Harkness Fellows Association


The Harkness Fellows Association and Transatlantic Trust is the alumni association of the Harkness Fellowships, an international programme offering study fellowships in the USA. A number of former holders of Harkness Fellowships decided to ensure that alumni could stay connected and accordingly set up an association, the Harkness Fellows Association.

The HFA was registered as a charity with an educational remit for alumni on 13 September 2001. The Charity was also established as a private company limited by guarantee. In 2002 the HFA fundraised and secured money to produce a video to illustrate the breadth of the Fellowships and their impact on the lives and distinguished careers of a number of eminent Fellows.

The Association has no full-time staff. Its activities are carried out on a voluntary basis by Committee members and part-time administrative assistance is provided by Lizzie Clark.

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Aims and Activities

The Harkness Fellows Association and Transatlantic Trust is the alumni association of the Harkness Fellowships, an international programme offering study fellowships in the USA. The Company is a charity set up with the aim of encouraging transatlantic understanding. By sustaining a supportive learning network of Harkness Fellows, we develop, encourage and promote initiatives that enhance international learning and understanding.

These initiatives include:-

  • Exploring ways to encourage young people to study abroad, for example supporting the recruitment of future Harkness Fellows;
  • Continuing and sharing our own learning with others to “give back”;
  • Building partnerships where there is mutual benefit;
  • Using the centenary of the Fellowships to promote the benefits of international understanding; and
  • Supporting Commonwealth Fund international learning and fellowships activities.

Activities to sustain the network include:-

  • Regular educational talks for alumni and others, often by alumni.
  • Discussions to connect alumni across the ages and across disciplines;
  • Support to returning Harkness Fellows;
  • Maintaining a database of all Harkness Fellows;
  • Website and newsletters;
  • Promoting the achievements of fellows and impact of the fellowships as a result of international learning. 

Membership of the Harkness Fellows Association is open to all interested in transatlantic relationships. The core of our members are former Harkness and Commonwealth Fund Fellows who at some stage in their careers enjoyed the benefit of living, studying and travelling in the United States of America.

If you wish to join the Harkness Fellows Association, please contact the Association office at admin@harknessfellows.org.uk.

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The Committee

Judy Hargadon

Chair, Trustee & Director

After a long career in health care management, with posts including CEO of a Trust and a Health Authority, Judy was the Chief Executive of the School Food Trust, set up to transform school food after Jamie Oliver’s TV expose in 2005. Judy led the change from the Trust’s then NDPB status to an independent charity, the Children’s Food Trust. She is a non executive director for Devon CCG. She was a member of Council for the University of Exeter, a non executive director for Restorative Solutions CIC and has volunteered with charities that support struggling families in recent years.

Lesley Brown

Trustee & Director

Lesley Brown specialised in international corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and corporate strategy. She has advised companies in Europe and the USA ranging from multinationals to start ups, across a broad range of business sectors. Recently retired, she was Managing Director of her own corporate finance boutique in London. She has previously worked with leading investment banks Lazard Brothers and Robert Fleming (now part of J P Morgan) as well as with the Boston Consulting Group. She holds degrees from Stanford University, California (MBA), Cambridge University (PhD Chemistry) and Edinburgh University (BSc (Hons) Chemistry).

Mary Denyer

Trustee & Director

Mary Denyer is the Program Manager for the Notre Dame Law School London.  She was the Assistant Secretary & Head of Scholarship Administration of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission for 20 years. Mary has an international perspective in matters related to education and policy, and has worked on all four of the largest British Government sponsored Scholarships: Marshall, Chevening, Commonwealth and Fulbright. She has a BA(Hons) in American Studies and History from the University College of Ripon and York St John (University of Leeds) and a PG Dip in Higher and Professional Education from the Institute of Education, University of London. She also spent a semester at the University of South Florida,  Mary has served as a trustee for UKCISA and was a member of the Programmes Committee of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She is an active participant in the US National Association of Fellowship Advisors.

Colin Drummond

Committee Member

Colin has been Chairman of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and its predecessor organisations since 2014 and was Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Governors of the University of Plymouth from 2016 to 2022.

