You are here

Board of Trustees

A full list of BAFTA's Board of Trustees and their biographies


Pippa Harris

Chair of the Academy

Pippa Harris established Neal Street Productions in 2003, alongside Sam Mendes and Caro Newling, and runs the company’s Film and TV division together with Nicolas Brown.

Since the formation of Neal Street Productions, Pippa has produced Starter for TenStuart A Life Backwards, and co-produced Jarhead.  She also executive produced Things We Lost in the FireAway We Go and the Oscar-nominated Revolutionary Road, as well as feature documentary We Are Many

Pippa is Executive Producer on the BBC’s award winning Call the Midwife – currently the most watched TV drama in the UK, as well as series 2 of Britannia, Jez Butterworth’s major new drama for Sky Atlantic.  She also executive produced BBC Two's BAFTA winning The Hollow Crown - a series of Shakespeare films for the BBC / PBS, as well as a second series; The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, and the multi award winning Penny Dreadful, written by John Logan for Showtime / Sky Atlantic.  

Previously, Pippa was the Head of Drama Commissioning for the BBC where her commissions included The Lost PrinceState of Play and Daniel Deronda.  Pippa joined the BBC in 1997 as a Development Executive for BBC films before becoming the Executive Producer of BBC Drama Serials.  Her production credits include the BAFTA-winning dramas The Way We Live NowCare and Warriors.

She is also a Governor of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, a Trustee of The Charleston Trust, a Patron of Best Beginnings, and an Ambassador for Women for Women International.

In 2015 Pippa was made a Dame in the Dissolution Honours.

Krishnendu Majumdar

Deputy Chair of the Academy

Krishnendu is an award-winning producer and director, trained on the BBC Production Trainee scheme, the ITN News Trainee scheme and the BBC Drama Series Directors Academy. He is the co-founder of Me + You Productions, an independent production company who make documentary, drama and comedy projects with co-founder Richard Yee. They are currently in production with the comedy drama series Sick Of It (Sky) starring Karl Pilkington and a trilogy of single dramas by Dominic Savage for Channel 4. Their output includes two series of EMMY winning Hoff the Record, a comedy starring David Hasselhoff and Asim Chaudhry; and two series of The Moaning of Life, starring Karl Pilkington. Their awards include a Mind Media Award and an International Emmy Award for Comedy; and nominations in the BAFTA Television Awards, RTS Programme Awards, British Comedy Awards and the National Television Awards. They have also been shortlisted for two Grierson British Documentary Awards. He has been elected to the BAFTA Television Committee since 2006, was on the Board of Trustees and was the chair of the Learning and Events Committee from 2006 to 2010. He served a term on the Board of Directors, UK and is currently on the PACT council. Credits include: BAFTA Nominated An Idiot Abroad (Sky 1), The Happiness Salesman (BBC Two), True Stories: What’s Killing Darcus Howe? (Channel 4), Bleach, Nip, Tuck: The White Beauty Myth (Channel 4), The World’s Smallest Man and Me (Channel 4), Michael Howard: No More Mr Nasty (BBC Two), Coked Up Britain (Sky 1) and BAFTA nominated Who You Callin’ a Nigger? (Channel 4). 

Jo Twist

Chair of the Games Committee

Jo is CEO of Ukie, the trade body for UK games and interactive entertainment, making the UK the best place in the world to make, sell and play games. She is also Deputy Chair of the British Screen Advisory Council, London Tech Ambassador, Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, an Ambassador on the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board, and Creative Industries Council member. In 2016 she was awarded an OBE for services to the creative industries and won the MCV 30 Women in Games award for Outstanding Contribution. She is a Vice President for games and accessibility charity, SpecialEffect and the government’s Sector Champion for Disabilities. Previously, Jo was Channel 4 Education Commissioning Editor where she commissioned Digital Emmy-winning Battlefront II, free to play browser and iOS games and social media projects. Jo was Multiplatform Commissioner for BBC Entertainment & Switch, BBC Three Multiplatform Channel Editor, and technology reporter for BBC News.  Her doctorate in the late 1990s was an ethnography exploring identity and concepts of difference in place based and virtual communities. 

Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE


Lloyd joined the Board of BAFTA in November 2017. He is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the Founder of the Travelex Group, the world’s largest retailer of foreign exchange which he started in 1976. In 2014, an agreement was reached to sell the business

He has a variety of other business interests. He is the Chairman and co-founder (2014) of Doddle, which is a retail platform to enable people to collect, return and send their online shopping. Having been Chairman and majority shareholder of The Office Group (the leading flexible office company) from 2010 to 2017, he remains a shareholder following its £500m sale to Blackstone in June 2017. He is also a Shareholder and Board Director of the London Theatre Company and Ben Ainslie Racing’s America’s Cup Challenge, and was on the Board of M&C Saatchi from 2004 to 2015.

In the charity sector, he is the Chairman of the Prince’s Trust and of Prince’s Trust International. In addition, as well as being a Trustee of BAFTA, he is Deputy Chairman of the Community Security Trust and a Trustee of the Royal Opera House, of the Royal Academy Trust, of BAFTA and of JW3. He was a Governor of St Paul’s School from 2005 to 2016 and a Board member of the National Theatre from 2007 to 2015.

