Staff

The team at the English-Speaking Union comprises professionals in the fields of education, management, communications and charity finance.

All are committed to improving the prospects of young people in the UK and internationally through the charitable provision of training in debating and public speaking.

Jane Easton

Director-General

Our team is based in London but the ESU works internationally, with 36 branches across England and Wales and a further 59 around the globe. As Director-General I work closely with the chairman and the board on the charity’s strategy and governance, and act as Secretary-General to the International Council of the ESU, seeking to maximise the number of people who benefit from our work.

jane.easton@esu.org
0207 529 1561

Kay Dacey

Executive Assistant to the Director-General

kay.dacey@esu.org
0207 529 1561

Erica Wilkinson

Secretary to the Board

erica.wilkinson@esu.org
0207 529 1562

Read Profile

X

Erica Wilkinson

Secretary to the Board

Erica is an experienced lawyer with a demonstrated history of working in the legal service industry and working closely with Boards in the charity sector.

Skilled in corporate governance, change management, risk management, legal compliance, strategic planning and charity and company law, Erica works closely with the Governing Board of the Charity and Executive Board of the Subsidiary Trading Company.

Since joining the ESU in July 2014 Erica has implemented key changes and processes to ensure the Charity’s governance is compliant and effective in line with fast changing regulation and legislation.

Close Window

Duncan Partridge

Director of Education

Our highly experienced education team runs a wide range of educational and cultural programmes from scholarships for school leavers, teachers and professionals to ground-breaking speech training and competitions involving hundreds of schools in the UK and around the world.

Our work is divided into three key fields: oracy, international programmes and the education network which recruits, trains and retains our mentors and ambassadors.

Leela Koenig

Head of Oracy

leela.koenig@esu.org
0207 529 1584

Read Profile

X

Leela Koenig

Head of Oracy

Whilst busy graduating in two masters in philosophy and politics, Leela taught debating workshops in the education sectors of over 30 countries across the world before joining the ESU. As a debater herself, she won the best speaker prizes at the European Universities Debating Championships in Istanbul 2007 and Tallinn 2008  and World Universities Debating Championships in Cork 2009. She then focused on judging at tournaments across the World all the way up to the World Universities Finals, publishing articles and creating resources along the way.

At the ESU, she is the Head of Oracy and manages an 8 people strong team who work together to provide opportunities to develop oracy skills for young people in the primary and secondary education sector as well as with adults through partnerships with organisations in the third sector.

Close Window

Emma Coffey

Competitions Senior Officer

emma.coffey@esu.org
0207 529 1590

Read Profile

X

Emma Coffey

Competitions Senior Officer

Emma completed her English and Theatre Studies degree at the University of Warwick in 2011. Having devoted much of her time at university studying Britain’s most famous playwright…...William Shakespeare. She has spent the last three years with the ESU building the Performing Shakespeare Competition into a nationwide programme.

When not focussing on soliloquies and iambic pentameter, Emma also leads the ESU Competitions Team. Emma works with Paul and Shiraz within the Oracy department to develop all of the ESU Competitions and their appeal to schools across the country.

When not at Dartmouth House, Emma can usually be found cooking, reading or in the theatre, either in the audience or onstage.

Close Window

Paul Holleley

Competitions Officer

paul.holleley@esu.org
0207 529 1577

Read Profile

X

Paul Holleley

Competitions Officer

Paul has 30 years’ experience of Public Speaking and Debating. As a teacher of English Language and Literature, he supplemented his daily diet of Shakespeare and Austen with the coaching of teams for National competitions such as Rotary Club “Youth Speaks” and the ESU Mace Debate and Public Speaking Competition, as well as International ones such as the WIDPSC and the IISPSC.

After a trial period of Retirement, Paul joined the ESU in 2012 and has enjoyed a variety of rôles from convening the National Mooting Competition to running Primary School projects. Now he is to be found administering the ESU- Churchill National Public Speaking Competition, with particular hands-on management of its London Region Heats.

