The Chelsea Academy Foundation is an independent charitable organisation that supports the Academy. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees comprises a team of dedicated, local volunteers with a passion for education and supporting their local community.

Susan Harris

(Chair of Chelsea Academy Foundation)

After graduating from Durham University with a degree in Politics and Social Policy, Sue spent thirteen years in Procurement roles, working in the furniture, travel, telecoms, and FMCG sectors.   The arrival of children in 2004 marked a change in direction, though negotiation skills are very much still required when dealing with her two boys, Jack and Luke.  When Jack started school, Sue decided to get involved in education as well, spending eight years as a Governor of a local primary school. She became a Parent Governor at Chelsea Academy in the summer of 2016, where she is keen to strengthen the links with the parent body and encourage parental involvement in school life.  As a fluent Italian speaker, Sue takes every opportunity to travel to the region of Abruzzo in central Italy, where she continues her quest to produce the perfect risotto.

Alicia Grimaldi

Alicia lives in Chelsea, a stone’s throw from the Academy. She graduated from Cambridge in 2001 with a degree in social and political sciences, having switched from medicine at the end of the first year. She has a longstanding interest in fundraising and was responsible for setting up The Bryan Adams Foundation in 2004, of which she is also a trustee.

Julian Simmonds

Julian Simmonds has just retired as Chair of Governors of Notting Hill and Ealing High school after 7 years where he played a key role in rebuilding and extending a major part of the school. He is also on the advisory council of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a non-executive Director of one of the largest Russian banks, VTB Capital. He read Russian and Soviet Economics at the University of Surrey. In addition to Russian, he also speaks French and German. Julian’s entire 29 year career was spent at Citigroup from which he retired in 2001. At that time, he was the Executive Vice President responsible for all the trading businesses in the developed world. He is married with 2 grown up children and has lived in Chelsea since 2007. He enjoys running and working out in the gym.  He is also a Chelsea Academy Governor.

Dr Niccolò Caderni

The recipient of the 1978 Award of the Italian Physical Society for his research on General Relativity, Dr Caderni has been a European Space Agency Senior Fellow at Cambridge, a Fellow at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of California, and a Professor at the University of Pavia in Italy. Next, Niccolo developed an interest in the then nascent field of technology transfer, and heeded to a new calling as a technology strategist. He has worked at Bankers Trust International, was a Managing Director at Phillips, the third largest auction house in the world, and a Senior Advisor to the Bentinck Thyssen family. He also served on the Board of the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. In 1997 Dr Caderni co-founded IPG AG, a technology incubator, with a portfolio of new media companies focusing on the delivery of digital content, and in 2000 was elected Chairman of the Board of Webiz Holding BV, the private equity fund of the Italian utility giant ENEL, Europe’s second largest energy provider. From 2005 onwards, Dr Caderni has contributed to a number of initiatives leveraging on his interest and experience in technology, private equity, art collecting, and the fostering of innovation. He is Chairman of ETT Solutions Ltd, a company offering multimedia interpretations to museums and cultural venues, a Director of Unit9, a leading digital agency, as well an advisor to a number of financial institutions.

Simone Brych-Nourry

Simone is General Counsel of a high tech company. In the past she has served on development committees of several educational charities.

Max Lami

Max Lami is the Chief Executive Officer of Oppenheimer Europe Ltd and member of the Management Committee of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. Previously Max has worked at both Goldman Sachs International and Bear Stearns where he started his career in 1994. Max served in wealth management boards and he is an investor in social businesses in the UK. He graduated with distinction from the University of Florence with a BA/MA in Economics and a focus on Game Theory applied to Public Finance. Max lives in Chelsea with his wife Noelle, Head of News and Programming at CNBC International, with their daughter Margherita “Maggie”.


Matthew Williams

Principal of Chelsea Academy

Lady Sassoon

Chair of Governors