Our Board

The Board of Directors – Who’s who?

 

National Liberal Club Limited is the Company which manages all the day-to-day operations of the Club through its Board of Directors, runs the Club’s various services and also employs all the staff. The Board usually includes the Club’s elected Chair and Vice- Chair, its Treasurer and the Chief Executive, Andy Young, alongside a majority made up of voluntary independent Directors appointed for their wide range of professional expertise from among the Club membership.

The National Liberal Club is now owned by the members. There were some 2,500 of us by late June 2023 with more joining every month. Club members are now the sole shareholders in the Company and, collectively, we are the Club’s sovereign body – expressing our will through the Club’s Annual General Meeting and the Members’ Council to which we all elect the 30 voting members. This meets regularly every two months and its members are profiled separately on the Members’ Council page, here.

The Club and the Board collaborate on a regular basis, aiming to establish working practices that produce the best outcomes for the Club and its members within a viable financial framework. Some of the Board’s independent Directors also sit on the Members’ Council.

Set out below, the Company’s Board of Directors tell us a little about themselves. Just click on any ‘plus’ sign to read someone’s profile.

Derek West
Chair of the Board
+

I was raised in and around Toronto after my family moved to Canada from Lancashire. I have only been a Club member for a couple of years, but the NLC had long been my favourite reciprocal club when visiting London. I was honoured to be appointed Chair of the Board when Jamie Sharpley stood down in 2022.

My partner and I moved here after 22 years in Chicago, where I once campaigned door-to-door for our state senator, one Barack Obama, when he ran for the US Senate. I became a naturalised US citizen and was able to cast my first vote for a President Obama a few years later.

For most of my career, I was a financial market regulator and now work in the City for a market utility. I co-chair my company’s global LGBTQ employee resource group, and am an active LibDem supporter in Battersea.

I look forward to contributing as Chair of the Board of Directors. The current evolution of the NLC, its range of facilities and expanding membership will provide no shortage of exciting projects. (Derek joined the Club in 2018 and became Chair of the Board in 2022)

Gordon Lishman CBE FRSA
Deputy Chair of the Board
+

Until my retirement, I was the Director General of Age Concern (now merged into Age UK) and Chief Executive of the Age Concern Group. My experience is in the fields of organisational leadership, in employment and in governance as well as campaigning and influencing.

I am a Burnley Borough Councillor, an elected member of the NLC General Committee, Treasurer of the Social Liberal Forum, and Secretary of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidates Association. I’m also now the Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors of NLC Ltd.

As a Director of the NLC Board, I sit on its Staffing Group and also chair the Board’s Governance Group which oversees risk management for the Club. We are also reviewing with the General Committee’s Rules Revision Working Group the future relationship between the Board and the Club.

I have held many senior roles in the Liberals and Liberal Democrats over nearly 60 years and have been a Parliamentary candidate seven times and a European Parliament candidate twice.

With three children and five grandchildren, I take delight in organising family holidays for groups of 13. (Gordon joined the Club in 1978 and has been a Director since 2018).

Andy Young
Chief Executive
+

I grew up and went to school and college in Norwich and Nottingham, gaining a Business Studies degree and a postgraduate diploma in Marketing. I moved to London in the early 1990s and very much enjoy living in Ealing.

My career has spanned a wide range of roles, focusing primarily on how to help run a diverse range of public venues and events efficiently and attract audiences. These have included Wembley Stadium’s Arena and Conference Centre, the Millennium Dome, Science Museum, O2 Arena and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I have also been a consultant on many infrastructure projects and also new training programmes for universities, both here and overseas — including in Brazil, Japan and Canada.

Since becoming Chief Executive of the National Liberal Club in May, my focus is on supporting the staff team, delivering consistently good service to members and securing the financial health of the Club. I have a real passion for building high-performing operating teams, empowering staff to find ways to improve service for our members so we can provide a positive experience for everyone who walks through our doors.