In 2018, he was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to philanthropy and the arts, following his appointment as CBE in 2008 for services to business and charity. In 2011, he was awarded The Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy. As of 2017, he sits on the Business Advisory Board of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Paul Morrell


Paul Morrell is a chartered quantity surveyor and was formerly senior partner and international chairman of Davis Langdon (now part of Aecom), where he had worked since graduating from university until retiring in 2007. 

He was subsequently appointed as the Government's first Chief Construction Adviser in November 2009, with a brief to champion a more coordinated approach to affordable, sustainable construction.

He has extensive experience of major construction projects in both the public and private sectors, with a particular specialisation in commercial develpment, value management, procurement strategy and practice, and client organisation.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Association for Project Management. He was awarded an OBE for services to architecture and the built environment in the 2009 New Year Honours list. 

In Government, Paul chaired the Government Construction Board, responsible for the development of a new cross-Government construction strategy; served on the Board of the Cabinet Office Major Projects Authority; and led the BIS Innovation and Growth Team study into low carbon construction.

He has performed (or is performing) project steering/governance/advisory roles for the Siobhan Davies Dance Company, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Rambert Dance, the Tate Gallery, the Bristol Old Vic, the Garden Bridge Trust, and the Royal Opera House.

He now practises as an independent consultant, and is a Visiting Professor at Nottingham Trent University.

Maria Ishak

Maria Ishak is the Senior Vice President North America Sales at all3media International and manages the licensing of rights of over 13,000 hours of programming including Midsomer Murders, Undercover Boss and the award-winning Fleabag.  Ishak is also charged with growing the North American business by managing factual co-productions and working closely with producers to identify, pitch and sell premium concepts at all stages of development.

Having worked in the television industry for more than 15 years, Ishak began her career within the marketing departments of FremantleMedia and Sony Pictures Television International, before moving over to programme sales and acquisitions.  In 2010, she joined Passion Distribution and quickly became a key member of the team that helped grow the company from a £5 million start up to a £25 million business.  Three years later she was promoted to Vice President Sales and Acquisitions, North America, and moved to New York City to launch and head up Passion Distribution USA. 

Ishak was born in Lebanon, grew up in London, and graduated from Bristol University with a bachelor of Science in Economics and Sociology, she now splits her time between New York City and London, is Vice Chair of BAFTA NY and co-chairs the BAFTA New York Learning and New Talent Committee.

Headline: Scholars Reception for 2016 intakeVenue: BAFTA, 195 PiccadillyDate: 4 October 2016

Sara Putt

Chair of the Learning & New Talent Committee and Deputy Chair of the Television Committee

For the last 25 years Sara has owned and run Sara Putt Associates, an agency for technicians and production personnel. Sara began her career in BBC radio and subsequently in TV production, before establishing her own agency to fill a gap in the market, offering career management to sections of the freelance industry who had not previously been able to access representation. This now includes above the line and VFX talent. Sara Putt Associates has also established its own trainee scheme in order to nurture the next generation of freelance talent.

In 2008 Sara successfully completed the BGP (Business Growth Programme) at Cranfield School of Management in order to develop and strengthen her management skills, and at the moment is doing a Graduate Diploma in Law. She also sits on the Women in Film and TV Board. Throughout her career Sara has also produced films for her clients including Tattoo which was BAFTA nominated for Best Short Film in 2002. Sara Putt Associates have sponsored the Breakthrough Talent section of the BAFTA Craft Awards.

Marc Samuelson

Chair of the Film Committee

Marc Samuelson was formerly a Director of the Association of Independent Producers and of the Edinburgh International Television Festival, and MD of Umbrella Films, producers of White Mischief and 1984. He was previously a Board Member of the UK Film Council, a Governor of the NFTS and Deputy Chairman of the British Screen Advisory Council, and he is a member of Pact Council.

From 1990 to 2006 he worked as an independent film producer on films such as the Oscar nominated Tom & Viv, BAFTA-nominated Wilde, Arlington Road, Gabriel & Me, The Gathering, Things To Do Before You're 30, and Stormbreaker, and as executive producer of The Libertine, Keeping Mum and Chromophobia

In August 2007 Marc became a director of CinemaNX, the film investment company backed by the Isle of Man Government. For NX Marc produced BAFTA-nominated Me and Orson Welles and  TT3D: Closer to the Edge and executive produced The Disappearance of Alice Creed, A Bunch of Amateurs, Heartless, Oscar-nominated Chico & Rita, Wild Target, Albatross, The Shadow Line, The Decoy Bride, Ashes and Honour.

Marc departed his position with CinemaNX to relaunch his company Samuelson Productions and has a slate of film and television projects in various stages of packaging and development. He was most recently executive producer on The Silent Storm directed by Corinna Villari-McFarlane and starring Andrea Riseborough and Damian Lewis and City of Tiny Lights directed by Pete Travis and starring Riz Ahmed, Billie Piper and Cush Jumbo.

