Our People

We see the people who work with us as our single most important resource. Our organisation simply would not exist without the talent, energy and professionalism they bring. We aim to recruit and retain the best people who are personally and professionally committed to make a positive difference to the built environment. This is the way to guarantee our continued success into the future. You can see some of our dedicated professionals at work in our ‘BRE Uncovered’ film, and meet those who are leading our wide ranging activities below.

AllBRE Group Board DirectorsBRE Group Senior LeadersChief Scientist

Gillian Charlesworth

Chief Executive Officer, BRE Group

As BRE Group’s Chief Executive, Gillian is responsible for the organisation’s strategy and performance. She works closely with BRE Trustees and the Group Board to define our purpose, vision and long-term goals.

Gillian Charlesworth

Chief Executive Officer, BRE Group

As BRE Group’s Chief Executive, Gillian is responsible for the organisation’s strategy and performance. She works closely with BRE Trustees and the Group Board to define our purpose, vision and long-term goals.

Before joining BRE Group, Gillian was an Executive Director at RICS, where she held a number of roles covering assurance and enforcement of standards, global brand growth and thought leadership. She is passionate about the importance and potential of the built environment in creating sustainable, vibrant and productive life on the planet.

In her earlier career Gillian worked in the UK Civil service and with several professions and industries as a regulator and advocate. She promotes responsible leadership and one of her career highlights was being included in Women of the Future’s inaugural top 50 list of Kind Leaders in 2018.

Andrew Herbert

Interim Chief Financial Officer

Andrew has worked as a professional interim manager for over 25 years. He qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young and has since held senior management positions in a wide range of organisations in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

Andrew Herbert

Interim Chief Financial Officer

Andrew has worked as a professional interim manager for over 25 years with experience in change programmes and turnaround work. He qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young and has since held senior management positions in a wide range of organisations in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors including NatWest Group, Guide Dogs for the Blind and more recently the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

He also works as a non-executive director having held a range of positions including chairman of Octavia Housing a registered housing association based in West London and past chair of the London Society of Chartered Accountants.

In one of his previous roles Andrew was managing director of Radio Taxis Group where he championed the move to becoming the first carbon neutral transport business as part of the company’s overall CSR plan. Andrew has spoken at numerous conferences on the business benefits of going carbon neutral and practises what he preaches having embarked on a personal project to restore a late Victorian town house, in a conservation area, whilst trying to achieve as low a carbon footprint as possible.

Andrea Sutherill

People and Wellbeing Director

Andrea is responsible for defining and delivering our people strategies and programmes that improve our organisation and people capability to deliver our overall goals.

Andrea Sutherill

People and Wellbeing Director

Andrea’s career in HR spans over 20 years in a range of different roles across industry sectors including engineering, professional services, financial services and technology. Andrea joined BRE in April 2017 as Head of HR to help transform the HR team and operational delivery before taking up her current role in May 2019 where she is responsible for leading our People and Wellbeing team.

Prior to joining BRE, Andrea was the HR Director for the UK & Ireland at Pitney Bowes whilst also holding European HR Director responsibilities for the Supply Chain and Customer Operations functions. Andrea has held prior HR leadership positions in Santander and MBDA. An experienced and commercial HR generalist by background, Andrea has a passion for business transformation and change.

Jane Goddard

Director, Corporate Affairs

Jane works across the BRE Group and is responsible for the public and corporate affairs, brand and communications

Jane Goddard

Director, Corporate Affairs

As Director of Corporate Affairs Jane will works across BRE to bring together our brand, communication, corporate and public affairs activities to increase awareness and engagement with BRE. She is also working to increase the value of the partnerships that BRE has with our key stakeholders and to develop and implement an effective communications strategy and plan. As a senior commercial leader, Jane has a range of skills and expertise in business development, PR, public affairs and marketing gained in the UK and internationally.

Jane’s experience, over 30 years in marketing and communications, have covered IT, transport and latterly sustainability. Her previous role as Director of Marketing and Business Development at the Energy Saving Trust encompassed working with government, businesses and consumers to influence policy and increase the uptake of energy efficiency measures,  providing her with a wealth of knowledge of both the housing, energy and sustainability.

Simon Alderson

Director, Commercial and Products

Simon works across the BRE Group and is responsible for the commercial strategy, customer experience, sales, marketing, and product management.

Simon Alderson

Director, Commercial and Products

As Director of Commercial and Products, Simon has full revenue responsibility across the BRE Group. He works across BRE to bring together our commercial, marketing, lead generation and business development activities into a cohesive strategy and plan

Prior to joining BRE Simon was Vice President at Pitney Bowes Software, leading the EMEA Division to deliver data and technology solutions to support business improvement to many of the world’s leading public and private sector organisations.

Over 20 years, he has fulfilled various leadership, commercial and sales focused roles predominantly in data and technology, with wide ranging sector experience. Simon is passionate about leading revenue growth through development and delivery of client centric products and solutions. Present and future market and client needs will be met through innovation, strong partnerships, clear commercial strategy, and open communications.

Dr Martin Ganley

Construction Innovation Hub Director | Director of Electronics, Security & Inspection Services

Martin leads the testing and certification of products and services, including fire detection, fire system installers, security, microgeneration, BIM and ISO auditing.

Dr Martin Ganley

Construction Innovation Hub Director | Director of Electronics, Security & Inspection Services

Martin joined BRE in 2011 and is responsible for business areas covering the testing and certification of products and services. This includes fire detection, fire system installers, security, microgeneration, BIM (Building Information Modelling) and ISO auditing. He is also the lead for BRE’s Smart Homes and Buildings activities which covers research, smart demonstrators, the development of training, standards and guidance across the areas of connectivity, cyber security, energy, health and wellbeing, safety and security, construction and installation.