From 1992 to 2013 Colin was chief executive of Viridor, one of the UK’s leading recycling, renewable energy and waste management companies, and an executive director of Pennon Group PLC.  He was then Chairman of Viridor until the end of 2014. Prior to joining Pennon, Colin was Chief Executive of Coats Viyella Yarns Division, an executive director of Renold PLC, a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and an official at the Bank of England.  Between 2007 and 2015 Colin chaired various government boards relating to environmental change, and to innovation and trade in environmental goods and services. He was Master of the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators for 2007/08 and again for 2022/23.

Colin holds an MA from Oxford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School where he held a Harkness Fellowship. He was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2012, for services to technology and innovation, and Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of Somerset in 2016.

Timothy Hornsby

Committee Member, Chair Emeritus

Timothy Hornsby is former Chair and now the Chair Emeritus of the Harkness Fellows Association. His Board roles have included Chair of the International Tree Foundation, a Trustee of the British Architectural Trust Board, a Trustee of Field Lane charity, a Board Member of the Audience Agency and a Board member of King’s College Hospital Charity. In his previous career he occupied the Chief Executive posts at the National Lottery Charities Board (now the Big Lottery Fund), the Royal Borough of Kingston, and the Nature Conservancy Council, after a career in academic life and subsequently in the higher Civil Service.

Peter Jenkins

Trustee & Director

Peter Jenkins joined the Diplomatic Service (DS) on his return from a two-year Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School for Arts and Sciences, where he studied history and literature. During a 33-year diplomatic career he served in Vienna (twice), Washington, Paris, Brasilia and Geneva. He specialised in global nuclear and trade policy issues. Since leaving the DS he has formed a corporate problem-solving and diplomatic training partnership with former colleagues, and he writes and talks on his areas of specialisation. He lives in Bath with his Hong Kong wife, Angelina.

Nason Maani

Committee Member

Nason Maani currently holds a Lectureship in Inequalities and Global Health Policy in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on the structural and corporate determinants of health, seeking to describe the various drivers and channels through which upstream determinants such as equity, the generation of knowledge and public discourse, and commercial actors, affect population health. His work has been featured in outlets such as the Milbank QuarterlyLancet Public Health, JAMA, Scientific American and the BMJ in news reports including CNN, Voice of America, the Washington Post Reuters, the Guardian and the Telegraph. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and was a 2019-2020 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow, based at Boston University School of Public Health, where he remains an adjunct Assistant Professor.

Maddy Phipps-Taylor

Trustee & Director

Maddy returned from her Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice in 2015 and is now the Director of Strategy at Allocate Software – the world’s leading healthcare workforce management software provider. Prior to her fellowship she was Senior Policy Advisor to PM David Cameron at No 10 Downing Street. She had, at that point, experience as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and a Civil Servant following an education in Engineering at Oxford.

Veronica Plowden

Trustee & Director

Veronica has a long association with the Fellowships and was actively engaged when William, her husband, ran the scheme in the nineties. She has been active in social policy throughout her career.

James Tickell

Trustee and Director 

James Tickell’s fellowship was in 1991, which he spent at the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Since then, he has worked for a government regulator, and then a national trade body; in 2003 he co-founded a consultancy specialising in government, regulatory, charity and other non-profit clients. His own focus is on governance, strategy and assisting organisations in different forms of difficulty or crisis.  He has written various books including on the Inca and Maya civilisations, and others more related to his professional activities.

Roy Williams

Committee Member, former Trustee & Director

Roy Williams held a Harkness Fellowship in 1963–64 at the Universities of Chicago and Berkeley. His career has seen him serve as a civil servant, mainly in the Department for Trade and Industry. He has worked as Principal Private Secretary to successive Secretaries of State and has been responsible at different times for trade and industrial policy. Since retiring as Deputy Secretary Director General, Roy has chaired a major charity and been involved in several quangos and various EU initiatives.



Our administrator, Lizzie,  can be contacted at admin@harknessfellows.org.uk