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The team
Michael Rooney headshot

Michael Rooney

Chief Executive Officer

Mike Rooney was previously the Chief Operating Officer of London First (2004-2018) and was responsible for member management, commercial development and company support services. Before joining London First in 2002 as Commercial Director, he was Chairman and Chief Executive of Langdon’s Foods Plc.

He has had a wide experience of the dairy industry having worked during the 1980s and 1990s in senior management positions for Dairy Crest Foods Plc and as Household Director responsible for the doorstep delivery business. His early career was spent in marketing and advertising, working with leading advertising agencies including CDP and Inter Public as an account manager.

Robert Hall headshot

Robert Hall

Executive Director

Robert Hall is the Executive Director of Resilience First. He was previously the Director of the Security & Resilience Network at London First. Before joining London First in 2013, he was Director of Resilience at G4S Risk Management Consulting. Robert has worked in the risk, security and resilience arenas in both the public and private sectors for many years.

He has held senior positions in two FTSE100 companies that specialise in financial services and manufacturing. He has also been Head of Analysis at a national intelligence agency and Managing Editor of security titles at an international publishing company. In 2000, he founded and managed an international forum on global security and law enforcement for senior executives in government, business and academia.

Robert spent his early career in the military before moving into the commercial world. He has written and presented extensively on strategic risk and security issues. 


Beena Chester

Director of Operations and Communications

Beena is responsible for managing and developing Resilience First’s member services, events and communications.

With over 20 years’ experience in the membership sector, Beena was previously the Events Director at London First, where she grew their programme of events whilst presenting large-scale summits (including EWI’s second Worldwide Cyber Security Summit) and awards ceremonies, together with leadership events with senior business executives and politicians. Beena also led Skills London, the UK’s largest careers fair for 15 to 24 years old, and the London Planning Awards, organised in partnership with the Mayor of London. 

Prior to that, Beena was the Head of Membership at the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain (FCCGB), where she grew their membership base and introduced new member services to increase the network’s engagement. At the FCCGB, Beena also had the opportunity to work with the French government as well as HRH The Prince of Wales.

Outside of work, Beena enjoys life with her family, yoga and travelling.


Guilherme Santos

Operations Coordinator

Guilherme is an MBA graduate from London School of Commerce and holds a BA in Business & Management from Henley Business School, University of Reading.

He has previously completed an internship in the convergence of digital technologies and financial services. He has a keen interest in business resilience and risk management.

Guilherme likes to keep abreast of current developments and is actively engaged in broadening both his perspective and his experience.

Personally, he was a competitive swimmer and enjoys exercising and playing tennis.


Alastair Brown


In 2014 Alastair became Europe’s first city Chief Resilience Officer for Glasgow. As CRO, he reported to offices in New York and London and played an active and leading role in a network of RC100 cities from across the world. He acted as point of contact for Glasgow and shared learning and experience with other cities. He set up and led a sub-set of post-industrial cities with participants from Europe, USA, China and Australia.

In 2016 he delivered the Resilience Strategy for Glasgow, with its focus on actions to enhance resilience around four pillars relating to civic participation, economy, place, and local communities. He and his team developed this over two years working with other sectors and the public to define Glasgow’s shocks and stresses and set out actions to address these. He has a strong media presence on resilience, with both recorded and live media as well as published articles and has presented at international conferences and events on the subject. He undertakes lecturing on resilience and provide training on resilience for other organisations. He have been working with BSI as it develops its City Resilience Standard (BS67000).


Ed Persson

Edward Persson

Executive Assistant

Ed is an Executive Assistant working for both Resilience First and the National Preparedness Commission. He has recently completed his MSc in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation at Lund University, Sweden, His research interests are in disaster resilience, community resilience, social capital and sustainability. After an undergraduate degree in International Relations at the University of Leeds, Ed worked in security and construction in Bergen, Norway, and operations and building services in London before moving to Sweden to complete his Master's Degree.  

Our board
Simon Collins

Simon Collins


Simon is the co-founder of Gold●Collins, a crisis advisory business, and has a variety of chair, board and advisory roles with UK and international organisations.

He was Chairman and Senior Partner of KPMG LLP until 2017, following roles leading the Transactions and Corporate Finance businesses.  Prior to that he was an investment banker with SG Warburg and NatWest Markets.  He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in 1986.

Simon is a non-executive director of the Royal Air Force, Chairman of the University of Manchester’s Global Leadership Board, Chairman of the Catalyst Board for Cancer Research UK and Chairman of Resilience First.

He is married to Simone and they have two adult children and live in North London.


Seth Schultz

Executive Director
The Resilience Shift

Seth Schultz is Executive Director of The Resilience Shift. He has a long track record of building consensus and initiating change in the field of sustainable development, and of raising international awareness on the role of cities in tackling climate change.

With over 20 years of experience, Seth’s background is as a geologist and environmental scientist. Driven by the need to create change in urban sustainability he has worked with leading and innovative organizations in this space including the Louis Berger Group, the US Green Building Council, the Clinton Foundation, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the Global Covenant of Mayors, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), where he was Co-Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee for Cities IPCC and served as a lead author on the ground breaking IPCC Special Report on 1.5 Degrees.

His recent work has focused on turning theory to practice, whether developing a global standard for Greenhouse Gas Emissions in cities, founding new organizations such as The Coalition for Urban Transitions, or a hard-hitting report on Mayoral powers and the ability and need for city leaders to become global change makers.

Seth sits on various boards and advisory councils, is a sought-after speaker and guest lecturer, and has authored numerous articles, reports, blogs and thought leadership pieces around the world. He has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Binghamton University.

