Chair: Sonia Sodha

Trustee, City Year UK

Chief Leader Writer at the Observer and freelance voluntary sector consultant

Sonia Sodha is a freelance public policy and strategy consultant and an associate of think tank Demos. She was previously Head of Public Services and Consumer Rights policy at Which?, the Consumers’ Association where she led their work on public services, health and social care. Prior to this, she was a Senior Policy Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP. She has also worked as Head of Policy and Strategy at the Dartington Social Research Unit and has led programmes of work on public services, education, children and families at the think tanks Demos and the Institute for Public Policy Research. Sonia is also vice chair of governors at Griffin Primary School in Wandsworth.

Sonia has long had an interest in national citizen service, and co-authored the report Service Nation at Demos in 2010 which called for a lifecycle approach to national citizen service, with year-long voluntary service schemes for young people at its heart.

She joined the City Year UK Board in December 2013.

AnnMaura ConnollyAnnMaura Connolly

Trustee, City Year UK

Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President, City Year, Inc

AnnMaura Connolly joined City Year as Chief of Staff in 2000 and since then has held progressively senior positions, including Senior Vice President for Global Initiatives and Strategic Partnerships and Chief External Affairs Officer. She currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President. As CSO/EVP, AnnMaura directs City Year’s public policy, public affairs, communications, and international work.She also manages relationships with national and international leaders and organizational partners, works closely with the CEO on a wide range of policy and strategic advancement issues, and serves as a member of City Year’s Executive Management Team. In addition, AnnMaura serves as President of Voices for National Service, a coalition of hundreds of service organizations that work together to advance citizen service policy.

AnnMaura has over 25 years of experience as a leader of the service movement, beginning with her service year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and including senior management positions at Youth Service America and the Corporation for National and Community Service. AnnMaura holds a BA in Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross and serves as member of the Advisory Board for the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program at Brandeis University, the Board of Directors for My Good Deed, the Leadership Councils for The Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute and ServiceNation, the Global Service Leaders Advisory Council for the Meridian International Center, and the Federal Advisory Council of the National Center for Service and Innovative Leadership at The Presidio.

She joined the City Year UK Board in September 2009.

Ian GleesonIan Gleeson

UK Director of Communications, McKinsey & Co

Ian Gleeson is the UK Director of Communications at McKinsey & Company. He joined McKinsey in 2010. Before that he spent 15 years with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, working on a wide range of political and economic issues, with postings in East Africa and Russia. He ran the Middle East and Counter-Terrorism team in the FCO Press Office from 2003 to 2004. Between 2004 and 2007 he worked in the Press Office in 10 Downing Street on secondment from the FCO. There he was responsible for the Foreign Affairs, Defence and International Development portfolios. Prior to joining the FCO, Ian worked for Barclays Bank PLC for 6 years in London and Singapore. Ian has degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia. He and his wife Jan have one son, Oscar (10).

Vanessa NeillVanessa Neill

Director, Corporate Communications, EMEA Region, Credit Suisse

A corporate and financial communications professional with over 15 years of experience in strategic and reputational management communications. Strong track record of CEO and Executive Board level communications relating to strategic change, reputational risk issues, M&A, financial reporting, regulatory change and crisis situations.

Breadth of experience includes media relations and internal communications across the EMEA region relating to strategic announcements, executive positioning, issue management, sponsorship, corporate responsibility, diversity and business continuity in collaboration with marketing and advertising functions.

Eight years’ experience in some of the leading global financial PR agencies and nine years working in-house in complex, global matrix organisations.

Sarah LarvorSarah Larvor

Corporate Affairs Director, The Careers & Enterprise Company

Experienced reputation & communication strategist and transformational change leader. A visionary and transformational corporate communication and reputation director with a demonstrable track record of defining and shaping messaging, branding, reputation and stakeholder engagement strategies for high-profile, blue-chip multinationals. An experienced operator and coach at Board, Executive and senior management levels, both in-house and as a consultant. Formerly Global Head of Strategic Communication & Brand Strategy for National Grid.