Executive Leadership Team


Oliver Lee OBE

Chief ExecutivePortrait image of Oliver Lee

Oliver is responsible for the executive leadership 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.


Rebecca Carter

Director of Organisational Strategy, Planning and Communications

Rebecca leads on The Challenge’s strategic direction, corporate branding, organisation-wide projects that increase our effectiveness and efficiency, and raising awareness of our mission and social integration more broadly with policymakers, politicians and the media. She joined the organisation in September 2012 following nine years in the pharmaceutical industry with Bristol Myers Squibb, where she held sales and marketing and scientific communication positions at both the national (in the UK, Belgium and Netherlands) and pan-European level. Rebecca has also worked in strategy and finance with the management consultancy Marakon Associates, where she worked with a variety of clients in the UK, Switzerland and the US.

Rebecca has a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Manchester, a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge, and an MBA from London Business School


Karen Forde

HR and Organisational Development Director

Karen is the Director for HR and Organisational Development and joined The Challenge in March 2016. This is a relatively new Directorship which is focused on strengthening all elements of our employee proposition. Prior to joining The Challenge, Karen worked in Food and Automotive retail.

Karen lives near Colchester and when she isn’t working she enjoys keeping herself fit and watching live football with her husband.


Dominic May MBE

Operations and Performance Director

Dominic is responsible for The Challenge’s three current operational business units, namely: NCS, Step Forward and HeadStart. He joined in February 2017 from Amazon where he was employed as a senior operations manager responsible for all delivery operations in the South West of England and Wales. Prior to that, he served for thirty years in the Royal Marines, including operational tours of duty in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. His final military appointment was as a colonel, in command of the Commando Logistic Regiment.

Dominic is married with two adult children. He enjoys fly-fishing, golf and supporting Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club. He has a Masters degree from Cranfield University.