Senior Leadership Team
We have an ambitious strategy: double survival within 10 years and halve the harm brain tumours have on quality of life within five years. Our Senior Leadership Team are responsible for shaping our goals and ensuring we achieve them.
For more information about our Senior Leadership Team, including more about their role and how they’re helping us achieve our goals, click each team member below.
Alex Lochrane – CEO
An experienced leader, I spent 24 years in the Royal Navy, joining straight from school, seven months after the Falklands War. I went on to serve in nuclear and diesel submarines, surface ships, overseas and the Ministry of Defence, before retiring as a Commander in 2007. It was then that the real work started as I learned to adapt my skills and experience to charity leadership.
Since then, I have led three charities ranging across Historic Houses, Education, Disability, Sailing and Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine. My first role was to reinvigorate the Historic House Chiddingstone Castle in Kent, from 2007-2009, before returning towards my maritime roots, leading the Jubilee Sailing Trust, in Southampton, from 2009-2014.
Prior to being offered the huge privilege of leading the Brain Tumour Charity, I led Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, from 2014 until 2021.
Now, the prospect of leading a team that has achieved so much, in a relatively short space of time, and who remain unswervingly committed to patients, to families, and to achieving two seemingly-daunting goals leaves me at once humbled and excited.
It is an enormous privilege to take on this role and I am inspired at the prospect of leading this amazing team and helping to guide The Charity as it writes the next chapter in its ground-breaking story.
The Charity has become a bright beacon drawing others to join and collaborate, as well as a lightning rod to channel the voices and powerful lived experiences of friends and families affected by brain tumours into achieving our two unashamedly ambitious goals of doubling survival rates and halving the harm caused by brain tumours.
David Jenkinson – Chief Scientific Officer
Science changes lives. A theory born and proved in a laboratory can have the most extraordinary impact, if the results are used effectively.
For me, studying biochemistry at university was the springboard to a career focused on developing better treatments for patients – partly by building partnerships between academic researchers and the pharmaceutical industry.
After completing a PhD at the University of London, I joined Cancer Research UK as a researcher before moving to a company exploring ways to use epigenetic factors to control tumour growth.
I went on to various roles at Cancer Research Technology, which was created to develop new and effective cancer therapies from some of the laboratory breakthroughs achieved by CRUK-funded scientists.
I’m a passionate believer in collaboration as the way to drive progress and during my time at CRT I introduced new ways to bring together business and universities.
Early diagnosis of cancer – a goal that’s key to so many people affected by a brain tumour – has also been a priority for me throughout my working life.
As Chief Scientific Officer for The Brain Tumour Charity, I can make a difference in so many ways that matter to the whole brain tumour community. It’s an opportunity I won’t waste.
Gina Almond – Director of Fundraising
After a career spanning over 20 years’ in the global commercial world within the media and publishing environment, I joined The Brain Tumour Charity from Blind Veterans UK, where as Head of Income Generation I built a team from scratch to implement a new five-year growth strategy.
Introducing several new creative initiatives including DRTV and face-to-face fundraising, I was instrumental in growing the income by £2.8m in 2 years (from £25.3 to £28.1m) and ensured the first two quarters of 2020 were the charity’s most successful for fundraising in the last five years.
Previous to this role, I held a number of significant posts in the publishing sector, including Global Marketing Director for Taylor and Francis as part of their senior executive team.
My role as The Brain Tumour Charity’s Director of Fundraising and Marketing has a remit to lead and grow primarily digital-first fundraising and marketing teams in order to raise money and awareness. These teams span all areas of supporter engagement including trusts and foundations, legacies, corporate partnerships, philanthropy, special events and challenges,
It is a shock to many people when they discover that brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40.
The ambition of The Charity to double survival and halve the harm that brain tumours cause, and the unapologetic speed with which they want to achieve these aims, is inspirational, and I am looking forward to harnessing this passion and drive of the team to generate the awareness and income that this disease deserves.
Laura Smith – Director of Talent
I’m a CIPD qualified and experienced senior HR generalist, who’s passionate about creating an engaged, happy and healthy team and an inclusive work environment that enables people to thrive, achieve their full potential and perform brilliantly.
I joined The Brain Tumour Charity in 2016, moved by the cause and motivated by The Charity’s clear vision, ambitious goals, measurable impact and inspiring and empowering values-led culture.
The Charity has grown so quickly and I have had the privilege of being part of that journey, helping to build a talented team of passionate, smart and collaborative pioneers – a team who are committed to making a difference for our community and who are shaping the future of what we do, moving us further and faster towards a world where brain tumours are defeated.
Prior to joining The Charity, I held senior HR roles in hospitality, global security and risk management and healthcare.
Catherine Fraher – Director of Services and Digital Health
Thousands of people every year have their lives turned upside down by a brain tumour diagnosis. My job is to make sure The Brain Tumour Charity is here to support each and every one of them in the most effective way, whenever and however they turn to us.
That means embracing digital technology without abandoning our personal approach, which is obviously easier said than done – but we embrace a challenge
I came to The Brain Tumour Charity from Age UK, where we harnessed technology to transform and expand the charity’s services, resulting a huge increase in the number of older people and families accessing support (and six awards!).
No-one can deliver that kind of change on their own or without listening to and empowering the people who matter most – the ones who need and use support services.
I’ve always been a passionate advocate of collaboration and the importance of inspiring a community to deliver a shared goal, whether that’s in the charity sector or at the commercial organisations where I’ve had senior roles, including eBay, Guardian Media Group and the Financial Times.
More than anything, I’m a problem-solver. Show me an obstacle to better-quality services and I’ll find a way through it or around it.
Liam Heffernan – Director of Finance & Governance
I joined The Brain Tumour Charity because it has set unashamedly ambitious goals of doubling survival and halving the harm caused by brain tumours. Furthermore, it goes about achieving those aims by challenging everyone to be the best they can be and making the charity as effective as possible.
I’m a Chartered Accountant with over twenty years’ experience in industry, most recently leading finance for a $1.5 billion turnover global electronics distributor through a business transformation.
Transformation is a crucial aspect for all organisations these days, as technology accelerates the rate of change, and managing that process requires skill and judgement. I’m keen to play my part in the journey of driving the transformation in the treatment and care of those with Brain Tumours.
I love the challenge of working with a great team to do amazing things, which is why the opportunity to join The Brain Tumour Charity was one I couldn’t refuse.
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We're raising the benchmark
We’ve been recognised as Charity of the Year 2018 for our pioneering approach, innovative research solutions and, above all, our community-centred approach to everything we do.