Our people

The Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development (FDSD) is led by a group of trustees who are also directors of the company. The Chair of the board of trustees is Graham Smith.


Catherine Burtle

Catherine is Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries where she works on influencing UK policy development across a range of areas including pensions, health and care, insurance and green finance. She works alongside actuaries to facilitate policy analysis in these areas under a royal charter that places strong emphasis on the public interest. She is particularly interested in the application of the fundamental actuarial skillset to policymaking, with a focus on long-termism, scenario analysis and systems-thinking. This includes work on intergenerational fairness, climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals. She previously worked at the Association of British Insurers after studying politics at Newcastle University, where her research interests included the politics of migration and identity in modern China.

Peter DaviesPO_180214_SHEEN_64 (2)

Peter’s career background is in the field of corporate responsibility working for the Confederation of British Industry, Department of Trade and Industry and Business in the Community. Awarded the OBE in 1995 for work in establishing links between business and education, Peter was Managing Director at Business in the Community UK from 1995 to 2005. He returned home to Wales in 2005 and was appointed Commissioner for Wales and Vice Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission. Following the closure of the UK Commission Welsh Government appointed him as Wales’ first Sustainable Futures Commissioner in April 2011. He played a lead role in the development of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act, particularly through leading the national conversation on the Wales we Want. He was also appointed to be the first independent chair of the Climate Change Commission for Wales in 2011 and carrying out both roles through to March 2016. Peter was awarded a CBE for his contribution to sustainable development in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2016. Peter was instrumental in the establishment of the Institute for Sustainability and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE) at the University of Wales Trinity St David in 2011 where he has an associate role as Professor of Practice. His current project portfolio focused on working in support of communities, citizens and consumers. It includes chairing the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Welsh Water’s Customer Challenge Group and the Size of Wales charity, being a Director of Pembrokeshire Community Energy, a member of the BT Wales Advisory Board and Community Custodian for River Simple.

Mike Egan

Mike Egan is a Chartered Accountant. He took early retirement from public practice in 2013 in order to concentrate entirely on voluntary trustee and governance work for charities and not-for-profits. Previously he had been a partner, and Head of Audit, in the London office of a multinational accountancy firm. Mike also holds a Masters degree in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School (City, University of London).

Sian Lewis

Sian Lewis is a freelance communications consultant, with more than a decade of experience working at the interface of research and development. Sian works in print and online – editing and writing anything from project reports, policy briefings, proposals and blogs to posters, flyers, presentations and film scripts. Sian helps individuals and institutes develop and implement their communication strategies. And she provides writing training to NGOs to help their policy and research staff write clearly for a non-specialist audience. Before going freelance, Sian worked as the staff writer for the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), a policy and action research organisation that promotes sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect environments. There she worked with researchers and partners across the globe to publish articles that stimulate debate or provide policy recommendations about environment and development issues.

John Lotherington
John Lotherington

John Lotherington was Chair of FDSD and is now Company Secretary. He is also a Program Director with Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS). His work there continually brings him back to democracy and sustainable development, and their inter-relationship, as key cross-cutting issues for present and future policymaking around the world. The SGS seminars bring together present and prospective leaders from countries worldwide, as well as from diverse professional backgrounds including government, business, NGOs, academia, the media and other sectors. People challenge each other’s thinking from diverse perspectives, and identify the major issues and opportunities facing them and the world to better inform their decision-making and opinion-leading. Sustainable development is a key concern for SGS.  John began his career in history education and maintains an interest in that area. His publications as editor and author include: Years of Renewal: European History 1470-1600 (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2nd ed. 1999); The Seven Ages of Life (London: Centre for Reform, 2002); The Tudor Years (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2nd ed. 2003); and introductions to The Florentine Histories by Niccolo Machiavelli (New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004); The Book of the Courtier by Baldesar Castiglione (New York: Barnes & Noble, 2005), and Inferno by Dante (New York: Barnes & Noble, 2013).