Close Window

Shiraz Engineer

Competitions Officer

shiraz.engineer@esu.org
0207 529 1568

Read Profile

X

Shiraz Engineer

Competitions Officer

Since graduating from the Queen’s University of Belfast in 2012, Shiraz has worked in educational programme delivery with a number of organisations. Shiraz has been the assistant manager of a tuition centre in north London, teaching English and maths to children aged 5 to 14. Shiraz also worked with the Shakespeare Schools Festival, helping schools to perform Shakespeare plays in professional theatres. In 2015, Shiraz ran the award-nominated Read for My School competition with the literacy charity Book Trust, which saw over 3,500 schools and 225,000 pupils read over 700,000 books in just 3 months.

At the ESU, Shiraz coordinates the Schools’ Mace, the oldest and largest national debating competition for schools, as well as the London Debate Challenge. Shiraz always looks forward to the busiest time of the academic year and is committed to introducing more schools to the benefits of debating.

Close Window

Anna England-Kerr

DYV Senior Officer

anna.kerr@esu.org
0207 529 1573

Read Profile

X

Anna England-Kerr

DYV Senior Officer

As the Senior Discover Your Voice Officer Anna takes care of the ESU’s teaching programmes and is the Team England manager for WSDC.

Prior to moving to the organisation she worked on QatarDebate’s English language debate programme in Doha as well as coaching their World Schools team and taught debate for Pro et Contra in Slovenia. She has also taught public speaking and debate for other educational organisations in Serbia, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Estonia and China.

She has been the chief adjudicator of numerous schools and university debating competitions in the UK and across Europe. She is a co-chief adjudicator for WSDC 2018 and was on the motions committee for WSDC 2016. As a competitor she was an EUDC semi-finalist, Slovenian national champion, winner of the Manchester and York IVs and Zagreb Open as well as reaching the finals of a couple of other competitions.

Close Window

Eliot Pallot

DYV Officer

eliot.pallot@esu.org
0207 529 1564

Read Profile

X

Eliot Pallot

DYV Officer

Eliot graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in Classical Civilization in 2014 and went on to work as a paralegal in a law firm and also worked running debating programmes in the UK before joining the ESU team as  Discover Your Voice Officer in 2016. He has assisted in running debating workshops and competitions across Europe having done work in Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany amongst others.

At the ESU Eliot heads up the ESU’s primary programme Discover Debating as well as its summer camp Debate Academy working closely with schools and students to spread passion and interest in Oracy.

Close Window

Amanda Moorghen

Research & Resources Senior Officer

amanda.moorghen@esu.org
0207 529 1565

Read Profile

X

Amanda Moorghen

Research & Resources Senior Officer

Amanda studied Philosophy at the University of Birmingham before joining the ESU in 2013. As Senior Research and Resources Officer, she divides her time between finding out as much as possible about teaching oracy and applying this in the design of ESU projects, activity plans and curricula. Amanda’s belief in the importance of oracy education germinated at university, where joining the debating society took her around the world to speak, judge and coach – the last trip being to Vienna, where she was on the Chief Adjudication team of the European Universities Debating Championship.

Outside of the office, Amanda has discovered that spending her years of university doing something to do with debating pretty much every day has ruined her ability to take up a casual hobby. A friendly, occasional game of badminton has sprawled into a competitive activity involving many evenings and weekends – the long train journeys to debating tournaments are now treks across London for training and matches.

Close Window

Laura Hunt

Project Officer

laura.hunt@esu.org
0207 529 1584

Gavin Illsley

Research & Resources Officer

gavin.illsley@esu.org
0207 529 1565

Melanie Aplin

Head of International Programmes & Cultural Exchange

melanie.aplin@esu.org
0207 529 1591

Read Profile

X

Melanie Aplin

Head of International Programmes & Cultural Exchange

Melanie graduated from the University of Bath in 2011, after completing a Masters degree in European Politics. Prior to joining the ESU, she worked in a number of teaching and international politics posts, before joining the ESU’s Education team in 2013. Melanie now heads up the International Programmes and Cultural Exchange team, leading on the ESU’s international competitions and scholarships, as well as its work in the field of English Language Teaching. She is excited to be at the heart of an area of the ESU’s work which was central to its founding principles and which remains so relevant today.

