Our People

We are optimists about Africa, and have a relentless belief that change is possible and problems can be overcome. We work in countries that are at turning points and draw inspiration from their resilience. We seek to recruit determined optimists. Our diverse teams include old hands and development newcomers. But they share a determination to make a difference. If you are interested in a career with AGI, click here. 

Tony Blair, Founder and Patron

Tony Blair, Founder and Patron

The Rt Hon Tony Blair is the founder and Patron of the Africa Governance Initiative, and acts as a pro bono strategic advisor to AGI’s partner governments. For a more detailed biography of the former UK Prime Minister, see here.

Nick Thompson, Acting Chief Executive

Nick Thompson, Chief Executive

Nick is AGI’s CEO, he has been with AGI since the beginning and has played a number of senior roles across the organisation: he set up AGI’s programme in Sierra Leone in 2008 before returning to London to oversee all of the Africa programmes as Director of Projects from 2009-2011, during which time we launched our work in Liberia. In 2011 Nick became AGI’s first Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO. Before joining AGI, Nick worked in a variety of UK Government Departments and in Brussels advising Ministers on a range of policy areas including trade, energy and the environment.

Kate Gross

Kate Gross, Founder of AGI and Senior Advisor to the Senior Management Team

Kate, a former Senior Civil Servant, founded AGI with Tony Blair in 2008. Kate advised Prime Minister Tony Blair and Prime Minister Gordon Brown as Private Secretary for Parliamentary and Home Affairs from 2004-2007, and has experience in a variety of UK government departments and the European Commission. Kate is a Fellow of the African Leadership Network and was selected as one of the 2011 “40 under 40” development leaders in the UK.

 


Andy Ratcliffe

Andy Ratcliffe, Deputy CEO and Director of Strategy and Development

Andy joined the AGI London team in September 2010, after a stint as our Deputy Country Head  for AGI in Rwanda. After leading our Lessons Learned project for a year, he took over as Director of Strategy and Development in August 2011. He was previously a Senior Policy Adviser on Education in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in London. Before that Andy worked for the University of Oxford on definitions and measures of poverty in the UK and in Africa (for more information and a list of publications see www.casasp.ox.ac.uk)

Read what Andy has been writing here. 

Louise Harris, Chief Operating Officer

Louise joined AGI in December 2012 as Chief Operating Officer. After starting her career as a chartered accountant with PwC she went on to work at ICI and in the music industry, before making her move to the charity sector in 2009. Before joining AGI Lou was Director of Finance and Operations at ACEVO working to support and develop CEOs across the Charity Sector.

Shruti Mehrotra, Africa Governance Initiative

Shruti Mehrotra, Director of Project Development

Prior to becoming a Director Shruti lead our project in Guinea, a role she took up in November 2011. Previously, Shruti worked as Senior Campaigner at the NGO Global Witness and as an independent advisor focused on resource scarcity, sustainable development and political stability. Prior to that, Shruti served as Associate Director and Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum for five years, following several years in the field directing humanitarian and development programmes, in Afghanistan, the Palestinian Territories, Eastern Chad and Darfur for Oxfam GB and other international NGOs. Shruti started her career as a strategy consultant at the Monitor Group.

Katherine Randall

Katherine Randall, Director of Programmes

Katherine joined AGI in July 2012 as Country Head for AGI in Rwanda. She has been Director of Programmes since December 2013. She joined AGI from the position of Deputy Director at the Strategy Directorate in the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Before this, she worked at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, under Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on issues of energy, health and social care. Katherine first worked in Africa in 2008 – as a monitoring and evaluation consultant for Save the Children in Côte d’Ivoire – while completing a Master in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Sebastien Frendo, Sierra Leone Country Head

Sebastien joined AGI in 2011 as a Blair-Elumelu Fellow with the Sierra Leone project, working on private sector development and energy. He became deputy country head later that year before taking over as country head in 2013. Before joining AGI Sebastien shared his time between developing his own social enterprise (ShARE) and working as a strategy consultant in Africa. Prior to that, Sebastien worked at the Boston Consulting Group in Paris. He holds a Masters Degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a Masters degree in Engineering from Telecom Paris and Shanghai Jiaotong. In addition to his Africa experience, Sebastien has spent 5 years studying and working in China and in India.

Rupert Simons

Rupert Simons, Liberia Country Head

Rupert became Liberia project head in February 2012 and is based at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs. He joined AGI from the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, which he helped set up in 2011. Before that, Rupert was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Co, working on agriculture, climate change and public sector reform. He first worked in Liberia in 2007 at the Ministry of Agriculture, while completing a Master’s degree in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Ally Arnall

Ally Arnall, South Sudan Country Head

Ally joined the South Sudan project in September 2012 after working in AGI's Sierra Leone and Liberia teams. In Sierra Leone she supported the Minister of Agriculture to deliver a $400m priority programme and later advised the Ministry of Finance on developing its five year development strategy. In Liberia she worked with the Minister of Finance to strengthen his private office and helped him to track progress of the President's 150 Day Action Plan. Before joining AGI Ally worked as an Economist in the Ministry of Finance in Guyana and spent a number of years in the UK Government, most recently as Private Secretary to the Minister for Financial Stability and as Head of Strategy for Bradford & Bingley bank post-nationalisation.


 

AGI UK Board of Trustees

The Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative is a UK charity governed by a Board of Trustees, and managed day-to-day by the AGI Management Team, led by our Chief Executive Nick Thompson.

Liz Lloyd, Chair of the AGI UK Board

Liz is Group Head of Public Affairs at Standard Chartered and is Chair of AGI's Board of Trustees. Liz was previously Deputy Chief of Staff to Tony Blair, and before that his Senior Policy Advisor on Climate Change, Africa and Home Affairs. Since leaving Downing Street, Liz has advised several Prime Ministerial and Presidential Offices.

The Rt. Hon. Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top, AGI Trustee

A former social worker and university lecturer, Hilary Armstrong worked for VSO in Kenya before entering politics. Hilary was first elected as Labour MP for North West Durham in 1987. Between 2001 and 2005, she was Government Chief Whip before becoming Minister for the Cabinet Office until 2007. Shortlisted for the Charity Champion Awards by VSO, Hilary played a key role in the ‘Women Matter’ campaign, helping to ensure that women were prioritised in the new Department for International Development HIV and Aids strategy. In June 2010, Hilary was made a life peer as Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top in the County of Durham.

Stephen Lewin, AGI Trustee

Stephen is a senior partner at law firm Bircham Dyson Bell. His practice includes a focus on charity law, primarily advising on constitutional issues, assets and investment powers. Stephen is a trustee and advisor to a number of charities, in Africa, the UK and elsewhere.

'Tunde Olanrewaju, AGI Trustee

'Tunde Olanrewaju is a Partner in the London offices of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, where he also leads the UK Business Technology Practice. He focuses on Financial Services (in wholesale and retail banking) and the social sector, on issues covering strategy, organization, operations and technology, in both developed and emerging geographies. Tunde graduated with a First Class degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Imperial College, London. He is a member of the Oxfam Association, the advisory board of Oxfam GB, and also a member of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative.