Executive Leadership Team
Our day-to-day activities are managed by a leadership team made up of senior managers from across the organisation.
Director of the Wellcome Trust
Before joining Wellcome in October 2013, Jeremy Farrar 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.
General Counsel and Company Secretary
Chris Bird 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.
Director of Innovation
Stephen Caddick 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.
Acting Chief Financial Officer
Karen joined Wellcome in autumn 2015 as Head of Commercial Finance, leading the team who support financial planning, reporting and decision-making across the organisation, and who are also responsible for procurement.
Before joining Wellcome, Karen was Global Controller for Lonza Biologics, a contract manufacturing business. She qualified as an accountant with PwC and spent many years with Bristol-Myers Squibb in a variety of finance and commercial roles.
Director of Culture & Society
Simon Chaplin 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.
Director of Grants
Alyson Fox 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.
Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Investments
Peter Pereira Gray
Peter Pereira Gray 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.
Director of Communications
Mark Henderson 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.
Director of Insight and Analysis
Chonnettia Jones 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.
Director of People
Kathy Poole 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.
Chief Technology Officer
James Thomas 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.
Director of Science
Date of appointment: 22 January 2019
Mike Turner is currently Interim Director of Science. He joined Wellcome in 2014 as Head of Infection and Immunobiology, and in January 2019 took on the role of Interim Director of Science. He is responsible for leading the Science Division and managing a broad portfolio of research.
Before joining Wellcome, Mike was at the University of Glasgow where he held Beit, Royal Society and Leverhulme Fellowships. Latterly, he became Professor of Parasitology. At various points he was Head of Division, Assistant Director of Faculty and Deputy Dean of the Graduate School.
His research interests focused on cell biology, genetics, genomics and population biology of trypanosome parasites that cause African sleeping sickness in humans and Nagana in livestock. He has also worked on the genomics of malaria parasites and the immuno-epidemiology of schistosomes.
Director of Strategy
Ed Whiting works with teams across Wellcome to align our activity with our mission and to ensure Wellcome’s impact is greater than the sum of its parts. This includes working with Wellcome’s senior teams to set and communicate our short, medium and long-term priorities, and put resources and plans in place to deliver them.
As part of his role, Ed is also the Executive Leadership Team sponsor of Wellcome’s policy function, strategic partnerships and mental health priority area.
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.
Executive team sub-groups
These sub-groups have full delegated authority, except for certain key governance areas.
- Kathy Poole (Chair)
- Chris Bird
- Becky Edmunds (Asset Manager, Property and Infrastructure, Investments)
- Alyson Fox
- Philomena Gibbons (Head of Operations, Directorate and Culture and Society)
- James Thomas
Funding and Direct Activities sub-group
- Chonnettia Jones (Chair)
- Steve Caddick
- Simon Chaplin
- Alyson Fox
- Helen Jamison (Head of Research Communications)
- Imran Khan (Head of Public Engagement)
- Clare Ryan (Head of Media Relations)
- Jim Smith
- Ed Whiting
Science Review sub-group
- Jim Smith (Chair)
- Alyson Fox
- Kathy Poole
- Ed Whiting
Other Executive team members join the sub-groups when necessary.