Meet Our Trustees

Geeta Sidhu-Robb
Geeta Sidhu-Robb Chair

Geeta Sidhu-Robb is an author, inspirational speaker, Coach, Board Specialist, Entrepreneur, CEO and Founder of Nosh Detox. Her frequent appearance on Radio and National TV has given her a strong media profile as an expert. Geeta gave up her career as a corporate lawyer to set up her own business, Nosh Detox in 2008.

Geeta describes herself as a leadership coach with a holistic understanding of how to support female executives achieve success and develop the physical and mental equilibrium required to create growth in their organisations. Geeta also coaches Boards and Executive Teams in how to build successful and effective relationships.

Geeta has taken home Entrepreneur and Business Women of the Year awards in 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2019. Her strong skills in business development and her entrepreneurial acumen have seen Nosh grow from a start-up to a multi-award winning wellness empire that now consists of a group of companies including Nosh Raw and Nosh Infusion.

Her motto “Change is inevitable, suffering is optional. Anything is possible. If you can see it, you can do it; if you can dream it, you can make it happen.”

Sarah Thomas
Sarah ThomasDeputy Chair
Sarah Thomas is an experienced marketing and communications strategist with a passion for innovation, creativity and technology. She is Group Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Capgemini – a global leader in consulting, digital transformation, technology and engineering services,

Sarah has a scientific background and is a passionate advocate for STEM education for girls. She believes that Montessori values and education principles are critical for growing our next generation of innovators.

Prior to her current role, Sarah led the Culture & Employee Experience practice globally for award-winning brand consulting and design agency, Landor & Fitch, and enjoyed a 25-year career at Accenture where she was Chief Marketing Officer for the $12bn+, 120,000 people strong Accenture Operations business.

Sarah is also co-founder and CEO of Thomas Grey, a marketing & communications consultancy.

Philippe Busslinger
Philippe BusslingerTrustee
Philippe is CEO at Wren House Infrastructure and is responsible for leading the infrastructure portfolio, team and investment strategy globally.

Prior to joining Wren House in January 2022, Philippe spent twelve years at OMERS Infrastructure, the last six as Head of Europe. He played a leadership role in investments such as HS1, Tank & Rast, Exolum, London City Airport, XpFibre, VTG and amedes.

Philippe has a background in investment banking and consulting. He was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs, advising clients on M&A, equity and debt financing transactions across Europe. He started his career at McKinsey & Company.

Philippe holds a Business degree from ICADE (Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spain), and an MBA from Columbia Business School (Columbia University, USA).

Sugata Mitra
Sugata MitraTrustee

JIn 2019, Sugata Mitra retired as Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University and is Emeritus Professor at NIIT University in Rajasthan, India.

He is best known for his Hole in the Wall experiment, where a computer was embedded in a wall in an Indian slum and children were allowed to freely use it. The experiment showed that children could learn to use computers without any formal training. Professor Mitra termed this Minimally Invasive Education.

Since 2006, his work at Newcastle University resulted in the development of Self-Organised Learning Environments for children. SOLEs, as they are called, showed that groups of children, presented with an interesting question, can learn almost anything by themselves. In 2010, he developed the Granny Cloud – where retired teachers provide the impetus to Self Organised Learning by children, anywhere in the world, over the internet.

In 2013, he was awarded the first $1 million TED prize to create seven Schools in the Cloud to study learning as emergent phenomena in an educational self-organising system. The results question the ideas of curriculum, examinations and the meaning of ‘knowing’ in a digital world.

Carole Stone CBE
Carole Stone CBETrustee
Carole Stone CBE former producer of BBC Radio 4’s flagship discussion programme Any Questions?, former Managing Director of the online opinion polling company YouGovStone Limited and founder of The Carole Stone Foundation to support the belief that connecting people, exchanging ideas and building friendships around the world is essential to help make a fairer society.
Catja Thum
Catja Thum Trustee
Catja Thum is a Managing Partner at a Family Office, running an impact investment fund which invests in social enterprises and ventures, as well as sustainable companies in the UK and globally. Catja’s expertise lies in measuring and raising awareness of impact. She believes there is a misconception that Montessori values are only relevant to early years education, however, she advocates that they are crucial all the way through life.

