About us

Our directors

Christine Swabey: Board Chair

Christine has operated at a senior level in the commercial, public and third sectors, with significant Chair experience. She has had a particular focus on delivering consumer focussed service improvement, notably in education, health and social care and is experienced in developing strong governance within complex accountability frameworks, forging strong relationships with multiple stakeholders.

Following an early career in financial services, working for a US commercial bank managing major client relationships in Europe and the Middle East, Christine has held a number of public sector roles, including Chair of Kingston Hospital NHS Trust and Non-Executive Director of South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust, as well as broad ranging charity experience, including as Vice Chair of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability.

Her interest in education is broad ranging, encompassing a deep engagement with special educational needs, notably autism, serving both as a Trustee of Ambitious about Autism and Chief Executive of leading medical research charity Autistica. She served as a Governor of St John’s School Leatherhead, a leading co-educational independent school, age 11-18 years, and as Vice Chair of Kingston University. Christine has served on the Board of the Manchester based Northern Consortium, a group of UK universities delivering transnational educational programmes with international partners to facilitate the progression of international students to UK universities.

Currently Christine is also Chair of Council at St George's, University of London, the UK's only specialist healthcare university, training a wide range of healthcare professionals and delivering world class medical research. Christine serves as a Magistrate in the adult and family courts in London.

Phil Beach: Vice Chair

Phil was appointed in March 2019. He spent 30 years in the Royal  Air Force, initially training and operating as a Tornado Fast Jet navigator before commanding operations at home and abroad.

After leaving the Royal Air Force in 2014, Phil joined Ofqual, the qualifications regulator, where he focused on the reform of GCSE and A levels and led the organisation's regulation of all vocational and technical qualifications.  He is currently CEO at Energy and Utility Skills, which helps employers in the energy and utilities sector attract, develop and maintain a sustainable and skilled workforce.

Dr Carolyn Brown

Carolyn joined the ISI Board in 2019. She has worked as a CIO and leader of transformation in a variety of industries world-wide, including Higher Education, Retail and B2B ecommerce. She has extensive experience of strategy and IT leadership in both public and private sectors, and has been responsible for quality and governance in an awarding body.

She has taught both maths and computing at school and university level.

Fraser Burrill

Fraser sits on both the Board and Nominations and Remuneration Committee, having previously sat on the Finance and Risk Committee. He is a Bachelor of Law and a Chartered Accountant, having qualified at PwC. He specialised in computer audit and security, before spending 30 years in senior roles in commerce and industry, including Northern Europe Finance Director at Duracell, Integration Director at Gillette, creating the shared service platform for all UK group companies, and Finance Director and COO at SONY UK.

After leaving industry, Fraser became Finance Director and COO at Ravensbourne University London, the UK's newest university, where he was integral in helping the institution achieve university status.

Fraser retired from full time roles in 2018.

Dr Simon Camby

Simon is currently Group Education Director for Cognita – a global school group with schools in 12 countries.  Simon has worked in a range of roles in the education sector including as a teacher and Head of School in the UK and Middle East. He was also the founding Chief Executive of a multi academy trust in the UK and Director of Evaluation & Development at the Council of International Schools.

Simon is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and holds a doctorate from University College London. He is also an Academic Associate at the Institute of Education UCL where he teaches on the MBA (Educational Leadership).

Carol Iddon

Carol is the Managing Director of Children’s Services at Action for Children, a role she has had since 2016 with overall responsibility for the delivery of services across the UK, including safeguarding and practice improvement function.

Since May  2019 Carol has also held the role of Deputy Chief Executive. Carol joined Action for Children (then NCH) in July 2003 and during her time with Action for Children she has held several senior roles including Assistant Director for Business Development, Operational Director Children’s Services for North West England, Strategic Director for England North and Director of Children’s Services for the UK North, with responsibility for managing all operational services across Scotland and the North of England. Carol was also interim CEO between February 2018 – August 2018.

Carol is a qualified social worker and she worked for 18 years in local authority children’s services in a range of services for children, young people and families including child protection, looked after children and children in need. Prior to qualifying as a social worker Carol worked in children’s residential care. Carol retires from Action for Children at the end of January 2021 and is looking forward to taking on some new and varied roles.

Robert  Okunnu

Robert is a strategic communications leader with over 18 years’ experience across a wide mix of organisations and sectors. He is currently Director of Policy and External Affairs at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and oversees the College’s policy, media, public affairs, digital and creative media teams. Robert’s extensive experience spans prior leadership roles in private and public sector organisations such as Water UK, Tesco PLC, and the pharmaceutical company MSD. He was also previously Head of Public Affairs at the British Medical Association. He led the BMA’s in-house team in campaigning aimed at the Westminster Parliament, Government, EU institutions and other stakeholders.

Robert is a Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Chartered PR Practitioner. He also serves as a committee member on the CIPR's Public Affairs Group.

Andreas Raffel

Andreas was appointed to the ISI Board in May 2022. He is a senior leader and non-executive with over 30 years of Board-level experience across multiple sectors and geographies.

Andreas has advised private and public sector boards in numerous strategic transactions, plus held significant global leadership positions at Rothschild and Morgan Stanley.

As a non-executive director, committee chair and senior advisor, Andreas has extensive knowledge of and experience in resolving board and corporate governance issues. He is also an investor in early stage ventures in the UK and overseas.

Steve Watmough

Steve was appointed to the ISI Board in May 2022. He is currently CEO of Mason Advisory – an independent digital and technology consulting firm. This follows a career spanning over 30 years across the IT management and consulting industries.

Steve has broad ranging non-executive and senior advisory experience. This includes as a Trustee for the Child Poverty Action Group UK, a Vice President and Board Member of The Management Consultancies Association (MCA), a Member of the Digital & Technology Commission for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and as a member of the Cabinet Office’s SME Advisory Panel.

Steve is a competitive Masters runner and sits as an Independent Non-Executive Director for Triathlon England.