Our Team

Adrian Evans our Director

Adrian Evans

Director

Adrian founded the Thames Festival in 1997 and has been its director ever since. He enjoys being fully immersed in the foibles, characters and peculiarities of the River Thames. His background was in producing music and cutting-edge theatre in unusual locations, after that he went on to produce Archaos, the enfants terribles of the circus world, and from there to producing open air festivals on London’s South Bank. He was Pageant Master of the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant.

Our team member Kate Forde

Kate Forde

Head of Education & Engagement

Kate has an arts background having completed an Art Foundation at Central St Martins and a Fine Art Degree at Glasgow School of Art. She spent the following years working in Art galleries and continuing her own practice until returning to London and joining the Thames Festival team! Kate has worked on many exciting projects and festivals and has travelled to numerous countries with Rivers of the World. She strongly believes in the importance of high-quality art education for all children and young people and has played a central role in developing all our key education programmes.

Portrait of a man

James King

Project Manager

James has been involved in the heritage industry for the last five years, having started out as a volunteer with English Heritage and the Charlton Athletic Football Club Museum. James then spent two and a half years with Eastside Community Heritage, before eventually joining Thames Festival Trust at the beginning of 2020. Having grown up in London, James has a strong interest in community history, particularly that of his home city.

Thames Festival Trust logo

Robert Saunders

Financial Consultant

Robert has over 30 years’ experience of charity administration with a specialism in finance management, principally in the Arts. In 2018 Robert left the security of full-time employment to start a freelance career, helping clients to create and run financial procedures and practices that are simple, accurate and ensure trouble free audits, while providing non finance managers with the clear and relevant information needed to make business decisions that are both effective and timely. Robert has been working with Thames Festival since May 2020.

Darren Smallman our Marketing Manager

Darren Smallman

Head of Digital, Marketing & Communications

I began my adventures within the arts as an idealistic 15-year-old punk rocker from Geelong, Australia. As a bi-product of my attempt to reach the giddy heights of musical success, I started releasing records, promoting tours, running festivals and supporting venues professionally. This led to working with many amazing organisations across the globe. I am in charge of the brand, marketing and communications for Thames Festival Trust and I make loads of noise in Dez Dare by night and weekends.

Thames Festival Trust logo

Annabel Taylor-Munt

Totally Thames Programme Manager

Annabel completed her Degree in Design at Goldsmiths University of London, before going on to receive various grants to write and produce moving image work. Taking a keen interest in community-focused projects and local history she joined the Thames Festival Team as an intern in the heritage department before becoming the Totally Thames Programme Manager.

Rivers have always been at the heart of our human civilisation’s development; a special platform for people to create, recall and enjoy the most rewarding things in life – art, culture, ways of living. We exist to open up these possibilities for all. This is made possible by an experienced team, superb collaborators, the generosity of our supporters, and energetic counsel from our board of trustees. Together we will take this privileged mission forward.
Stephen Warrington, Chair

Our Board

Our Chair Stephen Warrington

Stephen Warrington

Chair

Stephen has been a Trustee since 2014. His involvement grew from his keen interest in the role of the creative arts and culture in sustaining our thriving capital city. He was formerly a board member at London First. Stephen has extensive experience in advisory and executive roles in a wide range of settings. Formerly a management consulting partner at PwC and McKinsey, Stephen has also worked in financial services for Barclays and HSBC. He holds a variety of board positions in commercial, educational and not for profit organisations.

Our treasurer Peter Stephens

Peter Stephens

Treasurer

I have been involved with Thames Festival Trust since its inception. Retired now, I was Finance Director of Coin Street Community Builders for nearly 30 years. In that capacity I helped set up the Trust 24 years ago and administered the Trust for several years before it became independent of Coin Street. I have been a Trustee since 2013. I was born in Greenwich and have always lived there. The Thames has always been important to me and I regularly walk up to Central London via both the north and south banks of the river.

Our board member Andrew Cooke

Andrew Cooke

Board Member

Andrew has a passion for London, arts, culture and education. Most of his career has been involved in the international trade and promotion, initially in government and for the last 25 years involved in building and transforming organisations focused on creating jobs for London. His last role was as Managing Director of Operations & Governance at London & Partners, the business growth and destination agency for London. Andrew is now developing a portfolio career as an accredited executive coach, mentor to start-ups, and school governor.

