Deputy Lieutenants

Justin James Apthorp

Justin Apthorp was Buying Director at Majestic Wine for 10 years before retiring at the end of 2015. He remains on the Majestic Board as a Non-Executive Director. Justin was educated at Aldenham School before going on to read Metallurgy at Manchester University. He then spent another two years at Manchester University gaining an MBA, as well as captaining the Manchester University Ski Team.

Justin has lived in Berkhamsted since 1996 and is married to a local dentist. He has three daughters who all went to Berkhamsted School. Justin was a Governor of Berkhamsted School for twelve years and is currently a trustee of The Friends’ of St Peter’s.

Justin Apthorp holds positions with a number of organisations including:

Kate Belinis

Kate Belinis is the CEO of CDA Herts since 2006. She has worked in Hertfordshire and London for many years as CEO in the voluntary sector. Prior to her voluntary and community roles, she worked in the private sector for 20 years in the analytical/testing of retail products and quality assurance sectors.

Her passion is in the development of sustainable communities and their infrastructure needs to enrich their communities and quality of life. Her work and networks cover rural affairs, social enterprise, community gardens, transport solutions, the criminal justice system and marginalised communities including the protected groups.

Kate continues to maintain an active role in several volunteer groups and sits on several Boards in Hertfordshire: Herts Independent Living Services; Herts Young Homeless; Stevenage World Forum for Ethnic Minorities; Ware Arts Centre; School Governor; Herts Equality Council and MENTER (Minority Ethnic Network in The Eastern Region).

Her interests are Communities, Multiculture, Women’s groups, education, heritage.

Richard Beazley MBE

He was born in Broxbourne, and is one of five generations to have lived in Hertfordshire. He spent many years working in the international oil industry as a lawyer, economist and chief executive, living in Norway, Indonesia, Canada and the USA, and conducting business in many other parts of the world.

He was Chairman of the East and North Herts NHS Trust for ten years from 2002, Chairman of the University of Hertfordshire for six years from 2013, and the Honorary Colonel of The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Army Cadet Force for five years from 2014. He was for many years a trustee and Vice-Chairman of the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

Richard and his wife Violet live in Standon and have two sons. They enjoy cross-country skiing and walking holidays.

Dame Claire Bertschinger

Claire was born, went to school and has lived in Hertfordshire for over 60 years.  She is currently an Assistant Professor and Director for Tropical Nursing at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She was honoured as a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List for services to Nursing and to International Humanitarian Aid.   See:

She is an active member of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist Order, an Honorary Fellow of the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion, on the Honorary Advisory Board of the Scientific Exploration Society, as well a Patron of St Clare Hospice, Promise Nepal, The Chocolate Run for homeless, and Somerset Red Cross.  She takes a keen interest in the wildlife of East Herts in particular, Sawbridgeworth Marsh and Pishiobury Park.

Claire is a member of the Lieutenancy Health, Inter-Faith and Social Panel

Luther Blissett OBE

Luther Blissett, “Watford’s Favourite Son”. Joined Watford FC aged 16, having moved to the UK from Jamaica aged 5, with no idea about football, or who Sir Elton John was. Luther’s illustrious career went on to embrace numerous records for Watford FC, from appearances to their greatest ever goalscorer as well as a headline-making £1m transfer to AC Milan in Italy, before returning to his spiritual home, Vicarage Road. In 1982 he won the Golden Boot for Europe and at the same time received his first call up for the England Squad, the first Watford FC player to ever be selected. He became only the 5th black footballer to represent the country and the very first black footballer to score in an England shirt. To Luther, there is no greater honour in football than wearing the 3 lions. On retirement Luther joined Graham Taylor OBE as a coach, taking the Club to the Premier League for the very first time.

Away from football, his work in the community is equally legendary. Brought up on Graham Taylor’s vision. Locally and nationally he has been an ambassador for equality and racial harmony, representing Show Racism the Red Card on their schools programme and being a media spokesman. He has worked with Herts Police to educate on knife and hate crime. His approach always inclusive and educational, which means that people listen. He is a national ambassador also for Sporting Memories, enabling him to again provide local advice and support for Watford Council’s dementia-friendly initiatives.

He worked throughout 2020 to provide reassurance to fans and those in the local community, as well as care homes and hospital services. He drove a campaign to call up volunteers and provide meals for local families as well as care packs for NHS workers and the local Peace Hospice of whom he is a Patron. In 2020 Luther was awarded a BSc by the University of Hertfordshire for his inspirational contribution to sport and was also granted Freedom of the Borough by Watford Mayor for his community work. He has recently created the Former Players Club, which will bring ex-footballers together for each other and the community. They will be working alongside Veterans, who Luther has always supported strongly with various projects such as Race of Remembrance. He continues to provide football commentary and media appearances alongside his charity work.

Mark Bretton MBE TD

Mark is currently the Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership Network, the body that brings together all LEPs in England.  He was Chair of the Hertfordshire LEP from 2016 to 2023 driving economic growth in the county through a series of infrastructure and skills programmes, including responsibility for the Growth Hub which has a particular focus on helping SMEs to grow and he was a co-opted member of the County Growth Board. He supported the Lord Lieutenant in encouraging local businesses to apply for the various Queen’s (now King’s) Awards.  Mark had a wide-ranging business career working for Plessey, Siemens, Royal Mail, Tata and Accenture.  He sat on the Business Leaders’ Council of the charity Teach First for 13 years and is an Ambassador for Home-Start Hertfordshire.

Mark has an MBA in Export Management and International Business from Bayes Business School, and a BSc Econ (Hons) in Management Studies. He was a Royal Signals Reserve Officer (Major) and holds a Territorial Decoration.  Mark was a member of the Secretary of State for BEIS’ Levelling Up Taskforce, of the Minister for Local Government’s Economic Recovery Working Group and the Business Action Council, all focused on helping the country survive and grow out of the Covid-19 crisis.  He was awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours List 2023 for services to business, the economy and to charity, particularly during Covid-19.

