Who We Are

Meet our Staff and Trustees 

Our Board & Exec

Lord Richard Layard

Professor of Economics at LSE; founder director of Centre for Economic Performance and Head of Well-Being program. Author of best-selling books HappinessThrive and Can we be happier? Chairman and co-founder of AfH.

Profile: Richard Layard

Dr Radha Modgil

Practising NHS doctor, broadcaster & campaigner for wellbeing. Medical expert for BBC Radio 1’s daytime show, Life Hacks and presenter of their weekly Life Hacks Podcast. Radha has an extensive broadcast career and has contributed to many books.

Profile: Dr Radha Modgil

Mike Nolet

An entrepreneur and philanthropist using his technology and strategy skills for social good. Founded the tech platform LiveBetter and was the co-founder and CTO at AppNexus. Mike is a member of Founders Pledge. 

Profile: Mike Nolet

Julie Bentley

CEO of Samaritans, with extensive experience in the charity sector including as CEO of Action for Children, Girlguiding, Family Planning Association and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust. Joint Vice Chair of NCVO and has held trustee roles at several other charities, including Shelter.

Profile: Julie Bentley

Vanessa King

Head of Psychology & Workplaces for Action for Happiness.

Writer, speaker, leadership and organisation development consultant, expert in positive psychology. Author of 10 Keys to Happier Living and co-author of Creating The World We Want To Live In.

Profile: Vanessa King

Dr Mark Williamson

Director and co-founder of Action for Happiness.

Experienced leader with a wide range of expertise across both commercial and non-profit sectors.

Profile: Dr Mark Williamson

Our Patron

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. He is the spiritual leader of Tibet.

Find out more about how we work together here

Our Team

Alex Nunn

Head of Movement Building 

Alex works to help grow and deepen the impact of our movement. He leads the Exploring What Matters course programme supporting hundreds of volunteers to run local community-building courses. He has been with us since January 2014.

Sarah Vero

Head of Communications 

Sarah leads our communications activities to raise the profile of the Action for Happiness mission with the media and general public. She has been with us since November 2018.

Tanya Barrett

Program Admin Coordinator

Tanya helps support our local courses and volunteer course leaders. She has been volunteering with us for many years and working in this role since October 2016.

Gaby Deschamps

Program Systems Coordinator

Gaby helps to support the setup and operation of our local courses. She has been working in this role since February 2017.

Joshua French

Volunteer Training Coordinator

Joshua has been supporting and training our volunteer network since spring 2021. He has been a co-organiser of the Action for Happiness Brighton group for many years.

Jo Holloway Green

Community Wellbeing and Safeguarding

Jo looks after the wellbeing of our community and supports our activities to be safe and inclusive. She joined the team in 2022.

Clair Cohen

Admin & Community Support 

Clair supports our monthly calendars and keeps our day to day activity on track. She joined the team in March 2022.

Tracy Ampah

Strategic Advisor

Tracy is a qualified Positive Psychology practitioner with specialist expertise in organisational development, leadership, wellness, coaching, engagement, diversity and inclusion, learning and culture change. She has been supporting AfH since May 2015.

Stan Rosenthal

Happy Cafe Network Coordinator

Stan helped set up our very successful Brighton group and developed the Happy Cafe concept which he's now helping to replicate in other towns and cities.

Val Payne

Happiness in Schools

Since May 2014, Val (a teacher and education consultant) has been helping to develop and roll-out the Keys to Happier Living toolkit for schools. 

Peter Harper

Happiness in Schools

Since May 2014, Peter (a consultant clinical psychologist) has been helping to develop and roll-out the Keys to Happier Living toolkit for schools.

Former Trustees

Sir Anthony Seldon

Former Vice-Chancellor of Buckingham University and Master of Wellington College, where he famously introduced well-being classes. Author of many books including Beyond Happiness. Co-founder of AfH.

Profile: Anthony Seldon

Sir Geoff Mulgan

Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at UCL. Previously Chief Executive of Nesta, CEO of the Young Foundation and Head of Policy in the Prime Minister's office. Co-founder of the think-tank Demos. Co-founder of AfH.

Profile: Geoff Mulgan

Dame Julie Mellor

Julie is currently Chair of Demos and Chair of the Young Foundation. Following a career in business with Shell, TSB and British Gas, she became Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission from 1999-2005 and then a partner at PwC. From 2012-17 Julie was Chair of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. 

Profile: Julie Mellor 

Our Daily Action - 1

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