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Our trustees

Lawrie Haynes (Chairman)

Lawrie Haynes

Lawrie joined the RAF as an apprentice at the No 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton in 1969 and served for nine years, mostly on 41(F) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby. Lawrie has a degree in Business Law and was awarded an honorary doctorate in Engineering in 2011 from Heriot Watt University.

Lawrie joined Rolls-Royce on 1 February 2009 in the new role of President - Nuclear, with responsibility for both civil and defence nuclear. In May of 2013 Lawrie Haynes was appointed President - Marine and Nuclear at Rolls-Royce plc taking on the leadership of both the RR Marine and Nuclear businesses. Lawrie was previously CEO of White Young Green plc, CEO of at British Nuclear Group and a main board director of BNFL plc.

Prior to his retirement from Rolls-Royce plc in December 2016, Lawrie was (in June 2014) appointed as Chairman of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG (formerly MTU Engines) and simultaneously as President of the newly formed Land & Sea Division, which included the Marine and Nuclear entities. He also sat on the Rolls-Royce Group Executive.

He has extensive experience in the aerospace and telecommunications sectors and in the public sector. He worked for five years as Chief Executive of the Highways Agency. Lawrie is a Non-Exec Director at Network Rail and was Chairman of the Safety Committee until July 2013. In 2017, Lawrie joined the Board of Louis Berger as a Non-Executive Director.

He was appointed as a trustee of the RAF Benevolent Fund from 2005 to 2012 where he was a member of the Finance Committee and Chairman of the Pension and Remuneration Committees. He was reappointed as a trustee and Chair of the Board of Trustees in January 2014.

Kathryn Adamson

Kathryn is a corporate communications specialist whose 26-year career includes various positions internationally, including editor of a lobbying magazine in Washington DC, communication strategist for New Zealand's largest health insurance group, and Head of Communications for IT company Icon Medialab/Lostboys in Amsterdam.

For the last 13 years in London, Kathryn has focussed on the legal sector and was Global Head of PR for law firm Allen & Overy before starting her own management consultancy LegalComms Ltd advising law firms and individuals on profile and reputation matters.

She is very familiar with the air force as a daughter of Air Marshal Carey Adamson CNZM who started as a C130 pilot in the RNZAF and ultimately became Chief of Defence for New Zealand. Kathryn was appointed as a trustee in 2016 and is a member of the Fundraising and Communications Committee.

Frances Brindle

Frances Brindle is a marketing and communications specialist who has worked across a range of sectors and industries, most recently as Director of Audiences at the British Library where she is a member of the executive team with responsibilities that include fundraising and commercial revenue. Prior to joining the library she was Global Marketing Director at the Financial Times and has held a variety of senior roles in other organisations. She has a Master's degree in Virology from Oxford University. Both her parents were in the RAF during the Second World War, her father in Bomber Command and her mother was an officer in the WAAF. She was a member of the RAF Benevolent Fund Development Group before becoming a trustee and is now Chair of the Marketing and Fundraising Committee.

David Cheyne

David Cheyne is a lawyer with over 40 years experience in corporate and financial transactions and a former Senior Partner of Linklaters until he retired in 2011. Since then he has been Vice Chairman, Europe, Middle East and Asia, at Moelis and a consultant to other organisations. He has a law degree from Trinity College, Cambridge. He was appointed as a trustee in 2014 and he is Chair of the Remuneration Committee.

Graeme Craig

Graeme Craig is Director of Shepherd Neame, Britain's Oldest Brewer; and Executive Director responsible for the beer business looking after sales, marketing, production and distribution. He joined Shepherd Neame in 2006 as Sales and Marketing Director. Prior to this, he spent 12 years with PepsiCo across a number of commercial roles, latterly as Convenience Director.

A graduate of Glasgow University, in History and Politics, where he joined the Royal Naval Reserve serving for 12 years. Graeme became a trustee in 2016 and is a member of the Fundraising and Communications Committee.

Stephen Critchley

Stephen Critchley is a Chartered Accountant and recently retired as Chief Finance Officer of Transport for London. Previously, he had a wide-ranging career in the accountancy profession, latterly as a partner in PwC. He has a doctorate in Chemistry from Oxford University. His father served in Bomber Command during World War II. Stephen was appointed as a trustee in 2012 and is Chair of the Finance Committee.

