Our Trustees

Stephen Bell (Chair)
Jennifer Dunstan
Michael Johnson AM
Dr Aeesha NJ Malik
Kenneth Carol van Toll
Nicola Watkinson


Stephen Bell
Stephen Bell has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector specialising in strategic and operational planning, finance and human resources, and project management. His experience in the charity sector includes posts as Head of Programme Funding at Sightsavers International (SSI); Deputy Director of Programmes and Deputy Chief Executive at Children’s Aid Direct and 4Children respectively, Director of Brighton and Hove Sure Start, as well as positions with the British Overseas Network of Development Agencies (BOND), and in a consultancy capacity with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO). Stephen is currently actively involved in charitable work as Chair and Treasurer of the Friends Centre in Brighton and Chair of Investors in Development.



Return to top
_________________________
 
Jennifer Dunstan
Jennifer Dunstan is a Partner and Head of Fund Investor Relations at 3i.
Since joining 3i in June 2005 she has co-led the acquisition of the Mayborn Group and co-led the take privates of Telecity Group and Redbus to create TelecityRedbus. In November 2007 she was responsible for the acquisition of Agent Provocateur. She currently sits on the boards of Mayborn, Agent Provocateur and Hobbs.
 
Prior to joining 3i Jennifer spent nine years at Terra Firma Capital Partners and Nomura’s Principal Finance Group (PFG), where she was Managing Director. In addition to numerous portfolio responsibilities, major deals that she led there include the privatisation of Angel Train Contracts and acquisition of Inn Partnership. Before PFG/Terra Firma, Jennifer started her career as a solicitor for Allen, Allen & Hemsley in Sydney and London. She holds a BA degree and LLB from the University of Sydney.


Return to top
_________________________

 
Michael Johnson AM

Michael has been involved with The Foundation from its very beginning. He was one of the team that, along with Fred and Gabi Hollows, set up The Foundation and has been a member of the Board, with two short breaks, since its establishment in 1992. Michael was appointed by the Board as Co-Deputy Chair in May of 2019, he is a Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation (HK) Limited, a Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation Kenya, and member of the Board’s Governance and Nominations Committee and Programs and Partnerships Committee.

 
Michael is an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences at UNSW. He has had extensive experience as a professional economist, educator, researcher as well as engagement in the practical work of delivering development programs. He currently teaches a Masters course on international aid at UNSW as well as giving occasional lectures in development studies and economics. He is also an editor of the research and policy journal, the Economic and Labour Relations Review.
 
In 2015, Michael was invested as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the blind and those with low vision, to education, and to the community.

Return to top
_________________________
 
 
Dr Aeesha NJ Malik
Dr Aeesha Malik is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, with training in both clinical ophthalmology and public health. Her work focuses on reducing childhood blindness and inequity through improving health systems, integrating eye care into child health policies, and improving Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) programmes in low and middle income countries. 

She has extensive experience in clinical work and training of health workers across Africa, Asia and South America. Dr Malik has been appointed as a Faculty member of the Chinese Academy of Eye Health in Paediatric Ophthalmology. In Tanzania she and her colleagues created a model for integrating eye care into a WHO/UNICEF child health programme which was taken up as national health policy. She also led a network strengthening ROP services across Africa and Asia through building strong collaborative partnerships, training ROP teams and changing national health policy. 

Dr Malik was previously a Clinical Advisor at the UK Department of Health on national eye health policy, and is still a Health Policy Advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. Her research highlighted the geographical variation in sight impairment and the value of eye care in the UK. This led to working on a number of strategies to improve the quality of eye care services in conjunction with WHO, VISION 2020, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the UK Vision Strategy.


Kenneth Carol van Toll
Kenneth Carol van Toll specialises in institutional fundraising and worked with several international NGOs such as BRAC International, Global Reporting Initiative, and KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation. She has worked on themes such as TB control and global health, sustainability reporting, education, agriculture, emergency response, and independent media and press freedom in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 

Kenneth started her career in journalism working as a TV news producer in Indonesia for press agency Reuters and other international media for several years. In 2002 she moved to the international development sector and since then focuses on program development, strategic planning, and institutional fundraising. She currently is the director of Global Development & Partnerships at the international NGO What Design Can Do based in Amsterdam.
 

Nicola Watkinson
Nicola Watkinson is Managing Director, International Trade and Investment at TheCityUK, an organisation that represents the interests of the UK’s most significant financial and related professional services (FRPS) companies. Her role focuses on positioning the UK’s FRPS industry for future success, improving global market access, developing supportive policies and removing impediments to trade and investment. 

With a successful career as a senior diplomat with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), Nicola has led a network of regional teams around the world, including in Europe, South Asia and the Americas. Nicola leads the diversity and inclusion work for TheCityUK, having also been the global diversity and inclusion champion for Austrade. She first became associated with Fred Hollows Foundation when living in New York, as part of the North American Advisory Council.


