Liberal Democrats

Federal Board

The Federal Board (FB) is the governing body of the Federal Party. It is responsible for, co-ordinating and overseeing the implementation of the Party’s strategy and the work of the Federal Party. The Federal Board also has responsibility, at least once per Parliament, for preparing a document outlining the Party’s Strategy, for submission for debate and agreement by Conference. You can see current work on the Party Strategy here.

The FB has 35 voting members: the Party President (who chairs it); the Leader and three other Parliamentarians; the chairs of the three state parties; the chairs of each of the Federal Committees including a vice-chair of the Federal Policy Committee; a councillor; a Young Liberals representative; three state party representatives; and 15 members directly elected by party members.

*Following the Thornhill Review, in the summer of 2020 the Board agreed to pilot the operation of a new Steering Group. Its members are indicated with an asterisk below.


Federal Party President 
Mark Pack*

Dr. Mark Pack is the party's President and an author with books including 101 Ways To Win An Election and Bad News: what the headlines don’t tell us.

Mark worked for the Liberal Democrats 2000-2009, including a period as Head of Innovations. In 2015 he wrote with David Howarth a seminal pamphlet on the party’s strategy: The 20% Strategy: building a core vote for the Liberal Democrats.

Outside the Liberal Democrats, he has worked in IT in both the public and private sectors and between 2009 and 2019 was a communications and crisis consultant.

To contact Mark or to invite him to a Liberal Democrat event, please see here.

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The Leader
Ed Davey MP*

An economist by training, Ed was a business consultant before being elected to Parliament for the first time in 1997. It was concerns about our environment that first got him politically active. He was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in 2012-15, and in 2016 set up a consultancy working primarily in the energy and climate change field. He chairs a Community Energy Co-operative Company called Mongoose Energy.

 

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Chair of the English Party
Gerald Vernon-Jackson*

Gerald is Chair of the Lib Dems in England. He has been Leader of Portsmouth City Council for 13 years and a councillor for almost 30 years.

He is Chair of the Culture, Tourism and Sport Board at the Local Government Association. He is a well known campaigner in the Party having won many elections at parliamentary and local levels, and was the Deputy Director of Campaign and Election for the LIb Dems.

He is also a Non Exec Director of Local Partnerships (a company jointly owned by HM Treasury, Local Government & the Welsh Government. He is also a Non Exec Director of Portico Shipping and the Tourism Alliance. Gerald has been a Lib Dem member for over 35 years and is married to his husband John.

 

 


Scottish Party Convenor
Sheila Ritchie*

Born in 1957 in Perth, Sheila Ritchie studied at Aberdeen University, where she cast her first ever vote for a man who stuck a Focus leaflet under her Halls’ room door.

She has fought a lot of campaigns for other people and two for herself, and was a councillor on Gordon Council from 1988-1996. She has sat on tons of committees, including Constituency Associations, Local Party execs, campaign committees, ALC, ASLC, the working party that wrote the merged party constitution, and now the Scottish Exec and about a dozen ex officio places that come with being Convenor of the Scottish Party. Now retired, she is keen on birding, travel, drink, walking, reading and photography  in her spare time.

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Chair of the Welsh National Executive Committee 
Paula Yates*

Paula joined the Liberal Party in Carmarthen in 1973 and was a founder member of the Liberal Democrats. She was Leader of Maidstone Borough Council in the 1980s and 1990s and has stood for parliament in Maidstone and in Dorset North. She is now President of the Welsh party and chairs the Welsh Board.

 

 

 

 


Federal Chief Executive 
Mike Dixon

Mike is CEO of the Liberal Democrats. He joined a few days before the General election in 2019.

He has led charities for 10 years, working with young people, substance use, crime and advice. He has led campaigns, research, service design, operational delivery and digital transformations.

Before his work in charities, Mike worked as a special adviser in Government, as a researcher, and briefly in advertising.

He lives in Richmond with his family and two cats.

 


Parliamentary Group Representative 
Christine Jardine MP

Christine Jardine has been MP for Edinburgh West since 2017 and originally joined the party over a cup of coffee with Jo Swinson.