He is a passionate golfer, chairing Old Fold Manor Golf Club, and is active in leading golf in La Manga Club, Spain.  Mark is married to Leah, an ex Army Officer and longstanding local JP.  They have two daughters, Amy who is a translator interpreter based in Colombia with her partner and baby son, and Sarah who is the Special Needs Co-Ordinator for a challenging primary school in Enfield.

Marion Brown MBE JP

Marion’s employment history is within the charitable and administrative sector. Her voluntary roles have included being a member of the senior leadership team for National Youth Ventures, Chair of a Building Committee for a major church refurbishment and extension, co-leading leadership courses for those in positions of responsibility in church, work and/or community.

She has been a Magistrate (JP) since 2003 (roles have included membership of the Advisory Panel for Hertfordshire, mentor, appraiser, schools’ presenter and Deputy Bench Chair West and Central Hertfordshire), Consultant for clergy reviews in the St Albans Diocese, “Assistant” for the Diocesan “Support in your Ministry” scheme (listening service for clergy and church workers), school governor in a number of local primary and secondary schools.

Marion is an active member of St Paul’s Church, St Albans and is involved with a number of voluntary activities with individuals and local organisations, with a particular emphasis on developing people, and initiatives that strengthen community links. Her personal interests of “creative and craft” and hospitality play a key part in this.

Marion Chairs the Lieutenancy Central Herts (incl St Albans/Watford/Welwyn Hatfield) panel and also the Education Panel. She is also a member of the Social and Media Panels. She is married to Andrew and has two adult children.


Link to Lieutenancy Panels

Dr. Sally Burton

Sally Burton served as High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 2022-23. During her year, her focus was on the impact of substance misuse, leading to the creation of an Annual Symposium on Drugs & Alcohol in collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire Law School. In September 2023 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University.

She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire in 2012. She chairs the Community Engagement Panel, whose remit is to forge links between the Lieutenancy and the communities within the county, and also the North Herts/Stevenage Area Panel. She is Patron of The Living Room in Stevenage, a charity offering group therapy for adults living with addiction, Patron of the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline and sits on the Survivors Against Domestic Abuse (SADA) Strategic Board and the Stevenage SoSafe Community Safety Partnership Board.

As a Trustee of the Hertfordshire Community Foundation, she chairs the Grants Committee, which distributes hundreds of grants to voluntary groups across the county. She has chaired the Fighting Breast Cancer Committee for thirty years, raising well over half a million pounds for breast cancer research and care. She has also served as a school governor and chaired many voluntary groups in Hertfordshire.

Sally studied law at Bristol University and qualified as a solicitor in 1981. After a short spell in private practice and working for the Law Society, she moved to Hertfordshire in 1985, where her main activities have involved work in the voluntary sector. She is married to Mark, with three adult children and two brown standard poodles, Tiffin and Teacake. She loves playing tennis and skiing, trips to the theatre and discovering new restaurants. Her current project is trying to become fluent in French.

Roy Button OBE

Roy has been a member of the UK film industry for over 46 years. He started in the industry in 1969 as a runner and graduated up through the ranks of AD’s, Production Manager, Producer etc.

Roy joined Warner Bros. in January 1993. In his capacity as head of Physical Production for Warner Bros. Productions Limited, he is responsible for all Warner Bros. films based out of the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East and has been responsible for over 150 films all over the world.

Roy was also the key driving force to Warner Bros’ Investment in Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden which has created Europe’s largest studio, solely owned and run by Warner Bros.

Roy is heavily involved with training programmes within the UK Film Industry and is currently sitting on the board of the Film Industry Training Board. He is also responsible for all Health and Safety matters related to productions and for bringing further major motion pictures to the country.

Roy was awarded an OBE for services to the film industry as part of Her Majesty The Queen’s 2009 Birthday Honours List and was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for Hertfordshire in 2010.

Lord Charles Cecil

Charles Cecil was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 2011/12. His focus was on the prevention of offending and re-offending and he remains involved in many areas and organisations related to this in Hertfordshire. Amongst other activities, he is, with his wife, a Patron of Emmaus St. Albans and he is President of Pro-Action and a member of the Alban Foundation (for St. Albans Cathedral where he was also a member of the appeals committee). He is a member of the Court of the University of Hertfordshire.

In the Lieutenancy, he is also a member of the Business Group.

His family have lived in Hertfordshire for over 400 years and are actively involved in the community. He is married to Virginia.

His career has been in the financial field – particularly in private equity and investment, nationally and internationally. He was co-founder of two well-respected companies in  international private equity services (subsequently successfully sold) and is or has been a board member of a number of other companies both in the UK and overseas. He has travelled widely for business in Continental Europe, the US, Australia and Latin America. He is Trustee and adviser to some major private groups. He chairs the Development Board of Christ Church Oxford where he read Modern History.

Charles has spoken at conferences in the UK, the US, Australia and a number of Continental European countries on a variety of subjects. He speaks French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and some Italian.

Charles Cecil is involved with a number of organisations including:

  • Patron                – Emmaus St. Albans
  • President           – Pro-Action
  • Member              – Alban Foundation
  • Member             – Court of the University of Hertfordshire
  • Chairman           – Development Board of Christ Church Oxford

Martha Lytton Cobbold

Martha Lytton Cobbold is the Managing Director of Knebworth Estates and Lytton Enterprises Ltd., and Administrator of the Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust.  She is responsible for the management of Knebworth House, Gardens, Park and Estates, a complex combination of a busy leisure management business, a private charitable trust, a conference and banqueting centre, a family estate with three active generations, forestry work, farms and residential and commercial rental properties.  She runs five different companies, and budgets, personnel, legislation adherence, licensing, health and safety, sales, restoration, education, concerts, filming, and community liaison.  She believes strongly in community involvement, responsibility and support and has worked with a variety of community and national groups and advisory boards supporting health, arts, education, heritage and leisure.

Martha is a graduate of New York University, with a BA double major in Journalism and Art History, a double minor in Law and Spanish. She is a dual US/UK citizen, a UK resident since 1993, is married to Henry with two adult children, and has rehomed rescue Great Danes for three decades.  In addition to sitting on numerous boards and advisory committees, Martha is the President of the Historic Houses Association, and Vice-Chair of the Visit Herts destination management organisation for the county.

