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.
Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE (Chair)
Julia is a passionate and practical campaigner who has gained an international reputation for “connecting the unconnected”, inspiring individuals and organisations from business, government, education and civil society to work together for the common good.
As Vice President of Business in the Community and Special Adviser to the Prince’s Charities - particularly on responsible business practice and the Place Strategy to improve disadvantaged communities - she promotes collaboration among senior leaders from business, government, education and community organisations to build a more robust civil society.
Julia also plays senior leadership roles in programmes that engage and inspire young people to become active citizens, including the Campaign for Youth Social Action, the National Citizen Service and Teach First. Her other leadership roles in charitable organisations include: Chair of the Advisory Board of the Newnham College Campaign; NCVO Board Trustee; Patron of the Helena Kennedy Foundation; WWF UK Fellow; Member of the Commonwealth Study Conference Leaders Advisory Group.
Julia also serves as Chair of the Corporate Responsibility Committee of nPower and as an external adviser to the Sustainability Advisory Committee of Carillion.
Listed by The Times as one of the 50 most influential women in Britain, Julia is much in demand on corporate and educational platforms as a speaker and catalyst for collaborative action. Over the course of her career she has worked to build more effective leadership and cross-sector partnerships spanningbusiness, charities, education and community domains as well as encouraging women to develop their careers and their work life balance.
Julia began her working life in 1972 in industrial relations at British Leyland, after graduating with a History degree at Newnham College, Cambridge. She joined the Industrial Society and was seconded to Anglo American in South Africa and then developed and led the Education and Inner City Division from 1981 — 1988, during which time The Industrial Society became the leading provider of management training for education and voluntary organisations. In 1988 she was appointed as Development Director of Business in the Community and became Chief Executive in 1992.
She was appointed CBE in 1996 and CVO in the New Year’s Honours’ list in 2002 and a DCVO in the Queen’s Honours list in 2008. She holds an Honorary LLD from the University of Warwick, and Honorary Degrees from Harper Adams University College for her support of rural communities and Honorary Degrees from University of Middlesex and The University of Central Lancashire.
Gareth Hughes (Treasurer)
Gareth is a chartered accountant and a Director at PwC LLP where he has been working in the mergers and acquisition team for the last 11 years. Gareth leads teams for global PwC accounts on international transactions and has significant corporate and private equity contacts and experience. Gareth is a Law and Accounting graduate from Leeds university. Outside work, he enjoys spending time with his family, travelling, music and reading.
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.
Gail Rebuck DBE
Gail Rebuck is chair of the UK Board of Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the UK. She also sits on the General Management Committee of Bertelsmann, the international media group and is their UK Country Coordinator. She chairs the Quick Reads adult literacy initiative, part of the World Book Day charity that she launched in 1998, and the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Gail is patron of Skillset (Sector Skills for Creative Media) and on the Council of the Royal College of Art. Early in 2009 she sat on the Government's panel for 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.