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Senior Leadership

Ashley McCaul - CEO

Prior to joining ThinkForward in November 2018 Ashley was CEO of London Skills for Growth and Group Director (Apprenticeships), for the London South East College Group. She is an experienced leader who has held senior positions in the not for profit and education sectors for over 20 years. Passionate about transforming the lives of young people who face challenges, she is experienced in leading high performing operations, driving organisational growth and improvement, fostering collaboration and engaging and influencing a wide range of stakeholders. At Skills for Growth she successfully led a merger and acquisition.

Robert Posner - Deputy CEO

Robert is an experienced third sector leader, who has devoted his recent career to children and young people’s rights, inclusion, deprivation, protection and education. Most recently Robert was Operations Director for 5Rights Foundation which works to ensure children have the same freedoms, protections and privileges online that they do offline. Previously he was Chief Executive of The Anne Frank Trust, an education charity which empowers young people to challenge prejudice and discrimination. He brings to ThinkForward experience in operations, governance, change management and digital transformation with a strong focus on culture, values and outcomes, while maintaining a clear social purpose. Robert is an emeritus trustee of the Brain Tumour Charity. 

Charlene Theophile - Director of Programmes

Charlene joined ThinkForward in 2012 as a progression coach in one of our London schools. In 2018, she became Programme Design Manager, driving ThinkForward’s programme design, through user experience and evaluation. She was appointed Director of Programmes in 2022. Charlene has twenty years of experience working to bring social change for young people aged 13-19 within local authority, further education and third sector settings. Charlene is passionate about empowering young people to have the belief, education, skills and knowledge for a more equitable future.

Gemma Shepherd - Director of Development

Before Gemma joined ThinkForward in 2022, she was Head of Development and Fundraising at Making Space. Gemma brings to ThinkForward a vast amount of experience in income generation and fundraising in the third sector. She has experience in team leadership, partnership working, bid management and strategic planning, and is passionate about using these skills to grow services that make a difference to people’s lives.