Advisory board

Advisory Board

The Work Foundation Advisory Board provides strategic support and insight to our team, helping to shape the future of our work programme and ensuring it is relevant to the needs and ambitions of workers and businesses across the UK. Members of the Advisory Board are drawn from a range of backgrounds and experience, including the worlds of politics and policymaking, business, journalism and academia, but all with an active interest and expertise in how the world of work is changing.


Gavin Barwell

Lord Gavin Barwell

Gavin Barwell served as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister from June 2017 to July 2019 during one of the most turbulent periods in British political history. As the Prime Minister’s senior political adviser, he was intimately involved in both the conduct of the Brexit negotiations; the development of key domestic policies such as the long-term plan for our NHS and the commitment to net zero carbon emissions; and in formulating the UK response to international incidents such as the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal.

Prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff, he was the Member of Parliament for Croydon Central from May 2010 until June 2017 and a Government Minister from October 2013, first as a Government Whip and then as Minister of State for Housing & Planning and Minister for London.

Prior to his election to Parliament, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the Conservative Party and served as a local councillor in his home town of Croydon.

In October 2019, he was appointed to the House of Lords.

Taken together, these roles have given him an unparalleled insight into British politics from grassroots campaigning in a marginal seat through party headquarters, local government, Parliament, Ministerial office to the very centre of government.

He is a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge with a BA in Natural Sciences (Theoretical Physics).

He is 48 years old and married with three children.

Ann Francke

Ann Francke OBE

Ann Francke is Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute. She started her career at Procter & Gamble and has held senior executive positions at Mars, Boots, Yell and BSI. In 2020, Ann was awarded an OBE for services to workplace equality.

Ann is an expert on gender balance in the workplace and speaks frequently in the media and conferences on this and other management topics. Her book on gender balance - Create a Gender-balanced Workplace, published in September 2019. Ann also authored the ‘Financial Times Guide to Management’ and has been named in the top 100 women to watch in the 2015 Female FTSE Cranfield report. She was awarded the MemCom award for outstanding leadership of a UK professional body in 2016.

Ann holds several Board positions and five Honorary Doctorates for her work in management and leadership.

Ann and her husband live in West London; she has one daughter.

Rt Hon Alan Milburn

Rt Hon Alan Milburn

The Right Honourable Alan Milburn was a Member of the UK Parliament for Darlington between 1992 and 2010. During his time in UK politics he earned a reputation for being a radical reformer as part of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government. He served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1998-99) where he had responsibility for all aspects of public expenditure and the development of public-private partnerships. As Secretary of State for Health (1999-2003) he led a radical reform programme of health and social care services including the creation of a market within the NHS, autonomous NHS Foundation Trusts, choice for patients and devolution of decision-making. As Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (2004-05) he was responsible for co-ordinating and developing government policy across all departments working directly to the Prime Minister and running Labour’s successful 2005 general election campaign.

After retiring from politics at the general election in 2010, he was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron to review and report on child poverty and social mobility, becoming Chair of the Commission on Social Mobility (2012-17).

In his post-politics life he has a successful business career. His advisory business has corporate and government clients across the world. Amongst others he advises Mars Incorporated and the Centene Corporation. He is Chair of the Advisory Board at Bridgepoint Capital the leading mid-market private equity group and serves on a number of its portfolio company boards. He is a board director at Ribera Salud one of Europe’s most integrated healthcare systems and is board chair of Huma the digital health business. He is senior advisor to PwC’s government and health industries practice.

He is Chancellor of Lancaster University, one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions and undertakes work for a number of charities.

Heather Taylor

Mayor Marvin Rees

Mayor Marvin Rees was elected in May 2016. He is a Yale World Fellow and graduate of Operation Black Vote who has worked and studied in the UK and the US. He is a former BBC journalist, Public Health Worker, voluntary sector manager, co-founder of the City Leadership Programme and has developed the One City Plan for Bristol.