Keynote speakers

  • Baroness Diana Warwick

    Baroness Diana Warwick

    Chair, National Housing Federation

    Baroness Warwick is the Chair of the National Housing Federation. She was Chair of the Human Tissue Authority until April 2014. Before that, she was Chief Executive of Universities UK for 14 years, where she led a body representing the executive heads of 130 universities, both nationally and internationally. She was a Fulbright Commissioner until last year and is a lifetime fellow of the RSA.

    Diana was a leading trade unionist for 20 years. She was subsequently Chief Executive of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in the 1990s.

    She was a member of the Nolan/Neill Committee on standards in public life; a board member of the British Council; a trustee of the Commonwealth Institute and Chair of Voluntary Service Overseas (and is still life Vice-President). She has been a board member of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations; a member of the Employment Appeal Tribunal; a non-executive director of Lattice (now National Grid plc), a trustee director of the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme (USS) Ltd and is currently a board member of the Pension Protection Fund. She is also Chair of the Trustees of the charity International Students’ House. Diana is a member of the Councils of University College London and Nottingham Trent University.       

    Diana was awarded a life peerage in 1999 in recognition for her public service.


  • Julian Ashby

    Julian Ashby

    Chair of the HCA Regulation Committee, Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)

    Julian is chair of the HCA Regulation Committee and a board member of the HCA. He was previously deputy chair of the TSA. Julian also chaired the Institute for Voluntary Action Research for nine years.

    Formerly managing director of HACAS Chapman Hendy, Julian has over 30 years’ experience of the social housing sector. Governance, mergers and troubleshooting were amongst his specialities. His many publications include 'Partnerships & Practicalities', 'Learning from Problem Cases' and 'In Control: the Board Members Manual'. He was the independent social housing adviser to the Cave review of social housing regulation.

  • Paul Bayly

    Paul Bayly

    Governance and Compliance Manager, National Housing Federation

    Paul is the Governance and Compliance Manager for the Federation. He looks after the Federation’s internal risk and assurance processes and is responsible for advising members on governance matters. Paul also assists organisations looking to adopt the Federation’s Model Rules for Registered Societies.

  • Suzy Brain England OBE

    Suzy Brain England OBE

    Chair, Derwent Living

    Suzy is Chair of Derwent Housing Association.  She is an experienced board chair, non-executive director, consultant, mentor and counsellor. She received an OBE in 2009 for public service with the Department for Work and Pensions and was named Non-Executive Director of the Year in Yorkshire.

    Currently Suzy is:

    • Chair of the Board, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    • Chair, Sheffield Business Improvement District

    • Chair of Trustees,  Keep Britain Tidy

    • Mentor, counsellor and founder of Cloud Talking

    • Lay Chair, Yorkshire Deanery doctor training & recruitment

    • Lay Member, Disciplinary Panel British Computer Society

    • a consultant in governance and board development.

  • Bethan Buck

    Futures Programme Coordinator, National Housing Federation

  • Stephen Bull

    Stephen Bull

    Senior Consultant, Campbell Tickell

    Stephen has been working in the affordable housing sector for 22 years. He is an acknowledged governance expert having worked for the Housing Corporation in regulation and as head of governance at the National Housing Federation. He is now a senior consultant at Campbell Tickell. He has provided advice and policy on governance issues as well as publications such as the code of governance, code of conduct and model rules. He is a chartered company secretary. At Campbell Tickell, Stephen specialises in board appraisals, governance reviews and preparing organisations for in depth assessments.

  • Sir Peter Fahy

    Sir Peter Fahy

    Chair, Plus Dane Housing

    Peter Fahy served as a police officer for 34 years, spending seven years as chief constable of Greater Manchester where among other things he worked with local authority leaders on devolution and cross agency working. He held national responsibility for workforce planning and the prevent counter extremism programme. On leaving policing he became Chief Executive of the street children charity Retrak and works on issues of trafficking and modern slavery. He became chair of Plus Dane Housing Association in September 2016 and is a trustee of a number of local charities.

  • John Fisher

    Director, Ark Consultancy

  • Neil Goulden

    Neil Goulden

    Chairman, Clarion Housing

    Neil spent 35 years in the leisure and hospitality sector, the last 10 as chief executive and then chairman at the Gala Coral Group. Since 2011, Neil has pursued a portfolio career with a focus on his key interest area of social justice through equality of opportunity. Neil spent 15 years as a non-executive and chairman within various NHS Trusts. He is now pro-chancellor and chair of the board of governors at Nottingham Trent University, and chairman of Clarion Housing Group, which is Britain’s largest housing association with 135,000 homes under management and a further 5,000 under construction. He is also chairman of Ambitious About Autism (an education charity dedicated to helping young people with autism) and of Sue Ryder (a healthcare charity). He also runs his own consultancy business, Neil Goulden Consulting Ltd, which focuses on the leisure and hospitality sector.

