Our global governing bodies
The following bodies make up the governance structure at Laudes Foundation.
Our board is comprised of representatives of the Brenninkmeijer family enterprise. Together, they have full and legal responsibility for Laudes Foundation, including strategy, management and results.
Lawrence Brenninkmeijer (Chair)
Lawrence Brenninkmeijer is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of COFRA Holding AG. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Laudes Foundation and chairs the committee that guides the family owners’ private charitable endeavours.
Over his career, Lawrence also held several senior leadership roles at C&A in Europe, including as Managing Director Turkey from 2006 to 2011. He also served as VP Operations and Retail Financial Services in Brazil from 2012 to 2015, and as CEO of C&A China from 2015 to 2016. In 2017, Lawrence became Director of Strategy and Innovation at COFRA Holding AG, before leading the family talent programme and development across the Brenninkmeijer family enterprise. Lawrence holds a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences from the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters.
Edward Brenninkmeijer is a member of the Board of Laudes Foundation and chairs its Advisory Council. He is also a member of the committee that oversees the business family’s private philanthropic endeavours and a Non-Executive Director on the Board of C&A AG.
Edward spent his entire career working for C&A where he was most recently CEO of C&A AG and C&A Europe, a position he held until December 2020. Prior to that, Edward led the C&A operations in Brazil, Mexico and China and he chaired the Board of C&A Foundation.
Martin Rudolf Brenninkmeijer
Martin Rudolf Brenninkmeijer is a member of the Board of Laudes Foundation and serves on the foundation’s Investment Committee. He also coordinates the Family Heritage Centre in Draiflessen and is a member of the committee that oversees the business family’s private philanthropic endeavours.
Previously, Martin Rudolf held various positions at C&A across Europe, the USA and Brazil and, most recently, coordinated the family leadership and development programme. He has also held several governance positions in charitable institutions, focussing on family philanthropy.
Our Investment Committee approves the grant proposals across programmes and industries and ensures they align with our global strategy. It makes sure that our grant-making decisions are relevant, effective and create synergies that will help maximise our impact. Our Investment Committee is comprised of representatives of the Brenninkmeijer family entrepreneurs and executive external advisors.
Donald Brenninkmeijer (Chair)
Donald Brenninkmeijer chairs the Investment Committees of Laudes Foundation and Argidius Foundation, which is part of Porticus, and serves as a member of the Anthos Supervisory Board. Donald also advises Xeros Technologies, an Entrepreneurs Fund investment and AIM listed company, and leads the family owners’ business development endeavours into one of its new diversification sectors, sustainable food.
Over his career, Donald has held several positions at COFRA and C&A across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Most recently he was Chief Brand, Customer and Sustainability Officer at C&A before becoming the retailer’s Chief Innovation Officer. Donald received a Licentiate in International Management from University of St Gallen, Switzerland.
Charlotte has been CEO of the Anthos Family Office since April 2020. Anthos provides trustworthy advice and tailored services to the Brenninkmeijer family in the areas of private wealth management, tax, legal and estate planning.
Prior to joining Anthos, Charlotte enjoyed a career at C&A in various operational and leadership functions across the European organisation. She spent her first years working as a Buyer in Brussels and then became District Manager in Germany. Her journey took her to Austria where she became Head of Region for Austria and Slovenia and her final stop was as Head of Store Operations for Spain and Portugal. She was also part of the management teams of both CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) and Iberia (Spain and Portugal).
Christian Brenninkmeijer is Head of Global Finance at Redevco B.V. in Amsterdam. Christian started his career at ABN AMRO Bank before joining the family business in 2009 at ibi Bank in Mexico. After a few years Christian moved to C&A, where he held various positions including Head of Region, North Mexico, Head of Finance, IT, Logistics and Integrity at C&A Sourcing in Hong Kong and CFO Central & Eastern Europe. Before joining Redevco, Christian led the real estate transformation at C&A Europe as Director of Real Estate. Christian holds a MEng in Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Oxford.
Martijn Brenninkmeijer is Chairman of the Board of COFRA Holding AG, a position he has held since 2018. Martijn has previously held the positions of CEO of COFRA Holding AG, CEO of C&A Europe and CEO of Anthos.
Martijn holds a BA in Economics and Philosophy from Georgetown University in Washington DC and an MBA (with Honours) from IMD Business School in Lausanne, where he also received the 1999 MBA Class Award.
Shirley Rodrigues is currently Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy for the Greater London Authority. Prior to this, she worked for several years for the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) mostly recently as the Acting Executive Director for Climate Change. Shirley sits on Laudes Foundation’s Investment Committee. She also sat on the board of the C40 Large Cities Leadership Group and worked in several senior environmental policy roles in London.
Shirley holds a BA from the London School of Economics & Political Science and an MBA from the University of Westminster.
As an organisation dedicated to learning, the Effectiveness & Learning Committee supports our management team in reviewing results, capturing learning and supporting Laudes’ Effectiveness. This committee, which reports to the Board of Directors, is comprised of one senior evaluation advisor and two Brenninkmeijer family entrepreneurs.
Nancy MacPherson (Chair)
Nancy MacPherson currently serves on advisory panels for the Climate Adaptation Fund, the Board of the European Civil Liberties Union, Global Infrastructure Basel, and works with several organisations in the global south such as Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and the South-to-South Evaluation Initiative (S2SE). She chairs Laudes Foundation’s Effectiveness & Learning Committee. Previously, Nancy served for 10 years as the Managing Director for Evaluation at the Rockefeller Foundation, after 25 years working in international development. She is the recipient of the 2015 American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) Enhancing the Public Good Award. Nancy received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Guelph, an MA from Carleton University and did post-graduate studies at the University of British Columbia.
