Ofcom Board


Ofcom's Board provides strategic direction for the organisation.

It has a non-executive Chair, executive members (including the Chief Executive), and non-executive members.

The Executive runs the organisation and answers to the Board.

The Ofcom Board meets at least ten times a year. Agendas, summary notes and minutes are published regularly on the Ofcom website.

Board members

Lord Micheal Grade

Lord Grade of Yarmouth

Chair

Michael Grade has had a long career in broadcasting, encompassing London Weekend Television, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. He has chaired the BBC, ITV and Pinewood/Shepperton Film Studios.   He is co-founder of the GradeLinnit company, which produces for the theatre.

He is Chairman of the Arora Group’s Heathrow Expansion Advisory Board, having also been Chairman of Ocado, First Leisure Corporation, Camelot, the Charity Fundraising Regulator and Bradford’s Media Museum as well as being a member of the former Press Complaints Commission and a trustee of the Science Museum.

Michael Grade sits in the House of Lords as a non-affiliated Peer. His Peerage was created in January 2011.

Michael Grade joined the Ofcom Board on 1 May 2022. His appointment runs until 30 April 2026.

  • Appointed: 1 May 2022
  • Membership: People Committee
Melanie Dawes

Melanie Dawes

Chief Executive

Dame Melanie Dawes joined Ofcom as an Executive Board Member and Chief Executive in March 2020.

Prior to joining Ofcom, Melanie was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from 2015. She has held a range of senior roles across the Civil Service, working in partnership across the public and private sector, including as Champion for Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion.

She started her career as an economist and spent 15 years at the Treasury, including as Europe Director between 2002 and 2006. She was Director General of the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat at the Cabinet Office between 2011 and 2015, and prior to that she served on the Board of HMRC. As Director General for Business Tax she had responsibility for all the business taxes and duties alongside leadership of the department’s relationships with the largest companies.

Melanie has held various non-executive roles including with the consumer body Which? and is a trustee of the Patchwork Foundation, which helps under-represented young people get involved in democracy.

Lindsey Fussell

Lindsey Fussell

Executive member

Lindsey Fussell joined in Ofcom in 2016 and is Group Director for Networks and Communications, leading Ofcom’s work in the telecoms and postal sectors, where we aim to protect consumers’ interests, promote competition and ensure that networks are secure and resilient. She was appointed to the Ofcom Board in December 2020.

Before joining Ofcom, Lindsey held a range of senior leadership roles in the Civil Service. She was Public Services Director at HM Treasury, where she led on devolution, education and culture, defence and criminal justice, and was responsible for delivering key aspects of the 2013 and 2015 Spending Reviews. She is a non-executive director (Sufficiently Independent Director) for NGED, National Grid’s electricity distribution network for Wales, the South West and the Midlands. Lindsey is also a lay member of York University’s governing Council.

Ben Verwaayen

Ben Verwaayen

Non-executive member

Ben is currently a General Partner at investment fund Keen Venture Partners and holds various Board positions, including at Akamai in the US and Renewi Ltd, a major player in the circular economy in the BeNeLux and the UK. He is a former Chief Executive of BT, KPN in the Netherlands, and Alcatel Lucent. He has also served as a Chairman of Endemol, and as a Board Member of AkzoNobel in the Netherlands and of the mobile operator Bharti Airtel in India.

Ben Verwaayen joined the Ofcom Board on 1 January 2016. His appointment runs until 30 September 2024.

  • Appointed: 1 January 2016
  • Membership: People Committee
Bob Downes

Bob Downes

Non-executive member (Board member for Scotland)

Bob Downes was appointed to the Ofcom Board with effect from 1 February 2018. He is a member of the Content Board and the People Committee. Bob is the current Chairman of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. He also chairs the Commission for Communications Regulation’s Independent Oversight Body, which will oversee the implementation and operation of an enhanced Regulatory Governance Model in Ireland by Eir. Bob Chairs Cryptic, an arts production company. He is an advisor to a number of small technology businesses, including Kube Networks.

Bob Downes joined the Ofcom Board on 1 February 2018. His appointment runs until 31 January 2026.

  • Appointed: 1 February 2018
  • Membership: Content Board; People Committee
Angela Dean

Angela Dean

Non-executive member (Audit and Risk Board member)

Angela is currently a trustee of York Museums Trust and Chair of its Capital Projects Board. She is a Senior Independent Panel Member for Public Appointments. She has been non-executive director of a number of not-for-profit organisations including Chair of International House Trust, Vice Chair of the Council of King’s College London, trustee of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and a member of the Museums, Archives and Libraries Council.

Angela's executive career was in international finance, mainly as a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley where she headed its global technology research team. She was a member of the Working Group of the United Nations Global Compact for corporate social responsibility issues in investment.

Angela Dean joined the Ofcom Board on 30 September 2018. Her appointment runs until 29 September 2026.

  • Appointed: 30 September 2018
  • Membership: People Committee; Risk and Audit Committee
Karen Baxter

Karen Baxter

Non-executive member (Board member for Northern Ireland)

Karen has a distinguished 30-year policing career, retiring as Commander from the City of London Police in 2020. She commenced her service as an officer in Northern Ireland and has extensive experience across a wide range of complex investigations including, safeguarding, homicide, counter-terrorism, serious and organised crime. As a result, she has a strong understanding of the unique needs of communities living in Northern Ireland.

More recently as Commander and National Coordinator for Economic Crime, she had oversight for the most serious financial investigations in the United Kingdom. Karen was also the Police executive lead for Cyber Crime Prevention working with key stakeholders and the third sector to address emerging risks in the online space.

In 2020 Karen joined UK Finance as the Managing Director for Intelligence Strategy working across the banking sector to review the use and management of intelligence. More broadly her role involved multiple sector engagement in respect of the online harms threat and proposed legislative changes.  Karen stepped down from this role in November 2021.

In September 2022 Karen joined the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as Director of Strategy, Policy, International and Intelligence in the Enforcement Team. In this role, Karen leads the specialised functions that support the breadth of the FCA’s enforcement and market oversight activities, helping ensure it has the tools it needs to do its work effectively.

Karen Baxter joined the Ofcom Board on 28 March 2022. Her appointment runs until 27 March 2026.

  • Appointed: 28 March 2022
  • Membership: Risk and Audit Committee
Will Harding

Will Harding

Non-executive member

Will has almost 30 years’ experience in the media industry. He started his career as a management consultant with KPMG, before spending five years at BBC Worldwide (now BBC Studios) where he worked across the BBC’s commercial and international operations.

He later helped to launch ask.com in the UK before moving to Sky, where he became Commercial and Operations Director of its new media business. He joined GCap Media plc in 2006 as Group Strategy Director.

Following Global Media & Entertainment Ltd’s acquisition of GCap Media in 2008, he was appointed Global’s Chief Strategy Officer and joined the main Global board. During his time at Global, Will was responsible for establishing the Global Academy, a state school for young people from all backgrounds wanting to start a career in the creative industries. Will stood down from the Global Media and Entertainment Ltd board in December 2020.

Since 2021 he has been a Non-Executive Director of Primedia, the leading Africa-focused media and advertising group, and a Trustee of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust.

Will Harding joined the Ofcom Board on 3 October 2022. His appointment runs until 2 October 2026.

  • Appointed: 3 October 2022
  • Membership: Risk and Audit Committee