our Trustees

Jill Lucas Trustee and Acting Chair

Jill is a non-executive director for National Savings & Investments (NS&I).  Prior to that, Jill led a technology transformation to Cloud Computing at Unilever.  Before this she served as Chief Information Officer at both Towergate Insurance and Belron International (parent company of Autoglass in the UK). In her early career, she undertook many technology leadership roles at Reuters (now Thomson Reuters), Barclays and Sainsburys.  Jill has volunteered for genetic disorder charities since her nephews were born with Chronic Granulomatous Disorder (CGD) in the late 80s/early 90s and has been a trustee for GDUK since 2012.

Rachel Frankel Trustee

Rachel has managed communications, consulting, marketing and sales activity for not-for-profit organisations since 1997. She helps develop corporate partnership programmes and is responsible for major fundraising activity for a variety of healthcare associations, Royal Colleges and academic institutions. She also worked for Coopers and Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers/PwC) as a management consultant, specialising in operations and procedures for companies and charities.  She joined as a trustee of GDUK in 2019.

Alina Garcia Lapuerta Trustee

Alina graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in International Economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She later received an M.A. in International Relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and worked for a number of years in banking, both at Chase and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Now based in London, Alina is a biographer, historical researcher and presenter. Her first book, La Belle Créole: The Cuban Countess Who Captivated Havana, Madrid, and Paris was published in 2014 by Chicago Review Press.  Alina has been active in numerous charitable and community organizations for over 20 years and was previously a trustee of a genetic disorder charity, the CGD Society. She has been a trustee of GDUK since its inception in 2010.

Harriet Hanna Trustee

Harriet has a science background with a Bsc in Biology and Genetics from University College London. She is passionate about technology and change, and how these can help positively transform people’s lives. She works at Amazon and is currently responsible for UK&I Operations at Alexa, their new voice and AI service. She joined Amazon in September 2017 from Barclays where she held several roles over the years, responsible for Change and Operations. She started her career over 15 years ago in Strategy Consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton and holds an MBA from London Business School. She’s a Londoner by birth but has spent most of her working life abroad across developed and emerging markets including Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America and Europe. She joined the charity as a trustee in 2017.

Cathy O’Leary Trustee

Cathy is a Career Strategy Consultant, Executive Leadership Coach, Mentor & Charity Trustee.  She works with private, organisational and business school clients coaching global Executives in the development of their career strategy and professional identity.  Cathy’s career spans 30+ years in a range of HR, Leadership, Change Management, Coaching and Training roles in diverse organisational settings including corporate, public sector, local government and not-for-profit organisations, including London Underground (now TFL), Penna, London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and London Business School.  Cathy has 30+ years experience as a Charity Trustee and joined the Board of GDUK in 2019.

Crystal Ruff Trustee

Dr Crystal Ruff is a biotechnology expert with focus in the intersection of stem cell & regenerative neuroscience, genomics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and translational health research. Most recently, leading Commercial Strategic Initiatives and Innovation in Europe, Middle East and Africa for Illumina, she has 16+ years’ experience in international clinical, preclinical and commercial Biotech and Healthcare management. She is a regular speaker, having created a TEDx Talk with nearly 100K views, and several keynotes on areas such as genomics, perinatal neuroscience, regenerative medicine, artificial intelligence, leadership and motivation. Crystal has a PhD in Neuroscience from University College London and an MBA from the London Business School and she joined the Board of GDUK in 2019.