Our Management Team

Chief Executive - Sue Farrington Smith MBE

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Sue Farrington Smith headed up the finance functions of blue-chip companies, before moving into marketing to head up business development at Safeway and then running her own marketing agency.

Driven by the loss of her niece, Alison Phelan, just before her eighth birthday, Sue co-founded the charity “Ali’s Dream” after being shocked to discover the lack of awareness and chronic under-funding of research into brain tumours. Sue led the coming together of multiple charities in 2009 to launch Brain Tumour Research, facilitated by fellow member The Diana Ford Trust, with a vision to find a cure for brain tumours.

She has been campaigning to raise awareness and funds since 2001, providing the secretariat to the brain tumour All Party Parliamentary Group and initiating, with fellow charities, National Brain Tumour Awareness Month. Since leading Brain Tumour Research, Sue has co-authored three reports into funding, produced the Invest In a Cure manifesto and launched the charity’s annual Wear A Hat Day – now the UK’s most well-known and popular brain tumour awareness and fundraising event.

Brain Tumour Research has rapidly matured into a multi-million-pound organisation under Sue’s leadership. She has directed the charity to establish Research Centres of Excellence across the country; gain Government commitments; initiate charity partnerships with corporates and build awareness across the UK.

She continues to succeed in establishing a formidable network of supporters and expert clinicians all working towards a common goal: to find a cure for brain tumours.

Director of Finance and Operations - Ashley Bailey ACMA

A highly competent and experienced senior executive, with a career spanning 25 years in the corporate sector, including posts as Managing Director and Country President at Loomis and CFO for DHL Freight in the UK and Ireland. Ashley Bailey is a qualified accountant (Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) and has also run his own business consultancy advising clients on how to optimise their financial and operational performance.

Ashley has been Director of Finance and Operations at Brain Tumour Research since early 2015. Working closely with the Chief Executive, he has a broad remit to monitor the charity’s strategic plan and ensure ambitious growth targets are met.

Ashley leads a team responsible for financial management and systems, in addition to accounts and forecasts. He acts as a driving force for continued development and compliance, and also steers business and support operations, including the key area of supporter care.

Director of Fundraising - Robin Meltzer

A respected political campaigner and fundraiser, Robin Meltzer previously served as Vice Chair of the London Liberal Democrats. He has won several awards for his political work, including the Clean Air in London Award for his efforts to tackle air pollution in the capital.

Robin joined Brain Tumour Research in February 2016 as Director of Fundraising. He manages the charity’s fundraising activities across both community and corporate teams and leads the strategy aimed at funding a network of Research Centres of Excellence across the UK.

As a BBC Worldwide senior producer for international formats, Robin was responsible for co-productions including Strictly Come Dancing in over thirty countries worldwide.

A Cambridge graduate, Robin also has an interest in education and is a governor at a school for children with profound and multiple special needs.

Director of Research - Dr Kieran Breen

Following an early career in academia and with a PhD in neuroscience, Dr Kieran Breen’s experience includes posts as Senior Lecturer in Biochemical Psychiatry and Director of the Tayside Alzheimer’s Research Centre at the University of Dundee. Appointed as Parkinson’s UK’s very first Director of Research in 2005, he was responsible for expanding the charity’s research portfolio and developing a new translational research strategy. He subsequently worked at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) where he was responsible for the generation and analysis of the UK cancer research spending database which contains details of the majority of the cancer-associated research funding within the UK.

Kieran was appointed to the position of Director of Research at Brain Tumour Research in November 2015; he is responsible for implementing the Charity’s research strategy and particularly expanding the network of Research Centres of Excellence. This is complemented by the development of research funding collaborations with other organisations to ensure that there is maximal cohesion in the field of brain tumour research within the UK. Kieran also serves on the Committee for Advanced Therapies at the European Medicines Agency which assesses marketing applications for cell and gene therapies.

Head of External Affairs - Hugh Adams

With a strong background in national broadcast media, including 12 years at the BBC and freelancing for Channel 4 News amongst others, Hugh Adams has a well-established network of contacts. His communications degree and expertise in digital technology brings creativity and pace to the charity’s rapid development.

Having joined Brain Tumour Research at the start of its second year, Hugh was brought in to head up the charity’s core fundraising campaigns and to raise the profile of the charity. Promoted to Head of External Affairs in 2015, Hugh is an experienced commentator regularly representing the charity on national and regional broadcast media, online and in print. He leads the PR strategy, both nationally and regionally, while also driving Brain Tumour Research’s highly successful public affairs and lobbying.

Hugh has been instrumental in growing the charity and is now a key voice of the brain tumour community, working with dedicated celebrity supporters such as Gillian Anderson, Sarah Beeny and Philip Treacy OBE.

Head of Marketing - Crispin Zeeman

Strongly committed to charitable causes, Crispin Zeeman started his career in the retail world managing stores for Waterstones before moving into the third sector. He spent five years as International Marketing and Design Manager at the Earthwatch Institute, where he shaped the organisation’s communications, particularly around content generation, editorial and creative direction. He is also a keen freelance photographer.

Crispin has led marketing and communications at Brain Tumour Research since 2012. As Head of Marketing, he manages the brand identity across print and online collateral, with a focus on visually appealing and emotionally compelling marketing materials designed to engage supporters and drive fundraising. He also influences core messaging and strategic direction as a member of the charity’s management team.

Alongside advertising, direct mail and the supporter magazine, Believe, his team is responsible for all digital communications channels, including social media and the charity’s website.

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