Mathew Brenninkmeijer is the Director of Business Planning EMEA at Starbucks. In addition to his role on the Effectiveness & Learning Committee at Laudes Foundation, he is a member of an Investment Committee at Porticus.
Previously, Matthew worked at C&A across Europe, China and Americas. Most recently, he served as Director of Operations and Business Development at C&A Mexico. Matthew holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Marketing degree from Babson College.
Michiel Brenninkmeijer currently serves on several committees of the family owner’s private charitable endeavours, including Laudes Foundation’s Effectiveness & Learning Committee. He is also a member of the Eco-Impact Investor Circle of RARE, a member of the Supervisory Board of Joh. Jacobs & Co., and Managing Director of Straightmark Pte. Ltd.
Michiel spent his 35-year career with C&A acting in various roles across retail, supply chain management and sustainability, across Asia, Europe and Latin America, most recently serving as Sourcing Director of C&A China from 2014 to 2016. Michiel holds a BA in Economics from the University of Georgetown.
The Management Team heads the day-to-day decision-making of Laudes Foundation to ensure we deliver results in line with our strategy.
Management Team Members:
Leslie Johnston – CEO
As its first CEO, Leslie Johnston leads the development and execution of Laudes Foundation’s strategy and operating model to deliver on its vision in which global markets value all people and respect nature. Leslie currently serves on the boards of the European Venture Philanthropy Association, Fashion for Good BV and Stichting, GoodWeave International, the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), and the Philanthropy Coalition for Climate.
Leslie has over 20 years of management experience across business, entrepreneurship, development and philanthropy. Previously, she headed C&A Foundation as its first Executive Director, repositioning it as a global catalyst to make fashion a force for good. She also served as Executive Director of the Argidius Foundation, Deputy Director for TechnoServe in Africa and a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
Amol Mehra– Director of Industry Transformation
Amol Mehra leads Laudes Foundation’s bold and strategic efforts to transform industry practices, specifically through our Built Environment and Fashion programmes.
Amol serves as a Founding Member of Funders Organized for Rights in the Global Economy ("FORGE"); as a Council Member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Human Rights; as a Board Member of EarthRights International; on the Advisory Council for the Center for Business and Human Rights at NYU Stern and as a Commissioner on the United Nations Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking ("Liechtenstein Initiative").
Amol is a human rights lawyer and previously he was the Managing Director of the Freedom Fund and served as Executive Director of ICAR.
Catrin Thomas - Director Brand, Communications and Advocacy
Catrin leads the team responsible for advancing the foundation’s efforts to catalyse broad impact through the development of external relations, strategic communications and visual branding strategies.
As a senior corporate affairs professional, Catrin has more than 20 years of international experience in strategic communications, integrated marketing, content and analyst relations across the financial services, technology, media and non-profit sectors.
Prior to joining Laudes Foundation, Catrin was the Corporate Affairs Director at the UK Government backed Green Finance Institute and previously the Head of Corporate Communications, EMEA, at Bloomberg. A fluent Welsh speaker, Catrin sits on the board of GlobalWelsh, a non-profit diaspora engagement and investment organisation.
Katy Hartley - Director of Strategy
Katy Hartley designs the Laudes Foundation’s strategy to ensure it is clear, bold, and provides a consistent plan - while enabling Laudes to adapt rapidly in a volatile world. She led the development of its first five-year strategy and the Laudes Foundation Economic System Map.
She has over 20 years of experience in the fields of strategy development, philanthropy, partnership building, international public affairs, corporate reputation and stakeholder management. Previously, Katy has held positions as Director of Philanthropy Communications at COFRA (including C&A Foundation and Porticus) For Royal Philips she set up and led The Philips Center for Health and Wellbeing which hosted global think tanks on major societal issues including Livable Cities and Active Aging. She created the Philips Foundation and its inaugural mission and strategy which focused on improving innovation in humanitarian aid.
Kelly Clark - Director of Finance and Capital Market Transformation
Kelly Clark leads the foundation's efforts in reimaging the current economic system and definition of value that goes beyond shareholder interest.
Kelly is on the advisory committees of Wheb Asset Management, Carbon Tracker, the Asset Owners Disclosure Project and the Smith School for Enterprise and Environment at Oxford University. Kelly serves on the Board of the Good Fashion Fund.
Before joining Laudes Foundation, Kelly was the Founder/Director of the Finance Dialogue, a think tank leveraging institutional investors to accelerate the net-zero carbon transition. Kelly spent ten years as a banker in the US, London and Hong Kong, culminating in her role as the Head of South East Asian Private Banking for UBS out of Hong Kong.
Lee Alexander Risby – Director of Effective Philanthropy
Lee Risby steers the organisation in measuring, evaluating, and learning from results and long-term impact. In his role, he also leads the foundation’s efforts to build partners capacities and integrate gender, equity and inclusion across the programmes. Lee serves on the Global Advisory Group of The Center for Effective Philanthropy.
Previously, Lee led EP and Impact & Communications teams at C&A Foundation. Prior to that, he worked in various evaluation positions at The World Bank Group, African Development Bank Group and led his own evaluation consulting company.