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.
The next elections are due to take place in Autumn 2019. The current membership is as follows.
Chair: Baroness Sal Brinton (Party President)
Sal was introduced to the House of Lords in 2011, and was elected Party President in November 2014. She was previously the Lib Dem PPC for Watford in 2010 and 2005 and South East Cambridgeshire in 2001 and 1997. She was a Cambridgeshire County Councillor from 1993 to 2004, holding the Education portfolio from 1993-97, and then Leader of the Opposition. In 2014 Sal was elected President of the Liberal Democrats, taking office in January 2015 following the end of Tim Farron's second term.
Sir Vince Cable MP (Party Leader)
Vince Cable is the MP for Twickenham and the Leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Vince was born to a working class family in 1943. His father, Len, was a craftsman for Rowntree and his mother packed chocolates for Terry's. Vince Cable read Natural Sciences and Economics at Cambridge University, where he was President of the Union, followed by a PhD at Glasgow University.
On July 20th 2017, Vince Cable became the Leader of the Liberal Democrats and his top priorities are fighting to make sure the UK remains at the heart of the EU, building an economy that works for everyone, investing in high-quality public services and a decent welfare system and building a mass movement that can win elections and make our country more liberal and more democratic.
Dinesh Dhamija (Vice Chair, Federal Board)
Dinesh Dhamija is a former UK Entrepreneur of the Year, founder of online travel agency ebookers.com and one of the UK’s most successful business people. He joined the Liberal Democrats in 2014 and in 2016, was appointed as a business adviser to the then party leader. In 2017, he became Deputy Treasurer and in 2018 was elected Vice-Chair of the Federal Board. He is a regular speaker for Open Britain and a passionate supporter of remaining in the EU. He is also the Deputy Treasurer of the Party.
Neil Fawcett (Vice Chair, Federal Board)
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 worke din 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.
Joyce Onstad (Vice Chair, Federal Board)
Joyce entered politics after many years in International Development to fight for structural change in society. She is passionate about fairness, civil liberties, inclusive economic growth, protecting the environment and human rights.
Joyce, who has a Master’s of Science in Urban Development Planning from University College London, worked for international development organisations such as UNDP and ActionAid, living in a variety of countries such as France, South Africa and the Netherlands.
She founded a strategic leadership consultancy business on her return to London, working with organisations and business leaders, while volunteering in various local non-profit organisations and serving as a Trustee for an AIDS charity.
Alistair Carmichael MP (Chief Whip and Parliamentary Group)
Alistair was elected to Parliament in 2001 as MP for Orkney and Shetland. After the 2010 election, Alistair was appointed as Chief Whip to the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Chief Whip to the Coalition Government. He held this role until October 2013 when he was appointed as Secretary of State for Scotland. In 2012, Alistair was also elected as deputy leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Alistair is currently the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in the House of Commons.
Lord Paul Strasburger (Parliamentary Group)
Paul Strasburger is a life-long liberal and did his best to live his liberal values during his career as a successful entrepreneur. Unusually he did not have a history in politics before he entered the House of Lords in 2011. He was briefly involved in radical politics in his student days but it was not until he retired from business that he joined the Lib Dems and started working for the party in his home city of Bath and nationally.
He is especially interested in protecting civil liberties and fostering open government. He believes in helping young people who were dealt a bad hand in life to realise their potential and succeed for the benefit of themselves and the country.
Catherine Bearder MEP (Parliamentary Group)
First elected in 2009, Catherine Bearder is MEP for the South East of England.
She campaigns on human trafficking and for the preservation of biodiversity. Catherine has previously been a Parish Councillor, a District Councillor and has stood for parliament numerous times.
She was spokesperson during the referendum campaign and sits on the Shadow Cabinet as ALDE liaison.
Liz Leffman (English Party Chair)
Liz Leffman is a director of Clothesource, an international clothing and textile consultancy, which she founded in 1992.
Liz has been a Liberal Democrat member for most of her adult life, but only became actively involved when she moved to West Oxfordshire in 2001. Since then she has stood twice as parliamentary candidate in Witney, in 2005 and in the 2016 by-election. She won her District Council seat in 2012, and retained the seat in 2016 with over 60% of the vote.
Liz was Chair of South Central Region from 2011-2015, and is currently Chair of the English Party.
Sheila Ritchie (Scottish Convenor)
Sheila Ritchie joined the Liberal Party in 1980 after getting involved while a student at Aberdeen University. She was a councillor in Gordon from 1988-1996, and campaigned hard in Malcolm Bruce's stunning victory in Gordon in 1997. She now works as a solicitor.
Sheila has been actively involved in the Party at all levels over the years, including various spells on local executives and campaign committees, and now on the Scottish Exec.
Great Liberal heroes include Shirley Williams, who never shirked, John Stuart Mill, Russell Johnston, the kindest leader a Liberal could have, and Paddy Ashdown, who always marched us towards the sound of gunfire.
Cllr Chris White (Councillor rep)
Chris White qualified as a chartered accountant in 1984. He was elected a county councillor in Hertfordshire in 1993 and group leader in 1994. He sat on Hertfordshire Police Authority from 1995 to 2002. He is currently leader of the opposition on St Albans District Council and was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on the LGA from 2011-2017.
Chris became chair of the Regeneration Board of the Local Government Association in 2004 and chair of the LGA's Culture, Tourism and Sport Board in 2006, stepping down in 2012. He was a member of the Board of the Audit Commission from 2005 to 2011.
Simon McGrath (English Party rep)
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 target ward candidate in Merton, Secretary of the London Region and the English Party rep on the Federal Board.
Simon is a strong believer in “4 cornered Liberalism “ – Political, Social, Personal and Economic and is on the Board of Liberal Reform.