Gerald Corbett

Over a long business career, Gerald served on the boards of 13 different public companies, seven of them as Chairman. He is currently chairman of Segro plc, Britvic plc and Numis plc. Previously he chaired Betfair plc, the Towry Group plc,, SSL plc and Woolworths. He has been a non-executive director of Numis plc, MEPC plc, Burmah Castrol plc and Greencore plc. He was the Group Financial Director of Redland plc and Grand Metropolitan plc. He was Chief Executive of Railtrack.

He was Chairman of Action on Hearing Loss (the Royal National Institute of the Deaf). He was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire for 2010/2011 and served on the Council of the High Sheriffs Association between 2008 and 2011. He is Chairman of the Hertfordshire Community Foundation, the St Albans Cathedral Music Trust, the Cathedral Appeal “Alban, Britain’s First Saint” and Marylebone Cricket Club.

He was educated at Tonbridge School and Pembroke College, Cambridge University. He gained an MSC with distinction in Business Studies from the London Business School and was an exchange scholar at Harvard Business School. He is married to Virginia who is an artist. They have four grown-up children and live on a farm near Redbourn, Hertfordshire. His personal interests include watching cricket, golf, country pursuits and playing bridge.

Louise Faure Walker

Brought up in North Yorkshire, Louise trained as a nurse at the Middlesex Hospital in London before marrying Teddy and moving to Sandon Bury Farm. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.

She has been a school governor at Sandon JMI School and Maidwell Hall, Northampton, she organised the Holly Ball at Hatfield House for 9 years, worked as a volunteer at the Isabel Hospice, as well as supporting her husband as High Sheriff, Vice Lord Lieutenant and Ordained Priest.

In 1995 she returned to nursing at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, retiring in 2013. She was appointed Patron Marie Curie 2013-2016, running three highly successful Art Shows with the NGS Open Garden at Sandon Bury for Marie Curie.

Adam K. Ginder

Adam is Managing Director of Hertfordshire-based Funeral Directors, M. K. Ginder & Sons. He was born in Edgware, moved to Hertfordshire in 1986, and has lived in St. Albans since 1990. Adam runs his family business alongside his brother, Daniel.

Adam went to school in Berkhamsted, before obtaining a First-Class Honours Degree in Business from Coventry University and a Masters Degree in Management from the University of Bristol. He is a member of the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Directors.

Adam has served on the Executive Committee of the London Association of Funeral Directors since 2015, and was President from 2019-2021, during the Coronavirus Pandemic. He also sits on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Funeral Directors. Alongside his funeral director role, Adam is a Non-Executive Director for Golden Charter Limited, and has served as Chair of their Ownership Association, SAIF Charter Limited since 2019.

Adam is a Trustee of the Abbots Langley Tough Ten Charity, a member of the Executive Committee of the Hertfordshire Lord’s Taverners and a supporter of numerous local charities advocating for awareness and publicity, as well as fundraising.

Adam is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Upholders and a Freeman of the City of London. He enjoys watching sports, films, reading, and freemasonry. He is a member of Porters Park Golf Club.

He is a Watford FC fan and a member of the Royal British Legion.

Liz Green

Liz’s professional career was in marketing and PR for two retail PLCs.  Since 2013 Liz has had responsibility for their family farming enterprise, which includes their arable farm, diversification through environmental schemes, and ongoing renovation and change of use projects of the farm buildings.

Peter and Liz have lived near Tring for over 30 years and during that time Liz has been involved in a number of volunteering roles, including Rennie Grove Hospice Care and Meals on Wheels.  Since 2006 Liz has been Secretary of her church PCC and she is the Parish Safeguarding Officer.  In January 2021 Liz volunteered at the Maxted Road vaccination centre in Hemel and acted as a ‘bingo caller’ for those waiting to receive their Covid vaccinations.  Liz is an Ambassador for both Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care and Herts Community Foundation.

In 2016 Liz was elected as Master of the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters.  She is an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Farmers and an Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals.  Liz was elected Sheriff of the City of London in 2018 and spent a year supporting the Lord Mayor of the City of London.  During her Shrieval year, Liz and Peter lived in the Old Bailey and supported His Majesty’s judges.  From October 2021 until January 2024 Liz chaired the Campaign Executive Committee of St Bartholomew the Great Church in Smithfield.  Since 2016 Liz has been a member of the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch Committee, which raises funds for veterans across our armed forces, and in 2019 Liz was nominated for the ‘Woman of the Year’ award.

In June 2020 Liz began volunteering as an Area Co-ordinator for Shannon Trust who visit prisons to train mentors how to teach fellow inmates to learn to read/improve their reading.  As High Sheriff of Hertfordshire from 2023 – 2024 Liz’s theme was ‘Reading, writing and rehabilitation’ and Liz engaged with probation, charities and individuals in the community to help them improve their literacy.  Liz is a Trustee of The Butler Trust who recognise and reward good practices across the criminal justice system, and she is a Governor and Steward of the Clergy Support Trust.

When time allows, Liz enjoys trying to improve her golf and bridge, as well as walking in the countryside, reading and the theatre.  Peter and Liz have two adult children and their dog Bailey, who ensures that exercise is taken whatever the weather!

Dr Helen Hanbury

Helen Hanbury qualified as a doctor from Barts Hospital in 1981. She moved to Hertfordshire in 1994 and stopped working to bring up her family. She has a long association with the voluntary sector working from 1995 to 2015 as a volunteer and then Trustee for Independent Age.

She became a school governor in 2002 serving for several years in two school and was Chair of Governors at Lonsdale School for disabled children in Stevenage from 2005 to 2017.

She now works as a volunteer for the Citizens Advice.

Helen is married with three children and enjoys gardening, walking, Opera and Ballet and travel.

Suzana Rose Harvey

Suzy Harvey grew up and went to school in West Sussex. She studied for a degree in Natural Sciences at Durham University followed 30 years later by a Master’s degree in Criminology at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

She was self-employed as a wedding dress designer for 10 years in London and in Hertfordshire where she has lived for 30 years. She is now partner in the family farm which has diversified into property and a business park.

