John Ashcroft, Development Director
John is also Research Director of the Relationships Foundation which he has worked for since it was launched in 1994. His time is split between identifying and developing new projects, managing ongoing research programmes and advising on strategy and direction. John's work has included consultancy and training for a wide range of private, public and third sector organisations. He is the co-author of The Case for Interprofessional Collaboration (2005) and Relationships in the NHS: Bridging the Gap (2000). As Research Director, his time is split between identifying and developing new projects, managing ongoing research programmes and advising on strategy and direction. John holds a degree in theology from Oxford University and a Master of Theology from King's College, London.
Harry Benson, Research Director
Harry Benson was founder and director of the relationship education charity Bristol Community Family Trust. Over the past ten years, he taught hundreds of relationship courses to thousands of people in Bristol and elsewhere. He is a vocal and unashamed champion of marriage because the research tells him that marriage matters. He has written research papers that have made front page news and co-authored influential family policy papers for the Centre for Social Justice. He is also the author and originator of Let’s Stick Together, a pioneering relationship book and programme for new parents in the post-natal system and Surestart, now backed by the Department for Education. He is currently in the public eye for his completely different book SCRAM! a gripping first hand account of the helicopter war in the Falklands, reflecting his first career as a 21 year old Royal Navy commando pilot. In between, he became a partner in a successful stockbroking firm in Asia before achieving a first class honours BSc Psychology degree back in the UK at Bristol university as a mature student. Harry is married to Kate and lives in Somerset. Surviving a marital crisis in the mid-1990s, they have now been married for 27 years. They have six children aged ten to twenty two.
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Kaisa Juosila, Communications and Development Manager
As Development and Communications Manager Kaisa is responsible for fundraising and donor relations, communications and general management at Marriage Foundation. Before joining the team Kaisa spent a few years working in human resources in the IT sector in Finland and Germany and more recently in communications and EU-level policy advocacy in Brussels. Kaisa holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Helsinki and a M.Sc. in comparative public policy from the University of Edinburgh. Kaisa is especially interested in issues related to family policy, equality and social justice.
Michael Trend, Executive Director
After studying at the University of Oxford Michael started work as a volunteer at Toynbee Hall in London's East End. Since then he has chiefly worked in journalism and politics. He held senior posts in the Times Literary Supplement and The Spectator and was the Editor of History Today and the parliamentary House Magazine. He was the Chief Leader Writer of the Daily Telegraph when, in 1992, he was elected as the MP for Windsor. For three years he was also the Deputy Chairman and Director General of the Conservative Party (1995-98). He stood down at the 2005 election. Michael has a strong interest in human rights: he was Vice-Chairman of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and has led election delegations to Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan for the Washington-based International Republican Institute. He joined the Relationships Foundation as Executive Director in 2008.