Meet our executive team

This is a photo of our executive team.

Click on each person to find out more about them.

Mencap executive team stood together outside office building Jackie O'Sullivan Edel Harris Paul Stevenson Mairi Martin John Cowman Angela Buxton

Find out more about the executive team

Find out more about each member of the executive team below.

Woman, Edel Harris, with short light hair and glasses, stood outside office smiling into camera.

Edel Harris

Edel is Mencap's chief executive officer.

Edel joined Mencap as Chief executive officer in early 2020. Before this she was Chief Executive of Cornerstone, one of Scotland's leading charities, since May 2008.

Edel's background is in health promotion. She spent 8 years working for NHS Grampian and has significant experience in setting up and leading successful social enterprises and in developing new social care services. 

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Woman, Jackie O'Sullivan, stood outside office smiling into camera.

Jackie O'Sullivan

Jackie is Mencap's director of communication, advocacy and activism.

What this means: [BRIEF, ACCESSIBLE DESCRIPTION OF ROLE].  

Hobbies: I love theatre, film and art. I am also a trustee of Rich Mix, a vibrant arts and cultural centre in Shoreditch.  

Fun fact: The first record I ever bought was Atomic by Blondie.

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Man, Paul Stevenson, with short light hair and glasses stood outside office smiling into camera.

Paul Stevenson

Paul is Mencap's director of finance, information and technology.

Paul joined Mencap at the start of 2019 as Chief financial officer. After studying at university, he got his professional accountancy qualification and then spent more than 2 decades working from Unilever, across the UK, Latin America and Asia. 

In 2017, Paul decided to move to the not-for-profit sector and studied for a Master's degree from the Centre of Charity Effectiveness at Cass Business School in London.

He enjoys the challenge of supporting the charitable aims and ethos of Mencap with his long commercial experience.

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Woman, Mairi Martin, with long brown curly hair, stood outside office smiling into camera.

Mairi Martin

Mairi is Mencap's director of transformation.

Mairi joined Mencap following 7 years at Cornerstone, where she was responsible for varied business support functions with particular expertise in HR, strategy, and technology.

Mairi led Cornerstone’s ambitious transformational change programme, overseeing the development and delivery of the Local Cornerstone Strategy. She also spearheaded the implementation of new technology to deliver increased effectiveness.

Mairi was also previously Executive Director of Resources of the Riverside Group, a housing and care services organisation, for 13 years. 

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Man, John Cowman, stood outside office smiling into camera.

John Cowman

John is Mencap's chief operating officer.

John grew up in Dublin in Ireland and qualified as a Physiotherapist from Trinity College Dublin in 1995.

He started working for the NHS in 2001, where he began his work with people with learning disabilities. 

After a short period of time in the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability, he joined Mencap in May 2016. John has always had a significant drive to create equality for those with disabilities, specifically for people with a learning disability, and will use this to make sure personal support from Mencap is focussed on personalisation, independence and quality of life. 

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Woman, Angela Buxton, with dark hair and glasses stood outside office building.

Angela Buxton

Angled is Mencap's people director.

After graduating from the University of East Anglia, where she studied American and English literature, Angela went on to lead a varied career which has included managing a Havana cigar store and teaching English to Italian students.

Her managerial skills led her to becoming an Ofsted personnel advisor, before she joined Mencap in 2007. Angela describes her life at Mencap as very busy and that she’s very proud of the work the charity does.

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More about how we are run

You might find the following links useful to find out more about decisions are made at Mencap.

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Our trustees

The people who have the most responsibility for how Royal Mencap Society is run are our trustee board. Meet our trustees here.
Read more about Our trustees

Voices Council

The Voices Council helps to advise and guide Mencap on their priorities and decisions.
Read more about Voices Council

Inclusion at Mencap

Find out more about how we make sure we include the voice of people with a learning disability in important decisions at Mencap
Read more about Inclusion at Mencap