Prior to BRE, Martin worked in engineering consultancy, concentrating mainly on radiocommunications and working across construction, rail, defence and aerospace sectors.

Piers White MBE

BRE Group Chair

Piers has extensive board and business experience and now dedicates his time to organisations with a wider public purpose. His expertise includes board leadership, audit, risk and governance, business strategy, service improvement and IT-enabled change management.

Piers White MBE

BRE Group Chair

Piers is a banker by profession. He was formerly UK Chief Executive and a member of the Group Management Board of Bank Insinger de Beaufort NV until their sale to BNP Paribas in 2008. For 10 years he ran, grew and then sold a variety of complex financial services businesses, in the UK and overseas. Prior to that he spent 15 years in retail banking at Barclays where his last role was Service Director running the UK branches with 20,000 staff.

Piers was appointed BRE Group Chair in November 2019. He is also Chair of Courier Facilities Ltd and a Non-Executive at both Hyde Housing Association and NHS Blood and Transplant. His past Chair/Non-Executive roles have spanned the Public, Private and Third Sectors and have involved working on strategy, customer service & operational transformation in order to support the continued success of organisations. Previous related roles include Ploughshare Innovations, Nominet, Ordnance Survey and CIPFA Business.

Mal Sivapunniyan

Non Executive Director, BRE Group

Mal is a senior Executive at Dentsu Group Inc and Chartered Accountant with considerable experience advising and transforming companies’ risk management and internal processes and controls.

Mal Sivapunniyan

Non Executive Director, BRE Group

Mal is currently the Executive Director, Risk and Audit at Dentsu Group Inc and Director of Risk and Audit at Dentsu International. She is responsible for leading a high-profile global Risk and Audit function which thrives in a fast-paced, complex and entrepreneurial environment. She has extensive Audit Committee and Risk Committee experience and works with teams both in the UK and internationally. Mal is a passionate leader with experience of managing complex projects; embracing diverse and agile environments; and leading from the front to enable organisations to achieve success.

Previously she was a Risk Assurance Director at PwC UK advising clients on governance matters, risk management processes, internal controls framework, business and IT processes. Mal is also a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

Mal is a strong collaborator and relationship builder, with a passion for connecting and inspiring others to achieve their potential.

Brigid Sutcliffe

Non-Executive Director, BRE Group

Brigid is an experienced Non-Executive director and chartered accountant with a background in management consulting, professional services and business transformation.

Brigid Sutcliffe

Non-Executive Director, BRE Group

Chartered Accountant Brigid Sutcliffe was appointed to the BRE Group board as Non Executive Director in July 2016

Brigid is an experienced Non Executive director and chartered accountant with a background in management consulting, professional services and business transformation. She has held senior positions at Arthur Andersen and Telos Partners. Brigid will also take on the role of Chair of the Audit Committee which supports both the BRE Group Board and BRE Trust Council on finance and risk management issues.

Brigid is currently Non-executive Director of the National Physical Laboratory.

Ashley Wheaton

Non-Executive Director, BRE Group

CEO of the University College of Estate Management, Ashley Wheaton, was appointed to the BRE Group Board as a Non-Executive Director in July 2016. Ashley, who has been a BRE Trustee since 2015, brings with him considerable experience of online and digital training and education services. In his earlier career he was Director of Global Learning Services for Microsoft Corp based in the USA and Chief Executive Officer of InfoBasis Ltd, a global Talent Management software company. He holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from University of London.

Ashley Wheaton

Non-Executive Director, BRE Group

CEO of the University College of Estate Management, Ashley Wheaton, was appointed to the BRE Group Board as a Non-Executive Director in July 2016.

Ashley, who has been a BRE Trustee since 2015, brings with him considerable experience of online and digital training and education services. In his earlier career he was Director of Global Learning Services for Microsoft Corp based in the USA and Chief Executive Officer of InfoBasis Ltd, a global Talent Management software company. He holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from University of London.

Darran Messem

Non-Executive Director, BRE Group

Darran is an independent Non-Executive Director and consultant with over 30 years experience leading business development in energy, transport and the environment.

Darran Messem

Non-Executive Director, BRE Group

Darran is an experienced executive with over 30 years experience with companies including Shell, British Airways and the Carbon Trust, and over 10 years’ experience as a company director. He is currently Chair of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (‘LowCVP’, a membership organisation sponsored by the UK Department for Transport), and Director of Velocys (a listed sustainable fuel company). Darran’s Board roles have included Audit Committee (Chair), Remuneration Committee (Chair), Appointments Committee, Strategy Committee and Refinancing team. Darran’s achievements include Chairing Iogen Energy and developing production of cellulose ethanol; Chairing the LowCVP and expanding its role despite pressures on public spending; and playing a lead role in the commercialisation and internationalisation of the Carbon Trust.

Prof. Jeremy Watson CBE

Chief Scientist and Engineer

Jeremy’s specialities include research strategy, innovation processes, emerging technology identification, R&D and technology deployment.

Prof. Jeremy Watson CBE

Chief Scientist and Engineer

Jeremy Watson CBE FREng FIET FICE is BRE’s Chief Scientist and Engineer, and Chair of the UK Chapter of buildingSMART.

Concurrently, he is Vice-Dean, with responsibility for engineering mission at UCL and Professor of Engineering Systems in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy. Jeremy was previously Arup’s Global Research Director, and until November 2012, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG).

An electronics and control engineer by training and practice, he has experience of research and technical direction in industry and universities, also governing board membership at TSB (InnovateUK) and EPSRC, plus service with NERC and HEFCE. He recently served on two government SAGE panels (Flooding and Pandemics) and a Blackett Review. His specialities include research strategy, innovation processes, emerging technology identification, R&D and technology deployment. Jeremy is Deputy President of the IET.