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You can also get access to our past events and webinars located under our Knowledge Hub and our future events and webinars under Our Work.

The team
Michael Rooney headshot

Michael Rooney

Chief Executive Officer

Mike Rooney was previously the Chief Operating Officer of London First (2004-2018) and was responsible for member management, commercial development and company support services. Before joining London First in 2002 as Commercial Director, he was Chairman and Chief Executive of Langdon’s Foods Plc.

He has had a wide experience of the dairy industry having worked during the 1980s and 1990s in senior management positions for Dairy Crest Foods Plc and as Household Director responsible for the doorstep delivery business. His early career was spent in marketing and advertising, working with leading advertising agencies including CDP and Inter Public as an account manager.

Robert Hall headshot

Robert Hall

Executive Director

Robert Hall was previously the Director of the Security & Resilience Network at London First. Before joining London First in 2013, he was Director of Resilience at G4S Risk Management Consulting. Robert has worked in the risk, security and resilience arenas in both the public and private sectors for many years.

He has held senior positions in two FTSE100 companies that specialise in financial services and manufacturing. He has also been Head of Analysis at a national intelligence agency, and Managing Editor of security titles at an international publishing company. In 2000, he founded and managed an international forum on global security and law enforcement for senior executives in government, business and academia.

Robert spent his early career in the military before moving into the commercial world. He has written and presented extensively on strategic risk and security issues.  He is a member of both the Security Institute and the Business Continuity Institute. He was a member of the Editorial Board on the new British Standard (BS65000) on organisational resilience.


Beena Chester

Director of Operations and Communications

Beena is responsible for managing and developing Resilience First’s member services, events and communications.

With over 20 years’ experience in the membership sector, Beena was previously the Events Director at London First, where she grew their programme of events whilst presenting large-scale summits (including EWI’s second Worldwide Cyber Security Summit) and awards ceremonies, together with leadership events with senior business executives and politicians. Beena also led Skills London, the UK’s largest careers fair for 15 to 24 years old, and the London Planning Awards, organised in partnership with the Mayor of London. 

Prior to that, Beena was the Head of Membership at the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain (FCCGB), where she grew their membership base and introduced new member services to increase the network’s engagement. At the FCCGB, Beena also had the opportunity to work with the French government as well as HRH The Prince of Wales.

Outside of work, Beena enjoys life with her family, yoga and travelling.


Guilherme Santos

Office and Events Administrator

Guilherme is an MBA graduate from London School of Commerce and holds a BA in Business & Management from Henley Business School, University of Reading.

He has previously completed an internship in the convergence of digital technologies and financial services. He has a keen interest in business resilience and risk management.

Guilherme likes to keep abreast of current developments and is actively engaged in broadening both his perspective and his experience.

Personally, he was a competitive swimmer and enjoys exercising and playing tennis.


Alastair Brown


In 2014 Alastair became Europe’s first city Chief Resilience Officer for Glasgow. As CRO, he reported to offices in New York and London and played an active and leading role in a network of RC100 cities from across the world. He acted as point of contact for Glasgow and shared learning and experience with other cities. He set up and led a sub-set of post-industrial cities with participants from Europe, USA, China and Australia.

In 2016 he delivered the Resilience Strategy for Glasgow, with its focus on actions to enhance resilience around four pillars relating to civic participation, economy, place, and local communities. He and his team developed this over two years working with other sectors and the public to define Glasgow’s shocks and stresses and set out actions to address these. He has a strong media presence on resilience, with both recorded and live media as well as published articles and has presented at international conferences and events on the subject. He undertakes lecturing on resilience and provide training on resilience for other organisations. He have been working with BSI as it develops its City Resilience Standard (BS67000).


Ed Persson

Edward Persson

Researcher Knowledge Hub

Ed is currently completing his MSc in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation at Lund University, Sweden, and working as a researcher for the Knowledge Hub. Now writing his thesis from distance in London, his research interests are in disaster resilience, community resilience, social capital and sustainability. After an undergraduate degree in International Relations at the University of Leeds, Ed worked in security and construction in Bergen, Norway, and operations and building services in London before moving to Sweden to undertake his Master's Degree.  

Our board
Simon Collins

Simon Collins


Simon is a Chairman and C-suite adviser.  Until 2017 he was the UK Chairman and Senior Partner of KPMG and a member of the KPMG Global Board and Executive Committee.

Simon qualified as a chartered accountant before moving into banking at SG Warburg & Co, then NatWest Markets where he became a Managing Director and Head of the Global Debt Structuring and Private Placement Group.

After a number of years in investment banking, Simon founded KPMG’s Debt Advisory practice. Since then he has advised major corporates, private equity houses and governments.

Simon is a Trustee of Pancreatic Cancer UK and chairs the RAF100 Appeal.

Lord Toby Harris

Lord Toby Harris

Lord Toby Harris was made a life peer in 1998 and chairs the Labour Peers.  He is member of the Joint Committee on National Security Strategy.  He is the UK Coordinator of the Electrical Infrastructure Security Council and chairs the Independent Reference Group for the National Crime Agency. 