Christine has been at the centre of Liberal Democrat campaigning since 2009. She was the Scotland Media Adviser in Downing Street during the coalition and took 19,030 votes to come second to Alex Salmond in Gordon in 2015 before winning the Edinburgh seat two years later and retaining it t the last General Election.

Since 2019 she has been the party’s spokesperson on Home Affairs and on Women and Equalities leading on both the Immigration and the Domestic Abuse Bills in parliament.

Christine was formerly a member of the Scottish Executive of the party and has been an MP rep on the Federal Board since 2017.

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Parliamentary Group Representative
Munira Wilson MP

Munira Wilson is an experienced senior businesswoman with a professional, political and social care track record, living in Whitton, Richmond. She was elected in the 2019 General Election.

Prior to becoming an MP, Munira worked for a science and technology company leading on Brexit and health policy between 2016-2019. Before that, Munira has worked for health and children’s charities, as well as the NHS, and holds a modern languages degree from Cambridge University.

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Leader's Chief of Staff
Rhiannon Leaman

Formerly the party's Head of Campaigns, Rhiannon has been Chief of Staff to the party leader since August 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Parliamentary Group representative 
Lord Paul Strasburger

Paul has been a member of the House of Lords since 2011 following a career as an entrepreneur.  He takes a special interest in threats to free speech and to our privacy whether they come from the State, tech companies or retailers. 

He lives near Bath and is an active member of our Bath & NE Somerset local party.

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Principal Local Authority Councillor Representative 
Chris White*


Chris White is leader of St Albans District Council and a county councillor in Hertfordshire. He represents principal councillors on the Federal Board. He is a member of the Lib Dem Executive at the Local Government Association and a member of ALDC's Management Committee.

 

 

 

 


English Party Representative 
Lisa-Maria Bornemann


A German native, Lisa-Maria moved to the UK after university and now works as a team manager in the public sector, where she is actively involved in the LGBT+ network and the Mental Health First Aiders’ group at her workplace.

Lisa-Maria joined the Liberal Democrats after the 2015 general election, realising that if she wanted things to change, getting involved was the way forward. In 2017, Lisa-Maria was among the founding members of Liberal Democrat Immigrants and has been its Chair since then. She has also stood in parliamentary and local elections and in 2020 was elected onto the Federal People Development Committee.


Scottish Party Representative 
Kevin Lang


Kevin has been active in the party for over 20 years. He was elected to Edinburgh City Council in 2017, securing the highest number of votes of any councillor in Scotland. He most recently acted as Wendy Chamberlain's campaign manager in North East Fife.

 

 

 

 


Welsh Party Representative 
Bill Powell


William joined the Liberal Democrats in 2001 and has been Powys County Councillor for his home town of Talgarth since 2004. He was AM for Mid & West Wales and Chair of the National Assembly Petitions Committee from 2011 – 2016, and currently serves on the Welsh Government EU Advisory Group and as a Board Member of Transport Focus.


As President of the Welsh Liberal Democrats from 2017 - 2020, he has worked with successive Welsh leaders Mark Williams and Jane Dodds to sustain and develop the party in challenging times. A qualified languages teacher, William is strongly committed to the party's European & internationalist agenda and to federalism, both within the UK and in the Liberal Democrats.


 

Staff Representative
Will Dyer

Having worked for the party since 2014, and currently working as Technology Change Manager for the party, Will has a wealth of experience working on political campaigns, both in Westminster, in Parliament and around the UK. Will is also a former board member of Liberal Youth and the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum. Will has been the elected staff rep on the board since 2017.

 

 

 

 


Elected Member and Vice-Chair 
Elaine Bagshaw*

Elaine is a Senior Programme Manager at a leading not-for-profit, managing transformation programmes and ensuring deadlines and budgets are met. She has worked to rebuild the Liberal Democrat presence in Tower Hamlets, and has been a Parliamentary and GLA candidate in East London. She is an Honorary Vice President of Young Liberals, the party’s Youth & Student wing.

 

 

 


Elected Member 
Simon McGrath

Simon joined the Liberal Party at University in 1976 because of its opposition to apartheid and support for gay rights and civil liberties. Since then he has had a number of roles including being Chair of the Association of Liberal Trade Unionists, Parliamentary and Council candidate and local party officer. He is currently a councillor in Wimbledon and Secretary of the London Region.
Simon is a strong believer in “4 cornered Liberalism” – political, social, personal and economic – and is on the board of Liberal Reform.

