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Consultancy team

Our NCVO consultancy team consists of skilled and experienced team members who know the voluntary and community sector and understand the pressures organisations face. The consultancy team specialise in:

Find out more about NCVO consultancy.


Dan Francis, Lead consultant

dan francis 96x96Dan leads NCVO’s work on governance. He has considerable experience supporting organisational development and leadership of charities of all sizes from across the sector. Dan sits as a member of the charity governance code steering group and has been heavily involved in authoring the most recent edition of the code. He tutors on NCVO’s governance training courses and delivers the Step on Board programme.

Dan’s background is from the youth and education sector having joined NCVO from the National Union of Students, where as a consultant, he supported the development of students’ unions. Dan has experience of interim senior management assignments in the voluntary sector and has served as a trustee for small and medium sized community and education charities.

Read Dan's blog | Follow Dan on Twitter

Karen Bishi, Associate consultant

Karen Bishi Associate Consultant 96 x 96Karen has a wealth of experience of governance in the voluntary sector. She is a trustee of Youth Access and has experience of working at a senior level for a Local Mind Association and Cambridge House community settlement project. Whilst working for the National Union of Students (NUS), Karen created a Code of Good Governance and interactive online self-assessment toolkit for Students' Unions across the UK. She also produced guidance for Higher Education Institutions which gained endorsement from the Committee of University Chairs.

She is a qualified Coach, NLP Practitioner, Trainer and an experienced Action Learning Set Facilitator. She is accredited by the Coaching Academy and is a registered CPD provider with the CPD Standards Office. She has particular expertise in EDI, talent development, governance, leadership and relationship management.

Emma Herbert, Associate consultant

Emma Herbert

Emma is an experienced governance consultant, focusing on reviews and board performance. She brings a wealth of experience, having worked with a range of voluntary and community sector organisations, from large household name charities through to small, local community groups. She is a qualified employment solicitor (currently non-practising) and has worked with employers of all sizes around issues of strategic planning, change management, discrimination, workplace disputes and employment tribunal disputes.

Anne Moynihan, Associate consultant

Anne Moynihan

Anne was head of our governance and leadership team until 2011. She is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the Charity Law Association and a governance course leader for Civil Society Media’s national trustee training programme. Anne was, until recently, a member of the steering group for Good Governance: a Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector and a board member of Trustees Unlimited. Anne was co-author of a publication for trustees of Trust Schools and co-author of ‘ Sustainable Funding: a guide for Trustees’.

Sarah O'Grady, Associate consultant

Karen OGrady bio 96 x 96Sarah's earlier career was as a solicitor and manager working in the private and public/regulatory sectors. An accredited mediator and experienced leader, she draws on her varied experience, taking a practical approach when working with boards and executive teams to improve governance and on operational matters such as data protection. Sarah also facilitates and coaches including where there are difficult situations or relationships. 

Sarah chaired a high-profile NGO, driving and leading its transformation, including a governance and constitutional reform programme, in a challenging context. She is a member of the Charity Law Association and was a member of the working party responding to the draft Charity Governance Code. She is also a qualified Arbitrator, skilled in carrying out reviews and reporting.

Sue Pearlman, Associate consultant

Sue Pearlman

Sue has wide experience as a trustee and a senior manager in the voluntary sector. She is a skilled facilitator, trainer, supervisor and mentor with experience gained mainly through her involvement with the Citizens Advice Bureau service. She is chair of Community Action Hertsmere and a trustee at The Movement for Reform Judaism. Her particular interests include governance, trustee/staff relationships, developing partnerships and collaborative working.

Ruth Dwight, Associate consultant

Ruth Dwight

Ruth brings a 20-year career in the voluntary sector including partnership management and director roles at Coram Family and Childcare, Volunteering Matters and the youth charity Young Citizens, and is a trustee for JLGB – a Jewish youth social action charity. As a consultant, Ruth has specialised in shaping strategic plans, sustainable business models and commercial systems for taking products and services to market and provides governance consultancy as an associate for NCVO. She is a confident communicator and facilitator, and an expert in using digital tools to facilitate strategic planning, business development workshops and deliver training for charities.