Catja has 10 years’ experience in finance and helping start-ups to grow, as well as expertise in setting up and running her own charity, including fundraising efforts. In line with her role at 3C, Catja will be focused on the Social Impact projects, where Montessori’s values and collaborations will create positive social change..

As a social entrepreneur and impact investor Catja Thum champions female founders and founders of colour for meaningful social change.

Tony Joyce
Tony JoyceNon-Executive (MCI) Director
Tony is a senior marketing professional with 30 years of international business experience across industry sectors.

He was most recently Associate Dean of Marketing & Communications at London Business School. Prior to that he was with HSBC as Global Head of marketing for Private Banking – and with Dunhill in the luxury goods sector as Global Head of Retail and Licensing.

Having lived and worked in France, he speaks French to a bilingual level. He holds an MA from St Andrews University – and an MBA from INSEAD.

His current work focuses on International marketing consultancy in the Education and Financial Services sectors.

Our Healthy Eating Champions

Akemi Yokoyama

Akemi Yokoyama is a Japanese chef, presenter and culinary educator. Akemi demonstrates Japanese cooking in the UK at various diverse events and regularly works with the Japanese government’s related organisations promoting Japanese ingredients and cuisine to the media and public. The Montessori Group and Akemi remain committed to promoting the importance of good nutrition and a healthy diet for children and young people at every opportunity.

When I look at the ingredients I always think of how to get the best out of them. That often means doing very little. I make several of my favourite salad dressings and store them in the fridge so I can enjoy seasonal vegetables anytime with very little preparation, cooked or raw. The foundation of a Japanese meal is seasonality, a balanced diet and eating in moderation. Eating healthily does not need to involve expensive ingredients. It can be simple, playful and fun.

Akemi Yokoyama - Chef, Presenter & Culinary Educator

Annabel Karmel

Annabel Karmel is a renowned cookery author and advocate of good nutrition and a healthy diet in early years. As an established cookery author with 30 years’ experience in weaning babies, as well as feeding children and families, Annabel brings extensive expertise and unique insight to families and early years educators looking to give children the best start in life.

I am thrilled to be the Montessori Group’s Children’s Healthy Eating Champion, a role that aligns so well with my lifelong passion and long-term goal to ensure all families and children have knowledge about good nutrition and feel empowered to make healthy choices. Both the Montessori Group and I are dedicated to improving children’s wellbeing and development through nutrition from the get-go. Considering that early nutrition sets the foundation for later years, I’m proud to play a role in helping kids develop healthy habits for a lifetime.

Annabel Karmel - Renowned Cookery Author & Early Years healthy eating advocate


Chantelle Nicholson

Chantelle Nicholson is a multi-award winning chef, restaurateur and author. As an advocate for seasonality and sustainability, Chantelle champions veg-forward cooking through both her restaurants and her cookbook, Planted. Originally from New Zealand, and a trained lawyer, Chantelle is committed to creating a more sustainable future across her operations and activities, whilst also being an independent board member for ReLondon – moving London towards a more circular economy, and a member of City Harvest’s Food Council.

I’m thrilled to be working with the Montessori Group on such an important initiative and look forward to supporting their important work in respect of food across the organisation.

Chantelle Nicholson - Multi-Award Winning Chef, Restaurateur and Author

Our Ambassadors

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

Chair of the International Montessori Ambassadors

The Montessori Group welcomes Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, as the Chair of the International Montessori Ambassadors group. The appointment of the Duchess of York as Chair follows her philanthropic work with families and commitment to supporting a wide range of children’s charities throughout her life. She is a strong advocate for the Montessori approach, with her daughter Princess Eugenie beginning her education at a Montessori nursery in Windsor in 1992.

I’m thrilled to have been invited to Chair the International Montessori Ambassadors. The Montessori approach encourages a love of learning and curiosity that is life-long, and this is something I’m very passionate about. It’s just as needed in today’s world as it was 100 years ago when Dr Maria Montessori developed her pedagogy. I’m looking forward to supporting the Montessori Group to reach more children, and ensure they get the best start in life.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
Chair of the International Montessori Ambassadors