Executive Management Board

Chief Executive, Sara Baade

AFF Chief Executive - Sara Baade

Sara joined AFF back in 2015 as the Chief Executive. She 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 Berkshire with her nine-year-old twins. Her late husband was Matthew Wall, who served with the Royal Lancers.

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


Operations Director, Collette Musgrave

UK & Overseas Director - Collette MusgraveCollette 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 383407 or 07795 687930 E: operationsdir@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 382325 E: finance@aff.org.uk


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

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

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 Confederation of Service Charities 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. After eight postings in 16 years of marriage, they and their two daughters currently live near Andover.

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


Head of Communications - Paul LarsmonHead of Communications, Paul Larsmon

Paul has worked in newspapers and radio but much of his career was in television news – as a reporter and political correspondent. He was also editor of current affairs and political programmes and has produced a wide range of documentaries and factual series.

After leaving broadcast television, Paul created an online TV news service for the pharmaceutical sector, describing this as “rather a steep learning curve given that I didn’t even have a biology GCSE”.

Before joining AFF he was producing short films, broadcast on ITV, for a charity which gave young people a voice about often very sensitive issues that affected them personally.

He learned something about Army challenges and priorities, and gained great respect for the military, while offering soldiers media training in England, Wales, Canada and Italy. He found it interesting how many of these fearless warriors would quake when put in front of a camera!

Paul has two grown-up children and lives with his wife Sharon and Bertie the spaniel in Burbage, Wiltshire.

Contact: T: 01264 38 2316 E: communicationshd@aff.org.uk

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