Close Window

William Stileman

Senior International Programmes Officer

william.stileman@esu.org
0207 529 1595

Read Profile

X

William Stileman

Senior International Programmes Officer

William has been at the English-Speaking Union since 2014. After working on the international creative writing competition My Magna Carta, he now convenes the International Public Speaking Competition, and organises international debate tours as well as working on the Secondary School Exchange.

Prior to working at the ESU, William received a BA in History and Politics from the University of East Anglia, and then worked as an educational organiser for the trade union UNISON. He has also volunteered for the NGO Center for Education and Development in Hanoi, Vietnam.

William is the resident ESU Hip-Hop fan and also enjoys travel, which is apt given his placement in the ESU international team.

Close Window

Zoë Adams

Cultural Exchange Officer

zoe.adams@esu.org
0207 529 1572

Read Profile

X

Zoë Adams

Cultural Exchange Officer

Zoë joined the ESU in summer 2016 as our Cultural Exchange Officer. She takes care of a number of our international scholarships, competitions, and our English Language Teaching work. Zoë has a background in translation, and completed her PhD in this field at the University of Exeter in 2014. She has a diverse international résumé, having taught and volunteered abroad for a number of years. Zoë is passionate about travel, about seeing the world and meeting its people.

Close Window

Maia Gibbs

Head of Education Network

maia.gibbs@esu.org
0207 529 1593

Read Profile

X

Maia Gibbs

Head of Education Network

From working with EAL learners in primary schools to develop their language and communication skills through performance, to encouraging young people to engage with heritage and archive materials through ‘telling stories’, Maia has followed her passion for helping young people to discover their voice to various organisations such as the Tower of London, City of Westminster Archives and Westminster Abbey.

Prior to joining the ESU, Maia worked for four years in Further Education where, among various roles, she managed assessments for vocational subjects in workplace settings and the raising of attainment levels and success in English and Maths GCSE and Functional Skills, including speaking and listening.

Although her first year at the ESU has been full of exciting developments with the launch of the Education Network team and the Oracy Network, Maia is adamant that her greatest professional achievement to date is being crowned ESU Bake Off champion 2016.

Close Window

Alex Orpin

Alumni Officer

alex.orpin@esu.org
0207 529 1596

Read Profile

X

Alex Orpin

Alumni Officer

After graduating University of Edinburgh in 2012, Alex spent some time travelling in South East Asia before settling in London.

She then spent over two years managing a political leadership programme for a charity. After many of her students got their dream jobs government she set up an Alumni Network to support the scheme. This inspired her love for Alumni Relations within the charity sector.

Alex now manages the Alumni Network and is responsible for engaging former participants of our education programmes with the ESU. Her other important role is organising the office Bake-Off competitions.

Close Window

Gareth Williams

Education Network Officer

gareth.williams@esu.org
0207 529 1559

Read Profile

X

Gareth Williams

Education Network Officer

Gareth first joined the ESU in 2011 as a Mentor. After three years, he became a Competitions Officer and since March 2016 he has been the Education Network Officer.

Within the Education Network, Gareth works on the recruitment, training and continued development of ESU Mentors. He assigns them to workshops and our competitions.

During his time at University, Gareth reached the Semi-Finals of the European University Debating Championships and continues to adjudicate the World and European University Debating Championships in his spare time.

Close Window

Constance Collard

Ambassador
North East

constance.collard@esu.org
07901 550 203

Read Profile

X

Constance Collard

Ambassador
North East

Constance is an advocate of both the spoken and written word, in her English Literature studies at Durham University, and in her involvement with the debating circuit, which arguably(!) takes up far more time than her degree. She also is a keen sailor, on both her University’s Team Racing and Yachting Squad, and an experimental plant-based baker (hint: swap the butter for coconut oil). With a penchant for pigeonholing Game of Thrones references into both her summative essays and her debating speeches, she is enjoying settling into her role as the Education Network’s northernmost Warden.

