whiting

Ed is responsible for our work to influence policymakers around the world in support of our objectives, for example that Brexit enables excellent international science to flourish, that we are improving our global capacity to respond to epidemics and antimicrobial resistance, and that we are supporting scientists and researchers to enable rapid take-up of their work where there is potential for a significant positive impact on health.

As Chief of Staff he is responsible for supporting the development of Wellcome’s new priority areas and how to deliver our existing priorities. He works closely with our Chair and Director to make sure we have identified and are delivering on our top priorities and promises, and with other members of the Executive Leadership Team to coordinate our big decisions.

Before joining Wellcome in September 2016, Ed worked in a number of Whitehall social and financial policy departments, including HM Treasury’s financial stability team during the 2008-09 financial crisis. He was most recently at 10 Downing Street as Deputy Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, leading on public services.

Ed was awarded the OBE for public service and services to 10 Downing Street in the June 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Executive team sub-groups

Two sub-groups support the work of the leadership team in relation to Wellcome's operations, and funding and direct activities. The groups have full delegated authority, except for certain key governance areas.

Operational sub-group

Funding and Direct Activities sub-group

Other Executive team members join either group when necessary.