Board of Directors

The Board of Directors’ role is to provide effective and proactive leadership of the Trust within a framework of processes, procedures and controls which enable risk to be assessed and managed.

Directors are responsible for the strategy and overall running of an organisation, and the way it is managed. We have 12 members on our Board of Directors, and they are accountable to our Council of Governors.

There are two types of director: executive and non-executive.

  • Executive directors are senior staff members, clinical and non-clinical, who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the Trust.
  • Non-executive directors are independent people who offer a broad variety of skills and a commitment to our values. They work with the executive directors to set our strategy and ensure we perform well. They are appointed by our Council of Governors and can serve up to two terms of office of three years each.

The Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring compliance by with our terms of authorisation, its constitution, mandatory guidance issued by Monitor, relevant statutory requirements and contractual obligations. These include:

  • Ensuring the quality of care
  • Setting strategy
  • Ensure financial viability
  • Being accountable to members and stakeholders

Board meetings and board papers

Our Board of Directors meet six times a year, the dates of past and upcoming meetings are detailed below.

Register of interests

Our Board and Governors have to declare any potential conflict of interest

Meet the Board


John Lawlor is the former Chief Executive of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust, which has been rated as 'outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission.

He joined the Tavistock and Portman at the beginning of June 2022 as Chair following confirmation of his selection by the Trust’s Council of Governors.

John has a long and distinguished career as a leader in the NHS, and also has early experiences in teaching and in the Department of Health.

He is a passionate champion of mental health and disability services and a successful system leader.

Paul Jenkins

Paul joined us as Chief Executive in February 2014. He was previously the Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, the leading national mental health membership charity working to help those affected by severe mental illness to recover and lead a better quality of life. He has an MBA from Manchester Business School and over 20 years of experience in management and policy-making in central government and the NHS.

Paul has previously served as Director of Service Development for NHS Direct. He has been involved in the implementation of a number of other major national government initiatives, including the Next Steps Programme and the 1993 Community Care Reforms. In 2002, he was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his role in setting up NHS Direct.

Terry Noys

Terry Noys joined the Trust as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance in November 2016, having previously worked for nearly five years for St. Mary’s University, Twickenham (latterly as Chief Operating Officer). After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (with PricewaterhouseCoopers), he spent six years in investment banking advising companies on strategy, mergers and acquisitions and fund raising before moving into commerce and industry, where he held finance director roles for a number of stock exchange listed and private equity-backed groups. Terry then moved into the not for profit sector, holding finance director roles for, amongst others, Hanover Housing, Viridian and The National Archives. Terry is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales.

Voting member of the Board.

Biography coming soon.

Voting member of the Board.

Sally Hodges

Sally Hodges was appointed as Clinical Chief Operating Officer in 2019.

Prior to taking up this role she was Director of our Children, Young Adults and Families (CYAF) Directorate. Before that she was Associate Clinical Director of Complex Needs in CYAF, and the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) lead for the Trust. Sally is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and has been working with the Trust since May 1996, specialising in children and young people with learning and developmental disabilities. She also holds a Leadership MSc from the University of Birmingham and the NHS Leadership Academy.

Voting member of the Board.


Elisa Reyes-Simpson brings a wealth of institutional knowledge and experience to the role of Interim CETO, having been Associate Dean here since 2015. She has been connected to the Tavistock and Portman for over 25 years, first joining us as a student. She is also Chair of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists.

Voting member of the Board.

Biography coming soon.

Voting member of the Board.

Dr Debbie Colson

Debbie Colson joined the board as a Non-Executive Director in October 2016. Her second term of office ends in September 2023.

Debbie's background is in biomedical research and research management. Her last role was as Chief Scientific Officer on a child health study at the Institute of Child Health, University College London. Before that she worked as a freelance science policy advisor following nine years at the Wellcome Trust and seven years at the Medical Research Council.

Helen Farrow

Helen Farrow joined the Trust in November 2016. Her professional experience is in investment management, focussed on business development and client service, most recently as a director of Ignis Asset Management. She has five years of experience in the NHS as non-executive director at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), where she was vice-chair of the Board and chair of the finance and performance committee. 

David Holt

David Holt was appointed as a non-executive Director in November 2014. His second term of office was extended to October 2022.

He has experience of working across a wide range of sectors both in the UK and abroad, including spells at both Unilever and Coats Plc. He is currently a Non-Executive Board Member at the DWP, where he chairs the Audit and Risk Committee. He was a non-executive with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, where he was Deputy Chairman and chair of the audit committee, and was also Finance Director of the retail division of Land Securities plc, which he left in 2014.

David is a qualified accountant (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). He is our Senior Independent Director and chairs the Trust’s audit committee.

David Levenson

David Levenson was appointed as a non-executive director in September 2019.

David is an executive and career strategy coach, accredited team coach and founder and managing director of Coaching Futures.
He co-founded the Raising Roofs programme which prepares future leaders for the boardroom, and runs governance training courses for the professional academy of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW). David has been chief finance officer for three leading UK house providers, starting in 1992.

He is a recognised innovator in the financing of major housing developments. He is an active community volunteer and supporter of charitable causes.

Aruna Mehta headshot

Aruna Mehta was appointed as a non-executive director in November 2021. Her professional expertise is in technology and operations, organisational risk, auditing, compliance and governance. She has worked at executive director level with responsibility for global risk and control.

Aruna also serves as a non-executive director at Epsom St Helier NHS Trust, Clarion Housing (the largest social housing association in the UK) and the University of Greenwich. She was previously Vice-Chair of the Kemnal Academy Trust, which comprises 45 schools across the south-west. She has been a diversity champion in all of her board-level positions. 

Shalini Sequeira

Shalini Sequeira joined the Trust in September 2020. Her first career was in the City of London as a finance lawyer, where she held senior roles in global firms. More recently she is the founder of her own business specialising in executive coaching, peer learning and facilitation of leadership development programmes.  She is particularly interested in how to develop inclusive leadership and augment inclusion and equity, both inside and outside the workplace.

Shalini has been Chair of Trustees for a domestic violence charity, Chair of Governors at a London primary school and is currently part of the leadership team for a social enterprise developing female leaders who are leading change. She also gives some of her coaching time pro bono to coach those living with cancer through Macmillan Cancer Support.

Appointment of Directors

The governors are responsible at a general meeting for the appointment, re-appointment and removal of the Chair and the other non-executive directors.

The non-executive directors are responsible, as a committee of the Board, for the appointment of executive directors to the Board.

Appointments to the Board of Directors are made on merit and are based on objective criteria. Care is taken to ensure that new appointees have relevant skills and experience to complement other members of the Board and enough time to devote to the job.

Any vacancies are advertised through NHS Jobs