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Diabetes UK Board of Trustees

Dr Carol Homden CBE (Chair)

Photo of Dr Carol Homden

Carol took up the post of Chair on 1 January 2022. She has been Group Chief Executive of the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children, the world’s oldest children’s charity, since April 2007 and has built the Coram group of children’s charities, quadrupling its turnover, and regenerated its historic campus.

Carol has led the organisation in achieving Investors In People Gold status and in developing the group’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion plan, identifying the need for culturally sensitive approaches to the different ways in which families and individuals face barriers to inclusion.

Before joining Coram, with a background as a journalist and in communications, Carol held senior marketing and public affairs’ roles at a number of organisations including The British Museum and the University of Westminster.

Carol is committed to enabling people living with conditions or disabilities to live well and increasing public understanding of them, serving as a charity trustee including ten years as Chair of the National Autistic Society. 


Janice Watson (Vice-Chair)

Janice Watson

Janice became a Trustee of Diabetes UK in January 2015. She first became involved with Diabetes UK when her son developed type 1 diabetes in 2010. Her father-in-law also had type 2 diabetes, giving her personal experience of the challenges of managing both conditions in day to day life.

Janice brings considerable senior finance and risk experience to her role as Trustee. She is a professional treasurer, with over 25 years experience in this field, and latterly was a Chief Risk Officer for 5 years. She has experience as a pensions' Trustee and sat on the Advisory Investment Committee of WHO from 2006 to 2015. Her early working life was spent teaching English in Sudan, the UAE and Egypt.

In her spare time, she enjoys walking in the Chilterns, where she now lives, and relaxing through yoga practice.

Alexandra Lewis (Treasurer)


Alexandra Lewis

Alex was born and brought up in South West London, where she still lives with her husband and two teenage daughters.  At the age of 18, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes – so has been living with diabetes for all of her adult life.

Alex qualified as an accountant in the mid-1990s before joining National Grid in 1997.  Since then, she has undertaken various roles within the finance department, including in Treasury, Investor Relations and Insurance, and was appointed Group Treasurer in 2017.  She is now responsible for managing the group’s financing strategy, including managing its £40 billion debt book, and associated financial risks, and is also responsible for Pensions and Insurance for the group. 



Dr Asiya Yunus

Asiya is an inner-city London general practitioner (GP) and a Medical Director at Londonwide Local Medical Committees. 

She has worked at NHS England and UCL Partners, and has high-level experience leading transformation, collaborating with system leaders within the NHS and beyond to make a measurable difference to population health and patient safety.

Asiya completed her medical degree at Imperial College and trained as a GP in Bloomsbury. Asiya has a long-standing interest in health management and leadership; she holds an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Executive Healthcare Leadership and has completed a Leadership Fellowship at the Kings Fund.


Michael Gibbs

Michael is currently a Director at Different Tracks Global Ltd, a consulting and training company that specialises in healthcare management, leadership development and conflict resolution with a focus on equality and diversity. He travels nationally and internationally, assisting healthcare, civil society and public sector organisations to develop the management and communication skills required to support operational success.




Professor Linda Bauld OBE

Linda photo

Linda is a Professor of Public Health in the College of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and Interim Chief Social Policy Adviser to the Scottish Government.  Her research focuses on the prevention of non-communicable diseases, in particular behavioural interventions and policies relating to nicotine and tobacco, alcohol and diet. 

From 2014 until July of this year she combined her academic roles with a secondment to Cancer Research UK as their cancer prevention adviser. She leads two research consortia - the Tobacco Control Capacity Programme involving seven countries in Africa and South Asia, and SPECTRUM, involving ten UK Universities, public health agencies and alliance partners including the Obesity Health Alliance.  

Martin Dewhurst

Martin has spent 25 years in the market research industry helping organisations use data and insight to create better business decisions and outcomes. He has broad experience across the private and public sectors, client and agency side and has worked with many of the world’s most iconic brands and flagship UK Government departments.

Martin is currently Chief Commercial Officer, Insights UK, at Kantar; the world’s leading data, insight and consulting company and has held leadership roles at Omnicom agency, Hall & Partners and COI, Government’s marketing centre of excellence, part of the Cabinet Office. 

He has considerable experience in commercial strategy and activation, go to market strategy, new business development and ensuring insight is central to the development and evaluation of brand and marketing activities.

Martin’s daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2021 which created his passion to help create a world where diabetes does no harm.

Ngozi Emeagi

Ngozi Emeagi

Ngozi Emeagi is currently a Director in corporate communications at the London Stock Exchange. Prior to joining LSEG, Ngozi Emeagi was a Senior Consultant at Powersourt Group, a financial communications agency, where she covered Banking and Insurance clients.  Whilst at Powerscourt, Ngozi also led on diversity and inclusion, writing and implementing several proposals for clients and signing Powerscourt up for the 10,000 black interns’ programme, where they were required to take on a number of black interns during a summer programme. 

Prior to joining Powerscourt, Ngozi Emeagi was global media and PR lead at MS Amlin and led the communications for the Group’s transformation project which saw the restructuring of the insurer as well as the divestiture of several non-core businesses. She has previously held roles at Direct Line, FleishmanHillard and Tulchan, covering a variety of sectors including banks and property. Ngozi started her career on the government bonds team at Goldman Sachs.

Throughout her career Ngozi has been dedicated to improving the diversity within the organisations she has worked, and she is currently Vice President of Women in PR, a not-for-profit group aimed at increasing the number and diversity of senior Women in PR.  She is an Advisor for the No Turning Back programme, aimed to increase diversity and retention of ethnic minorities in Communications and Marketing and is a school governor for Cromer Road School. Additionally, she was recognised in the HERoes Women Role Model list in 2021. 