Suzy was chair of the Bishop’s Stortford branch of Cancer Research UK for 15 years and also volunteered for Fine Cell Work, a charity which makes beautiful handmade products in British prisons. She was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 2018/2019 with a special interest in the issue of modern slavery.

Her interests include endurance rally driving, travel, tennis and skiing.

Commodore Tim Hennessey

After graduating from Durham University Tim Hennessey served in the Royal Navy until 2012 as Fleet Air Arm aviator and Surface Warfare Officer.

On leaving the RN he joined the Institute for Statecraft, assisting in work on the Prevent programme and lecturing on leadership. He also helped establish the Institute in its current premises in Temple Place. In 2014, he returned to his original passion and became a flying instructor and ground theory lecturer for prospective airline pilots. In 2016 he also qualified as a commercial pilot.

He is Chairman of Trustees for the Sailors’ Children’s Society, of which the Princess Royal is Patron, and he is a Trustee for three other charities. Tim is currently the Church Warden at St Peters in Berkhamsted.

Tim has been married to Kate, a Senior Financial Ombudsman, since they met at Durham in 1979. They have 3 children and 5 grand-children.

Tim is a Trustee of a number of organisations including:

Katherine (Kate) Holland-Hibbert

Kate trained in primary education working in London before moving to Hertfordshire with her husband in 1992. She brought up their family of four children and now works alongside her husband in their property and events business.

She has been involved with Mid and West Hertfordshire NSPCC for over 25 years, the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust school’s initiative – ‘Mrs Wheelbarrow’ and more recently with the Keech Braveherts appeal. Her principal interests are with family life children and children’s charities.

Dr John Howie

John is CEO & Co-founder of Hertfordshire based business Lintbells Ltd, the UK’s leading nutritional supplement manufacturer for dogs, cats & horses.

Having started his career in science with a biological sciences degree from Oxford and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics, John quickly moved into the commercial world managing various European food raw material and health enterprises, ultimately leading to him co-found Lintbells in 2006.

As well as supporting the health of over 1.5 million pets, the Lintbells business has been honoured to receive several Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, and also supports pet charities and rescue centres at a local, national and international level.

John believes strongly in using business as a force for good, and with a strong interest in the environment, is setting his company on a path to become carbon negative within 3 years.

John lives in Harpenden with his wife, Charlotte, and their two children.

HHJ Michael Kay KC

Michael is one of His Majesty’s Circuit Judges and also a Deputy High Court Judge.  After studying law at Cambridge University and qualifying as a barrister, he joined Chambers in London specialising in business and commercial litigation.  He practised in that field of law for 22 years becoming one of Her Majesty’s Queen’s Counsel.  In 2004 he was appointed a full-time Judge.  He has presided over both civil and criminal cases in many courts including the High Court of Justice, the Old Bailey and local courts.  From 2008 to 2014 he was the Judge in charge of the civil law courts in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.  From 2018 to 2022 he was the Judge in charge of the criminal law courts in Hertfordshire and was based at St Albans Crown Court.  Having seen at first hand the growth and effect of knife crime and youth crime in general, he is interested in social responsibility and what can be done to halt and reverse these trends.

Michael has lived in Hertfordshire since 1985.  He has been the Chair of Radlett United Synagogue and was a founding Governor of Yavneh College in Borehamwood.  He has also been involved in the management and administration of several youth football teams at Ebor Eagles FC.

Michael and his wife Victoria have three children and five grandchildren.

Darryl Anthony Keen QFSM

Darryl Keen retired from his role as Chief Fire Officer and Director of Hertfordshire County Councils Community Protection Directorate in July 2021. He was a member of the Fire and Rescue Service for 30 years with the last 10 years in Hertfordshire. During his first 2 years serving in Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service he attended the Windsor Castle Fire, he also attended the Buncefield Oil Terminal fire and has commanded a number of large incidents in Hertfordshire and surrounding counties.

As part of his responsibilities Darryl chaired a number of boards and was a member of the County Council Strategic Management Board. He established and chaired the Hertfordshire County Council Prevent Board and the Hertfordshire Multi-Agency Prevent Board. He chaired the Hertfordshire Local Resilience Forum from 2017 and led the Hertfordshire multi-agency response to Covid as chair of the Strategic Coordinating Group for the first 18 months of the Pandemic. He also led through a number of other major incidents including severe weather events and other emergencies.

He was the UK Strategic Lead for Operational Communications for the National Fire Chiefs Council, leading on all aspects of technical communications and control rooms. Since 2017 Darryl has worked closely with British Telecoms on the replacement of the UK’s 999 system, this included chairing the 999/112 Liaison Committee working alongside Government representatives from the Home Office, Department of Health, DCMS, all the emergency services and the UK’s telecoms industry.

Darryl is an enthusiastic supporter of the Firefighters’ Charity and was previously the Brigade Co-ordinator in Buckinghamshire, the Fundraising Co-ordinator in Hertfordshire and finally the Service Champion. He has been a key member of the organising team for the FireSportsUK (FSUK) National Cross-country Championships. He is a keen cyclist and chaired the FSUK Cycling Section.

Darryl has lived in Hertfordshire for 25 years, he is married to Rachel, a volunteer trainer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, and has two children, Jak currently works for the National Fire Chiefs Council and Charlotte is a Government Economist.

Darryl Keen works with a number of organisations including:

Hobbies and Interest

Darryl is a keen cyclist, skier and walker.

Dawid Konotey-Ahulu CBE

Dawid is a British Ghanaian entrepreneur, passionate about innovation in financial services and helping people from under-represented backgrounds to find their place in society. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1987 before switching careers to investment banking. In 2006, he co-founded Redington, the UK’s leading independent pensions and insurance consultancy. In 2009, he founded Mallowstreet, a think tank for the financial services industry which is now powered by AI technology. He co-founded 10,000 Interns, a charitable foundation whose mission is securing 10,000 internships for undergraduates of Black heritage and a further 10,000 internships for undergraduates with a disability. In 2018, he was named Black British Entrepreneur of the Year and, in 2022, was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Business Council, where he focused on helping DfE to scale T Levels.

