Executive Management Board


Sara Baade, AFF Chief ExecutiveChief Executive, Sara Baade

Sara has a strong background in management and strategic policy, specialising in vocational skills growth and development. Prior to joining AFF she worked as a senior civil servant for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) working across a range of policy areas with a focus on apprenticeship growth. Before this she held a Director position at UK Skills, a charity which promotes vocational skills. She also has substantial experience in investment banking following five years at Goldman and Sachs investment banking division.

Sara lives in London with her six-year-old year old twins. Her late husband was Matthew Wall who served with the 9/12th Royal Lancers.  

Contact: T: 01264 382323 (Mil: 94391 2323) E: chiefexec@aff.org.uk 

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Communications and Marketing Director, Donna BernardCommunications and Marketing Director, Donna Bernard

Donna joined AFF in May 2017 after working for many years as a freelance journalist, most recently as a presenter/reporter for ITN Productions, where she produced and presented corporate films for many organisations including the NHS, a joint energy project between the UK and France featuring the Channel Tunnel, and the Royal Society of Medicine.

Before that, she worked as a news anchor for satellite channel Arise News, a radio reporter for Midwest Radio and for other media channels including the BBC, presenting the ‘999’ series with Michael Buerk and the previous incarnation of BBC2’s ‘Trust me I’m A Doctor’.

She worked for GMTV (ITV Breakfast) for six years in many roles, including presenting alongside Lorraine Kelly on her magazine show, covering entertainment, fashion and general news, and also spent a year based abroad as the New York correspondent.

Donna also has a qualification in women’s fitness and lives in Shaftesbury, Dorset with her husband Alex, a media consultant, and their two children.

Contact: T: 01264 382317 (Mil: 94391 2317) or 07515 528798 E: commsmarketingdirector@aff.org.uk 

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Louise Simpson, Policy and Research DirectorPolicy and Research Director, Louise Simpson

Louise joined AFF as the Yorkshire Co-ordinator in 2008; on moving to Andover she was taken on as the Researcher, then Evidence Manager and finally as Director Policy and Research.

Prior to working for AFF, Louise has, in true Army spouse style, had a number of careers, including sales and marketing for publishing houses Dorling Kindersley and Conran Octopus, and as an internal verifier and trainer for a number of NVQ providers. She has even owned a small wooden toy business! Having worked in a variety of settings, it has given Louise a good insight into the public, charitable and commercial sectors and a strong grasp on the importance of evidence collection.

Louise has two sons and has moved 12 times in 17 years of marriage.

Contact: T: 01264 382321 (Mil: 94391 2321) E: policyresearchdirector@aff.org.uk  

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Collette Musgrave, UK and Overseas DirectorUK and Overseas Director, Collette Musgrave

Collette joined AFF from the public sector, where she developed a background in strategic planning, policy development and management. She worked as a civil servant across a number of policy areas in the Ministry of Defence, and in postings to the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, before taking a mid-career break to fulfil her ambition to become a commissioned officer. Too old for Sandhurst, she joined the Royal Air Force and enjoyed it enough to stay for five years.

On her return to the civil service, she worked across a number of policy areas, developing a focus on operational delivery and business improvement, before completing the Royal College of Defence Studies course with an MA in Strategic Studies. After accompanying her husband, John, on a three year NATO posting to Italy, they now live in Larkhill on Salisbury Plain, with their two dogs.

Contact: T: 01264 383407 or 07795 687930 E: ukoverseasdirector@aff.org.uk

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Finance and Operations Director, Kate Finlayson

Kate originally joined AFF as a volunteer in Cyprus in 2006 on her first overseas posting. On a second posting in 2013, Kate joined the staff team as the WSBA Co-ordinator. After leaving due to posting back to the UK, Kate joined AFF again in September 2015 as Finance Manager, and then took on the new amalgamated role of Finance and Operations Director on 1 July 2017.

Prior to working with AFF, Kate has many years’ experience of working within NHS Management. Kate also held the position of Chief Executive at a London based drug and alcohol addiction charity where she gained experience of financial management within the charity sector.

Like many military spouses who give up a career due to military moves, Kate decided to study whilst on overseas military postings. She undertook a Certificate in Accounting with the Open University and subsequently went on to gain a First Class Honours Degree (Bsc).

Kate currently volunteers as a Trustee for a local Andover charity.

After seven moves over 16 years as a military spouse, Kate has recently settled in Andover with her husband, who retired from his military role as an Army lawyer in 2016.

Contact: T: 01264 382325 E: finance@aff.org.uk

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