Austin Harris Jnr, MLA, Charity Honorary President
Term September 2019 to Present
Mr. Harris was born at George Town Hospital, Cayman Islands to parents, the late Austin "Bossie" Harris Sr., a Civil Servant for nearly 30 years with the Mosquito Research and Control Unit and his wife, Rubenice "Ruby" Harris, a beautician and owner of Ruby's Beauty Salon. He has two siblings, David Frederick and Robert Michael Harris and is the proud Father to a son, Alexander Harris.
On May 24, 2017, Mr. Harris was successfully elected to office and appointed as a Councilor for the Ministry of Employment, Border Control, Community Affairs, International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs, led by the Hon. Premier, Alden McLaughlin MBE, JP.
Andrew Fox - Chairman Board of Trustees
Term April 2014 to Present
Andrew Fox's background is in finance and investment, in particular in Russia and the Far East, and serves as Chairman of the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation who were instrumental in supporting the formation of FOTBOT. Andrew has also served as British Honorary Consul in Vladivostok for twenty years.
Simon Leary - Trustee
Term: February 2015 to Present
Simon has over thirty years of experience advising governments, NGOs, charity and the private sector on performance improvement, policy development, financing and transactions in multiple sectors.
He has visited over one hundred countries and played active philanthropic roles in a number of these. Simon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a Fellow of the RSA. He was educated at Cambridge University, London Business School and Insead.
Albert Poggio GMH OBE - Trustee
Term: February 2019 to Present
Mr Albert Poggio sits as a Director on the Board of The Gibraltar Inward Investment Unit and is COO of The Gibraltar National Mint. Mr Poggio is Chairman of Calpe House Ltd and is responsible for overseeing the interests of the charity and its facilities "Calpe House", in Paddington, London, which offers home-from-home accommodation for patients and families from Gibraltar whilst in the United Kingdom for specialist medical treatment under the Gibraltar Health Authority Scheme.
Mr Poggio has been past-Chairman, and a founding member, of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA). This Association represents the interests of the 12 remaining British Overseas Territories.
Philip Smith - Chief Executive Officer
I founded FOTBOT in 2013 to develop relationships with British Overseas Territory (BOT) Citizens, especially students studying in the UK with the objective of establishing a sustainable project promoting BOT interests and supporting its young people. I am passionate about developing skills for younger people in particular providing coaching and mentoring to those without the necessary tools to help themselves. We are always on the lookout for active volunteers so please do get in touch if you would like to support the continued development of our services.
Stephen Hodgson - Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Finance
I first started to learn about the British Overseas Territories after travelling to Gibraltar and I was immediately hooked. There are more than 250,000 British citizens living in these unique, varied, fascinating, and often far-flung locations. I enjoy playing a small part in helping to raise awareness of the history, geography, natural environment and communities that exist in the BOTs and in turn helping to ensure that they continue to be valued members of the British family of nations with a bright future.
Magda Drozdowska - Finance Assistant
Coming from a multi-cultural background with strong roots in Europe, I acknowledge the importance of cultural identity, but also reaching out to others. I admire and support the uniqueness of British values and this is one of the reasons why I decided to join FOTBOT. Being able to be part of a team, creating stronger communities, as well as preserving natural habitats are things I am very passionate about. FOTBOT creates an opportunity for countries that were once part of the British empire, to maintain a sense of heritage by staying connected to the UK. I look forward to making a contribution in the upcoming projects.
Tara-Jane Sutcliffe – Charity and Governance Officer
Tara joins the Management Committee of the Friends of the British Overseas Territories after having returned from the South Atlantic, where she led the St Helena National Trust – the charity responsible for promoting and protecting the island’s unique environment. During her time on St Helena, she served as a non-exec director and advisory board member, supporting the good governance of the St Helena Museum and providing quality assurance for programmes funded by UK Government and overseas donors. Tara brings her experience as a charity CEO and non-executive director to strengthen the effective governance of FOTBOT as it pursues an ambitious development strategy.
Will Radford - Charity Secretary
My interest in the British Overseas Territories comes from my love of history. These Territories have a rich past, exciting present, but sadly in some cases an uncertain future. I joined FOTBOT to raise awareness of the British Overseas Territories, in the hope that more public awareness will lead to a better deal for both the territories themselves, and for students from the Overseas Territories when they come to the UK to study.
Alison Gurini - Membership Secretary
Alison’s background is in International Education, where she provides guidance and advice to international students wishing to study in the United Kingdom. Originally from a British Overseas Territory (Bermuda), Alison acknowledges the benefits BOTs have through their relationship with the UK, but has a particular interest in some of the unique challenges these territories and their citizens face. FOTBOT provides fantastic opportunities for UK-based individuals and groups to learn about the BOTs, but also for the BOTs to learn more about each other.
Lucia Houiller - Events Coordinator
My interest in the British Overseas Territories has grown since not only attending various FOTBOT events over the years, but also an overseas work trip I undertook in mid-2019 to Montserrat. This was an eye-opening experience in so many ways – the untouched beauty of the island, the friendliness of the people, and its history. I was surprised how few people knew about the island or its whereabouts, including myself – so the idea of promoting awareness of these beautiful, often unknown territories, was very appealing to me. I hope to make some contribution, however big or small, to the long-term benefit of these territories as well as their citizens.
Oliver Wilderspin - Public Relations Manager
As a Sixth Form student, I’m disappointed by the lack of knowledge young people have about the Overseas Territories, and I think FOTBOT can play an important role in bringing them to the public’s attention. And living in Jersey, I’ve seen the challenges that small dependencies may face, and I think FOTBOT is an important organisation in bringing those challenges to the attention of the public and politicians. So I’m delighted to be able to be part of the FOTBOT team and to help promote the importance of the Overseas Territories.
Craig Brewin - Head of Research
Craig lives in Montserrat where he was employed as the Programmes Officer for the Montserrat Red Cross. He is now a member of the Boards of the Montserrat Association for Persons with Disabilities and the Children’s Society. Before moving to Montserrat in 2017 Craig worked as an Assistant Director of Social Services and now writes for a number of print and online publications on business issues, government and sport.
Nick Sundin - North of England Coordinator
Since visiting Gibraltar as a child, I have been intrigued by Britain's Overseas Territories, and furthermore puzzled at not encountering them in the British education system. This has led me towards approaching the OTs from a perspective that seeks to educate the public on the ins and outs of these fascinating territories to avoid common misconceptions, as well as supporting and engaging the OTs in the issues they face. My own recent experience with the OTs has been centred around the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, where I conducted my dissertation research in 2018 on civil society attitudes towards the SBAs in Cyprus.
Gus Eldridge - Merchandise Coordinator
I have always supported a country's right to self determination and this is not hard to see with the British Overseas Territories where in 1967 the people of Gibraltar voted 99.6% to maintain British sovereignty in their referendum and more recently in 2013 the Falkland Islands people voted 99.8% to maintain this. FOTBOT supports a range of issues from supporting British university students in getting the same rights as UK students at UK universities to disaster relief when hurricanes hit our overseas territories.