To help us achieve our ambitious goals, our Council of Trustees and Executive Board plan where we invest our time, money and expertise.
They are responsible for setting out our short-term and long-term strategy, covering everything from scientific research and fundraising to resources. The Executive Board also propose our annual budget, which is then submitted to the Council of Trustees for approval.
The Executive Directors who constitute the Executive Board are:
Harpal Kumar, MA MEng MBA DSc
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board
Harpal joined Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) as Chief Executive in October 2002 to drive forward the Charity's technology transfer and early drug discovery activities. In addition to his role with CRT, he became Chief Operating Officer of the Charity in July 2004, responsible for strategic direction and day-to-day operational management, before becoming Chief Executive Officer in April 2007. Following his training as a chemical engineer, Harpal was a healthcare consultant with McKinsey and Co.
In 1992, he became Chief Executive of the Papworth Trust, a specialist charity working on rehabilitation of disabled people. From 1997, he founded and was Chief Executive of Nexan Group, a medical device company specialising in cardio-respiratory monitoring, before joining CRT. Harpal is Chairman of the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research and is a Trustee of the Institute for Cancer Research. He also serves on the Boards of the National Cancer Research Institute and the UK Clinical Research Collaboration. He co-chairs the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative and is Deputy Chair of the Advisory Board for the Cancer Reform Strategy in England.
Iain Foulkes, PhD
Executive Director, Strategy and Research Funding
Iain was appointed Executive Director, Strategy and Research Funding in August 2009. Iain is responsible for helping to shape the long-term direction of the Charity and to ensure we have effective strategies to meet our ambitious goals.
Iain began his career as a research scientist, completing his PhD at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute. He then became a science writer and medical journalist, before moving into Policy and Communications at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF). During his time at ICRF, he worked closely with Sir Paul Nurse, who at that time was Chief Executive, helping to drive through the merger of ICRF and Cancer Research Campaign to become Cancer Research UK. From January 2003, he was Director of Strategic Development in Fundraising and Supporter Marketing, and has supported the early-stage development of UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation working with Sir Paul Nurse.
Professor Peter Johnson, MA MD FRCP
Peter is Chief Clinician for Cancer Research UK. He has responsibility for the strategy and shape of the Charity’s clinical activities, both in clinical research and in the wider context of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. His main research interests are in immunology, particularly the use of novel antibody treatments, and in lymphoma, where he is responsible for several national and international trials and is Chair of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Lymphoma Clinical Studies Group.
Professor Nic Jones
Nic was appointed as Chief Scientist of Cancer Research UK in February 2011 and is responsible for the scientific direction and strategy of the charity. He is also the Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC), which was established in 2006. The MCRC brings together the key cancer research players in the region to coordinate the research strategy across the basic to clinical research spectrum. Since its creation, the MCRC has grown in strength and has become a model for Cancer Research UK Centres across the UK.
After establishing his own research laboratory in the USA, Nic returned to the UK in 1985 to join the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. He moved on to become Director of the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research from 1999–2011. Nic continues his world leading research as Group Leader of the Institute’s Cell Regulation Laboratory, which studies how cells respond to sudden adverse changes in their surroundings, known as 'environmental stress'.
Lynne Robb, BSc ACA
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, Corporate Resources
Lynne joined Cancer Research UK as Finance Director during its merger in 2002. Soon after joining she was appointed Executive Director Finance and over the last seven years she has seen her role expand to Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Corporate Resources, which includes Finance, Treasury, Property Services and Procurement for the whole organisation.
She qualified as a chartered accountant in 1989 with Arthur Andersen & Co., after which she moved to Tate & Lyle Plc in their Group Finance team. Her career expanded over 13 years, including Finance Director of their sugar and molasses trading divisions and spending her last two years there as Integration Director, reporting directly to the CEO.
Elizabeth Sideris, BA MA FCIPD
Executive Director, Human Resources
Elizabeth was appointed Executive Director, Human Resources in August 2009. She is responsible for the people and organisation related agenda to ensure that the Charity has effective people sourcing and development strategies to meet its ambitious goals.
Elizabeth's career has focused on people and organisation development. Starting in the private sector, initially in oil multinationals, she then worked in financial services where, at Citigroup, she was appointed to the level of Managing Director. In 2002, Elizabeth joined the Medical Research Council as Executive Director, Human Resources, moving, in 2006, to Cancer Research UK as HR Director.
Richard C Taylor
Executive Director, Fundraising and Supporter Marketing
Richard joined Imperial Cancer Research Fund in April 1998 as Retail Director following a career in commercial retail including Boots the Chemist, Burton menswear and the Early Learning Centre where he was responsible for all stores in the UK and Europe. Richard was appointed to his current position in 2007 following three years as Co-Director of Fundraising and Marketing. He is responsible for the five-year fundraising strategy which drives income to support the Charity's long-term ambitions.
Within his current responsibility he oversees 46,500 volunteers, 573 shops, 750 voluntary committees, a fundraising programme with eight million registered supporters and a fundraising team of 1,900 staff. Externally, Richard is a Trustee for two other charities: Willows Counselling Service and the Neurofibromatosis Association.
Executive Director, Policy and Information BSc MsC
Sarah Woolnough is Executive Director of Policy and Information at Cancer Research UK, with responsibility for policydevelopment, public affairs, campaigning and the charity’s information functions.
Sarah is responsible for the charity’s policy development across a wide range of public policy issues – from medical research to cancer services policy. Sarah also leads public affairs and campaigning functions that have successfully campaigned for improvements to radiotherapy treatments and tobacco control measures including a ban on shop displays of cigarettes among other things. Sarah’s information responsibilities span CancerHelp UK, Cancer Research UK’s dedicated patient website, statistical information, and a range of information campaigns on the prevention and early diagnosis of cancer.
In 2010 Sarah was seconded to the Department of Health to develop the Government’s new cancer strategy – Improving Cancer Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer – which sets out an ambitious agenda to make our cancer services world class and commits England to saving an additional 5000 lives per year from cancer by 2015.
Sarah sits on a number of national working groups and is a trustee of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), Action on Smoking and Health and health charity Bliss.