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Senior Management Team

Cheryl Giovannoni

Chief Executive

Cheryl Giovannoni was born and brought up in South Africa and has a BA in English, Communication and Psychology from the University of South Africa.

During her career at WPP she ran three of its companies, most recently Ogilvy & Mather, the advertising agency. Before this, Ms Giovannoni was European President of Landor Associates, a global brand consulting firm, where she was responsible for managing seven units across the region and worked with clients including P&G, Diageo and Kraft.

Cheryl had previously been CEO of Coley Porter Bell, a consumer design and branding business. Ms Giovannoni enjoys mentoring and coaching and supports many young women, either informally as their mentor or through programmes run by WACL (Women in Advertising and Communication London).

She is also a non-executive director of Fearless Futures, a charity launched to encourage equality through its schools’ programme.

Follow Cheryl on Twitter.

Viv Chartres

Director of HR

Viv Chartres is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development with a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management.

She has over 20 years’ experience working at a senior level, stretching over a wide portfolio of government, commercial and NFP organisations including the Metropolitan Police Service, John Lewis and the National Autistic Society where she was responsible for managing large scale change in HR perception and delivery.

Viv has a wide breadth of understanding in her field and enjoys being a mentor to those beginning their HR careers and being a coach to others.

Jonathan Davis

Finance Director

Jonathan is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA CGMA) and has over 20 years’ experience in senior positions in a wide variety of organisations.

He joined the GDST in February 2018. Immediately prior to this, he was Head of Finance at Cancer Research UK, the largest fundraising charity in the UK. He has also worked in substantial commercial organisations such as Cadbury Schweppes, Whitbread and Magners Irish Cider, as well as spending two years as Finance Director in a US-listed engineering business.

Jonathan brings both a commercial and not-for-profit perspective to the GDST and believes that collaboration within organisations brings huge operational and financial efficiencies, which will help the GDST to continue to improve the learning environment for everyone.

Jonathan is married with two teenage daughters, and enjoys golf and being a “dad-taxi” in his spare time.

Dan Hall

Director of Information Technology Systems

Before joining the GDST, Dan was Director of Global IT Strategy for the British Council where he worked closely with the CIO to set the organisation’s IT strategy and direction.

Most of his career has been in the voluntary sector, including roles with the NSPCC and Blind Veterans UK.  Dan has also worked in the commercial sector including iHotdesk - an IT outsourcing company - delivering outsourced IT services across the globe.

He is a Trustee and current chair of Charity IT Leaders, a charity that supports and advise the IT leaders of UK charities. Dan has a strong passion for placing IT at the heart of the business and believes this is vital to enable organisations to deliver services to the highest standard, and to achieve their strategic goals.

Dan is the father of two young children, a school governor, and bakes most of his own bread.

Judy Mitchem

Director of Marketing & Communications

Judy joined us directly from The Treasury, where she worked on an assignment with George Osbourne's Special Advisors.

Before that, Judy worked at some of London’s leading agencies as Chief Marketing Officer of The Ogilvy Group, Group Marketing Director of M&C Saatchi, Chief Marketing Officer of Lowe London and Business Development Director of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe.

Over the years, her clients have included John Lewis, The Guardian, The Department of Health, The Department for Education, Bauer Media, Barclays, Simple skincare, Nationwide, Jaeger, Tatler and Virgin Atlantic.

She lives in Clapham and has three lovely children, Tommy, Lucas and Lara.

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Martin Pilkington

Strategy Planning Director

Martin Pilkington has a BA in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting from Cardiff University.

After graduating, he spent five years in the financial services industry as a specialist contractor for a number of different companies working in the fields of pensions and investments.

Following a career break, he worked as a Senior Liaison Officer at the Charity Commission where he provided tailored advice and guidance to some of the UK’s largest charities.

He has been at the GDST since 2012 in roles which have involved supporting the contributions of its School Governing Boards and Council.

Martin is also a non-executive director of Thera Trust, a charity which provides a range of support across the UK to people with a learning disability.

Kevin Stannard

Director of Innovation & Learning

Dr Kevin Stannard joined the GDST from University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) where he was Director of Education.

He was responsible for initiatives and international education reform projects including the introduction of the Cambridge Pre-U in both state and independent schools, the promotion of bilingual education in Spain and the Netherlands and the development of a new curriculum for model schools in Egypt. He has also been an advisor on curriculum reform to the Singapore Ministry of Education.

Before joining CIE, Kevin taught at a number of independent schools including Eton College, where he was Head of Geography. While there he wrote a number of geography textbooks, conducted research on a range of geographical themes and was responsible for UCAS applications.

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Michael Webb

Chief Operating Officer

Michael is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and has a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors.

Michael started his career at Deloitte Haskins & Sells in the City and qualified as a chartered accountant. After qualification, he moved away from audit and joined Railtrack plc to support the creation of a head office finance function ahead of, and through, privatisation.

He has spent over 20 years working in London Universities progressing to the Director of Finance & Operations role at the University of Westminster. His focus is on building effective working relationships between individuals and teams, and driving improved performance.