Three new directors at The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd

Three new Directors are joining the Board of The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd.

Dr Roger Clark, Ben Lyons and Fionna Tod bring a wide-range of experience and expertise to the Trust which each year awards grants totalling around £1.25 million, primarily to campaigns and activities for political and democratic reform.

Roger and Ben joined the Board in September and Fionna will be joining in January.

Andrew Neal, the current Chair of the JRRT, said: “We are delighted to welcome Roger, Ben and Fionna to the Board as we continue the Trust’s work for democratic and political reform.”  

Dr Roger Clark

Dr Roger Clarke has a lifetime’s interest in the relationship between people and the environment, social justice, and the search for sustainable patterns of living. He is currently Deputy Chair of Practical Action, an international development charity, and is clerk to the steering group for the Quakers in Britain ‘Vibrancy in Meetings’ pilot programme.

Roger, who began his career as a community volunteer in the west of Scotland, also has a wealth of other senior management and board experience.  He was CEO at the Youth Hostels Association, a Director at the Countryside Agency and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. He has served as Chair of Friends of the Earth, the Civil Society Advisory Board at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the working party which prepared the European Landscape Convention, Think Global and the Appointments Committee for the Canal and River Trust.

Roger has also been a Board member of various environmental organisations, including Natural England, English Nature, the Peak District National Park Authority, the National Forest Company, Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, the Woodland Trust, The Conservation Volunteers, and the European Federation of Youth Hostel Associations as well as an Expert Panel member at the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Roger has a BA in geography from Oxford University and a PhD from McGill University, Montreal. He is married with two sons, and lives in Derbyshire. Roger is a member of Bakewell Quaker Meeting.

Ben Lyons

Ben Lyons is an advocacy and communications specialist. He led campaigns for charities and businesses as an Associate Director at FleishmanHillard Fishburn, and was Senior Communications Manager at Virgin Media. He also worked at the Centre for American Progress. He founded and chaired Intern Aware, a campaign for fair internships, which secured a step change in policy and practice, helping to double the proportion of paid internships in the UK.

Ben was named a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a Sheila McKechnie Foundation Campaigner of the Year. He graduated from Tsinghua University in 2018 (Master of Management Science in Global Affairs, Schwarzman Scholar) and from Oxford University in 2011 (BA, History).

Fionna Tod (from January 2019)

Fionna Tod will also bring her experience as a communications and advocacy specialist to the Board which she joins in January 2019. She is currently working for Global Health Strategies and specializing in campaigns on global health.  Fiona previously worked in the UK Parliament, first as a researcher and then as the Liberal Democrat adviser on Foreign Affairs, Europe, Defence and International Development.

Prior to that, Fionna worked as a campaign organiser and ran as a parliamentary candidate in Mid Norfolk in the 2017 General Election. She has also worked on two US presidential elections, in 2008 and 2012.

Fionna graduated from the University of York in 2010 and has also studied at the University of California in San Diego. She grew up in Cambridge in a Quaker family and is a member of Jesus Lane Friends Meeting.

The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd was established in 1904 by Joseph Rowntree (more information about its history can be found here).  It can appoint up to ten Directors and since 2015 most serve up to three terms of five years.

Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd.
The Garden House, Water End, York, YO30 6WQ
Tel: 01904 625744 | Fax: 01904 651502 | E-mail:

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