Oliver Lee OBE
Oliver is the chief executive officer of The Challenge. He joined the organisation in 2014 following twenty years in the Royal Marines, serving in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, including in command of the coalition forces in Nad-e-Ali District, Helmand Province. He also worked on the personal staffs of the Chief of Defence Staff and Ministers. His final military job was as a colonel, leading one of the courses at the UK’s Defence Academy.
He has a degree in geography from Jesus College, Cambridge.
Bill Ronald joined The Challenge as chairman in December 2018. Bill has been the chairman of Fever-Tree Drinks since 2013 and is a former chairman of Muscular Dystrophy UK.
Bill was a non-executive director with Halfords and acts as a mentor on The Mentoring Foundation’s programme to find the next generation of women leaders in FTSE 100 companies.
He has ‘spent most of his life in chocolate’, having worked for 23 years with the Mars Corporation where he became managing director of Mars UK and a vice president of Masterfoods Europe.
Bill was then chief executive of British food manufacturer Uniq plc and is a former deputy president of the Food and Drink Federation.
Paul works in private equity, chairs the Board’s Remuneration Committee, and is a Trustee and Investment Committee member of the Social Business Trust, the social enterprise fund.
Paul supported and advised ‘Speaking Up’ during their successful merger with Advocacy Partners and worked with the management of the merged entity to facilitate their operational and financial integration and create a long-term strategic plan for the new organisation. Paul is currently a Principal at Permira, the European private equity firm, which he joined in 2007. Prior to this, Paul worked for 8 years as a solicitor at the European law firm Ashurst and, subsequently, at Fried Frank – a leading Wall St firm. Paul gained his PGDiP Law at the College of Law London, where he was the Eidos Scholar.
Jenny has spent her career in marketing and is President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Chair of the Girlguiding Trading Services. Jenny held senior marketing positions in Procter & Gamble, Mars, Yell Group and SSE and now consults and advises organisations on marketing and strategy challenges. Her Non-Executive roles also include NED roles for Commonwealth Games, England and Saffron Building Society.
Michelle is Group HR Director at QinetiQ, experts in defence, aerospace and security, a position which she has held since March 2016.
Prior to this role, Michelle was Group HR Director for international waste management firm Shanks Group plc, a position which she held for 4 years.
Michelle has held a range of progressive management positions before being appointed as Human Resources Director in the legal and regulatory division for The Thomson Corporation in 1997. Michelle then spent four years as Human Resources Director at BAE Systems, initially in their Customer Solutions and Support Naval division and then for their Land Systems division. In 2006, she joined Inchcape plc where she held a number of senior international HR Director positions based in the UK and Russia before being appointed Group Organisation Development Director.
Michelle has a Masters in Employment Studies and Human Resource Management from London Metropolitan Business School.
Christine Davies CBE
Christine is the former Chief Executive of the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services (C4EO) which identified and disseminated ‘what works’ in children’s services, working with local authorities, health services, schools and voluntary and community organisations across England.
Christine also established and led the previous government’s ‘Narrowing the Gap’ programme which identified leading practice in helping close the ‘gap’ between advantaged and disadvantaged children and young people.
Previously a teacher, psychologist and Local Authority Director of Children’s Services, Christine has advised successive British governments on education, child poverty, safeguarding and early intervention and has also advised the Australian, Netherlands and Russian Governments. She is currently a member of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales; is a trustee of the Early Intervention Foundation: a member of the advisory board for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner; and chairs local authority children’s improvement boards and an LSCB (Local Safeguarding Children’s Board). She is also leading seminars for headteachers and their senior teams on safeguarding in schools.
Christine was awarded the CBE in 2005 for ‘an outstanding contribution to education’.
Martin Doel CBE
Martin Doel is Further Education Trust for Leadership Professor of FE and Skills at University College London, having taken up this role in 2016. Prior to this Martin was the Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC) from 2008; the AoC represents and promotes the interests of further education colleges. The AoC role was preceded by a successful career in the Royal Air Force.
Martin was appointed CBE in the Queen’s New Year 2016 Honours List in recognition of his service to further and higher education. Whilst in the RAF, his final role was as Director of Training and Education for all three Armed Services, working in the Ministry of Defence, the largest employer of apprentices in the UK. Prior to this, he filled several operational support, personnel and training posts in the RAF. He was appointed OBE in 1998 for his work in support of operations in the Balkans and for his contribution to Anglo-German relations. His current work focuses on the unique contribution that further education makes to the prosperity and well being of students, communities and business and he is a Co-Director of both the Post-14 Centre for Work and Education and the Centre for Global Higher Education at the Institute of Education.
Martin is also a Trustee of the Royal Society for Blind Children and a member of the Skills Funding Agency Audit Committee, as well as sitting on a number of other policy consultative boards and committees.
Dan has over 15 years of experience in Public Relations and recently acted as a Commissioner on the Social Integration Commission.
Dan has worked in both the UK and Canadian Parliaments and is a director of the public relations firm Luther Pendragon, which he also co-owns. He has worked with a range of multi-national companies and third sector organisations to enhance their reputations and deliver positive change.
Richard has specialist experience in Financial auditing and chairs the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.
He is a senior partner with Ernst and Young with significant experience of working with companies ranging from large multinational groups to privately owned companies. He has over 25 years of experience of providing assurance and advisory services with clients such as BP, BA and Royal Mail. Richard is also a Treasurer and Trustee of Victim Support, a charity which supports victims of crime.