Professor Wasim Hanif

Professor Wasim Hanif

Wasim is a Professor of Diabetes & Endocrinology, Consultant Physician, and Clinical Director in Diabetes at University Hospital Birmingham. He is an eminent authority on diabetes, obesity, and ethnic health and works with several national bodies, and professional groups in the UK.

He has been involved with major research projects in diabetes and has published widely. He was selected for Kings Fund Leadership Programme in Diabetes. His research interest includes: diabetic kidney disease, diabetes prevention, management of diabetes in Ramadan, obesity, ethnicity and tackling health inequalities. He is involved as a chief and principal investigator in several international multi-centre trials and was instrumental in setting up UKADS (United Kingdom Asian Diabetes Study).

Wasim has been involved at a parliamentary level to advise the government on issues relating to Diabetes and ethnic health. He is the Chair of the Diabetes Working Group of the world-recognised South Asian Health Foundation (SAHF). Wasim is a member of the Parliamentary and Stakeholder Diabetes Think Tank advising the All Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes.

His involvement in NICE has been extensive, sitting on advisory NICE Health Technology Appraisal Committee since 2009, and acting as an advisor on many issues including the use of health technologies, definitions of Obesity and Waist circumference in British South Asians, prevention of diabetes in high risk groups, physical activity and type 2 diabetes.

He is on the Expert Advisory Committee of Commission of Human Medicine, advising MHRA on new Medicinal agents. He is on the Board of Governors as a Trustee of Diabetes UK, helping in strategy, advocacy, patient empowerment and research to help improve outcomes in people with diabetes in the UK.

He holds the qualifications MBBS MD FRCP.

Sian Jarvis, CB

Sian Jarvis

Sian is a strategic communications and marketing specialist and former TV broadcaster working now in the health sector and digital health technology. She is Chief Marketing Officer at Liva Health, a lifestyle change digital platform, an advisor to Huma Therapeutics and a senior adviser to the board of Cygnet Health, a mental health provider. She was recently awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of GPs.

Sian’s career began in journalism first with the BBC and later with GMTV as political correspondent based in the Westminster Lobby.  In 1999 she moved into government as Director General for Communications at the Department of Health and NHS.

Over 12 years she served six Secretaries of State for Health, leading numerous public health marketing campaigns including Change4Life, aimed at tackling childhood obesity and campaigned hard to ensure diabetes care and prevention was a priority in the NHS long term plan. 

She is a long-standing member of the Management Committee of Women of the Year and in 2010 was awarded a CB in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the NHS and Department of Health. 

Melanie Stephenson-Gray

Melanie Stephenson-Gray has been an ambassador for Diabetes UK and other diabetes charities, such as JDRF and IDF for over a decade. She has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was 13. Not letting her condition stop her, she went on to become an international athlete and an Olympic torch bearer in the London 2012 Games.

Melanie is a qualified NHS dietitian, specialising in diabetes (type 1 and 2) and weight management, bringing a wealth of experience as a global patient representative, diabetes advocate and volunteer. In 2013, Melanie set up the Blue Circle Diabetes peer support group in Cardiff, recognising the importance of improving mental health support for young people with T1D. She is passionate about tackling health inequalities and raising awareness and access to diabetes education, nutrition, sport and technology.

Matt Higham

Being a technologist and a problem solver to the core, Matt relishes finding outcomes that transform operations, empower people, create new opportunities and fundamentally make a difference through digital implementations. Cultural and mindset transformation is his focus area in any situation, bringing people, the consumers and beneficiaries of technology on the journey to outcome delivery.  

Matt has been privileged to work across a wide range of vertical markets such as financial services, manufacturing, health, automotive, critical national infrastructure, transport, local & national services. This provides a knowledge base and deep interest which allows him to think disruptively to create outcomes where technology is at the forefront of driving change and opportunity.

Dr Sarah Ali

Dr Sarah Ali photo

Sarah read Medicine at the University of Oxford then undertook specialist training in Diabetes in North West London and Imperial College London.  She’s now a Consultant Diabetologist at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and am also the Clinical Leads for the Diabetes Antenatal service and the Barnet Community Diabetes service.

Her interests include integrated community diabetes care, diabetes in pregnancy, health inequalities in minority ethnic communities and diabetes in Ramadan.

Sarah strives to improve outcomes for people living with diabetes, including contributing to the NICE diabetes guidelines update and other diabetes projects, including an NHS England project on the delivery of Diabetes in the PCN.  She is a Trustee for the South Asian Health Foundation, which allows her to help address health inequalities.

Sarah is passionate about both science and the humanities.  She is trilingual and an artist, creating contemporary/ abstract medical art and is working on several art projects to raise health awareness and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Emma Foulds

Emma is Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Guide Dogs and Managing Director of Blind Children UK. Her remit includes Marketing, Strategy, Communications, Digital, Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns and leadership responsibility for Adult and Children’s Services.

Emma brings over 20 years of marketing and strategy experience from across the commercial and charity sectors in both executive and non-executive roles. Before joining Guide Dogs, Emma was a director at Brand Learning, Accenture, providing strategic consultancy to companies including M&S, AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk and Barratt Homes. Emma also served as a trustee of Crisis for 7 years from 2012-2019. 

In her early career, Emma was a commercial leader at Procter and Gamble, managing brands including Max Factor, Olay and Oral B. Outside of work, Emma is Mum to three children, fosters trainee guide dogs and keeps fit at the gym and by practising ballet.


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