The Modern Muse Trustees, successful women and men in business from varied backgrounds, play a vital role in the continued evolution and governance of Modern Muse.
Their commitment, support, passion and vision continues to help improve Modern Muse every day. They are all true inspirations.
Priya Guha, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Priya is Ecosystem GM for RocketSpace, a San
Francisco HQ-ed company that helps tech
entrepreneurs, high-growth startups and corporate
innovators bring the future to market.
RocketSpace’s UK campus opened in 2017. Priya
was a career diplomat who was most recently
posted as British Consul General to San Francisco.
As the first female British Consul General, Priya
used her platform to support women in business.
Priya was previously posted to New Delhi where
she led work on the UK-India bilateral relationship.
Priya is also a Member of the Innovate Council (part of UK Research and
Innovation), is on the Advisory Board of Tech London Advocates and was
recently named as one of the Top 5 Asian Women in UK Tech and Top 50
Most Influential Women in UK Tech.
Ed Alford, VP IT & S Enterprise Systems, BP PLC
With over 20 years of international business experience in the IT industry, Ed is an experienced senior executive who has worked in the Oil industry as a Global CIO and Senior VP in BP’s Top 100 Leadership team. Prior to BP, ED worked for Andersen Consulting Ventures, securing funding of $45M from 2 major oil companies to start up a technology company in the Oil and Gas sector.
Ed has led the diversity and inclusion agenda within BP, most notably driving the development of the Modern Muse online proposition. In 2017, Ed was recognised as a Management Today ‘Agent of Change’ (the top 30 men tackling gender inequality in the workplace) and he sits on the Advisory Board of both everywoman and ‘The Better Balanced Business Forum’.
Maxine Benson MBE, Co-founder, Everywoman Ltd.
Max is the co-founder of everywoman. Founded in 1999, everywoman provides leading-edge products and services that support the advancement of women in business. They include an acclaimed online personal development tool accessed by thousands globally; a series of conferences and leadership programmes across a variety of sectors; high-profile sector-specific Awards that elevate female role models and the organisations they work for, research and initiatives in collaboration with partners such as the UK Government Equalities Office providing insight and guidance.
Prior to founding everywoman in 1999, Maxine worked in the airline industry in Australia and in the film industry in New York. Maxine was appointed MBE in 2009 in recognition of her service to women’s enterprise.
Paul Donlon, Director, Owl Marketing Solutions
Paul is a corporate reputation and business to business communications specialist with over 20 years’ experience. He is recognised for his ability and flexibility to develop and implement award-winning communication campaigns for clients in many sectors. He has successfully managed the reputation of complex clients through strategic advice and delivering media coverage at local, national, international and trade level.
During his career, Paul has worked for several Global PR companies, before starting his own company focussing on energy, financial services, travel, industry and professional services. He served for five years as a Trustee of a Kent based mediation charity, including a year as its Chair.
Karen Gill MBE, Co-founder, Everywoman Ltd.
Karen is the co-founder of everywoman, the membership organisation founded in 1999, that seeks to advance all women in business so that we increase the number and raise their status in the economic community. everywoman’s ambition is to become the world’s largest and most influential business network, inspiring generations of businesswomen to achieve their own ambitions and helping organisations realise the full potential of their entire talent pool. Prior to founding everywoman, Karen had an international career as a Vice President for Intercontinental Hotels, working across Asia Pacific and EMEA. Together with everywoman Co-Founder Maxine Benson, Karen was appointed the MBE in 2009 in recognition of her service to women’s enterprise and in 2017 the Government’s Women’s Business Council recognised their outstanding commitment to the advancement of women in business.
Hester Larkin, Founder and Managing Director Hester Larkin Associates
After 22 years in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Imaging industry, Hester saw an opportunity to set up her own consultancy offering support to US and European companies in the diagnostic imaging arena. Hester started as a graduate in N. Ireland with DuPont Pharmaceuticals and had various roles ranging from commercial, strategic marketing & business development in the UK & Europe. She was appointed as the first non-American female Managing Director of Dupont Pharmaceuticals UK in her mid 30’s.
Following the acquisition of the business by Bristol Myers Squibb, (BMS) Hester was Managing Director for EMEA (Europe Middle East & Africa) for the Medical Imaging business, specializing in nuclear medicine focusing on Nuclear Cardiology & Nuclear Neurology. With 12 years experience of being a Managing Director, along with a science & legal background, Hester consults for small to medium companies who wish to establish or expand in Europe. Hester is a qualified leadership coach. She sits on several boards and is a Trustee of several charities. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.
Laleh Nassiry-Mahjour is a partner at M&L Technology Advisory Inc. providing strategic advisory services to senior executives and organisations, bringing effective solutions to a broad spectrum of IT and business challenges and opportunities.
Laleh has been involved with Modern Muse platform since its inception as the Chief Operating Office supporting the development of the platform.
Over the course of her career, Laleh has held a number of technology and business executive roles and providing leadership on all aspects of strategy, building business capabilities, and program execution, while driving business transformation.
Helene Reardon-Bond OBE, HRB Consultancy and Former Director, Government Equalities Office
Helene is a leading UK expert on the Gender Pay Gap and how to support women to progress in the workplace and in public life. She was the policy architect behind the recently introduced Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations and worked closely with senior Government ministers and businesses to deliver the new legislation and guidance.
As a senior civil servant, Helene worked closely with Cabinet Ministers and No10. She has worked in several government departments and been responsible for a large number of high-profile programmes, legislation and campaigns. These include same-sex marriage, violence against women and girls campaigns, maternity rights and action to increase the numbers of women in senior positions. Helene has negotiated for the UK at the United Nations, across the EU and at numerous international forums. She has been an advisor to major reviews such as Lord Davies’ inquiry into increasing the numbers of women on top UK boards, the Hampton Alexander Senior Women Leaders review and has provided support to the Women’s Business Council.
Russ Shaw, Founder, Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates
Russ is the founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates. He originally founded Tech London Advocates in 2013 to ensure an independent voice of the technology sector was heard, but with a focus on the private sector. Since then he has been championing London as a global tech hub and campaigning to address some of the biggest challenges facing tech companies in the UK – diversity, digital skills, immigration, infrastructure and access to funding.
Russ is a founding partner of London Tech Week, a London Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London and Advisory Board member for Founders4Schools and the Government’s Digital Skills Partnership. Russ was previously the Chairman of The Marketing Group of Great Britain following senior positions at Skype, Telefónica, O2 and CEO of a later stage startup called Mobileway.