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Our People

Empowering African communities


Lynda-Baroness-Chalker-of-WallaseyLynda, Baroness Chalker of Wallasey

Lynda Chalker established the Chalker Foundation for Africa in response to the need to develop and support medical knowledge and training on the African continent. The work of the Foundation is underpinned by the financial and in-kind support of Africa Matters Limited, the African business development advisory group that she founded in 1997. She has been a member of the Lower and Upper Houses of the UK Parliament for over forty years. Between 1986 and 1997 she was Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, holding responsibility for Africa and the Commonwealth and for Overseas Development. Lynda was made a Life Peer in 1992. Lynda was the first woman to be appointed an Advisory and then a Non-Executive Director of Unilever, a position she held from 1998 to 2007. She is a Trustee of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (“ICF”), she is also an Executive Trustee of the Global Leadership Foundation, a member of the international advisory board of Lafarge-Holcim and advised the World Bank for over 8 years. Lynda was Chairman of Board of the Medicines for Malaria Venture (“MMV”) from 2006 to 2011. She was a Non-Executive Director of Group Five (Pty) from 2001 to 2012. She is Vice-President of WaterAid, Honorary Vice-President of the British Red Cross and Patron of a number of charities working in Africa. Lynda is also co-ordinator of the President of Nigeria’s Honorary International Investment Council and a member of similar bodies in Uganda and Tanzania.In June 2014, Lynda was awarded an Honorary Citizenship from President Guebuza for services to Mozambique.



Chris-WestDr Chris West

Chris has a background in business and development. He is a co-founder of Sumerian Partners, and was the former Director of the Shell Foundation. Chris has a track record in applying an “enterprise-based” approach to philanthropy, being one of the early pioneers of “impact investing”. Through his leadership of Shell Foundation he supported the creation and scale-up of a portfolio of leading global social enterprises. He is the author of various reports including Shell Foundation’s Enterprise Solutions to Poverty (2005), Enterprise Solutions to Scale (2010) and Accelerating Access to Energy (2014). He received the World CSR award for “Social Innovation” in 2013.

Chris completed his Doctorate in Ecology at Oxford University and then set up a business in the environmental services sector. He then acted as senior environment adviser at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). He has worked with a variety of donors, governments, NGO’s and businesses in over 100 low and middle income countries and has lived in both West and East Africa.


FionaThe Baroness Hodgson of Abinger, CBE

Fiona Hodgson works on a variety of women’s issues, especially in the context of developing and conflict countries. Through traveling to Africa and working on the Conservative Party’s Project Umubano in both Rwanda and Sierra Leone, she feels passionately about the need to help more people in Africa have access to good healthcare. As well as being a Trustee of the Chalker Foundation, Fiona is the Co-Chair of the All Party Group on Women, Peace and Security, Chairman of the Advisory Group of GAPS (Gender Action in Peace and Security), a member of the Steering Board of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, a Founder Member of the Afghan Women’s Support Forum and also is a Patron of Afghan Connection. She is a former President of the National Conservative Convention, and is also a member of the Conservative Human Rights Commission. Her working background is in market research and small business. She has also held a number of public appointments in the areas of health and animal welfare and was awarded a CBE for her work on gender equality in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List.


Sir Graham Burton, KCMG

Graham has served on a number of Boards as a non-executive director and also as a Trustee of not-for-profit organisations. He was a career diplomat at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for 40 years. He worked mainly in the developing world, much of it in Africa. This gave him the firm conviction that improving health care is a prerequisite for sustainable development. His period as a Trustee of Sightsavers International reinforced this view.



AjayAjay Mehta

As an Organisational Development specialist, Ajay has supported the growth and development of non-profits in the areas of resource mobilisation, governance and strategic overhaul in order that they are impact-driven, sustainable and accountable. He has significant experience of working with local, national and international organisations, and in highly regulated, demanding and changing strategic environments. With a track record across the non-profit, public and private sectors in executive and non-executive capacities, he has built significant experience of strategic and cultural change, organisational and leadership development, and community engagement to maximise social impact. Much of his work has involved building the capacities of organisations that work with social development agendas across Africa, and as the Foundation Coordinator this provides him with a useful advantage in understanding the needs of organisations that aim to transform communities and increase social impact on the continent.



Pamela Morris-Sykes

Pamela is responsible for the executive financial control of Africa Matters Ltd and also provides support to the Board of The Chalker Foundation for Africa. She is a Chartered Accountant with significant experience of companies of all sizes. Having graduated in Chemistry from York University, Pamela qualified in London with Deloitte & Touche and also became a member of the Institute of Taxation. Pamela spent 11 years in the profession, specialising in UK and international corporate tax. She then moved into industry to help to set up a new oil and gas division of a major conglomerate and subsequently became co-founder of a UK oil company. In addition to her work with Africa Matters Ltd, Pamela currently advises small businesses on general financial issues as well as being a trustee of the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.