Using his Spellbound programme, he teaches young people, including those in the justice system, to speak with confidence in public. He is a member of ACOBA and is a Trustee on the Boards of charitable organisations Mission 44, Somerset House and Legacy of War Foundation. He was awarded a CBE in the 2023 New Year Honours List for services to diversity and inclusion.

Air Vice-Marshal Nicholas Kurth CBE

Nicholas finished his full RAF career in 2011 having been the Air Officer Commanding for all of the Service’s combat support operations and units, retiring as an Air Vice-Marshal.  He was also the head of engineering for the Service.  He ran a railway projects business and then completed a full 10-year term in 2023 as Chair of Trustees and Executive Chair of The Ulysses Trust.  The Charity supports UK Reserves and Cadets undertaking expeditions and adventurous activities, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  He held the British Mountaineering Council’s President’s mantle – the national governing and representative body for mountaineering-related activities, with over 87000 members.

Nicholas attended the RAF Advanced Staff Course in 1991 and the Royal College of Defence Studies 2001 Course.  He is a Chartered Engineer, has an MBA from the Open University Business School and an MA in International Studies from King’s College London.  Nicholas is a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and Royal Aeronautical Society.  He was awarded a Commander-In-Chief’s Commendation in 1982, an MBE in 1990, an OBE in 1996 and a CBE in 2006.

He was responsible for the highly successful British Services’ Makalu Expedition in 2008 and maintains his interest in Services’ mountaineering as Honorary President and Trustee of the RAF Mountaineering Association.  Additionally, Nicholas is an Honorary President of the RAF Fencing Union, having been President of both the RAF and Combined Services’ fencing organizations.  Furthermore, he is a Vice Patron of the RAF Halton Apprentices’ Association, a charity that supports ex-Halton apprentices and additional organisations.  In the small amount of spare time left, he cycles, paints and plays the electric guitar (badly).  He is married to Sandra, a retired solicitor, and they have 3 grown-up children.  The family home is in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.

Jane McCue

Jane McCue, a Colorectal surgeon by background, moved to Hertfordshire in 1996.  She spent 22 years as a Consultant at East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust during which time she held a number of management positions culminating in almost ten years as Medical Director.

Now semi-retired she continues to work in a part-time capacity as an accredited mediator with NHS healthcare teams in difficulty and as a healthcare management consultant.

She is the Honorary Colonel for 254 Medical Regiment which includes the squadron based in Hitchin.  She is also a Trustee with Combat Stress (a national charity providing psychological and psychiatric services for Veterans with complex PTSD) where she chairs the Clinical Governance committee.

Past roles have included volunteering as a surgeon with Hernia International, Governor of the University of Hertfordshire and Vice-President of the British Red Cross in Hertfordshire.

A resident of Bengeo, Jane is married with a son and daughter.  Her interests include gardening, tennis, skiing, dancing, travelling and learning French.

Fergus McMullen

Fergus McMullen is Production and Sales Director of his family brewing and pub company McMullen and Sons Ltd.

He is Chairman of the Hertfordshire Community Liaison Group and sits on the Hertfordshire Criminal Justice Board. He is also chairman of the Hertfordshire ‘Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel’. Fergus also chairs the Keech Hospice Care, BraveHerts Charity and is chairman of Future Living Hertford, a charity dealing with addictions and domestic abuse.

He was president of the Hertfordshire Agricultural Show in 2017 and High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 2013/14. 

Fergus is on the Court (Renter Warden) of the Worshipful Company of the Brewers’ becoming Master in 2024/25.

Fergus is a full board Governor of Dame Alice Owen’s School in Potters Bar, North London.

Fergus is married to Kate and they have five children and eight grandchildren. Kate works for the Cancer Research Trust for Addenbrooks and is a member of the BraveHerts Appeal committee. Kate loves all her holidays involving her family especially when teaching her grandchildren tennis and swimming. Fergus is a member of the MCC and hasn’t missed the first day of a Lords test match for many years. A keen salmon and trout fisherman though not very successful! His favourite times are had with his family and dogs on the hills and rivers of Aberdeenshire.

Patrick Moriarty

Patrick Moriarty is an educational consultant and Anglican priest.  For 12 years he was Headteacher at JCoSS, the UK’s only pluralist Jewish Secondary School, after a career as a teacher of Religion and Philosophy and a leader in a range of schools in North London and Hertfordshire.

A seasoned school Governor in both primary and secondary schools, he is committed to excellence and inclusion in education.  He has a particular interest in technical and employment-focused learning, championing moves to afford it at least the same status as academic study.

Ordained in 2017, he is Associate Priest at St Stephen’s Church, St Albans.  His deep knowledge of both Christian and Jewish communities allows him to contributes to a range of initiatives in both.  Active in interfaith dialogue, he is Trustee and Honorary Secretary of the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ).  HE is also a keen amateur musician with family connections to Music at St Albans Cathedral.  He is married to Lucy Caperon, with children from 8 to 28.

Lieutenant General Sir George Norton KCVO CBE

Lieutenant General Sir George Norton is the Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, which develops ‘rising stars’ from around fifty countries for senior appointments in government, defence and security. He previously enjoyed a long and varied career as a soldier, which included a rich blend of operational and ceremonial service and concluded with four years in Brussels as the UK’s most senior military diplomat in NATO and the European Union.

George grew up in Hertfordshire, returning to the family home on retirement from the Army. He lives there with his German wife Lexi with whom he has three grown-up daughters. Amongst other things, he spends his spare time on the board of a small number of charities; as a council member of the National Army Museum; as the Lieutenant of His Majesty’s Tower of London; and in ‘destructive gardening’ at home.

Brigadier John Palmer

John was born in Belfast and educated at Haileybury.

He was commissioned into The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) in 1967. After graduating from Nottingham University, where he met his wife Sue, his early career was spent largely in Germany, Northern Ireland and England, including a posting as an instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

His subsequent career alternated between postings in the Ministry of Defence and command jobs in Germany. On promotion to Brigadier, he joined a team charged with recommending changes to the Army’s command structure – most of which were subsequently implemented.

He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

After leaving the army he became Bursar at Haileybury, the school that both he and his two sons had attended, until 2005. His elder son lives in Indiana, USA with his wife and three sons. His younger son Richard was killed on operations in Iraq in 2006 whilst serving as a Lieutenant with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. The family has subsequently actively fundraised for ABF The Soldier’s Charity in his memory, and he is Chairman of its Hertfordshire Committee.