 

 


Elected Member 
Jo Hayes

Jo Hayes was a founder member of the Party, has served in most roles at local level from leaflet delivering to chairing, chaired Women Liberal Democrats, served on the Federal Policy Committee and other Federal committees, and currently chairs East of England Region; she is also an experienced candidate who contested local, general and European elections and served as a borough councillor. Jo has degrees from Oxford University and Yale Law School, and practises as a barrister specialising in Chancery work.

She was a founder member and former chair of the Association of Women Barristers on whose behalf she wrote a paper on reform of judicial appointments which was accepted by the Lord Chancellor; in that role she also sued the Attorney General over appointments made by secret soundings, after which he reformed the system. Jo writes a Remainer’s Diary blog and is a passionate European and internationalist.


Elected Member 
Neil Fawcett

Neil Fawcett is a leading party campaigner and trainer. He works as a Development Officer for ALDC and as Campaign Manager for the Lib Dems in Oxfordshire. He is a County and Town Councillor in his home town of Abingdon. He has worked in various roles in the party since his first job as Youth & Student Officer and is proud to be an Honorary Vice-President of the Young Liberals.

 

 

 

 


Elected Member
James Gurling

James was elected three times to Southwark Council serving variously as Group Chair, Deputy Leader and as Executive Member for Communications & Performance Improvement and as Chair Planning Committee. He has served in every General Election HQ team since being press Aide to Paddy Ashdown in ‘97 and was later Leadership Election Agent and adviser to Charles Kennedy. He has Chaired two General Elections campaigns (2017 & 2019) and conducted the 2010 and 2015 election Reviews.
A Managing Director in a communications consultancy, James was formerly Chair of the Party’s Campaigns & Communications Committee (2010 – 2016) and of the Federal Communications & Elections Committee (2016 – 2020).


Elected Member 
Kishan Devani

Kishan Devani BEM is a Politician, Speaker, and International Education, PR, Communications & Business Consultant. Kishan was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in Her New Years Honour's List 2020 with the BEM (British Empire Medal). Kishan was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2015 and was honoured with the Freedom of the City of London - making him one of the youngest BaME Freemans of London. He is Treasurer's Envoy for the Liberal Democrats, Vice-President of the Liberal Democrats Campaign for Race Equality & Vice Chairman of Lib Dems in Business.

 

 

 

 


Elected Member 
Caron Lindsay

Caron is a former Treasurer and Campaigns and Candidates Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. She is currently the Scottish Party’s representative on the Federal People Development Committee. As a member of Liberal Democrat Women, LGBT+ Lib Dems and LDCRE, she is particularly interested in increasing diversity at all levels of the party.
Caron is also Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

 

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Elected Member 
Luke Cawley-Harrison

Luke is a serving Councillor, and Opposition Chief Whip in the London Borough of Haringey. He has worked as Haringey local party organiser since June 2017, overseeing one of the national parties best Labour-facing results in the country at the 2018 local elections.

Originally from Nottingham, prior to politics Luke was the co-founder and director of Leeds and London-based Creode - an international Digital Agency, and has extensive experience in digital media, marketing, and audience analysis.

 

 

 


Elected Member 
Roisin Miller

Roisin is an experienced senior communications consultant who works for a range of global companies, charities and think tanks using an insight-led approach to shape their reputation. She is an experienced agent and campaigner having worked or volunteered in a range of Tory-facing seats. Her home seat has been Kingston & Surbiton since 2011 and I was Ed Davey’s agent in 2017 and 2019 and she has spent time campaigning in Herefordshire, Cornwall and Portsmouth and providing help to organise Lib Dems in Communications.

 

 

 


Elected Member 
Joyce Onstad


Joyce Onstad was previously a vice chair for the Liberal Democrats Federal Board and is now a Board representative to the Federal International Relations Committee. She has a background in International Development, having worked for ActionAid, Christian Aid, UNDP and was a trustee of Themba HIV Trust.

She is passionate about value-based governance, protection of human rights and promoting diversity and inclusion. Joyce, who has an MSc in Urban Development Planning from the Bartlett School at UCL, was the parliamentary candidate for Hammersmith in 2017.