Lord Toby Harris

Lord Toby Harris

Lord Toby Harris was made a Life Peer in June 1998 and has been Chair of the Labour Peers since 2012. He was until recently Vice Chair of the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on National Security, having been a member for most of the last decade.  He is a member of the House of Lords’ Select Committee on Life Beyond COVID and was a member of the Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies, which reported in summer 2020. 

Outside Parliament, he chairs the National Preparedness Commission, whose mission is to promote better preparedness for a major crisis or incident, and is President of the Institute of Strategic Risk Management.  He has also been Chair of National Trading Standards (which is responsible for delivering national and cross-boundary consumer protection enforcement activity) since May 2013, and Chair of the Fundraising Regulator (overseeing charitable fundraising) since January 2019.  In addition, he chairs the Independent Advisory Group on Ethics for the National Crime Agency.  In 2016, he conducted an Independent Review for the Mayor of London on London’s Preparedness to Respond to a Major Terrorist Incident.

Bob Rothernberg headshot

Bob Rothenberg MBE

Bob Rothenberg retired from Blick Rothenberg Chartered Accountants in 2019 having been senior partner for over 20 years. He was made an MBE in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List for services to business and to the community in London. He continues to work both advising a number of clients and acting as a trustee and an executor.

Bob is Chair of the Governors of Highgate School, a Trustee of Police Now and has served as a Trustee of The Prince’s Foundation and as a Board member of both London First and Think London, the predecessor of London & Partners, the official foreign direct investment agency for London.  He has been regularly quoted on tax and commercial issues in the national press and appeared on these topics on radio and other media outlets.

Bob and his wife Pippa live in north London and they have three children and six grandchildren. He is a keen skier, avid Spurs football supporter and enjoys theatre and opera.

Pippa Malmgren headshot

Dr Pippa Malmgren

Pippa is Honorary Chairperson of Resilience First. She is a former Presidential advisor and a prominent public speaker She is a Non Executive Board Member of the Department of International Trade in the UK. She also serves on the British Ministry of Defence Working Group on Global Strategic Trends. Advisory Board. She often participates in the Pentagon’s scenario sessions with the Office of Net Assessment.

She served President George W. Bush in the White House and on The National Economic Council where she handled financial market issues. Prior to that, she was the Chief Currency Strategist for Bankers Trust and then the Deputy Head of Global Strategy at UBS. She is ranked in the top 30 Most Influential Economists in the World and in the top 5 Most Powerful Women in Finance in 2017.

She is also an author. In 2016, her book Signals: How Everyday Signs Help Us Navigate the World’s Turbulent Economy was crowdfunded on Indiegogo and a 4x Amazon best-seller. She wrote Geopolitics for Investors, commissioned by the CFA.  She released the award winning The Leadership Lab - Leadership in the 21st Century in September 2018.

Sir Ian Andrews

Sir Ian Andrews CBE TD

A former Second Permanent Secretary (2nd PUS) of the UK Ministry of Defence who retired after 34 years in the civil service in 2009, Sir Ian continues to pursue a wide range of security interests. From 2009-2013, he was Non-Executive Chairman of the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) – now part of the National Crime Agency – and he is a Non-Executive Director of the Health and Social Care Information Centre for England where   he takes a particular interest in Information Assurance and Cyber Security.

For much of the last 20 years he has been closely involved in the leadership of transformational change in large and complex organisations in the national security space. Appointments have included as a Managing Director of a major Ministry of Defence Trading Fund (the Defence Research and Evaluation Agency) and Chief Executive of the then Defence Estates Agency: and as the 2nd PUS, he was a member of all three single Service management Boards, as well as the Defence Board. He is a senior adviser to the Transparency International Defence and Security Programme and recent years have seen him providing support to Defence Diplomacy, particularly in Latin America, and contributing to various public sector and academic leadership initiatives.


Sir David Veness CBE QPM

Sir David was Chairman of the London First Security & Resilience Network from 2009 until 2018. He served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Safety & Security from its creation in 2005 until June 2009. This role carries responsibility for UN operations globally. Prior to this appointment, he was Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Operations) New Scotland Yard from 1994-2005. He joined the Metropolitan Police as a cadet in 1964 and as a constable in 1966.

In the course of his police career, he specialised in serious crime investigation, hostage negotiation and counter terrorism. David was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (MA, LLM) and attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1990. David was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 1994, a CBE in 2000, and was knighted in 2004.  

Other Strategic Consultative and Steering Group Members:

  • Lawrie Quinn, Programme and Project Director, Atkins
  • John Deverell CBE, CEO, The Prepared Mind
  • Gil Grein, Head of Global Security and Resilience, Facebook
  • Professor Lex Hoogduin, CEO, Global Complexity Network BV
  • Richard Barnes, Independent and former Statutory Deputy Mayor for London
  • Hank Cole, Global Head of Business Continuity & Incident Management, HSBC UK
  • Adrian Criddle, Vice President, Intel Corporation
  • Jan Reier Huse, Vice President, Lloyds Register Foundation
  • Nick Millar, Head of Operations, London Stansted Airport
  • Maddie Callis, City Possible Enterprise Partnership, Mastercard
  • Caroline Field, Associate Director, The Resilience Shift
  • Alan Brown, Group Director of Security and Resilience, Tesco
  • Alex Nickson, Head of Resilience, Thames Water
  • Basil Scarsella, CEO, UK Power Networks
  • Tom Lewis, President, WSP USA Solutions
  • Mike Butler, Chief Resilience & Control Officer, Santander UK