John is a Patron of a number of organisations including:

Hobbies and Interest

He is keen on sport, particularly rugby and tennis, but his need for competition now largely involves playing very bad golf. He is also an enthusiastic gardener.

Dame Alison Peacock DBE

Professor Dame Alison Peacock is Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching which aims to provide a professional body ‘by teachers, for teachers’. Prior to joining the Chartered College, Dame Alison was Executive Headteacher of The Wroxham School in Hertfordshire.

Her career to date has spanned primary, secondary and advisory roles. She is a member of the Royal Society’s Education Committee, a trustee of Teach First, a Visiting Professor of the University of Hertfordshire and a columnist for TES.

In March 2015, Alison was appointed by the Department for Education as a member of the Commission on Assessment Without Levels and she is author of Assessment for Learning without Limits.

Ian Pigott OBE

Ian grew up on a family farm near Harpenden.  After university, he worked as a commodity trader before returning to the farm.

Ian has a particular interest in building connections with the land through education, events and embracing regenerative principles of improving soil health and biodiversity,

Ian has served and chaired a number of land-based education charity boards.  He also runs his own charity The Farmschool, which creates interactive farm-based programmes for children from the inner cities and local schools.

Currently, he is a Trustee of the Ernest Cook Trust and sits on the Food Ethics Council.

He has a keen interest in sports, playing cricket and golf when he can.

He is married to Gillian and they have two children.

Vice Admiral Alan Richards CB JP

Alan served for 38 years in the Royal Navy specialising as a helicopter pilot and surface warfare officer. He commanded two frigates, HM Ships MONMOUTH and CUMBERLAND, and was the first Commander UK Carrier Strike Group flying his flag in HMS ILLUSTRIOUS.  Time at sea was punctuated by a series of policy, finance and other roles in the central staff of the Ministry of Defence.  He retired from the Royal Navy as Chief of Defence Intelligence in 2015 and was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 2016.

Alan lives in Chorleywood with his wife, Sara. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Luke Rigg MBE JP

Luke is a Reward Specialist at the Greater London Authority, with responsibility for strategic reward policy, covering pay and other benefits. Since starting his career in local government as a graduate trainee in 2015, Luke has held a mixture of policy roles at two London Boroughs and a central government department.

Luke was appointed as a magistrate in 2014, and now sits as a Presiding Justice in the Adult and Youth Courts. At the time of his appointment, Luke was the youngest magistrate in the country. In 2021, he was appointed by the senior judiciary as a Diversity and Community Relations Magistrate for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire and, in 2022, the Lead Diversity and Community Relations Magistrate for England and Wales. In this role, he has responsibility for coordinating important work to raise public awareness and understanding of the magistracy. Luke is a co-opted member of the Magistrates’ Leadership Executive, which provides strategic leadership to 14,000 magistrates.

He holds several board-level positions, including as Local Pension Board member for a major pension fund and Independent Person for Standards at a local authority. He was previously a trustee of the Magistrates Association and a school governor.

Luke is passionate about improving diversity and inclusion in the magistracy, and has led several initiatives to achieve this objective, such as the Magistrates Employer Recognition Scheme. In the 2024 New Year Honours, Luke was awarded an MBE for services to diversity in the judiciary.

Having relocated to Hertfordshire in 2021, Luke lives in Hertford with his wife, Bethany. In his spare time, Luke enjoys playing pub quizzes and walking his dog. In 2023, he completed the Camino de Santiago by walking through Portugal and Spain with his father-in-law.

Emma Robarts

Emma Robarts was educated at St Swithun’s School, Winchester and Clare College, Cambridge.  She spent ten years as a solicitor at a City law firm.  On moving to Hertfordshire (where her husband Charles grew up) in 1995, with her family, she left the firm and took up freelance writing.

Emma has had her work published in the Times and Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, Spectator and Church Times.  She also works part-time as a company secretary.

She is a trustee of an educational charity.  She is a churchgoer and has done voluntary work for her parish church for 26 years, running the choir, doing a stint on the PCC, writing and directing Sunday School plays, giving help with building projects, running fundraising events, and organising food bank collections during lockdowns and parish litter-picking.   She has also helped in the village school and ran a fundraising production for a new village hall.

She and Charles have three adult sons.  Her interests include music, reading, drama, walking, swimming, tennis and Bridge.

Dr Amjad Shah

Dr Amjad H. Shah holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. He is the Dean of the Shīʿah Institute, which he established in 2012, in order to facilitate and promote scholarship on Shīʿah Islam, its heritage and its peoples.

The Shīʿah Institute is located in Bloomsbury, the academic, scholarly, and publishing heart of London. The Fellowship of the institute comprises more than seventy reputable international scholars from some of the most renowned universities around the world. Other leading academics, also associated with the institute, advise on various editorial boards for the institute’s numerous publication series.

Dr Shah’s published monographs and academic interests include subjects as diverse as classical and modern Arabic literature, critical editions, history, jurisprudence from the Medieval to the Modern period, mysticism, philosophy, and theology. He is currently engaged with numerous academic projects, including an English literary translation and Arabic critical edition of the Nahj al- Balāghah.

Over the past few decades Dr Shah has given more and more time to good causes both in the United Kingdom and abroad, and continues to give his free time in a voluntary capacity to charitable projects on matters related to fundraising, education, and community issues.

He became Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire in 2016.

Harjit Singh

Harjit Singh is married with 3 children and from a very young age has played an active part as a member of the Watford Community. Helping to raise thousands to make the first-ever Gurdwara in Watford. Later, to become the youngest member to sit on the executive for SGSS Gurdwara management committee in Watford. A founder member of BOSS (British Organisation of Sikh Students) and playing an active role locally, regionally and nationally.

Inclusion & Equality Officer for Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, since July 2002.

