Our Team

Meet the museum’s Executive Team and Trustees.

The Postal Museum employees around 80 members of staff, across a variety of specialisms, and is supported by passionate volunteers.

There are six departments at the museum, led by an executive team of seven, headed up by Laura Wright, CEO.  

Find out more about working for The Postal Museum.

Executive Team

Andy Richmond, Head of Exhibitions, Access and Learning 

Annie Duffield, Head of Marketing and Communications 

Chris Taft, Head of Collections 

Laura Wright, CEO 

Lawrence Melinek, Head of Finance  

Natalia Arkhipova, Head of HR 

Tish Jayanetti, Head of Operations & Commercial 

Trustees and Governance

The Postal Museum is the public identity of The Postal Heritage Trust, a registered charity. Its board of trustees is our main governing body. Our trustees are chosen for their skills and experience. One nominee can be elected from Post Office Ltd and Royal Mail Group.  

The board meets at least once a quarter. Our CEO leads The Postal Museum and its executive team and reports to the board of trustees. 

Board of Trustees

The members of our trustee board are:

  • Rick Wills, Chair

    Rick’s business career has been in the travel industry.

    Having trained initially at British Airways, he joined the Thomson Travel Group in the 1970s and became Management Services Director in 1982. He rejoined British Airways and was Managing Director BA Enterprises from 1990 to 2001. He was Chairman of the London Eye Company from 2000 to 2008 and sat on the Boards of Page & Moy and Interflora as the NED representing 3i’s investment interests.

    In 2005 HRH The Prince of Wales asked Rick to establish a new charity for him, The Prince’s Foundation for Children & The Arts, which he chaired for the following 8 years to 2013. He now is a Main Board Trustee at the National Trust, and a Non- Exec Director at Alexandra Palace. Rick still lectures on business innovation at Warwick Business School and actively supports Chelsea FC and Surrey CC whenever he can.

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    David Gold

    David is Head of Public Affairs at Royal Mail Group.

    Prior to joining Royal Mail he was Director of Marketing for Brighton College, the independent schools group. His earlier career was largely in consultancy, having spent some years working in Parliament, including for William Hague during his time as Leader of the Opposition.

    David is a member of the UK Board of Two Sides, a not-for-profit organisation promoting the environmental case for paper; an Ambassador for The Children’s Air Ambulance; and an Advisory Board Member of Kids Count. He has written for a broad range of newspapers and magazines on political and social issues.

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    Paola Barbarino

    Paola is the CEO of Alzheimer’s Disease International. Prior to that, she was CEO of LIFE. Her previous senior positions include Cass Business School, Tate, British Library and IIED.

    She is a Trustee of The Postal Museum and Lauderdale House. Previously she was a Trustee of Shelter, the UK housing and homelessness charity and of MLA London. She is also the Managing Director of Opaline Limited, a consultancy company specialising in strategy and governance.

    She holds a degree cum laude in Classics from the University of Napoli Federico II, an MA in Field and Analytical Techniques in Archaeology and an MA in Library and Information Science both from University College London.

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    Susan Raikes

    Susan Raikes is Director of Learning at Science Museum Group, responsible for the learning direction, strategy and planning for four museums across the country. She previously spent more than 10 years at the British Museum and headed up the department of Learning and National Partnerships, with responsibility for education programming for schools, families, young people, community groups and adults, as well as interpretation and volunteering.

    Susan is passionate about the power of museum objects to intrigue and inspire and the unique position of museums to provide creative learning environments. She has a BA in Ancient History and Latin and MAs in both Museum Studies and Primary Education. Susan was the 2012/2013 Arts Council England Museums Fellow on the Clore Cultural Leadership Programme. Susan is also the co-curator of two British Museum touring exhibitions, Roman Empire: Power and People and Rome: City and Empire.

  • Julian Barker

    Julian is an experienced strategy professional. He has worked across different industries at Director level, most recently for Orange as Strategy Director and for the Rank Group as Strategy and Insight Director.

    Previously Julian has worked in a variety of marketing and product development roles in the IT and telecoms sector, including at Freeserve and t-mobile. His interest in the world of museums and archives is long standing. He studied History and Archaeology at Exeter University and then completed a Masters degree in Maritime Archaeology at Oxford.

    Before TPM he has been a trustee of MLA London (the strategic body for museums, libraries and archives in London).

  • Mike Russell

    Mike has recently retired from a career of almost 50 years in Financial Management spanning a range of industries, as well as spending 9 years leading The Zoological Society of London’s Finance and Commercial Functions as their Financial Director.

    During Mike’s tenure, ZSL achieved significant growth reaching almost 2 million visitors and doubling income to over £50m, generating significant surpluses for both the charity and its trading subsidiaries, of which he was the executive Director.

    Mike is also an experienced charity trustee with a portfolio of trustee/treasurer and advisory roles in addition to PHT. He has also spent 12 years as a Non-Executive Director and Audit Chair with NHS Community Trusts in Oxfordshire.

  • Peter Walls

    Peter joined Royal Mail after graduating in Modern History from the University of Oxford and spent his whole career there until his recent retirement. His most recent roles were as Director of Employee and Industrial Relations and as HR Director for Royal Mail’s Facilities Management subsidiary company.

    He is also a Trustee and Director of the Creative Education Trust which operates fourteen secondary and primary schools across the Midlands and East of England. He is a Fellow of the CIPD.

The trustee board has dedicated sub-committees to focus on specific issues: 

  • Audit and Finance
  • Museum Collections
  • Board Nominations Committee 

There are two subsidiary charitable trading companies: 

  • Postal Heritage Services Ltd – for archive and records management services and digital work 
  • Mail Rail Trading Ltd – for commercial activities including retail, events hire, catering, and publications. 

Each sub-committee or subsidiary board has non-executive external members to lend their expertise. These formal bodies usually meet once a quarter.