Graham Smith (Chair)
Graham Smith

Graham Smith is Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster. His academic work focuses on democratic theory and practice, climate/environmental politics and the politics of the third sector/social economy. Graham is the author of a number of books, essays and official reports, including Democratic Innovations: Designing Institutions for Citizen Participation (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Deliberative Democracy and the Environment (Routledge, 2003), and co-author of the popular textbook Politics and the Environment: From Theory to Practice (Routledge, 2012), now in its third edition. He was one of the organisers of the Citizens Assembly on Brexit in 2017 and is active in Participedia, a global knowledge platform for practitioners and academics on participatory governance and democratic innovation. Graham is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (in Potsdam) and Honorary Fellow at the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity. He has also held fellowships at the European University Institute in Florence and the Harvard Kennedy School. Graham is currently working on a book on how to design democratic institutions for long-term thinking.

Cat Tully
Cat Tully

Cat Tully is Director of FromOverHere, a consultancy providing strategy and foreign policy advice. Its mission is to support organisations – particularly governments – navigate a complex world. Cat has extensive experience as a practitioner, helping governments, civil society and businesses be more strategic, more effective, better prepared for the future and more involved as global citizens in an interconnected and uncertain world. Her motivating principles are a focus on social justice and the importance of multi-stakeholder approaches to address the challenges of the 21st Century. Cat is an Honorary Fellow of the Strategy and Security Institute at Exeter University and a Visiting Director at Wilton Park. She is also the co-founder of the School of International Futures, which promotes the use of strategic foresight. Cat was previously Strategy Project Director at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Senior Policy Adviser in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.  Before working in government, she worked in strategy and international relations across the not-for-profit and business sectors. Cat is also a trustee for Women ́s Health and Family Services in Tower Hamlets, a community-based health advocacy organisation working with Black and Ethnic Minority women and their families; a trustee of Involve, a public participation think tank; and a Global Board member of Academics Stand Against Poverty.

Andrea Westallafw8

Andrea Westall is a Strategy and Policy Consultant, a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Open University, a Committee Member on Social Value for BSI, and part of the Advisory Board on Resilient Economies for the Friends Provident Foundation. She has been Head of One Planet Economy at WWF-UK, Deputy Director of the New Economics Foundation, Policy Director of Entrepreneurship at the London Business School, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, as well as working in journalism, television and publishing. Her interests include: sustainable development; policy tools and strategies; entrepreneurship (including social and environmental); local economic development; small firms and self-employment; corporate and organisational governance; outcome and impact assessment; and civil society.  Andrea has also been a board member of several organisations – such as Founding Board Director of the Social Enterprise Coalition (now SEUK), and partner for the start-up of one of the first social investment bodies in the UK, the Adventure Capital Fund – as well as a government adviser, Commissioner on public service reform, and is the author of many publications such as Revisiting Associative Democracy and Value-Led Market-Driven: Social enterprise solutions to public policy goals.


Our associates bring their knowledge, skills and experience to help us take forward FDSD’s agenda.

Sándor FülöpSándor Fülöp

Dr. Sándor Fülöp PhD was the first Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations of Hungary, a position he held from 2008 till 2012. Since 1994 he is a leader of Hungary’s principal non-profit environmental law firm: the Environmental Management and Law Association (EMLA). During his career at EMLA he has held a number of international positions. At present he is a full time teacher at the National University of Public Services at the Department of Sustainable Development. He participated in the drafting of the 1998 UN ECE Convention on Access to Information, Access to Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Aarhus Convention). Between 2002 and 2008 he was a member of the Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention.

Linda Geßner

Linda is a communication designer with a postgraduate degree in cultural studies, and has a longstanding experience working with not-for-profit and third sector organisations. She served i.a. as Deputy Chair for the United Nations Association of Germany Berlin/Brandenburg, and worked for the German Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations [ifa], Forum for the Future and the human rights agency Liberty. Specialising in communications and graphic design, she is currently leading the communications for CUSP and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to Growth. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; and on a consultancy basis manages the events and digital communications for the FDSD.