Presently, Chair of Trusties for One Vision Charity since Nov 2020. The honour of being elected on to the executive committee for the Sikh Council UK. Director of Watford & Three Rivers Trust. Co-founder of the Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA) & Chair of the Eastern Region, Advisor to Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Watford (previously the President from 2015-18), Chair of Watford Interfaith Group (WIFA) since 2019 and being an active member for about 15 years, as well as sitting on the executive member of Watford Celebrations for many years. Executive committee member for Hertfordshire Crime Stoppers. Sit on Herts BAME Network Group. Co-founder and executive member for HCC’s BAME Staff Network Group and co-founder of CPD BAME staff network Group and part of SING. Previously, Chair of Watford Racial Equality Council back in 2004-06. School Governor for Cassiobury School (2005-2009).

Stelio Stefanou OBE

Stelio was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 2016/17.

His charity, the Stefanou Foundation, has created For Babys Sake, which works with mothers and fathers from pregnancy until their baby is aged two, supporting them to break the cycle of domestic abuse and give their baby the best start in life.  For Babys Sake was launched in Hertfordshire in 2015. 

Previously Stelio owned and chaired a public services and construction company.

His hobbies include cooking and photography.  

Stelio chairs the Lieutenancy Business Panel.

Vinay Tanna

Vinay Tanna is a Solicitor and Managing Partner of a law firm in West London. He is a council member of Bhaktivedanta Manor – Hindu Temple in Aldenham. Vinay is a pro bono legal advisor to a number of charities and organisations. Vinay sits on the Lieutenancy Interfaith and Queens Award for Voluntary Service Panels. His interest also includes animal protection and environment.

Vinay is married and has a son who attends Edgegrove in Aldenham. Vinnay writes poetry, runs, and is a keen gardener.

Dr Deborah Taverner

Debbie graduated from Medical School in 1982. Initially working in London, she moved to Hertfordshire in 1993. She worked for the NHS until her retirement from the Hertfordshire Breast Unit in 2019.

The same year Debbie was appointed County President for the St John Ambulance. She became a Vaccination Volunteer Lead for West Anglia during the COVID pandemic. She sits on various committees and is a Trustee for the Kytes charity, which awards grants for equipment to disabled ex-service personnel and others.

Her other interests include sport. She is an ex-international fencer having been British U18 Champion in her youth and in 2011 a British Veterans Champion. During the London 2012 Olympics, Debbie volunteered to work for the World Anti-Doping Agency covering Fencing and Boxing.

Debbie has four grown-up children and two grandsons. Her husband is a Director of Stevenage FC so her weekends often involve football.

Dr Ros Taylor MBE

Ros qualified as a doctor at Cambridge University in 1980.

In 1996 she took on the strategic leadership role at the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted, a post she held until March 2015. She is now working as Clinical Director for Hospice UK, a national umbrella charity for the hospice movement, and part-time as a physician at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

Dr Taylor has over 20 years’ experience in palliative care, and has lectured widely, nationally and internationally. She believes clinical leadership is vital, keeping core values of care in focus from the bedside to the Board.

She was awarded an MBE for Services to Hospice Care in 2014, following nomination by a patient.

She tweets as @hospicedoctor.

The Viscount Trenchard (Hugh)

Lord Trenchard is a banker and company director. He worked for Kleinwort Benson Limited from 1973-76, including 11 years in Japan. He has also worked for Robert Fleming & Co. Limited, Prudential Financial, Inc. and Mizuho International plc. He is a former Director-General of the European Fund and Asset Management Association.

He is currently Chairman of Stratton Street PCC Limited and a Director of several companies including Lotte Chemical UK Limited. He is also a Consultant to Simon Robertson Associates LLP and a Senior Advisor to Optum Health Solutions (UK) Limited and to Adamas Asset Management (HK) Limited.

He was a member of the House of Lords from 1987-99 and returned to the House as an elected hereditary peer following a by-election held in May 2004. He is a Vice Chairman of the British-Japanese Parliamentary Group. He served as joint Chairman of The Japan Society from 2000-04. He was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by HM The Emperor of Japan in 2014.

He is Deputy Chairman of The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, having served as a Trustee from 1991-2003 and as Chairman from 2006-13. He served with 4th Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets, TA, from 1972-80 (Captain 1976) and was appointed Honorary Air Commodore, 600 (City of London) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, in 2006. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Hertfordshire in 2008 and a Lieutenant of the City of London in 2014.

Hugh was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge. He is married to Fiona who served as High Sheriff of Hertfordshire 2013- 14. They have four children and four grandchildren and live at Standon, Hertfordshire. His interests include watching skiing and country pursuits.

Karen Trew

Karen is a chartered accountant who worked in audit practice at Deloitte before holding Finance and Procurement management positions in the retail sector between 1989 and 2003.

Subsequently, she has held several non-Executive and Chair positions in Public Services in health, justice and education sectors.

She has been a magistrate since 2004 and is Chair of the North and East Hertfordshire bench and a member of the Hertfordshire Out of Court Disposals Scrutiny Panel.

Her other current positions include being Chair of Governors / Trustees at The Broxbourne School, Chair of Governors at Wormley C of E Primary School (VC) and Deputy Chair and Lay Member for the NHS North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group.

Earlier work included five Non-Executive roles within the NHS and also Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Hertfordshire Probation Trust.

She has lived in Hertfordshire since 1982 and is married to Jonathan and has three adult children.

The Countess of Verulam (Dione) CVO

Lady Verulam CVO succeeded Sir Simon Bowes-Lyon as the Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire in June 2007. She retired from the role in August 2017 but continues as a Deputy Lieutenant. She is a liveryman of The Goldsmiths’ Company.

She was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 2002/3. She co-chaired Alban in Glory and Alban 2000 and has served on various National Trust Committees and on the Resources Acceptance in Lieu of Tax Panel.

As an artist, she has undertaken various stencilling commissions including at Cliveden and Hambleton Hall, several churches and for private clients and decorators. In 1980 she was a co-founder of Verona Stencilling.

She is married to the Earl of Verulam and they have four grown-up children and ten grandchildren.

Honorary Doctorate’s

2017  University of Hertfordshire  Doctor of Arts

Lady Verulam CVO is a Patron of a number of organisations including:

Hobbies and Interest

skiing, riding, golf, walking, trees, gardening, sightseeing, opera, theatre, dance, history, needlework and above all painting.

