Executive Management Board

Chief Executive, 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 Salisbury, with their two dogs.

Contact: T: 01264 554004 or 07795 687930 E: chiefexec@aff.org.uk


Finance and Governance Director, Kate Finlayson

Finance & Operations Director - Kate FinlaysonKate 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.  Following a restructure of roles in January 2019, Kate became the Finance and Governance Director.

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).

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

Contact: T: 01264 554004 E: fingov@aff.org.uk


Policy & Research Director, Michelle Alston
Head of Policy & Research - Michelle Alston

Michelle joined AFF in 2013 as the Researcher, became the Head of Policy & Research in July 2019 and the Policy & Research Director in November 2020.

She has a background in analysis and policy in the public sector. She began her career working as a political press officer, followed by a role as a civil servant at the Ministry of Defence, working in the parliamentary area.

Michelle has also worked in the higher education sector, in roles encompassing policy, quality assurance and administration, at the University of Leeds and Kingston University. She also trained and worked as a workplace mediator.

She enjoys contributing to the Army community, including establishing a Military Wives’ Choir and organising families’ welfare events.

She is a Clore Social Fellow 2019, completing the Cobseo Clore Social Leadership course, developing leadership in the Armed Forces charities sector.

Michelle understands first-hand the issues and benefits of Army life as she is married to Rob, who is currently serving.

Contact: T: 07824 642333 E: policydirector@aff.org.uk

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