Meet the Board

The Trustee Board meets quarterly and is responsible for strategy, governance and overall financial accountability for Chain of Hope.

Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub OM, Founder and President

A world pioneer in heart surgery, Sir Magdi recently received the highest award possible from Her Majesty the Queen, the Order of Merit, for his service to humanitarian work and the fight against cardiovascular disease. Sir Magdi is also a Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Imperial College London and Director of the Magdi Yacoub Research Network which has created the Qatar Cardiovascular Research Centre in collaboration with the Qatar Foundation and Hamad Medical Corporate.

Dedicated to global healthcare delivery, Sir Magdi founded Chain of Hope in the UK in 1995, focusing on Jamaica and Egypt. Since then Sir Magdi has grown the organisation through his network of world class specialists who join in his humanitarian work to help patients in need and to pursue the vision of creating sustainable cardiac centres for countries’ neglected regions. 

Professor Marc de Leval
, Vice President

Originally from Belgium, Professor Marc de Leval is famous within the cardiothoracic world for his perfection of the Fontan Procedure or TCPC at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Professor de Leval preformed the first heart transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 1988, which was responsible for starting their Heart and Lung transplantation programme for children. Among his published peer-reviewed articles and involvement in numerous books, Professor de Leval co-wrote the manual on congenital heart disease (CHD) with Mr Tsang, this book has turned into the bible of diagnostics for CHD worldwide.

In 2011, Professor de Leval was awarded the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Scientific Achievement Award honouring his scientific contributions in the field of thoracic surgery, making him only one of nine individuals to receive the Association’s highest scientific honour.

Dr Gavin Wright, Chairman

Dr Wright co-founded Chain of Hope with Sir Magdi in 1995 and has led some 30 overseas medical missions. Dr Wright has sat on the Board of Trustees form the beginning and was voted Chairman in 2012. In 2007, Dr Gavin Wright was nominated for one of the heroes of the year in The Independent, highlighting the exceptional lengths he takes in his overseas voluntary work with Chain of Hope.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Dr Wright graduated in Medicine from the University of Rhodesia and went on to specialise in Anaethesia in South Africa working with greats such as Christian Bernhart. Moving to the UK in 1986, Dr Wright has worked on the world’s leading transplant programme of its time at Harefield Hospital alongside Sir Magdi Yacoub. Since living in the UK, Dr Wright has worked at some of the top hospitals for paediatric and cardiac care including Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Royal Brompton and Harefield Trust, Papworth Hospital and the Heart Hospital.

Mr Richard Gawthorne, Treasurer

Richard graduated with a BSc in Maths with Statistics from Bath University in 1972 and then qualified as a chartered accountant at Coopers & Lybrand before moving to various roles in industry. Between 1988 and 1993, he held finance positions at Prudential and subsequently became chief executive of Pegasus Assurance Group.

Until recently, he has held a number of non-executive directorships, including the software company Smartstream Technologies Ltd and 3iplc. Latterly, he was a Non-Executive Director at Kewill and was Chairman of the Audit Committee until the company was taken over.

He joined the Trustee Board of Chain of Hope as Treasurer in January 2013 and has been active in reviewing the charity’s financial processes to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Mr Gawthorne is also a Board Member and Treasurer of Chain of Hope Jamaica.

Mr Victor Tsang

Noted as one of the UK’s top 100 surgeons in the Sunday Times, 2005, Mr Tsang joined the Board of Trustees in 2007 after volunteering as a specialist surgeon and project lead for the charity’s programme in Jamaica. Mr Tsang is the chief of paediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and specialises in neonatal cardiac surgery as well as GUCH surgery.

Mr Tsang remains extremely active in all areas of his speciality having published hundreds of articles on the topic as well as lecturing widely around the world, including co-authoring the manual on congenital heart disease (CHD) with Professor Marc de Leval, a book that has turned into the bible of diagnostics for CHD worldwide.

Mr Hugh Johnson

Having led a firm of City lawyers at Biddle & Co, Hugh Johnson joined the Chain of Hope Trustee Board in 1997 and has been one of the longest serving board members. Mr Johnson served as Chair of the Board for most of his time as a board member, steering the charity from its infancy through periods of growth whilst ensuring that good governance was in place and that the charity remained accountable to its beneficiaries at all times. He is also currently a member of the Ironmongers Association.

Dr Alan Magee

Dr Magee undertook his medical degree at Queen’s University, Belfast. Following this Dr Magee trained at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, one of the largest and most prestigious children’s hospitals in the world, where he specialised in the catheter treatment of children with congenital heart disease.

After working 13 years as Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at The Royal Brompton and Harefield Trust, in 2013 Dr Magee was appointed Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at Southampton University Hospital. Dr Magee has been involved with Chain of Hope for many years not only serving on the Board of Trustees but also through undertaking overseas missions, and through his involvement in the Child Referral Board which he chaired for five years.

In particular Dr Magee instigated the training of two cardiologists from Jamaica and worked with The Royal Brompton Hospital and Chain of Hope to create two cardiology fellowships. Dr Magee continues to mentor these two cardiologists at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Jamaica, through regular visits to the hospital.