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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Emma Coffey

Competitions Senior Officer

emma.coffey@esu.org
0207 529 1590

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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.

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Paul Holleley

Competitions Officer

paul.holleley@esu.org
0207 529 1577

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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.

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Shiraz Engineer

Competitions Officer

shiraz.engineer@esu.org
0207 529 1568

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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.

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Anna England-Kerr

DYV Senior Officer

anna.kerr@esu.org
0207 529 1573

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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.

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Eliot Pallot

DYV Officer

eliot.pallot@esu.org
0207 529 1564

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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.

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Amanda Moorghen

Research & Resources Senior Officer

amanda.moorghen@esu.org
0207 529 1565

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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.

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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

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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.

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William Stileman

Senior International Programmes Officer

william.stileman@esu.org
0207 529 1595

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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.

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Maia Gibbs

Head of Education Network

maia.gibbs@esu.org
0207 529 1593

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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.

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Alex Orpin

Alumni Officer

alex.orpin@esu.org
0207 529 1596

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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.

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Marguerite (Daisy) Ohan

Ambassador
South West

marguerite.ohan@esu.org

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Marguerite (Daisy) Ohan

Ambassador
South West

Daisy has been working for the ESU for over two years now, both judging and teaching debating in schools. She discovered her passion for debating at University of Exeter, and captained the team there for two years. Last year, she had the privilege of going on the ESU tour to Japan. She is currently the Content Editor at a FinTech startup, the ESU Ambassador for the South West, and writes for a sustainable development magazine.

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Constance Collard

Ambassador
North East

constance.collard@esu.org
07901 550 203

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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.

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Craig McDonald

Ambassador
Wales

craig.mcdonald@esu.org
07825 581 568

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Craig McDonald

Ambassador
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 and then the Wales Ambassador in 2017.

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 many times, and Judge of the John Smith Memorial Mace International Final. He now spends his time organising the network of mentors across Wales. 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. As a speaker, he has spoken in 5 finals at tournaments in Swansea, Aberystwyth, SOAS, Helsinki, and the Estonian Open where he was also 2nd best speaker. As a judge, Craig has judged the final rounds at 75 tournaments, being Chief Adjudicator at tournaments in Wales, England, and Finland, and a breaking judge at Vienna and Tallinn European University Debating Championships in 2015 and 2017. His goal is to break 100 times.

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Julie Jackson

Ambassador
Midlands

julie.jackson@esu.org

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Julie Jackson

Ambassador
Midlands

As a personal tutor and teacher of English for many years - too many years to count! - I've enjoyed teaching oracy skills and entering students into a variety of speaking competitions.

Moreover, it was very shortly after attending the ESU and RST Teacher Scholarship Programme that I was inspired to create, lead, organise and coach debating clubs at several secondary schools.

Naturally, this lead to many students entering debating competitions which have been a great source of fun and an enriching experience for all those involved.

In recent years, I have been a voluntary worker for animal and humanitarian charities.  These experiences have revealed the joy of caring for and learning from different environments, as well the discipline required for not taking too many furry friends home!

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Daniel Brookes

Ambassador
London and South East

daniel.brookes@esu.org

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Daniel Brookes

Ambassador
London and South East

Having taught literature in London for twelve years, Daniel then helped to run schools and train practitioners overseas, notably in Africa and the Gulf region. More recently he has worked for organisations which promote educational equality and youth development in Britain. As a lifelong English teacher, oration and debating have always been a kernel part of his career, so enabling others to speak cogently in both everyday life and formal settings is something he holds dear.

Daniel is no stranger to wilderness escapades and has spent long months in jungles and forests in the hope of espying a tiger or bear.

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Esther Olusanya

Ambassador
East

esther.olusanya@esu.org

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Esther Olusanya

Ambassador
East

Esther is currently a student of Comparative Literature and Portuguese at University College London, having previously studied Human Sciences and Spanish. Active in the student body, she serves as the president of the Leadership and Management Society, and sits on the committee for the Afro-Caribbean Society at UCL.

Esther began debating and public speaking in secondary school, winning the Credit Suisse Novice Cup and the Jack Petchey Speak Out Competition. Perceiving the benefits of debating, she grew passionate about using debate to raise the aspirations of young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. She is committed to opening doors of opportunity for them and empowering them through teaching. As a result, she has taught in numerous schools in London, just outside London and as far as East Africa! She has, and continues to work alongside companies such as the National Citizens Service, The Anne Frank Trust and The English Speaking Union, whose vision for young people matches her own.

She hopes to begin training to be a lawyer in the near future, and has spent her summers gaining work experience at firms such as Herbert Smith Freehills and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The remainder of her summer she spends rock climbing, painting and playing her pink ukulele.

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Alex Bailey

Branch Education Officer

alex.bailey@esu.org
0207 529 1632

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Alex Bailey

Branch Education Officer

Alex joined the English-Speaking Union in August 2017. As Branch Education Officer he provides advice, guidance and support to the ESU’s regional Branches across England and Wales in the delivery of the ESU Education Strategy.

Alex’s background is in the education charity sector - building relationships, managing volunteers and delivering services for schools. Previously he was an English teacher and taught in the UK, Northern Nigeria, Kenya and Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has a degree in Politics and International Relations from Sheffield University.

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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