Air Vice-Marshal Simon Dougherty

Air Vice-Marshal Simon Dougherty joined the Royal Air Force in 1969 as a Medical Cadet whilst reading medicine at The London Hospital Medical College. He enjoyed a full career as a Royal Air Force Medical Officer, with initial training in general practice and aviation medicine and subsequent higher professional training in occupational medicine.

Concurrently with his normal Service appointments, he held the personal chair of Taylor Professor of Occupational Medicine and was appointed Consultant Adviser in Occupational Medicine to the RAF. He commanded two Royal Air Force hospitals and one Royal Air Force Institute prior to undertaking a series of higher medical management appointments with delivery, policy and governance responsibilities culminating with his final appointment of four years as Director-General Medical Services (RAF).

He retired in 2009. He was appointed as Honorary Air Commodore No 4626 (County of Wiltshire) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force in 2009. He is involved with a number of charities. He became a member of the RAF Benevolent Fund's Main Grants Committee in 2010 and was appointed as a trustee of the Fund in 2012. He is Chair of both the Welfare Committee and Chair of the Main Grants Committee.

Air Commodore Simon Harper

Air Commodore Simon Harper joined the Royal Air Force in 1988, after 2 years in the Royal Navy. Commissioned as an Administrative (Secretarial) Officer, he completed a range of appointments, including command of Personal Management Squadron at RAF Benson 1999-2001 and command of Base Support Wing at RAF Odiham from 2007 to 2009.

Promoted to Group Captain in 2009, he was posted to HQ Air at High Wycombe. Working within the personnel policy area, he was responsible for internal communications on all personnel and training issues. In April 2012, he deployed to Afghanistan where he was responsible for overseeing all Detention Operations. He assumed command of RAF Halton on his return, where he was responsible for RAF initial recruit training, leadership training for RAF non-commissioned officers and a range of other specialist training tasks.

In 2015, he graduated from the Royal College of Defence Studies having completed an 11-month course of strategy and strategic leadership and co-authored a paper, 'The Military Instrument in the 21st Century', which was published as part of the Churchill 21st Century Leadership Programme.

He was appointed to the Directorate of Defence Communications in August 2015 as the senior RAF Communications Strategist and on promotion to Air Commodore in September 2016, assumed the position of Assistant Chief of Staff Personnel Policy at Headquarters Air Command. He maintains a keen interest in football as Chairman of UK Armed Forces Football and as a trustee of the RAF Football Association. He was appointed as a trustee of the RAF Benevolent Fund in September 2016.

Richard Ingham

Richard Ingham is a corporate financier with 40 years' experience in banking at Chase Manhattan, where he was a member of the European Management Group and at ABN AMRO as head of the Special Industries in Amsterdam.

He has a BSc in Mathematics and Electronic Engineering from Manchester University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Before being appointed as a trustee in 2016, he served for nine years as an independent trustee of the RAFBF Pensions Fund. Richard is a member of both the Finance Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

Graeme Shankland

Graeme has worked in the financial service sector for over 30 years with Clydesdale Bank, Deutsche Bank and Lloyds Banking Group before setting up his own private equity business, Caird Capital in 2010.

He ran the European Leveraged Finance team at Bank of Scotland and the Private Equity businesses at LBG in addition to being Chairman of Halifax Sharedealing. Caird Capital has acquired two portfolios of equity investments from Royal Bank of Scotland and LBG and is one of the most successful secondary managers with funding primarily from Coller Capital.

Graeme is President and past Captain of the April Fools Club which develops channels of opportunity for employment in civilian life for ex RAF personnel and raises significant funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund. He became a trustee in 2016.

Air Vice-Marshal Elaine West

Elaine joined the Royal Air Force as an aircraftwoman in 1978 at the age of 17 but very soon thereafter was commissioned. Following a number of tours across the RAF, she became the RAF's, and arguably Defence’s, most experienced officer within the estates and infrastructure specialisation.

With her promotion to Air Vice-Marshal on 1 August 2013, she became the highest ranking female in the British Armed Forces and the first to hold a 2-Star rank. Elaine assumed the role of Director of Projects and Programmes at Defence Infrastructure Organisation and had responsibility for various programmes such as the transformation of RAF Lyneham into Defence Technical Training College Lyneham; the provision of additional facilities at RNAS Yeovilton for the Wildcat Helicopter platform; and provision of Defence Infrastructure for HMS Queen Elizabeth, our newest carrier together with the F-35 known as Lightning II. Elaine became a trustee in 2016.

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