The union for managers and professionals in public service
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Our team

The FDA is led, first and foremost, by our members, and there are hundreds of FDA activists in government departments and agencies who act as the union’s voice in the workplace every day. The Executive Committee, made up of elected FDA members, meanwhile acts as the governing body of the union, providing oversight and ensuring that the priorities of our members are put into action.

Our members are also supported by a dedicated team of professional FDA staff - led by the General Secretary – at our head office. These include full-time National Officers, who provide expert advice and negotiate on behalf of members, and FDA support staff, who help with the day-to-day running of the union.

Dave Penman

General Secretary

Dave was elected as General Secretary of the FDA in May 2012, and took up office in July that year. He was re-elected for a second five-year term in December 2016. 

Lynne Gravatt

Assistant General Secretary – Head of Resources

Lynne joined the FDA as Head of Resources in September 2018. Lynne is responsible for managing the operational side of FDA including Finance, HR, Premises, IT and Admin.

Amy Leversidge

Assistant General Secretary

Amy started working at the FDA in January 2018. Amy is responsible for leading the organising, communications and learning functions of the FDA in addition to managing four of the National Officers.

Lucille Thirlby

Assistant General Secretary

Lucille joined the FDA as Assistant General Secretary in spring 2018, and heads up the union's work on areas including pay, pensions, exits, the Senior Civil Service and other central bargaining issues.

Simon Hardcastle
National Officer


Simon joined the FDA in Spring 2011, and supports FDA members in the health, crime and national security sectors. 

Sue Hollywood-Powell

Keystone Organiser

Sue is the FDA's Organiser for Keystone, the section of the union dedicated to representing staff at HEO and SEO grades.

Helen Kenny

National Officer

Helen is the FDA’s National Officer with responsibility for HM Treasury, the House of Commons, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and its appropriate arm’s length bodies, and the FDA’s Analysts' Network. She is also secretary to the FDA Agenda Committee, which oversees the Annual Delegates’ Conference.

Steven Littlewood

National Officer

Steven is the FDA National Officer covering the Crown Prosecution Service, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the civil service Fast Stream and the Food Standards Agency.

Gareth Hills

National Officer for Wales

Gareth is the FDA's National Officer for Wales, covering employers both devolved and reserved there.

Wynne Parry

National Officer for Keystone

Wynne started working for the FDA in 2012 and he now leads Keystone, the FDA section for managers and professionals at HEO and SEO grade as well as covering the Home Office.

Jawad Raza

National Officer

Jawad Raza is the FDA National Officer covering HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office.

Neil Rider

Head of FDA Learn & Keyskills
Neil has led the FDA's Learn and Keyskills professional development programmes since 2008, helping members meet their professional development goals and build their skills.

Allan Sampson

National Officer

Allan is the National Officer with responsibility for employers both devolved and reserved across Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as the UK-wide Department for International Development.

Victoria Jones

National Officer

Victoria is the FDA National Officer covering the Ministry of Justice (including Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service and the Legal Aid Agency), the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for International Trade. She is also FDA's Equality Officer.

Duncan Woodhead

National Officer

Duncan joined the FDA team in October 2018, and is the National Officer for the Department of Education, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and Ofsted.

Jean Bissett

HR, secretarial manager and secretary to Senior Management Team

Jean, who started working for the FDA in April 2010, provides wide-ranging secretarial support to the union’s head office staff.

Kerry Downes

Membership Secretary

Kerry is the Membership Secretary for both the FDA and Keystone, and has responsibility for looking after and maintaining both databases and helping members with inquiries about their membership.

Esther Farnese

Office and Systems Manager

Esther started working for the FDA in November 1998, initially in the accounts and membership department, before becoming office manager.

Kay Hender

Communications Manager and Editor, Public Service Magazine

Kay heads up the FDA's communications with its members, including editing the union's Public Service Magazine. She also leads the FDA's external-facing press work.

Tommy Newell

Communications Officer and Staff Writer, Public Service Magazine

Tommy joined the FDA in 2017, working in the communications team to raise the union's external profile and keep members up-to-date. He also contributes to the FDA's Public Service Magazine.

Scott Dobson

Communications Officer and Staff Writer, Public Service Magazine

Scott joined the FDA in 2020, working in the communications team to raise the union's external profile and keep members up-to-date. He also contributes to the FDA's Public Service Magazine.

Find us
FDA, 93-95 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1NL