Elected Member 
Anita Lower

Councillor Anita Lower was first elected to Council in 1994 representing Blakelaw Ward, now Castle Ward. She has been a member of the Lib Dem Executive since June 2004. She was Deputy Leader of the Council from September 2010 until May 2011 and held the portfolio for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection.

Anita served as Leader of the Opposition from 2013, stepping down in 2020. She chairs the Council’s Scrutiny Overview Committee and serves on numerous other committees including Constitutional Committee, Licensing Committee and Regulatory Committee, as well as attending Cabinet Meetings.

Anita was Chair of Safe Newcastle, the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership and Drug Action Team for Newcastle upon Tyne. Anita is Vice Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board and is the national champion for Anti-Social Behaviour and Chair of the Female Genital Mutilation Advisory Board. She is a Board Member for Prevent Cohesion Group and a Peer Mentor. Anita is now Vice Chair of the City Regions Board and a member of the LGA exec.

She is Vice Chair of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and chair of the Campaigns Committee. Anita also sits on the North of Tyne Combined Authority Scrutiny and Audit and Standards Committees.

 


Elected Member 
April Preston

April Preston grew up in a council house in Stockport with her two Deaf and disabled parents. At the age of 10 she went into care under the local authority and now uses her life-experiences to champion forward thinking, focusing on how we help and seek to represent those in challenging circumstances.

April is a manager in an NGO advocating for the advancement of women’s technological skills - focused on getting marginalised women, and from socioeconomic backgrounds which technology rarely see

In the 2019 local elections April came within 100 votes of beating Labour in Manchester, where she fights on fines to the homeless and demands a greener City.


Elected Member 
Candy Piercy

Candy Piercy is best known in the Lib Dems as a trainer, agent and campaigner fighting for more women and members of ethnic minorities to be elected inside the Party and out. She is a member of the Liberal Democrat Women Executive, heads up the Campaign for Gender Balance training programme; a member of the Party's Campaigns and Communications Committee; and edits the General Election Agents Manual with Mark Pack as well as being President of the Agents and Organisers Association.

 

 

 

 


Elected Member 
Alice Thomas

Alice is a local campaigner in Southwark. As a former chair of Lib Dem Women, she has championed gender diversity in the party over the past decade. On the Federal Board since 2016, she uses her professional experience as a solicitor to support diversity, improve pastoral care and ensure a positive member experience.

 

 

 


Federal Conference Committee Chair 
Geoff Payne*

Geoff Payne is the chair of the Federal Conference Committee. He is a former member of the Federal Policy Committee and a barrister.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Vice Chair of Federal Policy Committee and Vice Chair of Federal Board
Jeremy Hargreaves*

Jeremy is a freelance consultant and non-executive in public services, with a background in the NHS, local government, education and consulting. He has been chair of the Lib Dem European Group (LDEG), a parliamentary candidate, chaired party policy working groups on taxation, public services and wellbeing, and is vice chair of the party’s Federal Policy Committee (FPC).

He is committed to finding ways to communicate Liberal Democrat values in a clear vote-winning message, supported by strong policies, and to effective management and implementation of the party’s strategy.


Federal International Relations Committee Chair 
Jonathan Fryer

Jonathan is a freelance writer, lecturer and broadcaster on international affairs, mainly for Middle Eastern TV channels, previously with Reuters and the BBC. He has reported from over 160 countries round the world and has published 15 books, including histories of Kuwait and Iraqi Kurdistan.

A former Chair of London Liberal Democrats, he lives in Tower Hamlets and for the past 27 years has taught a course at London University's SOAS.

 

 

 


Federal Communications and Elections Committee Chair 
Lisa Smart*

Lisa Smart is a Liberal Democrat councillor and campaigner and has been the parliamentary candidate for Hazel Grove at the last three General Elections. Lisa is a Lead Regional Peer for the LGA and trains and supports Lib Dem councillors in the North and Midlands.
Outside the Lib Dems, Lisa sits on various boards and advisory panels including the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, a local primary school governing board and the Stockport Canal Boat Trust. Formerly the Chief Executive of an international development charity, Lisa also held senior roles in financial services.


