Chief Executive and Executive Board

Michelle Mitchell OBE

Chief Executive Officer

Michelle Mitchell OBE joined November 2018. She is responsible for the overall leadership and management of CRUK, the world’s leading charitable funder of research.

Michelle is a senior voluntary sector leader who has transformed a number of not-for-profit organisations to better their purpose and global impact. She has a successful track record of delivering long term value, collaboration and innovation. She believes that by working together, and building the strongest possible team, we will beat cancer together. She is a member of the National Cancer Board.

Before joining Cancer Research UK, Michelle was CEO of the MS Society for five years and a founding member of the Progressive MS Alliance: a global scientific and research joint venture and launched the STOP MS £100m appeal. Prior to that, she was Director General at Age UK, the UK’s largest older people’s charity where she worked for nearly a decade and was at the forefront of national debates on health, care and welfare.

Michelle has extensive non-executive experience, which has included NED at NHS England, which sets the priorities and direction for the NHS in England and a Trustee of the King’s Fund, a leading health policy think-tank.

Michelle has a BA in Economics, an MA in Politics and Public Administration and an International Executive Diploma from INSEAD.

Michelle was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to the charity sector.


Angela Morrison

Chief Operating Officer

Angela joined Cancer Research UK in April 2021 as Chief Operating Officer and leads the Charity's finance, people and technology teams, working across our organisation to ensure we have appropriate governance and an operating model that enables us to be as effective and efficient as we can at delivering on our mission to beat cancer.

Angela has extensive experience as a commercial executive, most recently at Debenhams where she led their retail, supply chain and technology teams and prior to that Direct Line Group, Sainsburys and Asda/Walmart.  In these organisations she led and managed both technical and business change, and as part of the broader executive led the organisations through their cultural transformations.  

She was the executive sponsor for Corporate Social Responsibility at both Debenhams & Direct Line and for a number of years sat on the Advisory Board for The Tech Partnership (previously E-skills), working with peers and counterparts in the information technology (IT) service sector to improve IT skills in education and the workplace.

Angela is a Non Executive Board Member of HM Land Registry, where she sits on the Audit Committee, and provides support to the operations, transformation and technology teams.

Angela has a degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from the University of Bristol.


Philip Almond

Executive Director, Marketing, Fundraising & Engagement

Phil joined Cancer Research UK in December 2019 and leads the Charity's Fundraising and Marketing teams, working with our supporters, donors and staff to raise the funds which will help us beat cancer sooner.

Prior to joining CRUK he was Chief Marketing Officer at the BBC and before that had a long career at Diageo, where among other roles he led the company's UK consumer and customer marketing teams, and the Baileys and Smirnoff brands globally.

Phil and his team are responsible for the brand, communications and revenue generation to allow the Charity to meet its ambitious goals.

Phil has a Masters in English from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from the London Business School.


Iain Foulkes PhD

Executive Director, Research & Innovation / CEO of Cancer Research Technology

Iain was appointed to the Board in 2009 and is responsible for our research strategy and its implementation. He oversees CRUK's portfolio of research across discovery science, translational research, clinical and population research. This research portfolio includes our international Grand Challenges, our clinical trial portfolio and oversight of our Institutes and Centres.

As CEO of Cancer Research Technology he is also responsible for ensuring our research is developed and commercialised, often in partnership with biotech and pharmaceutical companies to ensure the outputs of research reach patients as rapidly and effectively as possible.

Iain began his career as a research scientist, completing his PhD at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, before becoming a science writer and medical journalist and joining Cancer Research UK. 


Nick Grant

Executive Director, Strategy and Transformation

Nick's responsibilities include development of the organisation's corporate strategy and building the organisation's international network, working with partners around the world. He has previously held the role of Interim Executive Director of Policy and Information and Director of Strategy and has been a member of the Executive Board since 2015.

Nick joined Cancer Research UK in 2010. He previously spent 10 years as a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, Braxton Associates and Deloitte where he supported clients in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors on strategy, organisation and change projects. He has a Masters in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Cambridge and an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD business school.


Ian Walker Bsc, PhD, MBA

Executive Director for Policy, Information and Communications

Ian was appointed to the Board in 2021 and is responsible for developing and implementing our strategic priorities across policy, information and communications.

Ian has over 15 years of combined experience dedicated to advancements in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

First appointed as a CRUK Director in 2013, Ian has held several high impact roles within the charity across basic, translational and clinical research. He brings a wealth of relevant experience to the board, having advised on several of the charity’s key campaigns to inform government policy around the provision of life-saving cancer research, including the push for the protection and restoration of clinical research activity within the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ian is a trustee for the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and has previously held a Non-executive role in the biotechnology sector.

Ian holds a Biochemistry BSc with honours and a PhD from the University of Leeds. He also holds an MBA with distinction from Warwick Business School.


Our Executive Boards Register of Interests is available upon request from the Company Secretary.


Clinical and Scientific Advisors

Professor Charles Swanton FRCP PhD FMedSci FRS

Charles was appointed Chief Clinician for Cancer Research UK in October 2017. 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.

Charles completed his MDPhD in 1999 at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories and Cancer Research UK clinician/scientist medical oncology training in 2008.  He combines his laboratory research at the Francis Crick Institute with clinical duties at UCLH and as director of the CRUK Lung Cancer Centre, focussed on how tumours evolve over space and time. Charles has helped to define the branched evolutionary histories of solid tumours, processes that drive cancer cell-to-cell variation in the form of new cancer mutations or chromosomal instabilities, and the impact of such cancer diversity on effective immune surveillance and clinical outcome.

Charles was made Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in April 2011, appointed Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015, Napier Professor in Cancer by the Royal Society in 2016, appointed Cancer Research UK’s Chief Clinician in 2017, and elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018.

Charles was awarded the Stand up to Cancer Translational Cancer Research Prize (2015), Glaxo Smithkline Biochemical Society Prize (2016), San Salvatore prize for Cancer Research (2017), the Ellison-Cliffe Medal, Royal Society of Medicine (2017), recipient of the Gordon Hamilton Fairley Medal (2018), the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Centre Kraft Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research (2018), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) Paul A. Bunn Scientific Award for achievements in lung cancer (2018), and the ESMO Translation Award (2019).


Professor Karen Vousden CBE FRS FRSE FMedSci 

Karen was appointed Chief Scientist of Cancer Research UK in July 2016. She provides scientific leadership for the activities and ambitions of Cancer Research UK. Her research is focused on understanding how changes in metabolism can influence cancer development.

Karen received her Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of London. She was Chief of the Regulation of Cell Growth Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute in the US before returning to the UK to become Director of the CRUK Beatson Institute in 2002. On taking up the role of Chief Scientist, Karen moved her research group to the Francis Crick Institute in London. She holds honorary Professorial positions at the Institute of Cancer Research, Imperial College and Queen Mary University, London and honorary DScs from the Institute of Cancer Research, the University of Strathclyde and Queen Mary University. She is also an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Gla). She has been elected to EMBO, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Society, the European Academy of Cancer Sciences, the Academia Europaea, the American Association of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the AACR Academy and she is a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences. Karen’s awards include the Tenovus Gold Medal, the Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins Medal, the ECDO Lifetime Achievement Award, the CDD Award, the STS Honorary Medal, the Mike Price Gold Medal, the Lombroso Award and the Royal Society of Edinburgh Gold Medal. She was awarded a CBE in 2010.



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