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Build Africa UK Trustees

Build Africa UK is governed by a number of experienced trustees, who ensure that the organisation operates effectively.  

Andrew White - Chair of the Board

Andrew was appointed as a Trustee in October 2013. He is the Associate Dean of Executive Education and a Fellow in Strategic Management at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. As an experienced programme director, teacher and researcher, Andrew has directed and taught on a wide range of executive development programmes for organisations such as BAE Systems, Lloyd's Market Association, the Government of Abu Dhabi, Avon Cosmetics, State Farm and IBM.

Andrew acts as a consultant to a number of global organisations, and has co-authored a review of how information technology will create intelligent infrastructure systems over the next few decades for the UK Government's Department of Trade and Industry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce and is a Scholar with the Advanced Institute of Management Research.

Katie Spencer-Smith

Katie was appointed as a Trustee in August 2012. She works for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) as their Corporate Partnerships Manager, coordinating global partnerships with high profile corporates. Prior to this Katie worked as a fundraising advisor in Cambodia with local non-profit organisations. Before working overseas, Katie was Fundraising Manager at Save the Children, where she led the Trading team and supported community groups in their fundraising efforts. Katie is a skilled trainer and enjoys supporting colleagues and volunteers to realise their potential.

Mike Noyes

Mike was appointed as a Trustee in May 2012. He works as Head of Humanitarian Response and Resilience for ActionAid where he uses his expertise in emergency relief and international development. Mike has a BSc in Envrionmental Health from the University of the West of England and an MSc in Envrionmental Management from Imperial College London.

Beginning his career in local government before moving into international development, Mike has over 20 years' experience of working in the international aid sector, previously working for CAFOD as Head of Humanitarian Programmes, and as a manager for Christian Aid. Mike has experience of working around the world with an expertise in East and West Africa.

Jeff Van Der Eems

Jeff was appointed a Trustee in July 2016. Jeff has spent the majority of his career working in leadership roles in global consumer goods businesses. He worked at PepsiCo for 14 years, helping extend PepsiCo's food business throughout Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and was most recently CEO of United Biscuits, owner of McVitie's, Jacob's and Carr's, where Jeff established full business in China, India, the Middle East and Africa.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of California as well as a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. He and his wife Beth have been supporting Build Africa for the past five years, including hosting the first ever fundraiser in New York.

Apoorva Chandra

Apoorva works as HR Director for the Group Head Office of Prudential Plc - an international financial services group with around 24 million insurance customers. Apoorva has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting, a Master’s degree in HR and Organisational Development, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. He is passionate about contributing to the advancement of education.

Apoorva is associated with the Cambridge University and the Warwick Business School as a visiting member of faculty, and is also an advisor on a programme aimed at helping schools in the Greater London area to develop and implement their careers education strategy.

Richard Brown

Richard is an experienced banker turned corporate venture capitalist and innovation sponsor with extensive experience gained in banking assignments throughout the world. Prior to joining Santander Innoventures in 2014 as a founding partner, Richard led a number of innovative initiatives for Santander UK in addition to his responsibilities in Santander Global Markets. His previous positions include Co-Head, Strategic Transactions Group at Nomura Securities, Executive Director, Strategic Transactions Group at Lehman Brothers and Director of Global Structuring and Corporate Finance teams at Merrill Lynch.

Richard has a BA (Hons) in Linguistics and Philosophy from the University of East Anglia. He is a chartered accountant and has undertaken Executive Education at London Business School.

Gabriele Cipparrone

Gabriele Cipparrone is an Equity Partner at Apax Partners LLP and co-leads the Consumer team in Europe. Gabriele joined Apax Partners in 2003 and is based in London after having worked in the Milan office for four years. He has participated in a number of key deals including Engineering, FULLBEAUTY Brands, Orange Switzerland, Weather Investments, TDC, Sisal and Farmafactoring.  He serves as a board member of Engineering. Prior to joining Apax Partners, Gabriele was a consultant with McKinsey & Company where he specialised in advising clients in the telecom and utility sectors, and he also spent a brief period at Soros.

Gabriele holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Politecnico di Torino and an MS in Industrial Engineering from École Centrale de Paris.