Meet the people on our Board of Trustees
Michelle Walder (Chair)
Michelle has a background in modern languages and law, and co-founded leadership development firm TXG in 2004. Her experience consists of developing corporate strategies, team effectiveness and C-suite consultancy, and coaching. She specialises in working with some of the most forward thinking boards who are keen to be the best in their sector. Michelle has senior development experience spanning several financial services firms including Commerzbank, Nomura, Societe Generale and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. She is also a non-executive director of Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, and a director of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, where she also chairs the Women’s Football Club.
Dr Shazia Afridi
Dr Afridi qualified from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Medical School with an intercalated neuroscience degree. Following her basic medical training in London she completed her PhD at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square looking at functional imaging in migraine. She then went on to complete her higher training in London and is a Consultant Neurologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust where she runs the headache service in the neurology department. She is also a council member of BASH (British Association for the Study of Headache). She has spoken at events and been invited onto advisory boards for Eli Lilly, Novartis and Teva.
Professor Fayyaz Ahmed
Professor Fayyaz Ahmed is a Consultant Neurologist and Professor (Hon) in Clinical Neurology at Hull and Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Hull York Medical School. Professor Ahmed graduated from Dow Medical College Karachi, Pakistan in 1986. He moved on to the UK after his residency and received his neurology training at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds and Imperial College London. He did his research on cerebral blood flow in migraine and clinical training in headache at the Princess Margaret Migraine Clinic, Charing Cross Hospital, London. He was appointed as Consultant Neurologist in Hull in 1996 where he established a dedicated headache clinic. He did his MBA in Public Sector Management from University of Hull in 2010 and is currently the Educational Officer of the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH) having served as a Secretary (2005-2008), Vice Chair (2009-2010) and Chair (2011-2013). He is Chair of Headache UK and Director of the European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress (EHMTIC).
Dr Brendan Davies
Dr Davies is a Consultant Neurologist at the University of Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and the clinical lead for the North Midlands Regional Headache clinic. He acted as an Honorary visiting Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London Headache Group between 2004-2006. He is an advisory group member and past chair of the Association of British Neurologists Headache And Pain section and is a member of the current National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) headache clinic guidelines group. He is the vice chair of the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH) and the current West Midlands Neurology regional advisor for the Royal College of Physicians. Dr Davies has a specialist interest in acute and chronic daily headache disorders and especially migraine and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). He is the organiser of the biennial Keele headache teaching course for health professionals at the University of Keele, North Staffordshire and a medical advisor for the UK CSF Leak Association. He was the National Neuro Advisory Group (NNAG) headachepathway secondary care lead from 2019-2020. He was the UK principal and chief investigator for National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) delivered migraine and cluster headache trials sponsored by Alder, Allergan, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Novartis, and Teva, and received honouraria for consultancy and education from Allergan, Amgen, Eli Lilly, NICE, Novartis, and Teva.
David Cubitt is a Partner at Osborne Clarke, an international law firm. David is based in the City of London and heads up Osborne Clarke’s employment law team. For more than 20 years, David has specialised in employment law, advising businesses on the impact of rules, regulations and employment law strategies across their workforce. He is married with two teenage boys and has a passion for music and Charlton Athletic football club.
Professor Peter Goadsby
Professor Goadsby MBBS MD PhD DSc FRACP FRCP is the Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Facility and Professor of Neurology at King’s College London. He is also the National Lead for Neurological Disorders for the Clinical Research Network, NIHR UK, a Trustee of the Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headache (OUCH UK) and Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee, Migraine Trust International Symposium.
Dr Kay Kennis
Dr Kennis is a GP with a special interest in headache (GPwSI) in Bradford. She qualified from Oxford and undertook postgraduate training in medicine in Plymouth, where she obtained the MRCP, and then at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. She opted for a career in Primary Care and trained in Bradford, obtaining the MRCGP and DFFP. She joined her current practice in Bradford in 2006, and is the clinical lead for women’s health at her practice. In partnership with colleagues from Primary Care and the Neurology Department at Bradford, she established a Primary Care Headache Service which is part of the Bradford Community Neurology Service. She has been a member of the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH) GPwSI Headache Group since 2006. From 2010 until 2016 Dr Kennis was a member of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline Development Group which developed and updated the current NICE guideline on headache management.
Sir Denis O’Connor
After trying both policing and teaching, he settled into the police serving on and off for over 30 years in London, Kent and Surrey at all ranks from Constable to Chief Constable (Surrey). Much of his time in senior roles was concerned with reform and development of policing, as Assistant Commissioner he lead the development of the Metropolitan Police to race crime and race relations, following the Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence between 1997-2000. Whilst Chief Constable he headed up a national trial across 8 police forces that led to the development of Neighbourhood Policing nationally between 2000-2004. He became a regulator of policing in 2004, serving as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales between 2008-2012 where he reviewed a range of issues including the police response to the G20 protests, Anti Social Behaviour, and cutbacks in budgets. Currently he is an affiliated lecturer at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University and Non Executive Director of the College of Policing. He is married with 3 grown up children and 2 grandchildren (so far). He enjoys walking and tending his small wild flower meadow.
Dr Louise Rusk
Louise Rusk is a GP from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She graduated from Queens University in 2002 and completed her medical training in the Royal Group of Hospitals. After she completed her MRCP in 2005, she worked for 18 months in neurology and neurophysiology in the Royal Victoria Hospital. She then trained as a GP, developing a specialist interest in headache and in primary care neurology education. She has been actively involved in developing and delivering a neurology training day which is now a core element for all GP trainees in Northern Ireland. Louise has served on council for the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH) as a co-opted and then elected member from 2014 to 2019. Louise works as a GP and GP trainer in a busy inner city practice in Belfast, Northern Ireland and in a headache clinic in a local district general hospital.
Sir Nicholas Stadlen
Nick Stadlen is a former President of the Cambridge Union. He spent 35 years in the law. As a QC he was voted barrister of the year after his successful defence of the Bank of England in the BCC litigation, in which he made the longest speech in English legal history, and as a High Court judge he sat in the Queens Bench Division where most of the cases he tried involved judicial review of decisions made by public bodies. In 2006/2007 he did a series of in depth podcast interviews for the Guardian with political figures including Simon Peres Gerry Adams, FW DeKlerk, Desmond Tutu and Tony Benn. He was a Visiting Fellow at St Antony’s College Oxford where he worked on a book about the defendants and lawyers who took part in the Rivonia Trial at which Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison. He is a trustee of Independent Diplomat UK and the Imogen Cooper Music Trust and a former chairman of Volunteer Reading Help. He’s currently a documentary film-maker. His wife Frances has suffered from acute migraines for over 30 years and he is impatient both for a cure and, in the meanwhile, for wider understanding and recognition of the misery that many migraine sufferers have to endure.
Wendy Thomas is the former chief executive of The Migraine Trust, which she led for ten years. Wendy is a director of the Migraine Trust International Symposium and treasurer of the International Headache Society (IHS) and the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH). She also chaired Headache UK (an alliance of charities working in the headache field) between 2009 and 2012.
Mike Wakefield spent his career within blue chip companies including Pan Am, United Biscuits and Anheuser-Busch. Following early retirement, Mike joined several trustee boards and was the chair of Migraine Action.