The ORBIS UK Board of Trustees consists of the following individuals:
Robert F Walters FRCS, FRCS(Ed), FRCOphth
Robert Walters is a consultant eye surgeon in Cardiff UK, practising at the University Hospital of Wales until 2009 and working in the National Health Service for thirty years. He has been an ORBIS volunteer surgeon since 1994, participating in programmes to Bangladesh, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Myanmar, Sudan and Vietnam. Mr Walters joined the board of ORBIS UK in June 2003 and was appointed Chairman in 2008. He was an Examiner for the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in London and Edinburgh, a member of the Cardiff Institute of the Blind, a Trustee for the Cardiff Eye Research and Therapeutic Trust and is the author of three books on the causes and treatment of blindness. He has been a member of the ORBIS International Board of Directors since 2008 and was appointed Chairman of the Board of ORBIS International in New York in 2010.
Sir Michael Arthur
Sir Michael Arthur was a career diplomat until 2010. He now works outside government in the private and not for profit sectors. As a Diplomat his roles included three years as British Ambassador to Germany and four years as High Commissioner in India. He also had stints in Washington, Paris, Kinshasa and Brussels with a particular career focus on Europe and G8 business. Sir Michael's time in India deepened his interest in development issues and brought to light the huge difference good charities can make to the lives of poor people.
Michael was born in Canada in 1950, and grew up in the UK. He is married, with four grown up children.
Larry Benjamin FRCS (Ed), FRCOphth, DO
Larry Benjamin is consultant ophthalmologist at Stoke Mandeville hospital, Aylesbury. He is currently the Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and is chairing the group to re-write the national cataract guidelines. He established a microsurgical skills course at Stoke Mandeville which was subsequently adopted by the Royal College and is now mandatory for all trainee ophthalmologists. Mr Benjamin has published a number of scientific papers in peer reviewed journals and has published two books. He has worked with ORBIS as a Volunteer Faculty member and has completed six programmes abroad. He has special interests in cataract and diabetic retinopathy management. He joined the ORBIS UK board in 2008.
Michael Boyd holds a degree in Commerce from University College Dublin and is a Barrister at Law. He has also studied at the Harvard and London Business Schools. Most of his working life has been spent providing economic advice to developing countries - he is chairman of Landell Mills, a consultancy working on projects financed by international development agencies and a director of Malachite, a London firm advising investors on frontier markets.
He is a member of the ORBIS Ireland board and of companies in financial services and shipping.
Christopher (Kit) Braden
Kit Braden is Chairman of L’Occitane Limited and a founder shareholder and Director of the L’Occitane Group. L’Occitane is a French manufacture on natural cosmetics with over 2,000 retail shops in 85 countries. Since starting his business career with De La Rue in the 1960s, he has developed a number of privately held manufacturing businesses with factories in Europe, Asia and USA.
Mr Braden has supported ORBIS projects, through the L’Occitane Foundation, for over 12 years. He and his wife have four married children and now live in Switzerland.
Bruce Buck is a partner in the London office of international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. In charge of the firm’s European offices, Mr Buck is responsible for a broad array of transactions in the corporate and financial areas. He has been practicing law in Europe since 1983. He graduated from Colgate University in 1967 and Columbia University School of Law in 1970. He joined the ORBIS UK board in 1997.
Following a long career with British Airways where Mr Cowles served in a number of management positions he moved on to take over as General Manager Europe for BWIA (British West Indian Airways) and then moved to a similar position with Air Jamaica. Mr Cowles went on to be appointed Managing Director at Unique Vacations (UK) Ltd, the company responsible for marketing the Caribbean hotel brands of Sandals and Beaches. He is now Regional Manager of Air Mauritius in the UK and Ireland. He is also a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman with the Worshipful Company of Marketors. He joined the ORBIS UK board in 2002 and became Chair of the Audit Committee in 2008.
