The Cityforum Team
Our core team consists of a small group of highly motivated and committed people who desire to make a difference and do so with modesty, using plain English.
After reading History at Oxford Marc spent a period of time at the United Nations, writing a book on UN peacekeeping and editing a second volume on the same subject. This was followed by an appointment as a Defence Lecturer at Southampton University, where he worked for several years in Military Service education before being head-hunted by the Financial Times where he undertook roles as Conference Director, Managing Director of FT Business Enterprises and later worked as an adviser. During a twenty-year career he travelled the globe, developing and opening FT global events, leading training programmes as well as working in a high-level advisory role.
In 1990 he set up Cityforum and devised and hosted the Adam Smith Bicentenary celebration for the Scots and has ever since been engaged in top-level forums and analysis of political, economic, defence and security and wider public policy questions. Cityforum works on a continuing basis with government departments and agencies and with private sector companies in the UK and abroad, developing practical, outcome-focussed round table discussions and undertaking bespoke advisory projects and ‘candid friend’ functions.
Marc Lee has chaired the Welsh Ballet Russe Trust, been a Senior Visiting Fellow at the City University (now Cass) Business School and held regional office for the RSA. His interests are opera, English watercolours and drawing, the history of the first half of 20th Century and Somerset cricket.
Veronica is CEO of Cityforum. She is responsible for the strategic direction of the business and the organisation’s performance, as well as stakeholder engagement across sectors at senior levels. She has extensive experience in building constructive working relationships with partners, identifying areas where Cityforum can genuinely make a difference and in providing candid, impartial, practical and timely advice on matters affecting planning, performance and the meeting of objectives.
She has a 1st Class (Hons) degree in Classics and a Master’s distinction. Her professional working life began in academia. After a belated gap year in France, riding racehorses and teaching English, she returned to the UK and spent a short period in executive headhunting before joining Cityforum in 2001.
Her interests include equestrian ethics, good food & wine, reading and a wide range of cultural and outdoor pursuits.
Paul Cornish was educated at the University of St Andrews and the London School of Economics, and completed his PhD at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge. He served in the British Army and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; was Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House; taught Strategic and Security Studies at the UK Defence Academy and the University of Cambridge; directed the Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College London; and was Research Group Director for Defence, Security and Infrastructure at Rand Europe.
He has held professorial appointments at Chatham House, the University of Bath and the University of Exeter.
His work covers national strategy, cyber security, European and international security futures, arms control, the ethics of conflict, and civil-military relations.
Paul is an Oxford Martin Fellow and Associate Director of Oxford University’s Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre; Principal Research Associate in Computer Science at University College London; Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute; a member of the UK Chief of the Defence Staff’s Strategic Advisory Panel; and a participant in UK-China Track 1.5 discussions on cyber security.
Tara Whyntie joined Cityforum in 2018. As Deputy Director she runs the day to day operations of the company, including finance and HR, and she supports management and strategy decision making. Tara also liaises with our event speakers.
Tara started her career at SG Warburg in 1988 and moved to Spain in 1990 where she set up and managed the Iberian branch of a successful wholesale home accessories and giftware company until 2002. After a time spent doing voluntary work and administrative work from home while raising her family, in 2014 Tara joined the Gillingham Community and Leisure Trust as HR & Admin Manager and worked closely with the Head of the Trust to effect a ‘turnaround’ of the charity, building it into a highly valued and successful community asset. Tara speaks fluent Spanish alongside modest French and German.
Tara is happiest when spending time with her family or trudging through muddy fields with her lurcher.
Susannah leads on the external communications for Cityforum and is also responsible for public sector engagement across all areas of interest. She has been with Cityforum since 2014.
She would like to play tennis and take long country walks, however most of her spare time is taken up with four children and a house renovation project. She loves to spend as much time as possible either in the garden or in Cornwall.
Helen leads on industrial engagement and development for Cityforum, supporting sponsor participation in events and advisory commissions. Her previous experience includes trade union leadership, management and organising, business consultancy in financial services, and IT analysis and development.
Helen’s life outside work would ideally include foreign travel, climate campaigning and more time in her campervan – but is in practice mostly consumed by all the love, joy and occasional frustration of lone parenting.
Rachel is responsible for conference organisation and production from overseeing sourcing venues and catering, staff organisation and logistics, to the production of event materials for online use and on-the-day delegate packs. She also works as an industry liaison, approaching and maintaining relationships with sponsors and drafting marketing materials to attract delegate sales. Post event she designs, edits and publishes reports. She is also responsible for developing company marketing materials and updating the website.
Rachel enjoys getting out and about at the weekend with her husband, son and dog, Muttley.