Our executive team is…

Jane is responsible for the leadership of MRS. Jane was previously at HM Revenue & Customs where she developed and led the individual customer function and the behavioural evidence and insight unit.
Before moving to HMRC in 2006, she held senior roles in both public and private sector organisations including Shell, Unilever, the Department of Constitutional Affairs and the BBC, where she was responsible for the iconic 'Perfect Day' campaign which, as well as winning advertisement of the year, raised £2.5m for Children in Need.
Debrah is responsible for all MRS operations and leads the Society’s standards, policy and public affairs activities. Debrah graduated from Southampton University in the early 90’s with an honours degree in Geography.
She first worked in accountancy and then moved to the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) in 1994. After working in auditing and compliance for ABC, she joined the management of MRS in 1999 to establish a new Standards and Policy department.
Debrah is the co-author (with Peter Jackson) of the book, Quality in Market Research: from Theory to Practice and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
With over 15 years experience in B2B publishing and events, Nikki leads the planning and implementation of logistics, production and delivery of all products and services issues throughout the MRS.

As Digital Director at MRS, Chris oversees MRS publishing and data teams, including Impact magazine, all MRS websites, social media and CRM. Chris works closely with the MRS Delphi Group and other industry experts to produce special reports that distill the latest thinking on critical issues for the insight and data analytics sector. He has worked in a number of industries as a journalist and editor, and has managed digital communications for several international businesses.

Helen is responsible for the sales and marketing activities within MRS covering training, membership, company accreditation and sales. Having worked in marketing for three professional organisations over the past 20 years, she specialises in marketing for membership bodies.
She worked for six years from 1986 for the Chartered Institute of Quality (CQI) as editor and then head of communications, and in 1993 moved to head up the marketing team for 11 years at the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).
With a degree in social science focusing on society and psychology, her original subject matter interests are proving very useful for working in the research sector. Helen recently completed the Marketing Week Mini-MBA in Marketing and was awarded an A.
Grace has worked in Business Development for the last few years since changing career from teaching Secondary School English. Having worked for an Ed-tech company and then for The Civil Service College, designing bespoke training programmes for civil servants, Grace’s approach to sales is consultative with great customer service at the heart of every conversation. In her role as Head of Business Development at MRS, Grace has overall responsibility for ensuring the smooth running of the Company Partner team, creating bespoke packages that are tailored to individual business needs.

Overall, Grace thinks that researchers are much easier to work with than teenagers, although they still keep her on her toes, thankfully! When not looking after MRS’s company partners Grace loves to be outside in nature, hiking, climbing or long distance running.

Samantha has worked at MRS since 1991 in a variety of roles and Departments, including Conference & Events, Training and Qualifications.

She is now responsible for the delivery of all detailed operational and service development relating to both individual membership and MRS qualification programmes

On behalf of MRS Main Board, the MRS Management Board is charged with oversight and scrutiny of the performance and direction of MRS from a financial, business management and reporting perspective.

The Management Board is specifically responsible for:

  • Links between MRS Main Board (strategy/policy/priorities) and Staff (implementation/operations/delivery)
  • Business plans and budgets
  • MRS as an employer

John Haworth

Debrah Harding
Phyllis Macfarlane
Dr. Nick Baker
Jane Frost

MRS Board is made up of MRS members elected by the membership from across the research sector. MRS Board is responsible for MRS achieving its overall vision, mission and objectives.

With more than 30 years’ experience working in marketing and advertising, Jan has a strong track record of using research to inform strategy.
She joined Aviva in 2008 as Marketing Operations Director before becoming Group Brand Director, ultimately leading the development of the “Good Thinking” campaign which launched in the UK in early 2016.
In January 2017, Jan began a new role as Global Inclusion Director at Aviva, spearheading the company’s commitment to fostering a more inclusive culture and ultimately more diverse workplace across the group.
Jan’s commitment to championing social change means she will be taking on the MRS Presidency alongside her other non-executive board commitments. Jan is Chair of the LGBT equality charity Stonewall, Chair of PAMCo (Publishers Audience Measurement Company), an Executive Committee member of WACL (Women in Advertising London) and a Fellow of the Marketing Society.”
Dr Nick Baker is UK CEO at Savanta. Formerly MD at Verve and Group CEO at Quadrangle, Nick has specialised in the application of research and insight solutions to help drive his clients’ commercial performance. Now as CEO of Savanta he also has a responsibility to drive the continued growth of the business. Savanta was born when five best-in-class agencies, all specialists in their fields, joined forces to offer big agency benefits, whilst retaining a refreshingly boutique mindset. A full range of integrated intelligence services at global scale, married to deep sector, issue and methodological expertise, delivered with an entrepreneurial spirit and client-first mindset. Nick Chairs the MRS think-tank, the Delphi Group and has a non-executive role for Severn Trent Water Plc. as part of their ‘Customer Challenge Group’.

