Alcohol Research UK is governed by an independent board of Trustees:

Professor Alan Maryon-Davis FFPH FRCP FFSEM FRCGP (Chair)


Alan_webAlan Maryon-Davis is honorary professor of public health at Kings College London and was formerly Vice-Chair of the UK Health Forum, Chair of the Royal Society for Public Health and President of the Faculty of Public Health of the UK Royal Colleges of Physicians.

His interests include the impacts of health policy, environments and lifestyle on health behaviours and he has been a member of a number of national advisory committees, including public health research. Alan is also a prolific writer and broadcaster on health matters.

Ms Annette Fleming (Vice-Chair)


Annette_webChief Executive Officer of Aquarius, a charity providing alcohol, drug and gambling services. With a professional background in social work, Annette has worked in both the statutory and voluntary sectors and developed expertise in child protection , mental health, learning disabilities and community development.

Her interest in developing social work practice lead to her teaching at Birmingham University, Social Work Department with a focus on social work and poverty, social work practice, theory and methods. Whilst at Aquarius Annette has maintained her commitment to improving practice by supporting and encouraging research and evaluation across the organisation on topics such as alcohol and families, kinship carers, older people and alcohol, BME communities and alcohol and ensuring the use of evidence based practice.

Ms Helen Boaden


helen_boadenHelen has had a long and distinguished career at the BBC in news and current affairs, and radio. She retired from her most recent role as BBC Director of Radio in early 2017.

She was a Spring term Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and is on the Council of the Royal Academy of Arts.


Professor Sally Dibb


Sally_webSally Dibb is Professor of Marketing and Society in the Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University. She is also Visiting Professor at the Open University, where previously she was Director of the Institute for Social Marketing (ISM-Open).  Her research includes behaviour change projects in health, sustainability and wellbeing. She has published 11 books and over 90 journal articles.

Previously Sally was an Associate Dean at Warwick Business School. She was also a member of the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) Research Evaluation Framework (REF 2014) panel for Business and Management. Sally is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and is on the Advisory Board at Oxford Brookes Business School and at the iMARKE research group, University of Minho, Portugal.

Dr Emily Finch


Emily Finch is the clinical director for the Addictions Clinical Academic Group, and from 2004 to 2007, she was the Clinical Team Leader at the National Treatment Agency (NTA). Emily is also a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Addictions Executive.

In 2012, Emily chaired a joint RCGP RCPsych working group to develop a document defining competencies for doctors working in addictions.


Mr Gareth Harkin 


Gareth Harkin leads the Client Services Team at Chelsea Football Club. Responsible for the account management and retention of all hospitality accounts, his background in sport also extends to rugby, where he spent six years as Sales & Debenture Manager at Harlequins FC. Here, Gareth developed sales strategies, compèred hospitality lounges and was integral in establishing the ‘Big Game’ at Twickenham as an iconic event in the sporting calendar. During his career in sport, Gareth has established an influential network of both sportspeople and sports fans – and is currently on the board of Chris Robshaw’s Testimonial Year.

Professor Derek Heim


Derek_webDerek Heim is a Professor of Psychology at Edge Hill University. As a social psychologist with an interest in health behaviours, his primary research areas concern (i) addiction and substance use and (ii) health and well-being. In these contexts, his work focuses on social, cultural and contextual influences which he investigates utilising both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Derek is also Editor-in-Chief of Addiction Research and Theory the leading outlet for research and theoretical contributions that view addictive behaviour as arising from psychological processes within the individual and the social context in which the behaviour takes place as much as from the biological effects of the psychoactive substance or activity involved.

Mr Peter Holland


Peter is the Chief Executive of the OPM Group. Before this he held the position of Head of Strategy and Performance at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, and also worked as Director of Customer and Strategy for Personal Tax at HMRC.

He has held a number of different roles at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which ranged from working on counter-narcotics policy in Afghanistan to international intellectual property policy.

Ms Valerie Jolliffe


Valerie spent ten years in corporate finance in the City, with Schroders, Cazenove and Flemings, before moving into venture capital, investing mainly in early stage, high growth businesses. She currently manages a university seedcorn fund and a number of EIS funds.

Valerie has a first class degree in engineering from Cambridge University, a diploma in Management Studies, a diploma in Charity Accounting and is a Chartered Secretary. She is also a trustee of the Imperial College Healthcare Charity and Beat (The Eating Disorders Association).

Professor John Underwood


john_webJohn Underwood is the Director of the Centre for Health Communication Research at Bucks New University and a director of Freshwater UK, a communications consultancy and media group.

John works with many NHS organisations – especially NHS mental health trusts – on communication and engagement issues. Much of his work involves dealing with the impact of alcohol abuse both on the healthcare system and in the wider social economy.
John is a former chair of the Management Board of Catalyst, a public policy think tank associated with Lord Hattersley and was a TV news reporter and presenter with ITV, ITN and the BBC. In addition to his work at Bucks New University John holds an honorary chair at the University of Glasgow.


(F) sits on Finance and General Purposes Committee
(SR) sits on Scrutiny and Review Committee
(G) sits as an advisor (non-voting) on Grants Advisory Panel
(S) sits as an advisor (non-voting) on Studentship Committee
(D) sits on Development Advisory Panel
(N) sits on Nominations Committee