 

Our Staff

Nick Virr
Louisa Syrett
Dr Andy Cassels-Brown
Dr Lila Raj Puri
Margaret Hobbs
Richard Hughes




Nick Virr
Head of Development UK, Europe and Middle East

Following a 20-year career building his technology businesses in Australia, Nick has spent 13 years creating sustainable impact in East Africa (Uganda, Tanzania,  Ethiopia and Kenya) and South Asia (Nepal and Bangladesh).

Nick has designed and delivered solutions for economic empowerment, climate adaptation, renewable energy, agriculture, water and sanitation, and health and education for International non-government organisations such as Shared Interest, Renewable World, BRAC, and now The Fred Hollows Foundation. He has  first-hand experience delivering impact, in challenging contexts using a wide variety of finance, business, development, public-private-partnership and social enterprise models. 

Nick has a 1st Class Joint Honours degree in International Development and East Asian Studies and an MSc in Sustainability (Environment and Development). He seeks to play his part at The Foundation by combining his commercial, sustainability, and development experience and passion in a way that expands and diversifies our partnerships, innovations, and financial resources to help tackle the global eye-sight challenge at significant scale.
 


Lousia Syrett
Global Advocacy Adviser

Over her career, Louisa has developed a deep understanding of Palestine, the Gulf and key countries across sub-Saharan Africa, where she has cultivated a number of high-profile strategic partnerships.

Louisa has brought more than 15 years of experience in senior roles to The Foundation, including six years at the British Council, where she founded the global innovation challenge #ideaschangelives and empowered colleagues to create strategic partnerships with other organisations where the British Council could extend its impact and reach, and be more innovative. Louisa also spent three years at Save the Children, where she led income growth of 926% through a range of new partnerships that focussed on supporting the newly launched UK poverty portfolio. 

Louisa holds a Bachelor of Arts (Politics and History) from the University of Melbourne and a Masters of Arts (Cyberculture and the Law) from Macquarie University. She is a member of the BOND SDG Steering Committee, Vice Chair for Sutton Vision, a small sight-loss charity in the London borough of Sutton, and Vice Chair for the John and Joan Corfield Charitable Trust, a small charity dedicated to supporting young people involved in sport in Streatham.
 


Dr Andy Cassels-Brown
Medical Director, Global Programs

Dr Andy Cassels-Brown brings three decades of ophthalmic experience in low, middle and high income environments to his role as The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Medical Director, as well as a passion for community eye health, which he has championed globally, particularly in Africa. He is currently a consultant ophthalmologist for the UK’s National Health Service with responsibilities in cataract services, general, medical retina, and glaucoma service redesign, and has extensive training experience internationally. He also has a passion for Sustainability and chairs the IAPB’s Environmental Sustainability Working Group.
 
Dr Lila Raj Puri
Medical Advisor - Asia

Dr Lila Raj Puri is the Medical Advisor- Asia to The Fred Hollows Foundation and Alina Vision’s global Medical Advisor. An ophthalmologist, oculoplastic surgeon and public health specialist, Dr Lila completed his degree in Ophthalmology at the Institute of Medicine, Nepal, fellowship in oculoplasty from Ludwiig Maximillians University in Munich and Master of Public Health for Eye Care from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

He is an ophthalmologist with over 14 years of experience in clinical and surgical management of eye diseases, and hospital management. He also has vast clinical experience, having performed more than 70,000 cataract surgeries.

Previously, Dr Lila worked as an ophthalmologist and the Medical Director of the Sagarmatha Choudhary Eye Hospital in Lahan, one of Nepal’s largest eye hospitals. As an Associate Professor, he has trained national and international ophthalmologists in cataract surgeries, as well as overseeing the training of optometrists, residents, and nurses.

He has keen interest in research with several publications in national and international peer reviewed journals. He advises on programmes and projects on eye health   in the Asia region and leads the development and implementation of clinical governance frameworks. He also supports ophthalmologist training and quality assurance at Alina Vision Hospital.
 


Margaret Hobbs
Finance Manager - UK, US & HK

Margaret started at The Fred Hollows Foundation in 2022 playing a key role in managing the fundraising offices’ financial reporting, Treasury, and statutory compliance functions.

Margaret has significant experience in the registered charity and limited company sector. She has also worked as a management consultant and as a teacher. Her most recent role was as Finance Manager at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art but she is delighted now to be supporting the life-changing work that we do at The Foundation.
 


Richard Hughes
Global ODA Program Advisor

Richard brings over 12 years of global development and public sector experience to his role as Global ODA Program Advisor, supporting The Fred Hollows Foundation’s engagement with institutional partners. Before joining the Foundation, Richard was a senior programme manager for the Development and Public Finance team at leading global think tank ODI, an operations manager supporting delivery of international development projects across the Asia-Pacific region for Australian development consultancy Sustineo, a volunteer with the Cambodian Mine Action Centre and a policy liaison for Ministers at the UK Department for Education.

Richard holds a Master of Arts (Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development) from the Australian National University.
 
Return to top
_________________________