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Cancer Research UK appoints new Trustees and independent Committee Members

Tim Gunn
by Tim Gunn | News

16 March 2023

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headshots of Rakshit Kapoor and Hitesh Thakrar
Our new trustees, Hitesh Thakrar (left) and Rakshit Kapoor (right)

Cancer Research UK today announced the appointments of Rakshit Kapoor and Hitesh Thakrar to its Council of Trustees, the charity’s board of directors. Teye Mkushi, Jazz Thind and Janet Ryan have also been appointed as non-Trustee committee members. 

The Council of Trustees plays a vital role in setting Cancer Research UK’s agenda and upholding its values. They help determine the charity’s strategic direction and monitor the delivery of its objectives, as well as advising and supporting the chief executive.  

Non-Trustee Committee members provide essential subject matter expertise and guidance to support the work of the Trustees. 

“I’m delighted to welcome Rakshit, Hitesh, Teye, Jazz and Janet to our Council and Council Committees,” said Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, chair of Cancer Research UK. “They all bring a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge to the roles and will play an important part in shaping the charity’s strategic direction in the future.” 

Meet the charity’s newest Trustees 

“I’m honoured to be joining Cancer Research UK’s Council of Trustees,” said Rakshit Kapoor, who currently works as Global Chief Data Officer for Chubb, one of the world’s largest property and casualty insurers. He has held several data, digital and technology leadership roles throughout his career, which has taken him to Santander UK, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, and included a spell as NHS England’s Interim National Director of Data. 

“Throughout my career I’ve been committed to advancing the availability of data and analytics to organisations, and I am pleased this is a focus area for the charity as outlined in their strategy,” added Kapoor. “I look forward to playing my part in helping to achieve Cancer Research UK’s vision over the coming years.” 

The charity’s other new Trustee is Hitesh Thakrar. He’s a partner of Syncona venture fund and sits on various boards including the Alan Turing Institute and UKRI’s Science and Technology Facilities Council. He has over two decades of experience in global public equities, including managing innovation funds for asset management companies Aviva and ADIA. Thakrar also has a degree in chemistry from King’s College London and is interested in the convergence of life science with other innovation led sectors. 

“It’s an exciting time to be joining Cancer Research UK as we stand on the brink of a revolution in our understanding of cancer, in part due to the increased use of data and insights from the physical sciences,” he said. “I am optimistic about the future achievements of the organisation and look forward to driving this as a Trustee.” 

New expertise for the Finance Committee 

Cancer Research UK’s Council of Trustees has six Council Committees: the Audit Committee, the Finance Committee, the Fundraising and Marketing Committee, the Nominations Committee, the People and Remuneration Committee, and the Research Committee.  

The Council of Trustees delegates some of its authority to these committees, giving them the responsibility of making sure there is appropriate governance oversight in their respective areas.  

Headshot of Teye Mkushi

Teye Mkushi

Teye Mkushi, an experienced finance director with over 15 years in the sector, is joining Cancer Research UK as a non-Trustee Member of the Finance Committee. She brings expertise developed across a range of senior finance roles at Diageo, including Group Financial Planning and Analysis Director, and most recently Global Finance ESG and Sustainability Director. 

“It’s an important time to be joining the Finance Committee as Cancer Research UK – like all charities – faces an increasingly challenging macro-economic environment,” says Mkushi. “I’ve always enjoyed translating strategy into action during my career and with an ambitious new strategy in place for the charity, I’m excited to play my part in the delivery of it.”  

A double boost for the Audit Committee 

Headshot of Jazz Thind

Jazz Thind

Jazz Thind, Chief Financial Officer at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and Janet Ryan, former Chair of the Audit Committee for Illovo Africa, are both joining as non-Trustee Members of Cancer Research UK’s Audit Committee. 

“I’ve long admired the work of Cancer Research UK and I’m delighted to join the Audit Committee,” said Thind, who first joined the NHS in 1993 in a junior finance role and has since held several leadership roles across NHS provider and commissioning organisations.  

“I see lots of similarities between the work of the NHS and Cancer Research UK, most notably their patient-led approaches, and look forward to using my expertise to help ensure the charity is having the biggest impact that it can.” 

Janet Ryan has previously worked with Cancer Research UK as a business mentor in the charity’s Women of Influence programme. Her career has spanned senior global roles in finance, business leadership, and strategy, and she has led multiple business transformations. 

Headshot of Janet Ryan

Janet Ryan

“I’ve always been impressed by the work that Cancer Research UK does and have enjoyed working with the charity in recent years as a mentor for their Women of Influence programme,” she said. “I’m eager to get more involved and this role offers a great opportunity to work closely with my colleagues on the Committee and truly make a difference.” 

All Trustee and non-Trustee Committee members are volunteers whose roles at Cancer Research UK are unremunerated.