Our non-executive board set our overall strategic direction and contribute expert skills and knowledge to Youth Futures Foundation.

Our Founding Chair is Joe Montgomery. Joe has extensive experience in the public and community sectors, with a focus on ensuring services benefit the most disadvantaged people.

We are in the process of identifying and appointing more board members.

Joe Montgomery

Joe brings extensive experience from the public and community sectors, with a focus on ensuring services benefit the most disadvantaged. He has served as the government's Director General for Places and Communities and previously led the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit under the same title. He holds several other non-executive roles and has been a Civil Service Commissioner since June 2017. As Chair, Joe leads our non-executive board and is responsible for setting the strategy and governing of YFF's social purpose.

Laura-Jane Rawlings

Non-executive Director
Laura-Jane Rawlings is the CEO of Youth Employment UK, the leading voice and expert on youth employment issues in the UK. Laura-Jane is recognised as a leading youth employment expert, providing insight and expertise to many groups such as the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Employment and Education, Education and Skills Sub Committee, and sits on two ESF National Sub-Committees; Employment, Skills and Social Inclusion and Equality and Diversity.

Dame Julia Cleverdon

Non-executive Director
Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE is a lifetime campaigner who has worked tirelessly to promote opportunities for disadvantaged young people. As  Co-founder of the #iwill campaign, Vice Patron of Teach First and Vice President of Business in the Community, she encourages collaboration among senior leaders from business, government, education and the most disadvantaged communities to build a more robust and sustainable civil society.


We have an initial team of interims and secondees supporting our Chair, Joe Montgomery.

Sonia Archer

Youth Voice Manager
Sonia leads our work on Youth Involvement, working on embedding processes that enable young people’s input into the full range of activities and decision making across the organisation.  Sonia has previously headed up a wide range of youth-led training and employability programmes and initiatives and brings a wealth of experience working to support disadvantaged young people into meaningful opportunities.   Most recently Sonia was Head of Employability at London Youth, which included the successful delivery of their youth-led Talent Match London programme and setting up the pre-employability Future Talent programme.  Prior to this, Sonia worked as Head of Membership at Only Connect, supporting young people at risk of crime using arts based programmes and also St Giles Trust who work to support ex-offenders into training and employment.

Eleanor Stringer

Head of Strategy & Policy
Eleanor leads the strategy and policy work of Youth Futures Foundation and is making sure that the approach we take has the greatest possible impact on the lives of young people. Eleanor joins us as a secondee from Education Endowment Foundation and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience of using evidence to improve outcomes for disadvantaged young people. At Education Endowment Foundation, she was most recently Head of Programmes, which included managing large grants that were robustly evaluated to assess their impact on children’s learning, and wrote evidence-based guidance reports for schools. Before that she worked at Social Finance and New Philanthropy Capital.

Anna Darnell

Policy and Partnerships Manager
As Policy & Partnerships Manager, Anna is helping to shape and deliver our organisational strategy by leading our stakeholder management and ensuring that YFF has strong relationships with relevant youth/youth employment organisations, as well as public bodies and Government departments. She is also driving forward the vital role of Youth Voice within YFF. Anna joins us as a secondee from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), where she was a Policy Advisor in the Youth and Social Action Team, leading on a number of different youth funding streams, supporting youth services policy development and was closely involved in the early policy work that supported YFF’s creation. Prior to this, Anna worked in the charity sector in a mixture of policy, research and frontline information services at Relate and Gingerbread.

James Endean

Interim COO
James is leading the establishment of Youth Futures Foundation and will stay in role until our permanent CEO has been appointed. Working closely with our Chair, Joe Montgomery, James is developing the governance, operational systems and policies in preparation for us taking on the £90m of dormant assets funds we have been awarded. James will also lead our work on business engagement. James has a background in company and business unit start-ups, building on his general management and finance experience in Unilever.



Youth Futures Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of 3 new Board members. Sir Tony Hawkhead, Jenny North and Sir Simon Woolley joined YFF’s Board on September 1st. “I am delighted that we have been able to attract people…


Over the past several weeks YFF have been carrying out a series of consultations with young people across the country to get their input into our strategy. We have also been asking what ‘meaningful employment’ means to them. The feedback…


Youth Futures Foundation is delighted to announce that Anna Smee has been appointed as its first CEO. Anna will join in November.