Who's Who

Stephen Anderson

Executive Director
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Stephen Anderson has 25 years leadership experience of business management in financial services, with a history of much improving organizational performance. He was brought into Equitable Life PLC at the height of the crisis as the Chief Operating Officer and improved operational capability and capacity at a very difficult time. He then undertook various turnaround type assignments within the not for profit sector, before joining the Academy of Social Sciences as Executive Director in 2008. An Economics graduate, with a further three years of postgraduate research experience, Stephen has pursued lifelong learning, gaining further occupational qualifications in banking, business management and organizational psychology.He also gained a certificate in ministry studies. He is also a trustee of a grant awarding ecclesiastical charity with substantial historic assets.

Sharon Witherspoon MBE FAcSS

Head of Policy
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Sharon is Head of Policy at the Academy.  She was at the Nuffield Foundation, a grant-giving endowed charitable trust, for 19 years, first heading its programmes of social research and social policy, and then for three years as Director. Before that, she was a practicing social researcher at NatCen and the Policy Studies Institute, designing and analysing large-scale social surveys on various topics.  She was awarded an MBE for services to social science in 2008, received the British Academy President’s Medal in 2011, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College London in 2015 for services to social sciences and law.

Kate Atkins

Chief Secretary
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As Chief Secretary at the Academy, Kate manages the work of the Council and its sub-committees. A former journalist, she previously worked for the BBC where she held senior roles in business management and communications. She also worked as an executive coach and leadership trainer. Kate is a volunteer interview coach for Smart Works, a UK charity which helps unemployed women return to the workforce.

Helen Cadwallader

Senior Operations Manager
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As Senior Operations Manager, Helen works at the very heart of the Academy with responsibility for the day-to-day management and long term planning of operational activities. Helen has over 20 years’ experience in corporate life and the non-profit sector. She has managed an arts commissioning programme at BAA plc and a range of national arts funding programmes at Arts Council England, and, more recently, led small arts organisations with national sector wide strategic remits. Over the last 10 years, Helen has enhanced the performance of non-profit organisations, by focusing on growth, financial sustainability, and revising models of delivery. Educated to post-graduate degree level, she is committed to lifelong learning. Helen is actively involved in her local community with a focus on greening and wilding in the inner city through membership of two boards, Potters’ Fields Park Management Trust and Fair Community Housing Services,

Dr. Ashley Thomas Lenihan

Senior Policy Adviser
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Ashley is Senior Policy Adviser at the Academy. She is a Fellow at the Centre for International Studies at the London School of Economics, a Senior Fellow with the Institute for Law, Science, & Global Security at Georgetown University, and has undertaken a variety of consultancy work in the international policy arena over the last five years. She has her Ph.D. in Government, and her B.S. in Foreign Service, from Georgetown University.  She works on a range of projects for the Academy, and has led our work on Brexit and Positive Prospects.  

Marta Kask

Campaign Manager
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Marta joined the Campaign for Social Science as Campaign Manager in December 2017. Prior to that she managed a list of academic journals and partner relations for Springer Nature, an international academic publisher in New York. She has held a variety of roles in academic publishing and has a MA from University College London and BScEcon from Aberystwyth University, both in Politics.

Aarti Basnyat

Communications Manager
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Aarti Basnyat is the Communications Manager at the Academy. She was with the United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security for over three years as their Communications Officer. Among other things, she helped revamp their website and establish their social media presence. Before that Aarti was the Global Communications Officer at ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability. She brings with her extensive experience in media engagement, website management, social media content creation and campaign development. As a former journalist, she possesses excellent writing skills and has a strong interest in topics related to social sciences. Aarti holds a Master in Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a diploma in Print Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism and a Bachelor in English Literature (Hons) from St. Stephens' College, Delhi University.

Colin Lorne

Policy Officer
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Colin is Policy Officer at the Academy. He is a geographer with a commitment to placing inter-disciplinary social science inquiry at the heart of policy-making and social transformation. He has a PhD and Undergraduate Masters in Geography, both from the University of Birmingham. He was previously a Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, as well as working on projects at the University of Bristol with the Department for Communities and Local Government, and the University of Birmingham. When not talking about space, politics and policy, he will most likely be found listening to jazz, soul and rocksteady.

Ian Williams

Finance Manager

Ian provides part time financial management support to the organisation. He is an FCA and has a  BA in Economics from the University of York and a MBA from Henley Management College. He has previous financial management experience in the international development / charity sector primarily with CDC Group plc and his more recent charity roles include with Raleigh the international youth charity.

Leila Hancox

Membership Assistant
Leila graduated from Durham University in 1992 with a degree in anthropology. She was worked within the charity sector for over 20 years in a variety of administrative roles. These have included National Deaf Children’s Society, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the sexual health charity FPA and Campaign for Better Transport. She has enjoyed each of these roles in terms of expanding her knowledge about the issues involved in the individual campaigns and gets satisfaction out of working for organisations that have strong social aims. She has also always enjoyed studying and, over the years, has done part-time courses in journalism, ecology and conservation and organic gardening. Most recently, she has undergone training to become an existential psychotherapist and hopes to pursue this in parallel with her work as an administrator.