Our Leadership Team

Diana Gerald MBE - CEO

Diana Gerald, CEO

Diana Gerald MBE has been BookTrust’s Chief Executive since 2015. She is a Trustee of the Mohn Westlake Foundation - one of the UK’s largest grant givers in supporting disadvantaged children and young people in the arts, culture and education. She is Deputy Chair of Creative Education Trust, a network of schools in disadvantaged areas of the Midlands and East of England, and also Chair of the Bentley Wood Trust, an outstanding school in Stanmore. She joined BookTrust from the Arks Schools Group. Other previous roles include at the Young Foundation and in consultancy for local government. She began her career in the commercial sector at Boston Consulting Group.

Annie Crombie - Deputy CEO

Annie Crombie

Annie Crombie, Deputy CEO, leads our strategy development and implementation through partners, programmes, development, books, research and impact. Annie was previously the CEO of the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies UK and a senior civil servant in the Department for Education. She is a qualified teacher, and a member of the Learning and Participation Committee of the Royal Opera House.

Colin Atkins - COO

Colin Atkinson

Colin joined BookTrust in January 2017 as Chief Operations Officer, and has over 25 years of experience as a senior supply chain and operations professional. Prior to joining BookTrust Colin ran his own consultancy business for seven years, specialising in developing strategic supply chain and business operations solutions for national and international print media businesses, including Egmont, Hearst International, Telegraph Media Group and News UK. Colin's core responsibilities are in managing the operational delivery of BookTrust and overseeing its organisational development.

Lizzie Catford - Director of Children’s Books

Lizzie Catford

Lizzie Catford is BookTrust’s Director of Children’s Books. Lizzie oversees BookTrust’s collaborations with publishers, authors, illustrators and the wider books sector. This includes selection for our book gifting programmes, reviews and recommendations, prizes and the Children’s Laureate. Prior to BookTrust, Lizzie worked in the publishing sector for nineteen years at some of the UK’s most influential curriculum and children’s book publishers. Most recently, she was a Publisher at HarperCollins UK, with responsibility for the publishing strategy for primary schools. Lizzie is a Trustee for CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) and Governor for a South London Primary School.

Claire Goodall - Director of Design, Development and Strategic Planning

Claire Goodall - Director of Design, Development and Strategic Planning

Claire Goodall, Director of Design, Development & Strategic Planning leads our day-to-day business planning process, in addition to providing broader innovation leadership across BookTrust, so that all staff can contribute creatively and collaboratively to the implementation of strategic priorities. Claire has an outstanding record of scaled innovation change across multiple industries, including nearly 15 years at Procter & Gamble and time at Heathrow Airport. She is passionate about designing and scaling products and services that put people first and lead to better outcomes for all.

Benedict Arora – Director of Communications, Marketing and Digital

Benedict Arora – Director of Communications, Marketing and Digital

Benedict joined BookTrust as Director of Communications in November 2022. He has over 20 years’ experience working in the public, private and third sectors. Previous roles have included running an online newsroom for Microsoft in New Delhi and heading up the international team at the German marketing agency C3 where he worked on briefs for clients such as the European Central Bank, Allianz and Siemens. He has also worked in communications at the Department for Education (UK) and as Director of Education at NESTA.

Mikes Bues - Finance Director

Mikes Bues - Finance Director

Mike Bues joined Booktrust as Finance Director in January 2023 and leads the financial strategy planning and financial operation of the organisation. Prior to joining Booktrust, Mike has 18 years of Finance experience, and has held senior roles in the IT and Wholesale sectors.

Ruthann Hughes - Director of Research and Impact

Ruthann Hughes - Associate Director of Research and Impact

Ruthann Hughes, Director of Research and Impact, leads our monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) and research work, supporting BTs growth as an evidence led organisation. She has extensive experience of leading insight activities for national and international NGOs.


Julie Hayward - Associate Director for Partnerships

Julie joined BookTrust in September 2020, leading our partnership team in England. This was a pivotal time for BookTrust with the shift in our strategy, she has since been working to embed the changes needed to deliver support to low-income families. As Associate Director for Partnerships Julie leads our work with partners across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Prior to joining BookTrust Julie worked for a national youth charity helping young people from disadvantaged communities and those facing the greatest adversity, a role which followed an extensive career in public service and local government. Julie has lived experience of growing up in a low-income family in her early years and is passionate about reading for pleasure for all children.

Meet our Trustees