  • James Green

    James Green

    Futures Programme Director, National Housing Federation

    James is responsible for the Federation’s work on the Futures Programme. Creating our Future will tap into the energy and enthusiasm of the entire sector to better understand the trends shaping the future and co-create ground-breaking ideas in response. James has a ten year track record in public affairs. He has worked for a number of MPs, lobbied politicians on a range of issues and led a number of campaigns, including Homes for Britain.

  • Jeff Harris

    Jeff Harris

    Partner, BDO

    Jeff is a corporate finance partner in BDO’s transactions services team. He has over 20 years' experience of working with stakeholders on mergers and transactions, ranging from small, privately-held companies through to members of the FTSE 100.

    Jeff works closely with BDO's social housing and not-for-profit audit and tax team on transactions in this broad field. Together with the broader transactions services team, Jeff has worked on a number of significant proposed mergers in the sector, including Affinity Sutton/Circle, Catalyst/Network, Bracknell Forest/Housing Solutions and Genesis/Notting Hill mergers.

  • Guddy Helevuo-Burnet

    Guddy Helevuo-Burnet

    Senior Business Partner (domestic abuse) , Peabody

    Guddy is a senior business partner at Peabody and has worked in the field of domestic abuse for 10 years. Guddy has trained over 40 housing providers nationally and is the housing representative for the National Violence Against Women and Girls stakeholder panel hosted by the Home Office.

    She has spoken at international conferences in Czechoslovakia, Brighton, Belfast and the Hague about her work in housing and domestic abuse. She is a trustee of AVA, a 2016 Winston Churchill Fellow and was shortlisted for Red Magazine's Pioneering Woman of the Year award 2016.

  • Nicola Inchbald

    Nicola Inchbald

    Group Chair, Rooftop Housing Group

    Nicola is a chartered town planner with over 30 years experience. She was a former partner at CB Hillier Parker, advising on projects as diverse Bankside Power Station (now Tate Modern) and Farnborough Aerodrome. She has extensive housing experience and advised the Commission for New Towns, English Partnerships and MOD on major land disposals.

  • Andrew Jackson

    Andrew Jackson

    Group Chairman, Aster Group

    Andrew brings an extensive knowledge of financial affairs, risk management, internal control structures and performance monitoring to the role of chairman at Aster Group. He has served on the overlap board and chaired the group audit and group risk committees.

    A chartered accountant, Andrew has held executive and non-executive directorships in a number of industries including energy and construction working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Alfred McAlpine.

  • Paul Johnson

    Paul Johnson

    Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

    Paul has been director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) since January 2011. Paul is also a visiting professor in the economics department at University College London (UCL). He is a columnist for the Times. He is a board member of the Climate Change Committee, of the Office of Tax Simplification, and of the Banking Standards Board. He was a council member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), a trustee of the Royal Economic Society until 2017 and is currently a trustee of the Kings Fund. He has led reviews of pension policy for the Government and of price statistics for the UK Statistics Authority. He has previously worked at Frontier Economics, HM Treasury, the Department for Education and the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

  • Lord Kerslake

    Lord Kerslake

    Chair and President, Peabody and Local Government Association

    Lord Kerslake is Chair of Peabody, London Collective Investment Vehicle (London CIV), and the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS). In addition, he is President of the Local Government Association, became Chair of Sheffield Theatres in 2015 and was appointed as Chair of the board of governors for Sheffield Hallam University in October 2016. He was recently appointed as Chair of Be First, a regeneration company established by Barking and Dagenham Council.

    Lord Kerslake was Chair of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from April 2015 to December 2017.

    A former head of the Civil Service, Lord Kerslake led the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) from November 2010, stepping down in February 2015. Prior to this, he was the first Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency. 

    Before joining the Civil Service, Lord Kerslake received a knighthood for his services to local government, spending eight years serving the London Borough of Hounslow and then a further 11 years leading Sheffield Council. In early 2015, he was made a life peer, taking the title Baron Kerslake, of Endcliffe in the City of Sheffield.

  • Jacqui McKinlay

    Jacqui McKinlay

    Chief Executive, Centre for Public Scrutiny

    Jacqui McKinlay is Chief Executive of the Centre for Public Scrutiny, a national charity dedicated to promoting and supporting excellence in governance and scrutiny. Jacqui oversees CfPS’ work with a wide range of sectors including local government, national government, health and social care, education, the private sector and housing. She has a wealth of leadership and governance experience from operating at board level for over fifteen years. Prior to CfPS, Jacqui was director of strategy and customer services at Staffordshire County Council and has worked in health, sport and the Civil Service.

