Who We Are
Vicki Perrin – Chief Executive Officer
With a background in TV and Radio, the highlight of Vicki’s career at the BBC was running the BBC Radio 2 children’s short story writing competition ‘500 Words’ with broadcaster Chris Evans. Over a million stories were written by school children across Vicki’s time running the project, and she staged live broadcasts with popstars and internationally acclaimed actors at different royal palaces, having helped to bring in The former Duchess of Cornwall as Honorary Judge on the competition. She went on to run Communications and Marketing for Prince’s Trust International, before joining The Sunday Times, where she developed and ran a book festival, ‘Life Lessons’ which sold over 17,000 tickets in its first year. Self-taught at A Level and with an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Cambridge, she’s passionate about stories and their power to change lives for the better. She brings to The Queen’s Reading Room a desire to celebrate the joy and fun of stories and a wealth of experience of making educational content engaging and accessible.
Molly Ramsden – Senior Producer
After completing a degree in Politics and English, Molly worked as a literary agent for fifteen years, starting as an assistant at the Wylie Agency, London, moving to Janlow & Nesbit UK Ltd and finishing with a personal list of young fiction writers at Luigi Bonomi Associates. A love of fiction of all genres and a passion for reading has meant that her years in publishing have been varied, educational and much enjoyed. Molly joined the team in 2021 to lead on content creation: liaising with editors, interviewing authors and producing daily content for instagram. With vast and important experience in the process that puts a book from a writer’s mind into a reader’s hands, she’s perfectly placed to create unique and engaging content for the The Queen’s Reading Room book club.
Dr Eva Haghighi – Assistant Producer
Eva is a passionate supporter and advocate for literature and the arts as a vehicle to tell stories. Raised and educated in Italy, she fell in love with books at a young age and they have remained loyal companions throughout her life. In recent years, her concerns have focused increasingly on issues of diversity and accessibility in the creative industries, and her volunteer work reflects this growing interest. At The Queen’s Reading Room, she works closely with Molly on content creation, as well as leading on developing digital projects. Eva holds a DPhil in Classical Languages and Literature at Oxford University and as Assistant Producer with The Queen’s Reading Room, she brings an extensive and nuanced understanding of the history and development of European literature and beyond, as well as an academic, thoughtful approach.
Kirstie Logan-Townshend – Director of MarComms
Former Publicity Director & founder of Kirstie Logan PR, Kirstie developed her PR career at CLD Communications and Premier PR and has worked with some of Britain’s most loved and established actors, as well as brands including Ronnie Scott’s, Lionsgate, Puffin, Allergy UK, Signature films, Dogwoof, IMAX, MTV, Into Film, Women in Film and TV and Battersea Cats and Dogs Home. She has a keen interest in global events, with a Masters in Counter-Terrorism and degree in International Relations and Politics; most recently, she has been leading on Artificial Intelligence and Digital Infrastructure for the UK government as a Senior Press Officer with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. Deeply passionate about the Arts, she is a proud member of BAFTA Cymru and a Curtis Brown Creative alumna. A champion of writers and writing, she’s ideally placed to connect The Queen’s Reading Room with ever bigger audiences.
Board of Trustees
Chair: Amanda Mackenzie LVO OBE
Amanda sits on the boards of British Land and Lloyds Banking Group where she Chairs the Responsible Business Committee and is an Advisory board member of the Impact Investment Institute and the Institute of Business Ethics. She stepped down after 6+ years as Chief Executive of Business In The Community (BITC) at the start of 2023. Before joining BITC Amanda was on loan from Aviva to Project Everyone: a Richard Curtis campaign for the UN to launch the Sustainable Development Goals. For 8 years, Amanda was the CCMO on Aviva’s Group Executive Committee and led the transformation from Norwich Union. She has held director roles at BA Airmiles, BT, Hewlett Packard, British Gas. She was a trustee of the National Youth Orchestra for 10 years and a member of Lord Davies Review steering group to increase the number of women on boards. Amanda is a Fellow and Past President of the Marketing Society. She received an LVO in the New Year’s Honours 2023, OBE in 2014 and holds two Honorary Doctorates. Her extensive experience in Marketing and responsible business makes her the perfect Chair to steer The Queen’s Reading Room in its early days as a charity.
Trustee: Amanda MacManus CVO
Private Secretary to The Queen for over 25 years, Amanda MacManus oversaw numerous international Tours, and State Visits which included Presidents, Monarchs, Politicians and Religious Leaders. She has been instrumental in developing the former Duchess of Cornwall’s patronages and presidencies of literacy charities in the UK and brings to the Board invaluable insight into the opportunities available to charities with Royal patrons and founders.
Trustee: Aatif Hassan
Aatif is the founder and chairman of Dukes Education – Europe’s fastest growing family of schools. He is also Chairman of Cavendish Education, a group of 14 schools for pupils with dyslexia and autism; and a trustee of the British Asian Trust, St James Independent Schools and CReSTeD (dyslexia accreditation) and the co-founder of Poetry Together. Aatif has a first-class degree in Mathematics and has a British Army commission. In 2020, he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London for services to education. Aatif’s commitment to education and the power of knowledge makes him a valued member of The Queen’s Reading Room board.
Trustee: Gyles Brandreth
Gyles Brandreth is a writer, broadcaster, actor, former MP and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, now Chancellor of the University of Chester. His many best-selling books include biographies of Elizabeth II and the late Duke of Edinburgh. He is the Founder of Poetry Together, which encourages young and older people to learn poetry together and has held numerous positions as Chair, Vice-Chair, President and Patron of a range of charities, notably the National Playing Fields Association. He is an inaugural ambassador for the Royal Commonwealth Society, an active supporter of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition and the co-host of the Commonwealth Poetry Podcast. His experience in broadcasting and in charity makes him an ideal board member, to help keep The Queen’s Reading Room always accessible and relevant.