Nicola Hannam, Associate consultant


Nicola has over 20 years’ experience of voluntary sector governance and has worked in senior management positions for professional bodies. As a consultant she specialises in governance, providing board reviews and interim governance support. She also draws on her experience of helping charities take action to become more diverse and inclusive; projects delivered include progress assessments and developing frameworks for action.

She has a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School and chairs nurtureuk - a medium-sized charity dedicated to helping children and young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties by promoting the development of nurture groups and a nurturing approach in schools.


Sini Rinne-Kerridge, Lead consultant


Sini leads on supporting voluntary organisations to strengthen their strategy and evaluate their impact. She has particular interest and expertise in:

  • helping organisations to articulate their priorities through theory of change
  • evaluating effectiveness and impact of policy advocacy and campaigning work
  • organisational development

Sini has led a broad spectrum of external evaluations and strategy development work, as well as trained and built capacity of organisations to develop and strengthen their impact practice. Her clients include Trust for London, Homeless Link, Amnesty International UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Blood Cancer UK and Sport England.

Sini is a voluntary advisory panel member for What Works for Wellbeing.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 020 7520 2448 | Read Sini's blog

Jenny Potkins, Strategy consultant

Jenny Potkins 96x96

Jenny joined NCVO in June 2019 as a consultant specialising in strategy-related processes. She is an experienced facilitator and project manager with skills in organisation development and change management. Jenny provides consultancy support from away day facilitation to large scale strategy processes, theory of change development and help with planning evaluation.

Jenny’s clients have included The Seafarers Charity (a funder), the International League of Dermatological Societies, JDRF (type 1 diabetes charity), and Kensington and Chelsea Social Council. In addition to consultancy, Jenny delivers training in strategic planning, theory of change and impact, either as part of NCVO’s open training programme or bespoke workshops for clients.

Before joining NCVO Jenny spent three years at Pilotlight, where she worked with teams of senior business leaders to support voluntary organisations, social enterprises and charity consortia with strategy, capacity building and board effectiveness. Her career in the voluntary sector, began with fourteen years developing and managing education projects and programmes in the East End of London, including the role of education manager at the Barbican Centre.

Howard Exton-Smith, Associate consultant

Howard Exton Smith

Howard has over 20 years’ experience as a consultant and trainer specialising in personal and organisational development, transformation and performance improvement. As an adviser to boards and senior management teams, he creates value and delivers positive change by building capacity and strengthening individuals and organisations. Howard has been a charity trustee and chair and has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and North America.

Simone Hensby, Associate consultant

Simone Hensby

Simone specialises in charity governance, strategy, partnership and consortium development. Simone draws on her extensive experience in the voluntary sector that includes over twenty years of working as a CEO of two charities to deliver organisational development support to a wide range of voluntary and community organisations. Her experience is complemented by the skill set acquired from academic studies and the professional qualifications that she has acquired and now teaches. Simone has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Social Administration and a Master of Science (MSc) in Public Sector Management. She is a qualified social worker, teacher, project manager, coach, mentor and teacher in adult education, a Fellow of the RSA and a member of the Association for Project Management.

Impact and evaluation

NCVO Charities Evaluation Services lead our impact and evaluation consultancy work. Find out more about the team.


Jarina Choudhury, Senior consultant

jarina choudhury 96x96Jarina is responsible for developing consultancy and training with the aim of improving volunteering practice across the public, private and voluntary sectors. She provides training and consultancy in volunteering strategy, volunteering and the law, policy development and the design and implementation of volunteer programmes. Jarina’s clients have included The National Trust, Amnesty International UK, AstraZeneca, Association of Voluntary Service Managers and Crimestoppers UK and the Home Office. 

Contact us

If you have an issue that you think we may be able to help with, please get in touch. If we can help, we will. If we can’t, we’ll point you to someone who might.

You can:

  • complete our short enquiry form | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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