VACANT (Scottish Party rep)
Cadan ap Tomos (Welsh Party rep)
Since joining the party in 2011 aged 17, Cadan has amassed a wealth of voluntary and professional experience in the party. He has stood for Parliament, the Assembly and council in Cardiff, and worked on campaigns at all levels across the country including brief paid roles in Ceredigion, Winchester and Cardiff.
After spending two years as Media Officer for the National Assembly for Wales Group, Cadan now works in public/third sector communications, having held roles with the British Lung Foundation and Cardiff University.
He is currently Vice-chair of the Welsh party's National Executive Committee.
Thomas Gravatt (Young Liberals Co-Chair)
Thomas Gravatt was elected as Co-Chair of the Young Liberals (YL) at the end of 2017. Having recently been a student in Modern History and Politics at the University of Southampton, he also stood as the candidate for Southampton Test at the General Election in 2017.
He has a keen interest in environmentalism and sustainability, as well as students' rights. As Co-Chair of YL, his priorities range from empowering regional YL organisations to do more in their regions and greater engagement from YL members on policy, to supporting young candidates at both local and parliamentary elections.
Elaine is candidate for Poplar & Limehouse and has been working to rebuild the party in East London over the past 18 months. On Federal Board she will be focusing on making it easier for people to build a Liberal Democrat presence in their local area and ensuring we improve the training offer to members and activists.
Outside of the party Elaine works as a consultant, focused on change management, in particular on programmes and projects related to technology.
Gerald Vernon-Jackson was the Leader of Portsmouth City Council for ten years. He led the city through turbulent times but also where the city made real progress. Now Gerald leads the Lib Dems as the largest group of opposition councillors in Portsmouth, against the Conservative administration voted in by Labour and UKIP councillors.
At the 2015 and 2017 General Elections, he was the candidate for Portsmouth South. A Party member since time immemorial, Gerald is also actively involved in ALDC and the LGA.
PPC for Harrogate & Knaresborough, Chair of SLF and former HBC Councillor. Over 17 years experience on various boards— schools, local authorities, FE colleges and private businesses —in a variety of roles. Specialising in audit, strategy, risk management and the underlying principles of good governance.
Dr Mark Pack ran the party’s internet operation through two general elections (2001 and 2005) and is co-author of the party’s general election agents manual and of 101 Ways To Win An Election. Having also worked in the public sector, he now works in the private sector advising clients ranging from small charities to large multinationals on the best ways to use digital communications.
He has also written with former Cambridge MP David Howarth The 20% Strategy setting out how the party can build a larger, more durable core vote.
He writes a free monthly newsletter about the party, https://www.LibDemNewswire.com
Victoria has 20 years of experience fighting and winning election campaigns in the UK and internationally.
Victoria was Campaign Manager for both the Brent East (2003) and Eastleigh (2013) parliamentary by-elections where the Liberal Democrats won against national trends. She also managed the Liberal Democrat field campaign team during the 2010 Parliament.
Victoria now works with Liberal political parties across Europe and Africa, offering advice on campaign strategy, field campaigning and political message.
Alice Thomas is a commercial solicitor, Chair of Lib Dem Women and a council candidate for her home ward of Cann Hall in east London for 2018. Over the last decade, Alice has worked hard to improve the diversity of the party and as a member of Federal Board, she will continue to support diversity through training, fundraising and campaigning for a better gender balance across our membership and among our candidates.
Currently Treasurer of the Scottish Party, Scottish Lib Dem Women and ASLDC Exec member and Returning Officer for Liberal Youth.
Caron is co-editor of the Liberal Democrat Voice blog.
A liberal activist for 50+ years, Gordon promotes good, open governance; effective leadership at every level; and a political strategy for a dynamic campaigning Party with strong community roots.
As Director General, Gordon led Age Concern, developing its federal structure and achieving wide-ranging success on political campaigns for older people.
Pauline rose to fame in 2011 when she physically prevented rioters from burning shops in East London during the Summer Riots of that year, and was dubbed the 'Hackney Heroine'.
Pauline is a community campaigner focusing on poverty, homelessness and rehabilitation of offenders, and is a widely known and popular figure in the Liberal Democrat Party nationwide. Pauline appears frequently on national and local TV in her campaigns and is one of the Party's best 'issue raisers'.
Pauline is the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of Hackney at the local elections in 2017.
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.
Robert Woodthorpe Browne (Chair, FIRC)
Andrew Wiseman (Chair, FCC)
Andrew is the current Chair of FCC, a former leader of a London Borough Council, as well as being a former Chair of ALDC and Green Lib Dems. Away from politics Andrew is recognised as one of the country’s leading solicitors specialising in environmental law and is a former Chair of the UK Environmental Law Association.
Jeremy Hargreaves (Vice-Chair, FPC)
Jeremy has been chair of the groups writing party policy on public services, taxation and quality of life in recent years, as well as vice chair of FPC, chair of the Lib Dem European Group (LDEG), and a PPC. His professional background is as a strategy consultant in professional services, local government, and most recently as a senior manager in the NHS.
Jeremy was elected a Vice Chair of the Federal Policy Committee and nominated to sit on the Federal Board in January 2017.
Peter Dunphy (Chair, FFRC and Registered Treasurer)
James Gurling (Chair, FCEC)
James was elected 3 times to Southwark Council. James was a press Aide to Paddy Ashdown on the '97 General Election tour and later Leadership Election Agent to Charles Kennedy.
James has previously served as Chair of the Campaigns and Communications Committee, and now chairs the Party's Federal Communications and Elections Committee.
Miranda Roberts (Chair, FPDC)
Helena Cole (Chair, FASC)