Jane is responsible for the leadership of MRS. Jane was previously at HM Revenue & Customs where she developed and led the individual customer function and the behavioural evidence and insight unit.
Before moving to HMRC in 2006, she held senior roles in both public and private sector organisations including Shell, Unilever, the Department of Constitutional Affairs and the BBC, where she was responsible for the iconic 'Perfect Day' campaign which, as well as winning advertisement of the year, raised £2.5m for Children in Need.
Crispin is chief executive of Chime Insight and Engagement Group, having joined from Post Office Ltd in 2008. He previously held senior research positions at BT and Dixons Stores Group. Crispin is a Chartered Accountant and a keen conservationist.

Rebecca is Managing Director at Cobalt Sky.

Babita is Head of Strategic Partnerships and a member of the Leadership Team at Zappi. Babita is responsible for looking after Zappi’s most important customers and partners, collaborating on product design, digitisation strategies and change management, with a goal to elevate the role of insights professionals within organisations. Babita has over 20 years industry experience, anchored mostly in tech, commercial and digital roles. She is an Advisory Board member for WIRe (Women In Research) and also leads the European arm of their Exec Group. Babita was elected to the MRS Main Board in April 2020.

Geoff is an independent research consultant, having previously spent a number of years as a Research Director at Synovate and Ipsos MORI. A passionate exponent of qualitative research, he has also spent time clientside and in key account management. He is Chair of the Market Research Standards Board.

John is CFO for Ipsos MORI UK & Ireland.

Caroline is a co-founder of Acacia Avenue and communications specialist with a background in advertising. Having spent the early part of her career working in Hong Kong, Canada and the US, she has an international outlook, and an interest in the global development of our industry. She has pioneered new approaches to research using behavioural science and is a regular contributor to the market research industry as editorial referee for the IJMR, ex-AQR Board member, and regular conference speaker for industry events.

Sinead is a senior insight consultant, with experience both agency and client-side. Since moving to France with her family in 2015 she has been self-employed, but for most of that time has continued working with existing clients for Watermelon Research (previously Chime Insight & Engagement) in the UK. Prior to joining Chime in 2010 Sinead led the Insight & Intelligence team at Royal Mail. She is a passionate advocate for flexible working, and was proud to be included on the Timewise Power Part Time list 2017. Sinead is also Chair of the MRS CPS Board.

Jennifer Roberton is the MD of respondi, UK. For over 16 years she has been at the forefront of online research in the UK, Europe and beyond.

Jennifer has been instrumental in shifting analytical models from those based on self-reporting of consumer behaviour to the fusion of data from a broad variety of sources, including the integration of consumers’ passive online behaviour. She specializes in complex comparative and multi-country research projects.

Under her leadership, respondi won the MRS “Best Data Collection (Online)” for a pioneering study of attitudes among refugees in twelve countries across three continents, illustrating that her approach to research not only benefits commercial clients but can be used to tackle and better understand complex issues of importance to society as a whole.

And most recently, best paper at ESOMAR Fusion in 2018.

Aside to this, Jennifer is also the youngest board member of The Market Research Benevolent Charity, the only charity of its kind helping UK Researchers in financial crisis, educational grants and mental health/Wellbeing.

Nick leads the Audiences team at the BBC, which comprises planners, researchers and analysts in TV, Radio and Digital; central audience measurement specialists, marketing sciences and brand insight teams; and the Audience Services team handling direct interactions between the BBC and its audience. He is Deputy Chair of the Market Research Standards Board.

Global Head, Consumer & Business Insights & Analytic at GSK


MRS Main Board is supported by Special Advisers.

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