Our trustees

Andrew Burns

After graduating from the University of Warwick in 1994, with a Mathematics degree, Andrew became a Mathematics teacher in inner city Birmingham. He worked in a number of different schools, all in challenging circumstances, as his passion is making a difference for the children who need good teachers.

Andrew became Principal of Ormiston Forge Academy in 2012. He then went on to lead a number of academies as an Executive Principal and then worked regionally for Ormiston Academies Trust, leading and supporting Principals.

Andrew now works for Brooke Weston Trust as Education Director and works with a number of schools facing challenging circumstances.

Andrew was the first in his family to go to university and signed up to The Access Project to give the children at his academy the same opportunities he was afforded.

Michael Phillips
Michael Phillips

Michael is Head of Volunteering at leading homelessness charity Crisis.

After studying English Literature at Loughborough University, Michael focused on a career in the charity sector.  Passionate about harnessing the power of volunteering to achieve social justice, Michael has had a 20 year career in volunteering engagement and management, spanning a range of different roles in Barnardo’s and Riverside Housing.  Michael’s work-place achievements include winning an award for Best Volunteer Internship at the National Council for Workplace Experience, setting up the first ‘third age’ internship in the sector and securing £1.7 million of European funding to digitally include communities in the Merseyside region through volunteer support.  

This is Michael’s first trustee position and he is delighted to have the opportunity to support his passion – giving young people the opportunity to fulfil their potential. 

Tahmid Chowdhury

Tahmid Chowdhury is an Account Director at M&C Saatchi World Services, a specialist communications agency working to tackle some of society’s most complex issues around the world. His responsibilities include finance, client relations, and project management.

He is also the Co-Founder of Here for Good; a charity providing free immigration services to European citizens and their families living in the UK caught up in the aftermath of Brexit. The charity has supported tens of thousands of individuals and developed partnerships with the EU Delegation, UN Migration Agency, and Mayor of London; with Tahmid’s leadership recognised through his inclusion on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2020. 

Tahmid read Law with English on a full scholarship at New College of the Humanities in London, where he was valedictorian in 2016. As an alum of The Access Project, he knows firsthand the impact the charity can have on young people’s lives. Tahmid is also a Trustee of TASO and a Judge at the Charity Times Awards, which he balances with his one true love Arsenal FC.

Devyani Gupta
Devyani Gupta

Devyani Gupta is a Director at PwC – a global professional services company. She is a Transformation and Change leader in the firm’s UK Enterprise Transformation Government & Health Industries team with 17+ years of consulting experience. She specialises in strategy, operating model change and performance improvement for the Transport sector.

Prior to PWC, Devyani has worked at EY and also at the Department of Health. Devyani has an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago.

Patrick Moynihan
Patrick Moynihan

Patrick has over 30 years experience in Financial Services and Consulting gained from a number of organisations.  Areas of subject matter expertise include risk management, operations leadership and business transformation. 

Patrick has tutored Maths and Science subjects with The Access Project for many years.  He was in the first generation of his family to go to university and so has first-hand experience of how education can create lifelong opportunities. 

He holds an MEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nottingham and an MBA from Bayes Business School.

Patrick Moynihan
Ashwin Tirodkar

Ashwin spent his early career as a quantitative strategist at Goldman Sachs in New York followed by a decade as a commodity derivatives trader at UniCredit Bank in London. He is now COO of a fund distribution company. In his work with company boards his focus is governance, finance, risk management and growth strategy.

Ashwin is passionate about addressing sources of inequality in society. He mentors social impact entrepreneurs through his associations with the LSE and Geovation impact accelerators. He is also a trustee of The Economist Educational Foundation.

He holds a BSc in Maths from The University of Chicago and MScs in Maths and Financial Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Fatos Nacakgedigi

Fatos works as an M&A Technology Consultant within KPMG’s Integration & Separation team. She studied Spanish at the University of Bristol and spent a year teaching English in Spain.

Having been one of the first students The Access Project worked with when the charity was first founded in 2008, Fatos has continued to work closely with us over the past 10 years. She started volunteering as a tutor in 2017 and applied to join the board in 2018. Fatos is keen to support The Access Project in achieving their goal within the social mobility/university access sphere due to how much she benefited from the charity, and highlights that she is living proof that The Access Project’s programme works!

Peter Denison-Pender

Peter Denison-Pender is a specialist small business and technology tax consultant, working with small business clients on operating and tax issues. He has more than 20 years of operating and investing experience in early stage technology companies.

Peter is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and read Economics and Economic History at the University of Exeter. He puts these financial skills to work as Treasurer for the Access Project.

He was a trustee of the Royal Albert Hall from 2004-2015, where he chaired the commercial trading operations, and was a secondary school governor in Brent from 2000-2007.

Neil Miley

After completing a degree in maths and artificial intelligence at Leeds, Neil started his career in education as a maths teacher in the centre of Leeds.

In 2010, Neil joined the Future Leaders Programme and joined Dixons Academies Trust. His first role was as an assistant principal at Dixons Allerton Academy, an academy serving over 1900 students in Bradford.

Whilst at Dixons Allerton, Neil transformed the KS5 provision and the outcomes for students placed them in the top five in Bradford. Neil was then promoted to deputy principal with a responsibility for curriculum and teaching.

In 2015, Neil was appointed as principal of Dixons Kings Academy. Within two years, the school moved from an Ofsted rating of Requires Improvement to Outstanding and the progress measure placed the school in the top 50 nationally.

Neil’s final role in Dixons was as deputy chief executive, working across all 17 academies and leading the executive directors for education across all of our regions.

In September 2024 Neil will join Mercia Learning Trust as CEO, a 7 school trust in Sheffield.

John Kelly-Jones

John is the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

John is a retired partner and COO of Independent Franchise Partners, LLP, and a non-executive director of a number of companies.  With a background in asset management and banking in Europe, South East Asia, Australia, and the USA, John has seen the difference that access to quality education makes to everyone. He is passionate about improving the quality of education generally and ensuring that all students have access to the best possible resources and curriculum.

He holds a BSc in Finance and a BA in German, both from the University of Illinois.

Subash Viroomal
Subash Viroomal

Subash is the Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Subash Viroomal is a Partner at Bain & Company, a global Strategy Consultancy. He is a leader in the firm’s UK Public Sector & Government and Advanced Manufacturing & Services practices with 10+ years of consulting experience. He focuses on major programme delivery, strategy and performance improvement, helping public and private sector organisations across EMEA achieve their economic and social goals.
Subash is part of Bain’s social impact team focusing on sustainability & education, where he supports corporates, non-governmental organisations and start-ups seeking to improve futures for underserved populations.
Before joining Bain, Subash worked at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Social Market Foundation think tank in Westminster. He holds a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Subash Viroomal
Mike Crowhurst

Mike is a Director at Public First, a consultancy specialising in public policy, where he carries out research for a range of educational organisations. He has worked on education policy for over a decade, including 2 years as Head of Education in the 10 Downing Street Policy Unit and as Director of Education at New Schools Network, overseeing support for free school founders across the country.

Mike started his career as a history teacher in inner city Birmingham, where he trained via the Teach First programme. Having volunteered as a tutor with the Access Project in the past, he is now excited to contribute to the charity’s mission and make a difference for the young people it supports.

Mike holds Masters degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Warwick.