Federal Finance and Resources Committee Chair 
Tony Harris*

Tony has twice been elected Party Registered Treasurer originally assuming the role in July 2018. In that role he chairs the Federal Finances and Resources Committee.

 

An entrepreneur and business angel, Tony is treasurer of the West Berkshire and Newbury local Party and a member of the executive. He has stood twice as a councillor for West Berkshire District Council and is the elected Vice-Chair of Shaw-cum-Donnington Parish Council. Tony chaired Vince Cable’s corporate taxation group, was an active member of the 2015/16 Social Security Policy committee and regularly speaks at Federal conference. He is also the Honorary Treasurer of Regent’s Park College (Oxford) and sits on the finance committee of Kellogg College (Oxford). A recent graduate of the Universities of Oxford and Reading he is now completing his PhD at Cambridge.


Federal Accountability and Scrutiny Committee Chair
Helena Cole

Helena grew up in a Liberal household and delivered her first leaflet at the age of four. She officially joined the party in 1990 when she moved to Portsmouth and someone got around to asking her to join. She has been an active campaigner ever since and in 2000 stood for Parliament in Havant. Since then she has been concentrating on her accountancy career whilst campaigning in her spare time and is now Finance Director in the defence industry.

 

 

 


Young Liberals Chair 
Tara Copeland*

Tara moved to London from Edinburgh in 2017 and joined the Liberal Democrats getting involved with her local party and the Young Liberals.

She is current chair of the Young Liberals, and prior to this she was the Policy Officer for the Young Liberals from 2018-2019. In 2019 she was elected to the Federal Policy Committee. Currently she is studying for her Master's in history at Goldsmiths, University of London.

 

 

 

 


Vice President 
Isabelle Parasram*

Isabelle advocates on the issues of justice, equality, education and poverty as Vice President of the Liberal Democrats, Patron of The Liberty Network for political donors and Trustee of The Paddy Ashdown Forum think tank.
Professionally, Isabelle works nationally and internationally as Head of a barristers’ chambers/regulatory compliance consultancy and is a former school Governor and Trustee of educational charities.
On a personal level, she was born in East London to Indo-Caribbean 'Windrush’ parents; she and her husband have four young children.

 


Local Government Association Representative 
Terry Stacy

Terry is Head of Office for the Liberal Democrat group at the Local Government Association, the national trade body for local government in England and Wales. A former senior local government officer, he has worked across the country and has been an adviser to both national and regional government on a range of subjects both here in the UK and across Europe.

In addition to being a councillor for over 16 years and a former leader of Islington Council, he has held a number of local, regional and national positions in the Liberal Democrats, and before that the Liberal Party, during his 32 years membership of the party.
He is Chair of AKT, a national LGBT+ youth homeless charity, and vice-chair of the largest Housing Association in the country. He was awarded an MBE for services to local government and housing in 2014.


Chief Whip (Commons) 
Wendy Chamberlain MP

 

Having stood as both a Council and General Election candidate in 2017, she was selected as the Westminster Prospective Parliamentary candidate for the constituency of North East Fife in June 2018. She was elected to Parliament in the 2019 General Election. She is the Party Chief Whip. 

Following her degree in English from Edinburgh University, Wendy joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1999, serving for 12 years as a Police officer. She left the Police in 2011 and following a career break to look after her young children, joined the MoD contractor, Right Management, working at MoD Caledonia, Rosyth. 

In October 2015, she commenced employment as a Capability and Development Manager with a global drinks manufacturer. Always engaged in her local community, she has held committee roles on a variety of parent bodies and became the first female Board Member of the Camanachd Association (the governing body for the amateur sport of shinty) in 2017.

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Federal Treasurer 
Mike German 

Mike, a former Deputy First Minister of Wales, entered the House of Lords on 29 June 2010 and was appointed Party Treasurer in December 2015. He was previously a member of the National Assembly for Wales for the South Wales East region and was leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats from 2007-2008.


In 1996 he was awarded an OBE for his public and political service.

 

 

 


Company Secretary (Clerk)
Jack Coulson

Jack is the Liberal Democrat Company Secretary, having joined in April 2020. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford where he studied PPE. He is not a member of the Federal Board but supports its work. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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