Our Team

Executive team

Ashley Hodges


Ashley oversees the charity’s growth, strategic initiatives, partnerships and programme expansion. Ashley has been the head of Speakers for Schools since 2013, helping to create delivery structure and nurture cross-sector support since it’s 2011 launch. Prior to this she held a post at sister charity the Education and Employers Charity, first managing corporate stakeholders as a part of the Visit Our Schools campaign then later working to deliver projects including Speakers for Schools. Previously she has held positions with not-for-profits and digital media companies focusing on communications planning, community engagement and production. In 2008 she left her post as a Communications Specialist to become a staff member for the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign, later moving to London to complete an MSc at the London School of Economics, focusing on media, politics and third sector innovation. She is a Fellow of the RSA, a governor of Welbourne Primary School in Tottenham and a Trustee of Elizabeth House in Islington.


Carly Wilkinson

Programme Manager

Carly joined Speakers for Schools in December 2015. Carly manages the charity’s speaker engagement, the delivery team and the day-to-day programme work. Having previously worked in programme management and conferencing for over 5 years, she brings with her a wealth of experience working with world-class clients, speakers and suppliers in both the public and private sector. Her work has encompassed bringing high-level agendas into the voice of events for speakers, providing practical support for great engagement and facilitating partnerships to make this happen.


Oliver Wells

S4SNextGen Programme Manager

Oli joined the Speakers for Schools team in November 2016 as a project lead focussing specifically on the charities extended engagement projects such as work experience. Having worked on political campaigns for five years in project delivery roles, he brings expertise in implementing platforms and overseeing national programmes. In his previous roles he has led on communication strategies, stakeholder engagement, media relations and campaign logistics.


Lily Clifford

Senior Engagement Coordinator

Lily joined the Speakers for Schools team in May 2017. Having previously worked in the not-for-profit sector and the NHS, she is keen to expand her experience and help hundreds of state schools host talks from top tier professionals from all industries. Lily holds a BA in Television and Film Production from Teesside University.


Christabel Williams

Engagement Coordinator

Christabel joined the Speakers for Schools team in October 2017. Having previously been an English Teacher in mainstream secondary schools and a learning mentor, she is keen to help state schools hear from leading figures in their fields. Christabel holds a BA in Language, Literacy and Communication from the University of Manchester.


Aigli Tsirogianni

Project Support Assistant

Aigli joined the Speakers for Schools team in February 2019. Having experience in the non-for-profit sector with a focus on inclusion and impact. She is keen to expand her experience in service design, strategy and governance. Aigli holds a BA in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins and a MA in Social Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths University.


Funbi Akande

Schools Administrator

Funbi joined Speakers for Schools in May 2019. He works closely with the Programme Manager on helping to raise awareness of Speakers for Schools in schools and managing school relationships.

Funbi cut his teeth on the charity sector by interning as a Database Administrator and then as a Systems Administrator. He has also worked as a freelance software administrator/ developer and as a marketing administrator at a media start-up.

Funbi is based in London but lives and breathes in the cloud-based technology world. He is currently studying for a MSc in IT at Birkbeck University, focusing on databases and emerging technologies and he is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He has a BA in Business Studies from University of Glamorgan and a Professional Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.


Andy Coustick-Deal

Systems and Office Administrator

Joining in 2014, Andy supports the charity’s internal administration, office activities and management of our CRM database, helping see that our operations run smoothly through his support of the team. Previously working in logistics and planning, he oversees and maintains the database and technical systems the organisation uses to help track and arrange hundreds of talks each academic year. Andy holds a BSc Econ in International Relations and an MSc Econ in International Relations Theory, both from Aberystwyth University.


To contact the team, please drop us a line on team@speakers4schools.org


Our trustees

Andrew Law

Chair Of The Board Of Trustees

Andrew Law is the Chairman and CEO of Caxton Associates, a global macro hedge fund. Andrew attended state school in Manchester and subsequently graduated from Sheffield University with a First Class Honours Degree in Economics. He spent his early career at County NatWest and Chemical Bank, before joining Goldman Sachs in 1996 where he was a Managing Director, heading FICC proprietary trading. Andrew joined the London office of Caxton in 2003; he was appointed Chief Investment Officer globally in early 2008, and to his current position effective January 2012. His wide range of charitable interests include trustee of the New Schools Network, a Board member of the Sutton Trust, together with the founding trustee of the Law Family Educational Trust and the Law Family Charitable Foundation.

Robert Peston

Founder of Speakers for Schools, ITV Political Editor

Robert Peston is currently ITV’s Politics Editor, formerly BBC’s Economics Editor, and the founder of Speakers for Schools. He has won numerous awards for his journalism and was previously political editor and financial editor of the Financial Times, City Editor of the Sunday Telegraph and a columnist for the New Statesman and the Sunday Times. He became a household name in 2007 when he broadcast and published a series of influential reports on the causes and consequences of the global financial crisis. Robert has also published three critically acclaimed books, ‘How Do We Fix this Mess?’ ‘Who Runs Britain’ and ‘Brown’s Britain’. You can follow Robert at www.twitter.com/peston.

David Giampaolo

Chief Executive of Pi Capital

David Giampaolo is the Chief Executive of Pi Capital, an invitation-only investor network that also offers its members social and educational programmes. David is a noted entrepreneur in the global health and fitness sector; founding and building businesses and health club chains in both the US and Europe and acting as a board member for some of the world’s largest fitness companies including Fitness First, 24 Hour Fitness, Globalfit and Zumba Fitness. David is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organisation, the Chief Executives Organisation and the British Airways International Advisory Board.

Roland Rudd

Founding Partner at Finsbury

Roland Rudd is a founding partner at Finsbury, one of the largest global financial communications groups. A visiting Fellow at Oxford University’s Centre of Corporate Reputation and an honorary fellow at the University’s Regent’s Park College, Roland is also Trustee of the Royal Opera House, Chairman of the Tate’s Corporate Advisory Group and Non-Executive Director on the Army Board. In addition, he is a member of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Centre for Rare Disease Research Fundraising Appeal Board, a patron of the NSPCC and the founding Chairman of the Legacy10 charitable giving campaign.


Job Openings

Please see our News page for any current openings.

We are always interested in hearing from professionals that are top-notch communicators, driven, excel in a small team and looking to contribute to the core of our work with speakers and schools. If this sounds like you please submit your CV and short covering note to: speakers4schoolsinfo@gmail.com