17 May 2012: SHINE is delighted to announce that Gus O’Donnell, recently Head of the Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary to three Prime Ministers, has agreed to become a Patron of SHINE. We are also pleased to report two new additions to SHINE’s Board of Trustees.
Now sitting in the House of Lords as Baron O’Donnell of Clapham, Gus recently retired from a stellar career in public service. He joined the Treasury as an economist in 1979 and went on to work in the British Embassy in Washington. On his return to the UK, he became press secretary to the Chancellor and, later on, to the Prime Minister, John Major.
After another spell working in Washington, Gus was back at the Treasury. In 2002, he was appointed its Permanent Secretary; three years later, was appointed Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, where he served three Prime Ministers: Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron. Renowned for his approachable, informal style, Gus was also credited with the careful preparations made by the civil service for a hung parliament – work that proved valuable in the negotiations that followed the 2010 General Election.
GO’D and SHINE
Gus has been a firm supporter of SHINE’s work for a decade or more, regularly attending our November Benefit Dinners. At last year’s Benefit Dinner, he was one of four ‘wise men’ sold off as dinner guests (along with Nick Robinson, Evan Davis and Gavyn Davies) while, eight years earlier, he rather sportingly allowed us to auction off the chance to make up a tennis foursome with him and Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England.
No surprise, then, that SHINE’s Chairman, Jim O’Neill, warmly welcomed his arrival: “I am truly delighted that Gus has agreed to become a Patron of SHINE. Gus has served this country with distinction and is widely respected for his intellect, energy and leadership. Meanwhile, his loyal support of Manchester United is surely proof enough, were any required, of his superb judgement. Gus has been a good friend to SHINE for many years and I know that his outstanding reputation and experience will prove invaluable to our work.”
New trustee appointments
Gus’ arrival coincides with two new appointments to SHINE’s Board of Trustees. Bridget Walsh is a Partner at Ernst & Young, where she built its global restructuring tax business. She is now responsible for its UK and Ireland Transaction tax practice, and chairs its Partner Council.
A graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, and Southampton University, Bridget is passionate about the impact that education can have on young lives. She said: “I am only too aware of the important, central role that education has played in my own life. It’s incredibly unfair that it’s the children who most need the life-changing opportunities that education can provide who are least likely to receive them. So I hope that, by joining SHINE, I can help them tackle this problem in some small way.”
Natasha Pope is a Managing Director with Goldman Sachs in London where she runs their European Alpha Cross Asset Business, selling various fixed income products to hedge fund clients. She joined Goldman after graduating from Cambridge University, where she was awarded the Adam Smith Prize for Economics, and has since covered a number of markets, both in London and New York, at Credit Suisse as well as Goldman.
Since 2009, Natasha has also been the London Chair of Philanthropy for the professional organisation 100 Women in Hedge Funds, responsible for their annual fundraising galas. During her time in this role, the galas have raised more than £1.5 million for charity. This includes nearly £250,000 for SHINE at 100WHF’s 2009 gala event, held at the Locarno Suite in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Clearly possessing a golden touch, Natasha also loves singing and water-skiing. SHINE is delighted to welcome both Natasha and Bridget to the team.