Mr Stephen Anderson – Executive Director

Mr Stephen Anderson

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.

Contact Stephen on [email protected]

Mrs Madeleine Barrows – Assistant Director (Secretariat)

Madeleine Barrows

As Assistant Director (Secretariat) I have particular responsibility for issues connected with the governance of the Academy as well as its various publications, but I also assist the work of the Executive Director in the development of strategy and new initiatives. I produce the monthly eBulletin and edit the Making the Case for the Social Sciences series of publications.

I have been with the Academy since 2006 and work three days a week, both from home in Portsmouth and in the London office.

I have a strong academic background in religious history and thought, having studied at Bristol University and Merton College, Oxford, where I also gained research experience. I have worked both as a schoolteacher and FE tutor. I was later Education Officer for the British Computer Society.

In my spare time I enjoy running and walking, choral singing and looking after my four daughters.

Contact Madeleine on [email protected]

Alessandro Lanuto – Communications Manager


Born and raised in New York, Alessandro completed his BA in Politics, History, and Italian in Rome, Italy, before receiving an MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology from UCL in 2013. Alessandro has previously worked as a social media analyst and, most recently, as a Campaigns Manager for the Liberal Democrats.

Contact Alessandro on [email protected]


Dr Ashley Thomas Lenihan – Senior Policy Adviser


Ashley 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, a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has undertaken a variety of consultancy work in the international policy arena over the last five years. Her research and writing is focused on the international political economy of security, and the relationship between evidence and policy.

She was previously a Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute, where she served as the Director of the Legatum Prosperity Index, and began her career as an investment banking analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston in London. She has her Ph.D. in Government, and her B.S. in Foreign Service, from Georgetown University.

Contact Ashley on [email protected]

Daniela Puska – Project Manager, Health of People


Daniela is the Project Manager for the Campaign’s Health of People report.

She has previously worked as Head of Operations at think tanks Demos and ResPublica, and before that spent six years in retail operations. She has also worked as an operations consultant for visual think tank and common good consultancy Common Vision (CoVi). She holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Contact Daniela on [email protected]

Jordene Sewell – Membership Officer


I joined the Academy of Social Sciences in January 2016 to provide administrative support to the office and assist with membership queries. I am also the Editorial Assistant for our journal, Contemporary Social Science.

Prior to this, I was Assistant Project Coordinator for the New Creative Markets programme at SPACE. My interests include philosophy, literature and film.

Contact Jordene on [email protected]

Helen Spriggs – Office and Membership Manager


As the Office and Membership Manager I am responsible for membership and financial administration along with event and internal management.

I am a trained translator of German and Spanish, and other interests include public transport, sport and the performing arts. I am a trustee of Traum Theatre.

Contact Helen on [email protected]

Sharon Witherspoon MBE FAcSS – Head of Policy


Sharon is Head of Policy at the Academy and its Campaign.

Sharon worked for several years in applied social science research, designing and carrying out evaluations of government programmes in the 1980s, and serving as part of the original research team on the British Social Attitudes survey.  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.  While there, she also led the development of the £19.5m Q-Step programme, funded jointly by the Nuffield Foundation, the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), to improve quantitative research skills for UK social science undergraduates.  She is also currently Deputy Chair of the Administrative Data Research Network, convened by the UK Statistics Authority with the support of the ESRC.

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.

Contact Sharon on [email protected]