Harkness Fellows Association


The Harkness Fellows Association and Transatlantic Trust is the alumni association of the Harkness Fellowships, an international programme offering study fellowships in the USA. A number of former holders of Harkness Fellowships decided to ensure that alumni could stay connected and accordingly set up an association, the Harkness Fellows Association.

The HFA was registered as a charity with an educational remit for alumni on 13 September 2001. The Charity was also established as a private company limited by guarantee. In 2002 the HFA fundraised and secured money to produce a video to illustrate the breadth of the Fellowships and their impact on the lives and distinguished careers of a number of eminent Fellows.

The Association has no full-time staff. Its activities are carried out on a voluntary basis by Committee members and part-time administrative assistance is bought in from an educational organisation, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

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Aims and Activities

The Harkness Fellows Association and Transatlantic Trust is the alumni association of the Harkness Fellowships, an international programme offering study fellowships in the USA. The Company is a charity set up with the aim of encouraging transatlantic understanding. By sustaining a supportive learning network of Harkness Fellows, we develop, encourage and promote initiatives that enhance international learning and understanding.

These initiatives include:-

  • Exploring ways to encourage young people to study abroad, for example supporting the recruitment of future Harkness Fellows;
  • Continuing and sharing our own learning with others to “give back”;
  • Building partnerships where there is mutual benefit;
  • Using the centenary of the Fellowships to promote the benefits of international understanding; and
  • Supporting Commonwealth Fund international learning and fellowships activities.

Activities to sustain the network include:-

  • Regular educational talks for alumni and others, often by alumni.
  • Discussions to connect alumni across the ages and across disciplines;
  • Support to returning Harkness Fellows;
  • Maintaining a database of all Harkness Fellows;
  • Website and newsletters;
  • Promoting the achievements of fellows and impact of the fellowships as a result of international learning. 

Membership of the Harkness Fellows Association is open to all interested in transatlantic relationships. The core of our members are former Harkness and Commonwealth Fund Fellows who at some stage in their careers enjoyed the benefit of living, studying and travelling in the United States of America.

If you wish to join the Harkness Fellows Association, please contact the Association office at admin@harknessfellows.org.uk.

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The Committee

Judy Hargadon

Chair, Trustee & Director

After a long career in health care management, with posts including CEO of a Trust and a Health Authority, Judy was the Chief Executive of the School Food Trust, set up to transform school food after Jamie Oliver’s TV expose in 2005. Judy led the change from the Trust’s then NDPB status to an independent charity, the Children’s Food Trust. She is a non executive director for Devon CCG. She was a member of Council for the University of Exeter, a non executive director for Restorative Solutions CIC and has volunteered with charities that support struggling families in recent years.

Lesley Brown

Trustee & Director

Lesley Brown specialised in international corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and corporate strategy. She has advised companies in Europe and the USA ranging from multinationals to start ups, across a broad range of business sectors. Recently retired, she was Managing Director of her own corporate finance boutique in London. She has previously worked with leading investment banks Lazard Brothers and Robert Fleming (now part of J P Morgan) as well as with the Boston Consulting Group. She holds degrees from Stanford University, California (MBA), Cambridge University (PhD Chemistry) and Edinburgh University (BSc (Hons) Chemistry).

Malcolm Dean

Committee Member, former Trustee & Director

Malcolm Dean is a former Guardian journalist. He joined in 1969 and was a reporter, social affairs leader-writer and assistant editor. In 1979 he launched its Society section and edited it for most of its first 21 years. In 2006, he retired and took up a fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford. He has served on more than a dozen national social policy working parties, chaired a Joseph Rowntree Foundation commission on older people, and been a trustee of six charities. More recently he authored Democracy under Attack (Policy Press).

Mary Denyer

Trustee & Director

Mary Denyer is the Program Manager for the Notre Dame Law School London.  She was the Assistant Secretary & Head of Scholarship Administration of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission for 20 years. Mary has an international perspective in matters related to education and policy, and has worked on all four of the largest British Government sponsored Scholarships: Marshall, Chevening, Commonwealth and Fulbright. She has a BA(Hons) in American Studies and History from the University College of Ripon and York St John (University of Leeds) and a PG Dip in Higher and Professional Education from the Institute of Education, University of London. She also spent a semester at the University of South Florida,  Mary has served as a trustee for UKCISA and was a member of the Programmes Committee of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She is an active participant in the US National Association of Fellowship Advisors.

Timothy Hornsby

Trustee & Director, Chair Emeritus

Timothy Hornsby is former Chair and now the Chair Emeritus of the Harkness Fellows Association. His Board roles have included Chair of the International Tree Foundation, a Trustee of the British Architectural Trust Board, a Trustee of Field Lane charity, a Board Member of the Audience Agency and a Board member of King’s College Hospital Charity. In his previous career he occupied the Chief Executive posts at the National Lottery Charities Board (now the Big Lottery Fund), the Royal Borough of Kingston, and the Nature Conservancy Council, after a career in academic life and subsequently in the higher Civil Service.

Peter Jenkins

Trustee & Director

Peter Jenkins joined the Diplomatic Service (DS) on his return from a two-year Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School for Arts and Sciences, where he studied history and literature. During a 33-year diplomatic career he served in Vienna (twice), Washington, Paris, Brasilia and Geneva. He specialised in global nuclear and trade policy issues. Since leaving the DS he has formed a corporate problem-solving and diplomatic training partnership with former colleagues, and he writes and talks on his areas of specialisation. He lives in Bath with his Hong Kong wife, Angelina.

Maddy Phipps-Taylor

Trustee & Director

Maddy returned from her Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice in 2015 and is now the Director of Strategy at Allocate Software – the world’s leading healthcare workforce management software provider. Prior to her fellowship she was Senior Policy Advisor to PM David Cameron at No 10 Downing Street. She had, at that point, experience as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and a Civil Servant following an education in Engineering at Oxford.

Veronica Plowden

Trustee & Director

Veronica has a long association with the Fellowships and was actively engaged when William, her husband, ran the scheme in the nineties. She has been active in social policy throughout her career.

James Tickell

Trustee and Director 

James Tickell’s fellowship was in 1991, which he spent at the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Since then, he has worked for a government regulator, and then a national trade body; in 2003 he co-founded a consultancy specialising in government, regulatory, charity and other non-profit clients. His own focus is on governance, strategy and assisting organisations in different forms of difficulty or crisis.  He has written various books including on the Inca and Maya civilisations, and others more related to his professional activities.

Roy Williams

Committee Member, former Trustee & Director

Roy Williams held a Harkness Fellowship in 1963–64 at the Universities of Chicago and Berkeley. His career has seen him serve as a civil servant, mainly in the Department for Trade and Industry. He has worked as Principal Private Secretary to successive Secretaries of State and has been responsible at different times for trade and industrial policy. Since retiring as Deputy Secretary Director General, Roy has chaired a major charity and been involved in several quangos and various EU initiatives.

William Wilson

Committee Member

William Wilson is an environmental and energy lawyer and director of Wyeside Consulting Ltd, with experience of government, private practice and consulting. His Harkness Fellowship (96-97) was based in Portland, OR, and he visited 25 states with his family while writing a book on ‘Making Environmental Laws Work’, an attempt to understand what really makes such laws effective, and how public support for them is won or lost. One highlight in New Orleans: hearing Dr Michael White play the history of jazz while Leah Chase explained Louisiana cooking. He is currently working on materials on climate change and the Green Recovery from COVID-19 for young people attending COP 26.




Our administrator, Lizzie,  can be contacted at admin@harknessfellows.org.uk