In 2016 Samuelson launched Route 24 Ltd, an independent television production company working in high-end drama, backed by ITV Global Entertainment.

Anna Higgs

Deputy Chair of the Film Committee

Anna Higgs is a creative leader working at the forefront of storytelling and audiences.

As Head of Entertainment at Facebook in the UK, Anna leads a team across film, music, television and publishing, working in partnership with studios, record labels, broadcasters and publishers to help connect great work with the right audiences. 

Because side hustles are all the rage, Anna is also a columnist for Creative Review, specialising in career coaching, workplace culture and career growth advice for creatives with the ‘Ask Anna’ monthly feature.

Before joining Facebook Anna was Creative Director at global culture channel NOWNESS, bringing the best emerging and established filmmakers together with bold audience strategies. During her time there, she developed, commissioned, produced and distributed dozens of series, hundreds of single films and curated thousands of acquired short films. She also spearheaded a move to 50/50 gender balanced commissioning across all editorial and branded work, as well as a strategic company restructure that led to a successful merger with China’s Modern Media and Dazed Media Group.

Prior to NOWNESS, she was a commissioner and Head of Digital at Film4, leading cinematic innovation with projects including Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth, Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45 and Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank. This move built on a strong track record as an independent producer working across film, TV and digital projects.

Anna’s work has seen her named as one Creative Review's ‘Creative Leaders 50’, alongside the likes of Felix Barret, Gorillaz and Maria Balshaw. In 2012 she was selected as one of the inaugural Time Out ‘Culture 100’, a celebration of the "innovators, visionaries and pioneers behind what's now and what's next. A search for the most original and influential people in the UK creative and media industries" alongside creative innovators such as Danny Boyle, Stella McCartney, Grayson Perry, Jonathan Ive, Zadie Smith, Thomas Heatherwick and Alan Rusbridger.

John Smith

Co-opted - Chair of the Commercial Committee

John Smith was appointed Burberry Chief Operating Officer in March 2013, having previously served as a non-executive director from December 2009.
John has over 20 years' experience in the media industry, with a particular emphasis on building brands and digital.  Prior to joining Burberry, he was Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide from 2005 to 2012, doubling turnover and quadrupling profits, and overseeing its significant expansion through the development of successful global franchises and innovative formats and platforms. Prior to BBC Worldwide, he was Director of Finance then Chief Operating Officer of the BBC.  
John is a Director of the Henley Festival and an Honorary Fellow of RIBA. Previously he was a member of the Accounting Standards Board from 2001 to 2004 and has been a Director of Severn Trent PLC and Vickers PLC and a Vice President of the Royal Television Society.

Paul Taiano OBE

Co-opted - Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee

Paul joined Nyman Libson Paul as a trainee in 1978, qualified in 1981 and was promoted to partner in 1986. The majority of his client base is connected with the entertainment industry including theatre, film and television, with clients ranging from the commercial sector (including theatre owners and managers and film, television and theatre production companies) through charitable organisations and the regulatory sector including employer associations.

As a result of his professional expertise and in-depth knowledge of the theatre industry, Paul joined the Board of Governors of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 1996 where he went on to serve as Chairman for the maximum term from 2005 to 2017. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in December 2017.

Other voluntary positions include acting as a non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jockey Club Racecourse at Huntingdon from September 2009, having been a board member since March 1995, and Chair of the BAFTA Finance and Audit committee since January 2018.

In recognition of Paul's services to Drama Training and Horse Racing Welfare he was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours list.

National hunt horse racing is his lifelong passion but, unfortunately, his riding career was brought to an abrupt end following a fall in March 2005 when he suffered a broken neck resulting in tetraplegia paralysis. However, despite being confined to a wheelchair, Paul has continued to fulfill his work and voluntary commitments.

Hannah Wyatt

Chair of the Television Committee

Managing Director, BBC Studios Factual Entertainment & Events Production

Hannah oversees the creative, commercial, and operational strategy for BBC Studios factual entertainment and events production. She has specific responsibility for titles such as Top Gear, Dragons’ Den and The One Show, as well as for the central Factual Entertainment team, Unscripted Productions, Topical & Live and the Events team. Her specialist teams produce a wide-range of programmes across the genres, from Celebrity Painting Challenge, Countryfile and DIY SOS to new commissions Inside The Duchy for ITV and Chocolate Dreams: Inside Hotel Chocolatfor Channel 5 to award-winning events coverage like Festival Of Remembrance and The Royal Wedding: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Hannah is also responsible for developing new factual entertainment formats to ensure the continued creative growth of IP in this key genre.

Prior to joining BBC Studios, Hannah was Managing Director at Boundless, where she ran the business and oversaw development and the programme slate including The Apprentice for BBC One and Grand Designs for Channel 4. Before Boundless, Hannah was Director of Programmes at Mentorn, rising from Head of Factual Entertainment and Features and responsible for programmes including The Fried Chicken Shop for Channel 4, Watermen: A Dirty Business for BBC Two andHotel Of Mum And Dad for BBC Three.

Kathryn Busby - Chair of BAFTA Los Angeles (biography to follow)

Back to Academy Key Personnel