Sense International is governed by our Board of Trustees. Their primary purpose is to promote Sense International, uphold our vision, protect our assets and funds, and ensure that we comply with legislation and regulation.
Sunil Sheth (Chair)
Sunil has been a Trustee of Sense International since October 2004 and became Chair in 2011.
He is one of the senior partners at Fladgate LLP, a prominent firm of solicitors in Central London and advises a wide-ranging client base on corporate, commercial and business matters. As the founder and former Chairman of the Society of Asian Lawyers in the UK, Sunil has an extensive network of contacts within the UK Asian community.
Sunil is also a member of another charity called One World Media, and has been a member of the Business Association Panel of the Bank of England. Although his main clientele is India based he has a substantial client base amongst the Indian diaspora in Africa, Middle East, UK and Asia and travels to these regions on a regular basis.
Richard Cooper previously worked in International Equity Sales at Deutsche Bank AG, and has spent over 20 years in the City of London.
Richard first became involved with Sense International in 2004, after joining a trek in Romania. Since then Richard has participated in a number of further treks for Sense International in Romania, Spain and Scotland.
In 2012, Richard was able to attain funding from the CLSA Chairman's Trust which enabled the funding of three resource centres and a home visit programme in Jarkhand Province, India.
Richard is married, to Sieona, and they have three children, Christopher, Charles and Felicity. Richard's other interests include history, cooking, wine and golf.
Nick has more than 16 years’ experience in international development. Nick has held senior positions in international NGOs and worked with numerous INGO’s, civil society networks, UN agencies, governments, private sector and grassroots organisations to successfully create positive change at global-, regional, and national-level.
Nick is a technical expert, thought leader and strong influencer in the areas of disability inclusion, HIV/AIDS and health. He has worked with Leonard Cheshire Disability, UNDP, UN Women and the Girls Education Challenge to mainstream disability inclusion.
He has also worked closely with Sense International through the International Disability and Development Consortium and the BOND Disability and Development Group.
Dean is a founding director of Knadel Limited (a specialist consultancy to the investment management industry) and he has overall responsibility for the strategy and management of the firm and manages a number of important client relationships. Dean specialises in advising his clients on large-scale strategic change, operating model redesign and outsourcing.
Prior to founding Knadel, Dean was a Managing Partner at Morse PLC, a Director at boutique consultancy CSTIM Limited and an Executive Consultant at Ernst & Young. Before moving into consultancy Dean was an investment professional with the Prudential and a software consultant with ACT Financial Systems Limited. Dean has an MBA from the Open University Business School.
Prior to being nominated as a trustee of Sense International Dean had been involved with fundraising for Sense International through both his family and his company.
Sunil is the Managing Director of Urba-Life which develops and operates purpose built student accommodation in the UK.
Prior to Urba-Life, he was CEO of GBST Ltd until 2010 and COO of Wilco International Ltd until 2002, both of which were global organisations, providing mission critical, enterprise-wide transaction processing solutions to investment banks and securities brokers.
Sunil qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Touche Ross & Co in 1984 and worked with them as a Management Consultant till 1988 when he left to become the Financial Controller at County NatWest Investment Management. He also worked at ACT Financial Systems Ltd as a Business Development Manager for 3 years before joining Wilco International Ltd in 2002.
Sunil has supported and organised various fund raising events for Sense International since 2002.
Verity became a Trustee in May 2013, is a human resources professional with extensive experience in organisational management and development, both as head of the HR function and as a consultant working with professional services companies, international development organisations, research and scientific institutes, and UK- and US-based non-profit organisations.
A United Kingdom national, she completed her university education in the U.S. and holds a Master's degree in Public Management. She has worked in multi-site and multi-cultural environments, primarily in Africa and the Middle East, and lived in more than 10 countries. Her most recent work has involved strategic planning and the development of the human resources function and capacity. In the US she was an active volunteer with Special Olympics and the Sierra Club.
Maria has over 25 years’ experience in the international development sector, mainly with international networks of NGOs and professional associations, for many of which she held senior management positions. A seasoned project manager, she worked on policy influencing and advocacy, governance and organisational change, covering a diverse range of thematic areas including environmental management, gender, human settlements, food and agriculture and several aspects of health. She is multilingual and has worked in Latin America, Africa and Europe.
Since 2014 she has worked as an independent consultant supporting UK and international NGOs with fundraising, strategic advice, governance and management. One of her recent assignments includes being the Executive Director of US-based Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH International) that works to provide quality eye health to people in need worldwide. As a socially committed citizen she is member of the Management Committee of Live at Home Scheme Northampton which supports the elderly to live independently and has recently been appointed as a Trustee of Age International. Maria was born in Bolivia and holds an MSc in Urban Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
Lucy began her career as a rehabilitation worker with blind and visually impaired people in Cardiff, and moved on to work in international development predominantly in Asia, on the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. She has worked with Sightsavers International, Humanity and Inclusion (formerly Handicap International), UN Development Programme, and for the past nine years has focused on conflict resolution with Quaker organisations, most recently as the Asia Regional Director for American Friends Service Committee. In this role she managed work promoting diplomacy between the US and North Korea, engagement to mitigate conflict arising from Chinese investments in neighbouring countries and other programmes promoting social justice and equality. She holds a BA in Humanities and an MA in International Development. Recently returned to the UK, she is thrilled to be home, and to join the Sense International Board! Hobbies include cycling and motorbiking.
Lauren is a technical expert in disability-inclusive programming and has extensive experience working for small-medium sized international development charities in a senior role.
Lauren currently works as the Head of Programmes for AbleChildAfrica where she oversees a large portfolio of projects that ensure the inclusion of children with disabilities in East Africa and is also the Co-Founder and Director of FACE Uganda, a small NGO working towards the empowerment of women in rural Uganda.
Lauren is interested in disability data and worked as an International Development Research Portfolio Manager for the FCDO and Economic and Social Research Council funded disability centre at UCL. She is also a Steering Group member for the BOND Disability and Development Group and an active member of the International Disability and Development Consortium.
Gillian has been a trustee of Sense since 1996, with breaks in 2005 and 2013. A parent of a young man with deafblindness, Gillian has an in-depth knowledge of deafblindness. She is a passionate advocate when talking to politicians, business people, service providers and the public, influencing and motivating political, financial and practical support for Sense. Gillian previously held management roles in sales and customer services, supported students with disabilities and worked as project manager for a design company. She is now working for NatCen (National Centre for Social Research) on the Office of National Statistics COVID-19 Infection Survey.
Rex Shah is an entrepreneur and former owner of a successful insurance brokerage, acquired by a division of Marsh & McLennan in 2015. He remained with the firm until June 2020.
Along with other business interests, he is a mentor for start-up businesses and advises insurance brokers on development strategy.
A supporter of Sense International for a number of years, he was part of the group of 27 that trekked to Annapurna Base Camp in 2018 to raise funds for the charity.
Rex served Oshwal Association of the UK, from 2002 until 2016 as a Trustee and then as President from 2012 to 2016. OAUK is the largest Jain community charity in the UK with over 15,000 members. During his tenure, the community acquired 2 further centres to serve the needs of members more locally. Working for a community charity brings many varied talents and experiences to the table. He encouraged volunteers to embrace professional standards when undertaking community work and fostered a strong spirit of working collectively as a team.
A firm believer in equality, during his term he did much to bring more inclusion for members with disabilities and special needs.
First published: Monday 19 August 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 11 November 2020