Our board member Sandie Dawe CBE

Sandie Dawe CBE

Board Member

Sandie spent 30 years in the tourism industry, most recently as chief executive of VisitBritain. She led the national strategy to maximise the tourism benefits of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, played a leading role in the UK Government’s ‘GREAT’ global marketing campaign, and saw tourism numbers reach record levels. Sandie is passionate about bringing history to life and reaching as broad an audience as possible, whether they be overseas visitors, young children and their families, or those who feel excluded by dint of education, relevance or affordability. Since leaving VisitBritain in 2014 Sandie’s non-executive roles reflect her interests and experience – they include the National Lottery Heritage Fund, London & Partners and Kids in Museums. She is currently a Commissioner of Historic England and a Trustee of Culture Perth & Kinross. In 2008 Sandie was awarded an MBE and in 2015 a CBE for services to the tourism industry.

Our board member Henry Fajemirokun

Henry Fajemirokun

Board Member

Henry hails from Blackpool, Lancashire. He was educated at Oxford University and Imperial College London, gaining a PhD in plasma physics. Henry worked in investment banking for several years, latterly as a senior managing director at Dresdner Bank in New York. Since 2003 Henry has been involved in various areas including hardware technology, medical technology and education. He currently sits on the boards of Roedean School and Rossall School and has previously served on the board of the Poetry Council. Henry is a singer / songwriter and loves playing his guitar and making music.

Our board member Angel Gavieiro Besteiro

Angel Gavieiro Besteiro

Board Member

Angel is passionate about the Age of Sail and navigation at large. A liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Int’l Bankers at the City and a long-time supporter of Ayuda en Acción and their work in Bolivia. Senior executive, banker and strategist at Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank and Wells Fargo, having previously founded his career in capital markets at Société Générale and management consulting at McKinsey. Founder and managing partner of AG Strategy & Partners, a boutique consulting for financial services. He has an MBA from Duke University and Ph.D. in financial economy from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He enjoys travelling with his wife and 17-year-old son, plus running, reading and cinema.

Our board member Raj Kehal

Raj Kehal

Board Member

Currently serving as the Head of Stakeholder Engagement at the Port of London Authority, Raj has a rich career history spanning over two decades. Starting as an executive support professional, she transitioned into stakeholder management and has since held significant roles in respected companies such as AXA Investment Managers, Infosys, BTG Pactual, and RSM UK. Her corporate journey also includes working in Mumbai. She has consistently demonstrated her prowess in relationship building and adaptability, particularly within diverse sectors. For the past nine years, her focus has been significantly directed towards the maritime sector. In parallel to her corporate contributions, Raj has always been passionate about humanitarian initiatives. She has devoted herself to volunteering at various refugee camps globally, reflecting her deep commitment to global welfare. Her academic background includes study of Applied Psychology at Durham University, and further expanded her knowledge base by acquiring a Professional PR Diploma in Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Our board member Rosanna Machado

Rosanna Machado

Board Member

Rosanna has worked in corporate events for the past 22 years. She is currently CEO of the 2022 Platinum Jubilee Pageant, and she ran the 2012 Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and the 2013 G8 Summit. Having worked for agencies and freelanced for production companies, she also has her own consultancy working with corporate clients on conferences, award shows and launch events. She loves both the creativity and complexity of detail that’s involved in event production. Rosanna is also an executive coach offering one-to-one coaching and group coaching sessions. She is particularly passionate about how self-awareness and emotional intelligence can help you to find your true purpose, as well building stronger relationships.

Our board member Amar Qureshi

Amar Qureshi

Board Member

Amar is Co-Owner and CEO of Agilia Infrastructure Partners – a specialist infrastructure consultancy. Amar’s been involved in some of the UK’s highest profile infrastructure projects and programmes for over 20 years including the development of the £4.2 billion Thames Tideway Tunnel. Amar continues his commitment to connecting communities to their environment through his work with Thames Festival Trust and other charitable organisations.

Our board member Kate Sandars

Kate Sandars

Board Member

Kate has extensive experience in digital content and delivery at BBC News, Shazam and online education company FutureLearn. She has worked in different disciplines, from international journalism to product management to partnership development. She now runs her own business as a Leadership Coach specialising in leadership development and career growth. Kate is passionate about the power of education. Her interests range from education, the creative arts and environmental issues. She is a keen kayaker on the River Thames and is gradually walking the Thames Path.

Our Board member Olga Stanojlovic

Olga Stanojlovic

Board Member

Born to émigré Serbian parents, Olga completed a history degree and teacher training at the University of Warwick. In 1979 she joined the British Council, where she worked for over thirty years in a variety of posts. For her achievements in developing relations with Africa and Eastern Europe and in the field of education, she was awarded an MBE in 2001. She works with a number of charities and organisations including the role of Chair of the Serbian Council of Great Britain, and non-executive director of the Big Ideas Company.

Our History

Find out all about our past arts, education and heritage work along the River Thames in London and across the world.

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Our Vision

Read about our mission and objectives, why we do what we do.

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Join our Team

All our current job and volunteer opportunities.

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