Our Trustees

Professor Ajit Lalvani is Head of Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London, Director of the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit, Founding Director of the Tuberculosis Research Centre and Consultant Physician at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. His research addresses the world’s most serious respiratory infections, and spans the pathway from basic and translational science to public health and societal impact. His governance experience includes roles on academic and funding committees at the Wellcome Trust, India Alliance, Medical Research Council, Royal College of Physicians and Royal Society of Medicine. Ajit founded a University of Oxford biotech company based on his innovations which have transformed TB screening and policy internationally. He shares the Centre’s mission to improve public health and reverse health inequalities through tackling their social determinants and empowering underprivileged communities. He became a Trustee on 11 March 2014 and Chairs the Board.

Simon Bevan is a Partner in Grant Thornton UK LLP and is a member of its Partnership Oversight Board. Simon is a qualified coach and has over 30 years’ experience of auditing, and working with the stakeholders of, successful high growth businesses, especially in the professional services sector. He has been both Managing Partner and Senior Partner of a large accounting firm and therefore brings finance, leadership and governance experience to his role as Treasurer with the Board. Simon became a Trustee on 30 November 2011. Simon chairs the Finance Sub-Committee and is a member of the Board Effectiveness and Nomination Sub-Committee.

Dr Savitha Pushparajah is a GP Partner in the Bromley by Bow Health Partnership, which has a close working relationship with the Bromley by Bow Centre and operates three GP surgeries and a Walk-in Centre in Tower Hamlets. She has 15 years’ experience of providing healthcare to local patients and works closely with the communities living in Tower Hamlets. Savitha has a good understanding of the health inequalities and social needs of this community and brings this knowledge to the Board, which she joined as a Trustee on 26 March 2009. Savitha is a member of the Board Effectiveness and Nomination Sub-Committee and joined the Finance Sub-Committee during the year.

Monjur Ali grew up and has lived in Bromley by Bow all his life, having studied in local schools and tertiary college in Tower Hamlets. He has been involved in diverse local projects and organisations (e.g. Poplar HARCA Estate Board member for more than 10 years, member of Patient Forum of St. Andrew’s Health Centre and one of the founding members of Bromley By Bow Community Organisation, Coventry Cross youth club). Monjur has deep knowledge and understanding of the diverse cultures, local issues and needs of the community that helps the Bromley By Bow Centre ensure its projects are relevant and effective. He became a Trustee on 25 September 2013.

Michael Gould retired as a Lloyd’s insurance broker in 2000, since which time he has been a volunteer for Thames North Synod of the United Reformed Church. His main involvement on their behalf has been in respect of property and finance and he brings this knowledge, along with governance and insurance experience, to the Centre. Mike is a Nominee of the United Reformed Church, became a Trustee on 29 March 2012, and is a member of the Property SubCommittee.

David Smeed is an executive level businessman with extensive experience of Strategic Business Development, throughout Europe, in Healthcare, Property and Property Services. He is bilingual in French and English. He is currently a Director at a Public Health Consultancy, PHAST CIC, with a focus on business development and operations. In the past, his roles have included Director of Development at UME Investment Ltd, a specialized Healthcare PFI investor, Managing Director at Bank of America Corporate Finance London and Managing Director of SCIC UK Ltd a French State-owned property services group. David’s key competencies are in Finance, Business Development, and Management and he became a Trustee on 8 June 2016. David is a member of the Property, Finance and Board Effectiveness Sub-Committees and became Vice Chair on Chris Elliott’s retirement from the Board in March 2018.

Paul Brickell trained as a scientist and was Professor of Molecular Hematology at the Institute of Child Health at Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College London, where he ran a childhood cancer research department. He changed career to contribute to regeneration in his “home town” of east London, first as Director of Regeneration and Chief Executive of the Bromley by Bow Centre and then as Chief Executive of Leaside Regeneration. Paul now works for the London Legacy Development Corporation, which leads the development of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and is Chair of Poplar HARCA.

Obafemi Shokoya was born and brought up in the area surrounding the Bromley-by-Bow Centre. He has worked as an NHS hospital pharmacist for more than twenty years, during which time he studied for an MBA. Working as a Chief Pharmacist for over a decade in the latter part of his NHS career, he has implemented transformational change and ‘turned around’ three progressively larger and more complex acute provider hospital pharmacy departments. Undertaking a variety of senior roles in a number of NHS trusts around the country has afforded him the opportunity of being directly involved in and exposed to, many complex cultures across different sectors of the health and care system. Obafemi collaborates closely with the King’s Fund in developing his personal ‘collective leadership’ and ‘systems leadership’ practices. For many years he has been interested in digital healthcare delivery and how technology can be used as a tool to leverage innovation and transformational change across health and care systems to improve outcomes.

Neil Smith has spent a large part of his professional life outside the UK working for first, Unilever in France, Holland, the Ivory Coast and the USA following which he joined the Yoplait in France, participating in the private equity buyout of the Group. His wife is French and they have four children who seem to be following their parents and creating international careers. Neil is a finance professional, now retired, and is trustee of a group of academies in Thanet and non-executive director of a company in the Health and Wellbeing sector. He lives in Islington and enjoys golf, skiing, walking and history.

Rachel Smith is co-founder and COO of ExchangeWire, which publishes an advertising and marketing technology publication, and co-founded Wirecorp, which includes two other technology titles, and provides strategic oversight to the company’s global operations. She has provided advice to a number of technology companies. Prior to this, Rachel spent ten years in the public sector working with management and politicians at a local and national level, in the UK and Australia. This included responsibility for corporate customer services, community engagement, public/private partnerships, voluntary and community sector services, media, communications and PR. She became a Trustee on 16 April 2019.

Zenith Rahman has lived and worked in Tower Hamlets for over 35 years and has been involved with the Centre for most of this time, including a spell as an Outreach Project Manager developing activities with different local groups. She has always been passionate about integrating communities and the work of the Centre. Zenith currently serves as a local councillor and is the nominee of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. She became a Trustee on 17 September 2020.

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