Maurice Cox, M.Phil, FRCSI
Maurice Cox, a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, holds a B.A in medicine from Trinity College, Dublin, and an M.Phil. in skeletal biology from Cambridge University. Mr Cox was an orthopaedic registrar at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin and worked during his post-graduate studies at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. In 1999, he joined the management consulting firm McKinsey and became a junior partner, working with the global health care practice and with a variety of health care providers — from large hospital groups to research foundations. Mr Cox left McKinsey after cofounding a primary health care business in Dublin called The Well. He joined the ORBIS UK board in June 2004.
Desmond FitzGerald has served for many years as a Trustee of ORBIS International. He is Chairman of the Board of North American Properties Group, US Guaranteed Finance Corporation, and Williams Capital Management Trust. He is a founder of Holyoke Partners, a fund of hedge funds, and is board director of Holland Balanced Fund Inc. Mr FitzGerald has also served for many years as advisory director of the Bank of New York. He is President of the Hope for Poor Children Foundation, Vice Chairman of Helen Keller International, a trustee of the Children's Aid Society, the Aquaya Institute, and WaterAid America. Mr FitzGerald joined the ORBIS UK board in June 2003.
Peter Hickson is chairman of Communisis plc, senior independent director of London & Continental Railways, and a non-executive director of Kazakhmys plc and Chemring plc. He was chairman of Anglian Water Group from 2003 until 2009. He was a non-executive director of Scottish Power plc from 2006 to 2007, Marconi Corporation from 2004 to 2007 and RAC plc from 1994 to 2002. He was group finance director of Powergen plc from 1996 to 2002. Peter is also chairman of the Governors at St. John's School, Leatherhead and joined the ORBIS UK board in 2008.
Mary Killen, the daughter of a GP, grew up in Northern Ireland. A journalist since l984, her career began on Mark Boxer's Tatler. She has since written weekly columns for the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Express, and has written monthly columns for Marie Claire magazine and Harpers & Queen. She writes a weekly advice column for the Spectator, and for the Lady magazine. She also wrote a column for House & Garden magazine for 12 years, and freelances for many other publications. Ms. Killen joined the ORBIS UK board in 2001.
Melanie Richards is a Corporate Finance Partner and member of the UK Board of KPMG. Melanie spent 18 years in banking advising clients on capital raisings and restructurings. She joined KPMG 12 years ago to establish a Debt Advisory business which is now regarded as one of the market’s leading and most highly respected teams. She is a trustee of The Eve Appeal which funds research into the detection and prediction of gynaecological cancers and a Governor of Eastbourne College. Melanie joined the board in February 2010.
Christine Tomkins BSc(Hons), MBChB(Hons), DO, FRCS, FRCOphth, MBA, FFFLM, FRCP
Christine Tomkins is a senior executive with 16 years Board of Management experience and has been a registered medical practitioner for 30 years. Currently the Chief Executive of the Medical Defence Union (MDU) she has a proven record of sustained leadership and achievement. Her responsibilities include driving and influencing the strategic direction of the MDU, working with the Board and the Executive team.
She is also interested in equestrian sport, and enjoys scuba-diving and skiing. Dr Tomkins was a Trustee of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers’ Charity from 2002 to 2010, and the Chairman of the Trustees from 2004 to 2009.
Charles Vyvyan CB CBE MA MSc
After Balliol College, Oxford Charles Vyvyan spent 35 years in the Army in a variety of operational command, and staff appointments throughout the world. Since he retired in 2000 he has worked as a strategic adviser to a number of Government and commercial organizations in the UK, Europe and the US. He joined the ORBIS UK Board in 2008.
Nigel Young trained with KPMG in London and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. After spending a period in Paris with Price Waterhouse, he pursued a career in industry during which he became Finance Director of several UK public companies including Babcock International Group PLC and The Morgan Crucible Company plc. In addition to a degree in Economics from the University of Birmingham, he also holds a Masters degree in Environmental Science with a focus on climate change impacts and sustainability. His strong interest in corporate sustainability and social responsibility has led to a growing involvement in charitable activities focused on development and the relief of poverty.