Outside work I enjoy cycling, and completed the Land’s End to John O’Groats nine-day ride in 2021, finally making good on a pledge made back in 1988, when I completed the course in the opposite direction, that I would one day do the ride back again. It was much easier 23 years earlier! I’m also a season ticket holder at Brentford FC and enjoy attending other sports events and live music. Usually guitar-based and what used to be called Indie, but my tastes are definitely softening with age.

Nick da Costa
+

I’m delighted to be joining the Board. A little bit about me; my career has generally been focused on the arenas of healthcare, hospitality and the events industries.  I am co-founder of a consultancy which specialises in developing domestic and international healthcare projects. I was formerly Head of International Business Development at a leading private hospital, the London Clinic, and Head of Conference Services at The Royal Society.

I also chair the company which operates events and catering at Alexandra Palace & Park in north London, the largest independent events venue in the city; home to the historic Ally Pally Fireworks, and hosting the annual Darts Events.

I am a local Liberal Democrat Councillor in Haringey and a member of the party’s governing body. I also chair the Lib Dems’ Conference Committee and am delighted that the NLC has such an increasingly-visible presence at the party conference.

As to my background; my mother’s family is Austrian and my father’s family is of British-Jamaican-Portuguese heritage. I’ve lived in the U.K. since 1999, having grown up in Austria.

I’m hugely passionate about good food, and am regularly cooking fundraising dinners on behalf of the Liberal Democrats. My aim will be to work with the rest of the team on the Board on growing the Club.

(Nick joined the Club in 2021 and became a Director in 2023)

Dinesh Dhamija
+

Born in Australia as the son of an Indian diplomat, we travelled widely and so I grew up in India, Mauritius, Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia and the Netherlands, before moving to the UK in the 1960s. I read Law at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and am now one of the college’s Fellow Benefactors.

I have been an entrepreneur most of my life and founded the first fully internet travel company in Europe, ebookers.com in 1999. Sales topped $1 billion in just five years, with 2,000 employees in 12 countries.

After selling the company I have devoted my time to politics, charity work and a new business in green energy. I am a former Lib Dem MEP for London and have spent a decade in the NGO and charity world, creating charitable foundations to provide education and healthcare to underserved communities in India and the UK. I have been a trustee of several charities including the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Scope and LEPRA – fighting the curable disease of leprosy.

I wrote my autobiography – Book It!  – during Covid, describing how I became a successful entrepreneur and my second book, The Indian Century, should be out soon. I live in Surrey with my wife, Tani, close to our two sons and granddaughter.

(Dinesh joined the Club in 2018 and became a Director in 2023)

Lyndsey Jones
+

A lifelong journalist, I spent a large part of my career transforming the Financial Times newsroom from print to digital and then went on to set up my own company, iCalami, to help other media companies round the world to change their operations to drive revenue and growth.

I focus on change management, audience and content strategies to acquire, engage and retain diverse audiences and build online communities. Shortly after setting up my business in 2021, I joined the National Liberal Club not only to have a work base in central London but also as a place to meet old friends and make new ones.

A former executive editor at the FT, I joined the Marketing and Communications Committee to help with attracting and retaining members. My career experience also inspired me to write the business education book Going Digital: What it takes for smoother transformationsWith my skills and background, I will aim to add value by helping the Club develop its digital strategy.

In my spare time, I enjoy mountain biking, fringe theatre and long walks.

(Lyndsey joined the Club in 2022 and became a Director in 2023)

Tim Layton
+

My career has been in catering management, and I was recently invited to join the Board to oversee improvements to the Club’s catering operation. My goal is to help make the cuisine at the NLC among the best on offer at any London Club. I am a member of the Club’s Catering Liaison Group and also of the Space Utilisation Group.

I love food and am fascinated by the dynamics of catering – the teamwork involved in producing the best. I have managed catering for Birkbeck College, London and Bath University, worked with multiple retail food outlets and coffee shops, and spent time running events management for major football clubs including Chelsea and Tottenham. Interesting times working with the WAGs!