Close Window

Craig McDonald

Ambassador
South West & South Wales

craig.mcdonald@esu.org
07825 581 568

Read Profile

X

Craig McDonald

Ambassador
South West & South Wales

After graduating in English Literature and Cultural Criticism from Cardiff University in 2013, Craig spent the vast majority of his time working on several acting projects and attending various debating competitions, before becoming a Mentor in 2014 and eventually the South West Regional Ambassador in 2016.

Craig's experience working with the English Speaking Union has ranged from many School's Mace Judging rounds and Discover Your Voice Workshops, to being the Convenor of the John Smith Memorial Mace Welsh Leg, and Judge of the John Smith Memorial Mace International Final. He now spends his time organising the network of mentors across South Wales (where he is based) and South West England. Fun fact: Craig does live on a farm. Nobody ever mentions it though.

This hasn't impacted on Craig's love of extra debating however, as he still finds the opportunity to go to tournaments across Europe, including being a Semi-finalist of the Estonian Open and 2nd best speaker, the Chief Adjudicator of the Helsinki Mini, and Quarter-final Judge of the Vienna European University Debating Championships, as well being a finals judge at many other competitions.

Close Window

Laura Smith

Ambassador
North West & North Wales

laura.smith@esu.org
07786 021 371

Read Profile

X

Laura Smith

Ambassador
North West & North Wales

Laura is currently studying at Manchester University for a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. In her first year of university she joined the Manchester Debating Union of which she has been convener, president and is now the training officer.

She joined the ESU in September as the North-West Ambassador and has been taking on the management of mentors in her region as well as contributing to our media platforms and planning events for mentors of that region.

Close Window

Anna Quenby

Director of Communications

The communications team is charged with producing all materials needed for the ESU to do its work in recruiting schools for our programmes, applicants for our scholarships and exchanges, and in running our competitions.

We also produce a membership magazine, Dialogue, and play a vital role in engaging with a wider audience of press, trustees, donors and the general public.

anna.quenby@esu.org
0207 529 1574

Lucy McDonnell

Head of Editorial

comms@esu.org
0207 529 1574

Natasha McGowan

Communications Officer

comms@esu.org
0207 529 1574

Chloe Hedley

Communications Officer

comms@esu.org
0207 529 1631


Ian Stokes

Director of Development

The Development team has responsibility for all aspects of fundraising and sponsorship to support high quality educational events, schools programmes, exchanges, training and competitions.  Working with strategic and corporate partners, alumni and members we also ensure the means necessary to maintain and improve Dartmouth House, the ESU’s international headquarters.

ian.stokes@esu.org
0207 529 1588

Gail Featherstone

Membership Officer

membership@esu.org
0207 529 1585

Marie Bond

Director of Finance & Operations

The finance and operations team ensures the charity is on a sound financial footing, as well as ensuring the smooth running of Dartmouth House, our Grade II* listed headquarters and a thriving members’ club.

marie.bond@esu.org
0207 529 1567

Kemi Dada

Finance Manager

kemi.dada@esu.org
0207 529 1580

Tracy Hanlon

Finance Assistant

tracy.hanlon@esu.org
0207 529 1581

Hemaxi Thakkar

Finance Trainee

hemaxi.thakkar@esu.org
0207 529 1582

Shikha Battershill

Membership Administrator

shikha.battershill@esu.org
0207 529 1571

John Elliott

HR Manager

john.elliott@esu.org
0207 529 1589

Jamie Grant

CRM Administrator

jamie.grant@esu.org
0207 529 1562

Janet Russ

House Manager

janet.russ@esu.org
0207 529 1566

Fiona Robinson

Receptionist

fiona.robinson@esu.org
0207 529 1550

Claudine Johns

Receptionist

claudine.johns@esu.org
0207 529 1550

Micky Meah

Porter

micky.meah@esu.org
0207 529 1550

Daut Metolli

Porter

daut.metolli@esu.org
0207 529 1552

Resources

To view further information about the staff at the ESU, please use the links below.

Staff Organisation Chart