The National Literacy Trust is governed by trustees, an advisory committee and a council.
Our trustees come from diverse backgrounds and have more recently been assisting with the strategic development of the organisation. See below for short biographies on each of our trustees.
Amanda Jordan OBE (Chair)
As well as chairing the National Literacy Trust’s Board, Amanda is joint Chair of Corporate Citizenship formerly known as The SMART Company, which she founded in 2001 after a successful career spanning the voluntary and private sectors. In the 1990s she spent 10 years developing and managing an award-winning CSR programme for NatWest. She was also an Adviser to the Social Exclusion Unit in the Cabinet Office and a Non-Executive Director of the ODPM.
Amanda has a particular interest in the role that business plays in public policy development and has written and edited a number of publications focusing on the boundaries of "corporate responsibility". As well as advising clients on the importance of focused, relevant and measurable CSR and sustainability programmes Amanda presents on these issues at conferences in the UK and abroad.
Amanda’s interest in responsible business behaviour extends into the field of self-regulation. She currently chairs a working party for DCSF on regulating internet content and has also been a Non-Executive Director of the Banking Code Standards Board. In addition she is a member of the ICAEW CSR Committee and the ICC CSR Advisory Board at Nottingham University Business School. Amanda’s other not-for-profit work includes chairing the Baring Foundation. Amanda was a founding member of the National Lottery Charities Board 1994 – 2000 and was awarded her OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the voluntary sector.
Robert Lee Smith C.B. (Deputy Chair)
Rob Smith was a career civil servant between 1974 and 2005. He worked in various Departments including nearly 20 years at the Department for Education. During that period he took a leading part in the establishment of the cross-cutting Sure Start and Connexions programmes.
His final civil service post was as Director General for Regional Development in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. In this capacity he ran the Government Office Network and was responsible for 2,500 people working on Government programmes across the country. He chaired the Regional Directors’ Management Board and was a member of the main boards in three different Departments. He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 2004. He is now Deputy Chair of The Place2Be and a member of Cancer Research UK. He also provides mentoring, seminar and consultancy services on Government and Whitehall.
Naomi Eisenstadt CB
Naomi Eisenstadt CB, was the first Director of the Sure Start Unit, which she ran for seven years. The Unit was responsible for delivering the government’s commitment to free nursery education places for all three and four-year-olds, the national childcare strategy, and programmes aiming to reduce the gap in outcomes between children living in disadvantaged areas and the wider child population. This was later extended to developing policy on parenting support, and a greatly enhanced delivery system for the provision of extended services for families with school aged children, including childcare and school based family support.
After Sure Start, Naomi spent three years as the Director of the Social Exclusion Task Force working across government to identify and tackle policy barriers that increase the likelihood of exclusion, and to design new policies to reduce the exclusion faced by some of the most disadvantaged individuals, families, and groups. Naomi recently retired from the UK civil service and is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Departments of Education and Social Policy, University of Oxford. Naomi was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Open University in 2002, and the CB in 2005.
Peter Kellner has been President of the pioneering online survey research company, YouGov since April 2007, having served as Chairman from 2001 until 2007. He won the 2007 “Chairman of the Year” award from the Quoted Companies Alliance. He is also Chairman of the Royal Commonwealth Society.
During the past four decades he has written for a variety of newspapers, including the Times, Independent, Evening Standard and New Statesman. He has also been a regular contributor to programmes with the BBC and Channel Four including Newsnight, A Week in Politics, Powerhouse, Analysis and election night results programmes on television and radio. He has written, or contributed to, a variety of books and leaflets about politics, elections and public affairs.
Peter has also been a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Policy Studies Institute, London, and served as a member of committees set up by the Economic and Social Research Council to commission research into elections and social exclusion. Before joining YouGov, Peter acted as a consultant on public opinion research to a number of organisations, including the Bank of England, Corporation of London, Foreign Office, National Westminster Bank and Trades Union Congress.
George is a business and economics graduate from the University of Edinburgh who had a corporate career with Ford, Motorola and Cable & Wireless. Since 1992 he has owned and managed several ventures in the telecommunications industry. He is considered an experienced serial entrepreneur having both raised venture capital and sold successful businesses over a 15-year period. Living in central London, he lists his interests as family, reading, gardening and motor racing.
Gail Rebuck DBE
Dame Gail Rebuck, DBE, is Chair and Chief Executive of The Random House Group, one of the largest general book publishers in the UK. She is also a Non-Executive Director of BSkyB, a Director of Skillset and on the Council of the Royal College of Art.
Gail chairs the Quick Reads adult literacy initiative, part of the World Book Day Charity, which she launched in 1998. Early in 2009 she sat on the Government's Panel: Fair Access to the Professions. Gail was voted Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year in April 2009 and awarded a DBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Jane Reed CBE
Jane Reed is a director of Times Newspapers Limited. She was editor of Woman's Own magazine throughout the seventies where she twice received the Editor of the Year Award. In 1979 she left to take over the commercial publishing function for a group of IPC glossy monthly titles, and later become editor‑in‑chief on Woman, before joining the Specialist, Educational and Leisure Group in IPC as assistant managing director.
In 1983 she was appointed to the main board of IPC and as managing director set up the Holborn Publishing Group. She left IPC in 1985 to help launch the new national newspaper TODAY and later became managing editor. She left four years later to set up a corporate affairs office for News International plc at their headquarters in Wapping, where she was director for eleven years. In 2000 she received the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) award from HM The Queen for services to the publishing industry.
She is a Council member of the National Literacy Trust; a non-executive director of The Media Trust; former trustee of St Katherine & Shadwell Trust; member of the editorial board of The British Journalism Review; former President of the Media Society; past member of the Royal Society's Committee on the Public Understanding of Science and Nuffield Council for Bio-Ethics and has appeared frequently on radio and television.
Joanna Trollope OBE
Joanna Trollope has been writing for over 30 years. Her enormously successful contemporary works of fiction, several of which have been televised, include: The Choir, A Village Affair, A Passionate Man and The Rector's Wife, which was her first number one bestseller and made her into a household name. Since then she has written many books including The Best of Friends, Next of Kin, Other People’s Children, Marrying the Mistress, Second Honeymoon, Friday Nights, The Other Family, Daughters in Laws and her latest bestseller, The Soldier’s Wife. Joanna also wrote Britannia’s Daughters – a non-fiction study of women in the British Empire – as well as a number of historical novels now published under Caroline Harvey. Joanna was awarded the OBE in 1996 for services to literature.
Honor Wilson-Fletcher MBE
Honor Wilson-Fletcher joined The Aldridge Foundation as its first Director in January 2010. Previously she was at the National Literacy Trust, where she was appointed on behalf of the Department for Children, Schools and Families as Project Director of the 2008 National Year of Reading. She was awarded an MBE for services to Education in the New Year's Honours List 2009/10 for her work in that role. She stayed on at the National Literacy Trust as Strategic Development Director until the end of 2009.
Wilson-Fletcher has worked in the booktrade in a variety of roles: as Head of PR at Waterstone’s, Associate publisher at Transworld, Sales and Marketing Director at Hodder Children’s Books and in both sales and marketing roles at Penguin. She also worked in editorial with BOL.com, and as Head of Marketing for the British Museum and as Director of Marketing at the Southbank Centre.
She has served as a member of the Literature Panel of the Arts Council of England, was an appraisal panel member for the National Theatre, has served as a board member for Booktrust, Poetry Book Society, The Edinburgh International Book Festival and The Reading Agency and is now a Member of the Public Programmes Committee for the Bishopsgate Institute and an Advisory Group member for Whole Education.