John is one of the co-founders of Rocket Science (2001) and leads the company’s London team. He is currently the Managing Director of the company. He has over 20 years’ experience of public policy development, implementation and evaluation across the UK, for a wide range of statutory, private and voluntary-sector clients. John has a strong affinity with the voluntary sector and is a non-executive board member of London Funders (a grant makers’ practitioners forum which exists to promote and share best practice in grant making) and of Bikeworks CIC, a social enterprise in Tower Hamlets.
Under John’s leadership, Rocket Science has consistently initiated, supported and evaluated responses to different forms of socio-economic exclusion both in London, as well as in other cities and communities of Britain, from the design and delivery of community based projects such as the Mayor’s Mentoring Programme targeting disaffected young black boys, to the evaluation of employment schemes designed to harness greater job opportunities for those furthest from the labour market (e.g. the recent Olympic Boroughs’ Employment Offer).
In the last 5 years, John has led the growth and development of Rocket Science’s grants management business – a full-service offer to funders of the voluntary sector which encompasses preparing fund prospectuses and promoting grant opportunities, through the assessment, award and monitoring of projects, to their evaluation and end-of-grant review. Since 2009, Rocket Science has overseen the management of over £50m of grants from different funders to support service provision by voluntary and community organisations.
John has a particular interest in the role and potential of businesses in place-making and meeting their social responsibilities. He has worked with a range of business-led partnerships – e.g. Victoria Business Improvement District, Cheapside Initiative, East London Business Alliance, as well as with company CSR teams (e.g. Land Securities and Lend Lease) at a time of reduced public spending and when expectations of business to do more in their local communities are growing.
Recent projects include:
- A Service Review of London Borough of Waltham Forest’s engagement and relationship with the voluntary and community sector, as part of the Council’s Redefining Waltham Forest agenda
- Reviewing the impact and effectiveness of LB Haringey’s recent employment programmes in order to inform the borough’s new strategic growth plans for 2015-2018
- Consulting on the design and implementation of a local labour in construction initiative for the Ebbsfleet Garden City development in Kent
- An in-depth assessment of the impact of the government’s welfare reforms on the city of Brighton (in partnership with the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion)
- Developing a new strategy and business plan for Growing Concerns a social enterprise attached to Old Ford Housing Association
- Leading the Rocket Science grant management team providing out-sourced grant management services to local authorities, including the Greater London Authority. Currently managing FreeSport, the London Schools Excellence Fund and Mayor’s Mentoring Programme.
- Implementing the current London ESF Programme’s Technical Assistance for third sector employment providers, VCS Assist.
- MA History, University of Alabama
- BA (Hons) History, University of Cambridge
- 020 7253 6289
Areas of Expertise
- Employability and skills
- Urban and economic regeneration
- Poverty and welfare
- Grant Management
- Policy analysis and interpretation
- Facilitation and partnership development
- Research and specialist writing skills
- Commissioning and funding strategies.