Based in London, the Royal Commonwealth Society's central staff team is in regular contact with our Regional Co-ordinators and Branch Representatives across the Commonwealth. Staff contact details.
Learn more about our International Network.
Chief Operating Officer
Director of Youth Affairs and Education Programmes
Head of Marketing
Director of Policy and Research
Policy and Research Manager
Public Affairs Officer
Public Affairs Officer
Media and Communications Officer
Michael Lake CBE
As director of this independent charity, I am proud to be the executive representative of an aspirational board of trustees, a role I share with a sound and extremely competent team of staff as we promote the value of the Commonwealth and the values upon which it is based.
As Chief Operating Officer, Annette draws together the activities of a dynamic team to ensure that the Society plays a crucial role in upholding the core values of the Commonwealth. Cambridge educated, with a doctorate from Tübingen University, Germany, Annette practised as a barrister in property and commercial law for 18 years. She decided to change career in order to pursue her passion for international relations.
Helen Jones MBE
Helen has many years of experience in youth development and education programmes. During her time with the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council (CYEC) she has developed youth fora such as the Commonwealth Youth Forum, and youth leadership and fellowship programmes. Helen is Director of the Commonwealth Teacher Exchange Programme (CTEP).
With extensive marketing and business development experience, gained in both the charity and private sectors, Hilary managed the RCS' 2013 transition on behalf of its Club members. Working with the team to define the new RCS proposition, she managed the implementation of the Society’s new web-based systems and marketing strategy. She launched the RCS' magazine, Commonwealth Voices and leads the Society's marketing activity.
Co-founder and former Executive Director of the think tank Commonwealth Exchange (CX), Tim has eight years' political experience including as a researcher for a Member of Parliament. Tim has a Masters in Imperial & Commonwealth History from King’s College London and is a published author for the Institute of Economic Affairs.
Lewis works to effectively develop and communicate the RCS' values and priorities through the organisation’s policy and communications work. He brings research and campaigns experience in international affairs from several media and advocacy organisations with a particular focus on African politics.
Having supported the highest levels of the Australian Government for 12 years, Nathan brings a significant track record of event, public affairs and project delivery to the Society. His Australian and international networks, and extensive relationship and stakeholder-management experience contribute to the Society’s pan-Commonwealth outreach activities.
Elizabeth van der Valk
Elizabeth joined the RCS team in January 2015 as a Programmes Officer following three months volunteering with the organisation. She assists with the Society’s flagship event, the Commonwealth Service, and with international and youth programmes.
Anja joined the Royal Commonwealth Society in November 2015 and works primarily on The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition. She was previously a competition judge and has experience working in campaigns and advocacy at a range of charities. She is a strong advocate of equitable, inclusive and meaningful access to quality education for all young people.
Rachel joined the RCS as Communications and Networks Officer in October 2015 having gained experience working with local and international NGOs, advocacy and campaigning initiatives. Rachel works on all aspects of communications, drawing together the Society’s education, events and advocacy work within the RCS' international network.
Rein de Loor
Rein joined the Royal Commonwealth Society in June 2015 to work on the Out of the Blue Photography Competition and the Associate Fellowship programme. Having completed his degree in June 2016, he now works full time on the Associate Fellows and other networks. Rein has a strong interest in European and international affairs, human rights, trade and democracy.
Ms. Claire Whitaker, OBE
Mr. Bryan Cassidy
Ms. Samantha Cohen CVO
Ms. Hannah Goodwin
Mr. Godfrey Hall
Ms. Renee Horton-Coker
Mr. David Ives
Ms. Pinky Lilani CBE DL
Mr. John Loughton
Ms. Katherine Mathieson
Mr. Doug Tweddle
Dr. Linda Yueh
The RCS would like to thank former board members:
Mr. Michael Bostelmann
Dr. Graham Dixon
Mr. Steve Bernard
Mr. Ian Govendir
Ms. Nalini Paranavitane