Outside work, I’m involved with several charities, promoting positive links with Commonwealth countries, and also the Chain of Hope, which treats children from war-torn countries suffering from heart disease.

A former chorister at Salisbury Cathedral and the BBC Symphony Chorus, I enjoy all sorts of music, and support the Cathedral Music Trust – which sponsors choirs in need of financial help. I also love travelling, historic sites, walking, and photography. (Tim joined the Club in 2017 and has been a Director since 2021)

Emma Moore
+

A senior criminologist and human rights advocate with more than 15 years’ experience, I have managed more than 500 people and multiple programmes. I’ve worked with Ofgem, the gas and electricity regulator, on ways to improve how it operates.

The key skills I hope to bring to the Board as a recently-appointed Director are a keen understanding of governance and risk. A long-term driver of change in the civil service, I pride myself on an ability to introduce change to older institutions, while retaining core functions.

At the NLC, I founded and chair the Club’s Sustainability Forum, am its representative to the Gold Alliance (Under 40s European Interclub network), One Young World Ambassador, and an Executive MBA candidate. I’m passionate about reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, and making the Club more successful by working towards increased diversity and  inclusivity.

Among my other interests are sustainable fashion, ballroom dancing and cocktail making. (Emma joined the Club in 2019 and became a Director in 2022)

Nadia Montasser
+

Originally from Egypt, I have lived in London for more than a decade and consider it home. With degrees in Charity Management and Economics, I have nearly two decades of experience in project management, social media & website management, and events coordination.

I sit on the Board of NLC Ltd and the Club’s Marketing and Communications Committee. The Oscar Wilde Society meets at the Club and, as a committee member, I launched their website and social media channels.

My priority on the Members’ Council will be to work on achieving better communication, leadership, and team working after the manifest divisions and suspicions of recent months. We need to reach out and embrace the views and concerns of all Club members.

I was one of the early animal rights activists in Egypt, managing successful regional campaigns and protests with local and international animal rights organisations, often against entrenched opposition. (Nadia joined the Club in 2018 and was elected to the Members’ Council in 2022)

Phil Reeves
Club Treasurer
+

I sit on the Board in my role as Treasurer of the Club, and chair the Board’s Finance Group, which has a key role: reviewing management accounts, supervising cashflow, assessing how the Company’s investments are performing and liaising with the Company’s auditors to produce the annual accounts.

Having qualified as a barrister, I went into tax advisory work where I was persuaded (perhaps unwisely) to take the chartered accountancy exams, which I passed but not without significant effort.

After 30 years in the tax profession, I semi-retired to work on one main client and am also Treasurer of The Cricket Society, which aims to promote cricket in all its spheres – playing, watching, listening and reading.

A member of the NLC for nearly 35 years, I am currently also Vice-Chair of the Beer, Wine & Spirits Committee.

When not busy with my duties for Club and Board or other work, I travel the world playing golf, watching cricket and trying to reduce my golf handicap – this is a work in progress. (Phil joined the Club in 1987 and has been a Director since 2018)

Rahul Sinha
Club Vice-Chair
+

Since moving to London from Washington DC, I have found the Club a real home from home and am honoured to have now been elected Vice-Chair of the Club.  I also Chair the Club’s Catering Committee and sit on the Beer, Wine and Spirits Committee.

I’m firmly committed to the liberal character of our Club, as those shared principles also animate my volunteer work. I serve on the Policy Council of the civil liberties group, Liberty, and, as a party member, also serve on the complaints panels for the Liberal Democrats.

I currently assist philanthropic and international development organisations with strategic planning and impact evaluation. Previously, I have worked on education policy, and as a macroeconomist at a think tank.

I am an avid theatregoer, and serve on the board of the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill. I’m also a competitive storyteller, and have performed in London, Tokyo, and Washington DC. I’m also hoping we can get an NLC cricket club together, so that I can join — once I learn how to play! (Rahul joined the Club in 2019 and was elected to what is now the Members’ Council in in 2021)