  • Bharat Mehta CBE

    Bharat Mehta CBE

    Board Member, Home Group

    Bharat Mehta CBE is CEO of Trust For London, one of the largest charitable foundations tackling poverty and inequality in the capital.

    He is a member of the Home Group board, a former trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and a non-executive director of North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust. In 2016 Bharat was appointed a CBE in the Queen’s 90th birthday honours for services to finance in the charitable and voluntary sectors.

  • Mike More

    Mike More

    Group Board Member, L&Q and Chair, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    Mike has been chair of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, usually known as Addenbrookes, since 2016. It is one of the largest teaching and research hospitals in the UK and is sited within the Cambridge bio-medical campus alongside commercial, research and academic institutions, which make it an important part of UK life sciences. He has also been a group board member and chair of the L&Q audit committee since 2015. Mike was the chief executive of Westminster City Council and Suffolk County Council for 12 years prior to his retirement in 2013.

  • John Newbury

    John Newbury

    Chair, RHP

    John has been Chair of RHP Group for six years and is also a board member at DCH. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and has very broad experience of senior executive and non-executive management across the public, commercial and not-for-profit sectors. This includes director of housing for a London borough, founder and director of Newbury King Consultants, director of housing and regeneration at Mouchel plc and chair of two housing associations.

  • David Orr

    David Orr

    Chief Executive, National Housing Federation

    David Orr is Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation and a former President of Housing Europe, the European network for Social Housing. He is the Chair of the board of Reall (previously known as Homeless International). He has recently retired from the board of the Housing Finance Corporation (THFC) and as Chair of Building Lives.

    Previously, David has been Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and of Newlon Housing Trust, having also worked with Centrepoint.

    David was awarded in 2010 an honorary membership of the CIH.

  • Raj Patel

    Raj Patel

    Chief Executive, Housing Diversity Network

    Raj was the founding chair of Ashram Housing Association in Birmingham and has worked in equality and diversity for more than 25 years. He has led organisations and consultancies in the UK, Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has served on several housing association boards, school governing boards, and NGO boards.

    He brings experience and expertise in equality, diversity and inclusion, and leadership. He believes the social housing sector can lead a campaign by demonstrating and advocating active equality, diversity and inclusion as the right and best way for organisations and communities.

  • John Pierce

    Campaigns Manager , National Housing Federation

  • Sue Ramsden

    Sue Ramsden

    Policy Leader, National Housing Federation

    Sue Ramsden leads the Federation’s work on Universal Credit and has worked closely with Federation members and the Department of Work and Pensions on the design of the new system since 2013.  

  • Fay Selvan

    Fay Selvan

    Chair, New Charter Housing Group

    Fay Selvan started working as a social entrepreneur in 1991, and established The Big Life group in 2002. It's the first group of social businesses and charities in the country and has a turnover of circa £19m. The group operates across the north of England and includes well-known brands such as Big Issue North. It offers opportunities to people who have the least, helping them get to where they want to be. It works in the fields of health and wellbeing, children and families, employment and training. Fay won the Social Enterprise Leader England award in 2011. Fay completed an honours degree at Sussex University before moving to Manchester in 1980. She has an MSc in Strategic Leadership from Salford University and is chair of the New Charter Housing Group. 

  • Dipesh J. Shah, OBE

    Dipesh J. Shah, OBE

    Chairman, Genesis Housing Association

    Dipesh was appointed chairman of Genesis Housing Association in 2017. He also chairs the Investment Committee for two EU-wide funds (2020 European Funds for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure), is a board commissioner for The Crown Estate, and sits on the board of Canaccord Genuity Inc.

    Previously, Dipesh was chairman of, among others, the FTSE-listed all-Ireland power utility Viridian Group Plc, the European Solar Industry Association, and HgCapital Renewable Power Partners Llp. He was also a board member of Lloyd’s of London, Babcock International Group Plc and Thames Water.

    Dipesh received an OBE in the 2007 New Year’s Honours.

  • Rob Warm

    Rob Warm

    Head of Member Relations, National Housing Federation

    Rob is the Head of Member Relations for the National Housing Federation. He leads nationally on member relations and engagement, ensuring that the Federation places its members at the heart of everything it does.

    He ensures there is a strong offer for all members, wherever they are and whatever their businesses do, overseeing local support, support for key national groupings and for specialist parts of the sector. He is also responsible for shaping the Federation’s offer for board members. He has previously worked in refugee housing, for the Regional Assembly and for the Civil Service.

  • John Weguelin

    Non Executive Director and Chair of Finance Committee, Stonewater