Meet the team

ROSA, the UK fund for women and girls

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Samantha Rennie
Executive Director

Samantha’s career has focused on promoting social justice in the UK and internationally, particularly through setting up and running funding programmes. She has held senior roles with the Lottery, Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund as well as board and senior advisory positions with London Funders and Comic Relief. She recently set up and ran the Government’s £20M Homeless Transition Fund with Homeless Link.

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Marilyn List
Interim Chair

Marilyn List is chair of The List Family Foundation Limited (LFFL) and its USA based affiliate, which has focused its efforts on initiatives that help women and girls since it was founded in 2002.

Marilyn’s background is in health care and education and she has been involved in the voluntary sector for many years, holding leadership positions with Junior League of London, Junior League of Denver, Young Patronesses of the Opera (Miami). She is committed to efforts that focus on the needs of women and girls because she believes this sector tends to be under resourced by traditional funding sources and because efforts in this space can often produce extraordinary benefits.

Through LFFL, Marilyn made the research happen that showed how vital Rosa’s role is in the UK, and has provided grants totalling some £1,000,000 to UK and USA based organisations that benefit women and girls.

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Ruth Pearson
Trustee

Ruth is a Professor of Development Studies at the University of Leeds. Her research interests include gender and work in the global economy; home-based work and workers organisations; gendered analysis of production and social reproduction; migrant workers and identity (Burma, Thailand, UK); gender and economic transition (Cuba); money (micro credit, community currencies); hypothecated taxation; gender and development policy and prospects.

Ruth has considerable experience of management of voluntary sector organisations in the UK and internationally, currently or previously serving on the boards of War on Want, the Women’s Employment Enterprise and Training Unit, the Women’s Health Information Support Services and the Association of Women’s Rights in Development. She joined Rosa’s board in January 2011.

Sharon Malhi
Trustee

Sharon is a Senior Associate in the Antitrust, Competition and Trade Group of the international law firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. She is passionate about gender equality and the social and economic empowerment of women and girls.

As co-chair of the Freshfields London Women’s Network until May 2017, Sharon led a number of initiatives relevant to the business success of women at Freshfields including developing a cross-departmental mentoring scheme using an online technology platform; establishing a successful speaker series, regularly bringing together women across a range of seniorities and disciplines; and through her participation in attending and speaking at a number of corporate gender strategy-focused events.

Linda McDowell
Trustee

Linda is an academic geographer at Oxford University. Her research interests include the changing nature of women’s waged and unwaged work in the UK, migration and social inequality. She has been active in several initiatives to support women in UK universities and until recently was the chair of the Foundation of Urban and Regional Studies that provides financial support for students from World Bank countries
B and C to study in Europe and North America. In January 2016 she was appointed CBE. She joined the ROSA board in October 2016.

Sheila Jane Malley
Trustee

Sheila Jane Malley has been involved in grant making for many years, having been until recently the Director of Grant making and Policy for BBC Children in Need since 2006. She has been a Trustee of a number of funders and is currently a Board member of the Co-operative Foundation and of the Association of Charitable Foundations.

She is an advocate of a community development approach and has long experience of it, both in Northern Ireland, where she worked for many years and where she still lives, and across the four nations of the UK. Her experience of the voluntary and community sector across the UK has shown her what a fundamentally important role women of all ages play at the grassroots in local communities and how much communities as a whole benefit from women becoming increasingly empowered.

Kay Ali
Trustee

Kay is currently the Head of Partnerships at Youth Business International who are a global network supporting youth entrepreneurship. In her role, she is responsible for heading up the development of global and regional partnerships with new donors including institutions, corporates and leading foundations as part of the Fundraising and Communications team.

Previously, Kay has gained extensive experience in developing and delivering successful funding partnerships, marketing and monitoring & evaluation across the charity, NGO and public sector for around 15 years. Kay holds a BA (Hons) degree in Politics and an MSc in Migration. She also undertakes a number of voluntary roles including an advisory board membership at the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary University of London.

David Aeron-Thomas
Treasurer

David is a sustainability measurement consultant. He is a chartered accountant, has worked with companies and NGOs and has been a trustee of a grant making trust.
He has spent 32 years working with organisations to use measurement and common sense to better understand their business: at KPMG; as a Finance Director; at the New Economics Foundation developing Social Return on Investment; and at Forum for the Future delivering sustainability measurement.

David’s daughter pointed out that there are more Chief Executives of FTSE companies called David than there are women Chief Executives. This is a symptom and a cause of an unbalanced world that he is committed to change.

He joined Rosa’s Board as Treasurer in April 2017.

Niamh Grogan
Trustee

Niamh is Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer at Domestic and General, UK leading supplier of appliance care. She is also a member of the Law Society’s Audit Committee and Acting Chair of Binc which is striving to ignite a historic global business movement for disability inclusion.

She was previously CLRO of Visa Europe and a partner in the Competition and Regulatory team of European law firm SJ Berwin, where she lead the firm’s CSR policy and women’s network for many years.

Niamh is a passionate advocate for gender equality and female empowerment which she lives every day.