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Our Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team are responsible for implementing the strategy set by the Board of Trustees, management, organisation and performance against plans.

Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive

Peter Fonagy is Chief Executive at Anna Freud. 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).

Ros Bidmead, Chief Operating Officer

Ros Bidmead is Chief Operating Officer at Anna Freud and a Governor of Pears Family School. Previously she worked as the General Manager at Anna Freud and has over 30 years experience in voluntary sector fundraising and general management.

Christine Kanu, FCCA, Chief Financial Officer

Christine is Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary at Anna Freud. She is a senior finance professional with over 20 years experience spanning several sectors including Not-for-profit and social purpose organisations. She enjoys collaborating with modern, dynamic, forward-thinking organisations that are active on 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. In addition she is also a mentor for the University of London’s Careers Group Advisory Panel for Colleagues who are Black, Asian and of Diverse Heritage.

Marjorie James, FCIPD, Chief People Officer

Marjorie James has worked in the public and charitable sector for over 30 years. Marjorie’s career spans many sectors, including arts and culture, children, young people and families and international safeguarding. This includes public sector, international development and medium sized national charities. Marjorie has experience across all areas of HR practice including employee relations, EDI and learning & development. 

Marjorie is passionate about supporting organisations to adapt and change, particularly given the current economic crisis and issues of social injustice.

The ability to improve the lives of people by enabling them to reach their full potential so that they can bring the best version of themselves to work is something that Marjorie is deeply passionate about.

Diversity & Inclusion has been a common thread through all of Marjorie’s career which includes roles as Chair for a single parent’s nursery, Chair for an International Safeguarding Charity and more recently an independent member of the People & Culture Committee for the National Children’s Bureau.

Marjorie is delighted to be joining the leadership team at Anna Freud where she hopes to support the organisation in delivering their corporate aims as outlined in their “Closing the Gap” strategy.

Jonathan Robinson, Consultant Strategist

Jonathan Robinson is a Consultant Strategist at Anna Freud. 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.     

Professor Jess Deighton, Director of Applied Research and Evaluation

Professor Jess Deighton is Director of the Applied Research and Evaluation Division at Anna Freud, Director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit and Professor in Child Mental Health and Wellbeing at UCL. Her expertise focus on:

  1. the evaluation of interventions and multifaceted programmes to support mental health and well-being in children;

  2. factors that promote resilience in children and young people;

  3. 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.

Professor Eamon McCrory, Co-Director of Education and Training and Co-Director of the UK Trauma Council

Eamon McCrory is Co-Director of Education and Training and Co-Director of the UK Trauma Council at Anna Freud and also Professor of Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology at UCL. He co-directs the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit ( at UCL where his research focuses on early adversity in childhood. His work uses brain imaging and psychological approaches to shed light on our understanding of how childhood trauma can impact a child's emotional and social development. The long-term aim of his work is to understand how and why mental health problems can unfold following early adversity, and how we might intervene to promote more resilient outcomes for children.

Eamon is also Adjunct Professor at the Yale Child Study Center and Director of the UKRI Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind programme.

Claire Evans, Co-Director of Education & Training and interim Clinical Co-Director

Claire is Co-Director of the Education & Training Division and interim Clinical Co-Director at Anna Freud. Claire joined Anna Freud five years ago as Clinical Lead for Child IAPT having been Director of a third sector Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in South London.

She is an experienced leader in implementing change in organisations, delivering new children and young people’s national workforce programmes and ensuring mental health services deliver high quality, accessible and accountable interventions. 

Claire is a Systemic Psychotherapist and leads on training across Anna Freud including Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner (CWP), Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP), Recruit to Train and Tier 4 courses. She oversees the National Hub for the Knowledge and Understanding Framework (KUF) working with West London NHS Trust to create and deliver training on working with people who present with complex mental health needs and also on the National Autism Trainer Programme at Anna Freud.

She is passionate about opening up access to education for people from socially deprived backgrounds and creating a more diverse mental health workforce to represent the children and families who access services.

Jaime Smith, MBE, Director of Schools

Jaime Smith is the Director of the Schools division at Anna Freud.

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 Anna Freud, 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.