In 2016, he conducted an Independent Review for the Mayor of London on London’s Preparedness to Respond to a Major Terrorist Incident.  At the request of the Minister for Prisons, he led an Independent Review on the Deaths of Young People in Prison Custody.  The report (“The Harris Review: Changing Prisons, Saving Lives”) that was published in July 2015 and is the most substantial review of penal policy for nearly thirty years.  

Bob Rothernberg headshot

Bob Rothenberg MBE

Bob Rothenberg is the senior partner of Blick Rothenberg accountants and was made an MBE in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List for services to business and to the community in London. His professional work extends to general, financial and commercial advice and he acts as a trustee and an executor for a number of clients. He spends much of his time promoting London and the UK as business centres representing not only Blick Rothenberg and its international association but also the wider business investment community.

Bob is Chair of the Governors of Highgate School, a Trustee of Police Now and for eleven years was a Board member of Think London, the official foreign direct investment agency for London.  He is regularly quoted on tax and commercial issues in the national press and appears on these topics on radio and other media outlets.

Bob and his wife Pippa live in north London and they have three children and five grandchildren. He is a keen skier, avid Spurs football supporter and enjoys theatre and opera.

Pippa Malmgren headshot

Dr Pippa Malmgren

Pippa is Honorary Chairperson of Resilience First. She is a former Presidential advisor and a prominent public speaker who co-founded H Robotics, which makes modular, AI-led, commercial-use drones for a wide range of industries including mining, oil and gas, insurance and public safety. Dr. Malmgren founded the DRPM Group, which advises institutional investors worldwide on investment trends and is a platform for her public speaking. She is a Non Executive Board Member of the Department of International Trade in the UK. She also serves on the British Ministry of Defence Working Group on Global Strategic Trends. She Chairs the Lewis PR Advisory Board (LAB) and is the Honorary Chairman of Resillience First and an member of the Greater London Authority Advisory Board. She often participates in the Pentagon’s scenario sessions with the Office of Net Assessment.

She served President George W. Bush in the White House and on The National Economic Council where she handled financial market issues. Prior to that, she was the Chief Currency Strategist for Bankers Trust and then the Deputy Head of Global Strategy at UBS. She is ranked in the top 30 Most Influential Economists in the World and in the top 5 Most Powerful Women in Finance in 2017. Brandwatch ranks her as the 3rd most important Influencer on Robotics on Twitter in 2017. Pippa is a regular guest anchor on CNBC and a regular commentator on the BBC.

She is also an author. In 2016, her book Signals: How Everyday Signs Help Us Navigate the World’s Turbulent Economy was crowdfunded on Indiegogo and a 4x Amazon best-seller. She wrote Geopolitics for Investors, commissioned by the CFA.  She released the award winning The Leadership Lab Leadership in the 21st Century in September 2018.

Sir Ian Andrews

Sir Ian Andrews CBE TD

A former Second Permanent Secretary (2nd PUS) of the UK Ministry of Defence who retired after 34 years in the civil service in 2009, Sir Ian continues to pursue a wide range of security interests. From 2009-2013, he was Non-Executive Chairman of the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) – now part of the National Crime Agency – and he is a Non-Executive Director of the Health and Social Care Information Centre for England where   he takes a particular interest in Information Assurance and Cyber Security.

For much of the last 20 years he has been closely involved in the leadership of transformational change in large and complex organisations in the national security space. Appointments have included as a Managing Director of a major Ministry of Defence Trading Fund (the Defence Research and Evaluation Agency) and Chief Executive of the then Defence Estates Agency: and as the 2nd PUS, he was a member of all three single Service management Boards, as well as the Defence Board. He is a senior adviser to the Transparency International Defence and Security Programme and recent years have seen him providing support to Defence Diplomacy, particularly in Latin America, and contributing to various public sector and academic leadership initiatives.


Sir David Veness CBE QPM

Sir David was Chairman of the London First Security & Resilience Network from 2009 until 2018. He served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Safety & Security from its creation in 2005 until June 2009. This role carries responsibility for UN operations globally. Prior to this appointment, he was Assistant Commissioner (Specialist Operations) New Scotland Yard from 1994-2005. He joined the Metropolitan Police as a cadet in 1964 and as a constable in 1966.

In the course of his police career, he specialised in serious crime investigation, hostage negotiation and counter terrorism. David was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (MA, LLM) and attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1990. David was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 1994, a CBE in 2000, and was knighted in 2004.  

Other Strategic Consultative and Steering Group Members:

  • Lawrie Quinn, Programme and Project Director, Atkins
  • John Deverell CBE, CEO, The Prepared Mind
  • Gil Grein, Head of Global Security and Resilience, Facebook
  • Professor Lex Hoogduin, CEO, Global Complexity Network BV
  • Richard Barnes, Independent and former Statutory Deputy Mayor for London
  • Hank Cole, Global Head of Business Continuity & Incident Management, HSBC UK
  • Adrian Criddle, Vice President, Intel Corporation
  • Jan Reier Huse, Vice President, Lloyds Register Foundation
  • Nick Millar, Head of Operations, London Stansted Airport
  • Maddie Callis, City Possible Enterprise Partnership, Mastercard
  • Caroline Field, Associate Director, The Resilience Shift
  • Alan Brown, Group Director of Security and Resilience, Tesco
  • Alex Nickson, Head of Resilience, Thames Water
  • Basil Scarsella, CEO, UK Power Networks