- Professor Peter Fonagy
- Ros Bidmead
- Andrea King
- Professor Eamon McCrory
- Jaime Smith, MBE
- Professor Jess Deighton
- Jonathan Robinson
- Christine Kanu
Professor Peter Fonagy
Peter Fonagy is Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre. He is also Head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at UCL. In the US he holds professorships at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and at Yale and Harvard Medical Schools.
Peter Fonagy’s research on early development and developmental psychopathology has demonstrated that secure parent-infant attachment facilitates children’s development of the ability to understand their own and others’ thoughts, feelings and wishes (mentalization), which in turn influences personality development and mental health.
These findings have influenced social policy on early childcare, adoption and fostering. With Anthony Bateman, Peter has developed and evaluated mentalization based treatment (MBT), which both in the UK and worldwide is transforming clinical work with patients with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder who were once seen as ‘untreatable’. Peter Fonagy teaches on several of our trainings in Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) - for more information, please visit his Tutor Profile or the Mentalization-Based Treatment Training Programme
Listen to a profile of Peter Fonagy’s profile BBC Radio4’ The Life Scientific (January 2020)
Read a profile of Peter Fonagy in The Observer (May 2019)
Director of Clinical Division
Andrea has worked in public sector for over twenty years specialising in children’s service multi-professional systems improvement. Starting off in the voluntary sector, Andrea worked for central government and was a senior leader in Local Authority for many years spanning both children’s, adults’, mental health and criminal justice services. This has included working as a strategic leader to improve multi-professional services by keeping a focus on children and galvanising the talent of passionate professionals. This included leading innovations in the world of children’s mental health service design and safeguarding that have been presented to Select Committee and other national leaders as examples of national best practice.
More recently, Andrea oversaw CYP mental health transformation and improvement in the South East region for NHSE/I and provided pan-regional national leadership on vulnerable children’s access to timely, good quality mental health support, with a particular focus on Children in Care and Care Leavers. Andrea is passionate about promoting a greater national understanding the impact of inequality, discrimination and social exclusion has on our children and young people.
Professor Eamon McCrory
Director of Postgraduate Studies
Professor Eamon McCrory is Director of Postgraduate Studies at the Centre which currently comprises 10 UCL programmes, ranging from certificate to doctoral level, with over 300 students enrolled.
Eamon completed his PhD at UCL in cognitive neuroscience before undertaking doctoral training in clinical psychology at KCL. He now co-directs the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit (https://drru-research.org) at UCL and has a research focus on early adversity in childhood. His work uses brain imaging and psychological approaches to shed light on our understanding of how childhood maltreatment can increase vulnerability to later mental health problems and advance our understanding of prevention and intervention.
Eamon is also visiting professor at the Yale Child Study Center and co-chair of the UK Trauma Council.
Jaime Smith, MBE
Director of Schools
Jaime Smith is the Director of the Schools division at the Anna Freud Centre.
Jaime has over 20 years of experience in the education sector, starting her career as a secondary school teacher in London. She has worked in Local Authorities and across the charity sector, with a focus on vulnerable children and young people.
Since joining the Anna Freud Centre, Jaime has overseen the delivery of three national DfE funded programmes, including the Link Programme, Education for Wellbeing and Peer Support for children and young people’s mental health. In 2020, she led the delivery of Wellbeing for Education Return, a programme of training to support schools as they returned after the first period of lockdown.
Jaime leads the Schools in Mind network for educational professionals. The network aims to translate research into practice by providing evidence-based, accessible information and resources that can be used to embed good mental health practices across the whole school community.
In June 2021 Jaime was awarded an MBE for services to education in the Queens birthday honours list.
Professor Jess Deighton
Director of Applied Research and Evaluation
Professor Jess Deighton is Director of the Applied Research and Evaluation Division at the Anna Freud Centre, Director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit and Professor in Child Mental Health and Wellbeing at UCL. Her expertise focus on:
- the evaluation of interventions and multifaceted programmes to support mental health and well-being in children;
- factors that promote resilience in children and young people;
- the interplay between mental health and educational outcomes.
She leads a range of large scale national research programmes including the national evaluation of The National Lottery Community Fund’s HeadStart programme and the Department for Education funded Education for Wellbeing Programme.
She is also a senior researcher for the Department of Health’s Child Policy Research Unit.
Jonathan Robinson is a Consultant Strategist at the Anna Freud Centre. Jonathan writes and lectures on social innovation around the world. Jonathan has helped found dozens of social ventures in the UK and abroad, including Impact Hub, Civic and The Pears Family School. Jonathan has worked on step-change initiatives with institutions ranging from Unicef and Save the Children to Tate Modern and the Cabinet Office.
Chief Financial Officer
Christine is Chief Financial Officer at the Anna Freud Centre. She has been involved in the charity and not for profit sector for many years with interests spanning physical and mental health, the environment and climate issues, human rights, and social justice. Christine is also currently involved in governance roles with Sue Ryder, Global Witness and The REC.