Lionel Wallace

Lionel is an Aeronautical Engineer, Consulting on Aviation Safety and a graduate in Law from the University of Hertfordshire.

He is a minister working particularly with Italian Churches in Europe. Lionel is involved in various charity and community organisations, including the Local Scrutiny and Involvement Panel of the Crown Prosecution Service.

He is married to Dawn and they have 2 boys.

Janie Wentworth-Stanley

Janie is a member of the Honours panel within the Lieutenancy.  She also sits on the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service panel as an assessor within the county, is a member of the Court of the University of Hertfordshire, and an assessor for CPRE rural living awards in Hertfordshire.

She moved to Hertfordshire with her family in the 80’s having lived in New York.  Initially she did voluntary work for the NSPCC and the Hertfordshire Association for Young People (HAYP).  She was a founder Trustee and Chairman of Pro-Action Hertfordshire.  She served as a school governor for 11 years and as a director of an art company in central London for 10 years.

Janie was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire between 2009-10 with a special focus for her year on hospices in Hertfordshire and young people.  She has organised fundraising activities and events for various charities including the NSPCC, University of Hertfordshire law school; a commemorative dinner for Armistice, and dinners and talent shows (rehearsing and encouraging young people to perform on stage) for Pro-Action.

Janie is Chairman of her Parish Council and Patron of Tring School for Performing Arts and Vice Patron of Pro-Action.

She has a passion for skiing, worked for the National Ski Federation of Great Britain and raced – in her youth!  She has a great love of the countryside, mountains and animals, and enjoys both the visual and performing arts.  She speaks adequate French.  Janie and her husband have three adult daughters and six grandchildren (so far!)

David Williams

David Williams was the Leader of Hertfordshire County Council from 2017 to 2021. Having been first elected as the member for Harpenden North East in 2013, he previously held the Cabinet portfolios of Resources, Property and the Economy and Enterprise, Education and Skills. He also served as Chairman of the Hertfordshire Local Government Pension Committee which had assets under management of £4.5bn.

A determined champion of local collaboration and partnership across the public sector, David chaired Hertfordshire Forward, the Hertfordshire Public Sector Leaders Steering Group, the COVID-19 Local Member Outbreak Board and co-chaired the Hertfordshire Emergency Services Collaboration Board.

David has had a keen interest in ensuring that good local growth builds on the strengths of the Hertfordshire economy, is sustainable and delivers homes to meet local housing needs in communities that exemplify Hertfordshire’s placemaking heritage. He established and chaired the Hertfordshire Growth Board, sat on the board of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Stevenage Development Board and was a Deputy Chairman of the UK Innovation Corridor.

Nationally, David was the chairman of the County Councils Network from 2019 to 2021– a cross-party grouping of 36 county authorities that represent some 26 million people across England. He sat on the Executive of the Local Government Association, the National Outbreak Control Plans Advisory Board and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Economic Recovery Group.

David is a Governor of the University of Hertfordshire and sits on the Finance Committee.

Born and educated in North Wales, David spent 24 years with Barclays culminating in senior executive roles. He has an economics degree from Cardiff University and an MBA from Henley Business School. He is married to Claire and has two grown up children.

Professor Sir Tim Wilson

Tim retired from the position of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire in 2010, having served the University for almost 2 decades; a period when it grew from being a small Polytechnic to a large international University. The University also achieved both the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and the Entrepreneurial University of the Year award during his tenure.

His entire career was focused on the interface between higher education and business, promoting collaboration in the fields of research exploitation, specialist consultancy and skills development. In that context, he was a core member of the Lambert Review (2003) on research exploitation, the primary author of the government sponsored Wilson Review (2012) of University-Business Collaboration, and an expert witness to the Select Committee for education. He has held key national and regional roles in the CBI, in University sector Policy boards, and in economic development agencies.

He holds degrees from Reading, Lancaster and Walden (USA) Universities and honorary doctorates from Hertfordshire, Plymouth and London South Bank Universities.

Her Majesty The Queen conferred a Knighthood on him in the New Years Honours list 2011, for Services to Higher Education and to Business. He became a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Hertfordshire in January 2011.

Since retiring from the University of Hertfordshire, he has held non-executive board positions in several companies – FTSE 250, private equity, and in private ownership – and chaired boards in specialist universities and colleges in London, Coventry, Singapore, Vancouver and Athens. He retired from these positions in 2020.

He recently retired from the position of Trustee of Garden House Hospice Care having served a maximum tenure of 10 years in that role.

He was elected as a Governor of Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation in December 2022.

He is a past Captain and a past President of Letchworth Golf Club. He strives for acceptable mediocrity in playing the sport, and continues to fail. He is a Vice President of Letchworth Rugby Club, extending a lifelong commitment to rugby.

With his wife Jackie, he has been a resident in Letchworth since 1991. Jackie is an active volunteer at the Lister Hospital Children’s ward and supports several local charities.

Akhtar Zaman

Akhtar Zaman attended primary and secondary education in St. Albans then went onto gain a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire. He has spent his working career with several multinational software companies both as a technician and in a management capacity including the role of CEO for a start-up consultancy business. He has traveled for work to over 20 countries worldwide, experiencing many varied cultures. Akhtar is married and has a daughter and two sons who also live and work in Hertfordshire.

Akhtar grew up in St. Albans and has been active from a young age with many voluntary organisations and charities. He has served and represented the Muslim and Asian communities over the past 30 years on various committees; currently, this includes being a trustee and chairman of two organisations.  Areas of interest include Faith Groups Collaboration, Youth Enablement Initiatives, Helping the Disadvantaged, Community Integrations/Relations, Promotion of Digital initiatives especially in the community.

In 2020, Akhtar became a governor of a Special Needs school in St. Albans – Heathlands School, and a Trustee for a Computer Training charity – Computer Friendly. He is also a trustee with Citizens Advice (CASTAD) in St Albans and the president of the South Asian Heritage Association (SAHA) which is part of One Vision in Watford.

He enjoys watching and playing all sports.

Akhtar is the chairman of the Lieutenancy Media Panel and a member of the Inter-Faith Panel.