Executive team

The Executive team is responsible for the effective running of CLIC Sargent. Each Director has a specific area of expertise and experience, and contributes to the day-to-day management of the organisation. Through the Chief Executive the Executive Team reports to the Board of Trustees.

CLIC Sargent’s Executive team

Kate Lee - Chief Executive
Dara de Burca - Director of Services
Rachel Kirby-Rider - Director of Income and Engagement
ane Couling - Director of People and Learning
Kevin O'Brien - Director of Finance 

Kate Lee - Chief Executive

Kate Lee became CLIC Sargent’s Chief Executive in November 2015. Prior to this, Kate spent five years as Chief Executive of the Myton Hospice Group in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Since graduating in Public Sector Administration in Sheffield, Kate has always worked for UK charities, and has a passion for organisations that embrace volunteering.

Formerly Director of Strategy for British Red Cross, Kate was a board-level Director at Red Cross for nine years, covering both Strategy and UK Operations positions. She is a Clore Social Leadership Fellow and is passionate about the role and development of the social sector.

Kate is also a trustee of the breast cancer charity, Coppafeel, and a member of ACEVO’s ImpACT Coalition Steering group.

She lives in Ryton on Dunsmore, Coventry, with her husband and two children. She loves gardening and running (slowly!).

Dara de Burca - Director of Services

Dara joined CLIC Sargent in 2009. Following graduation she spent a year as a Community Service Volunteer with Ossory Social Services in Ireland. From 1986 she worked as a residential social worker and manager in care homes for children in Ireland and London. In 1991 Dara completed her post graduate social work qualification. She then worked in child protection and fostering. During this time she trained as a social work practice teacher.

From 1996 to 2003 Dara was a service manager of young people’s community and residential care services in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

Dara went on to become a senior commissioning manager for young people in Hackney. Before coming to CLIC Sargent Dara was Head of Hackney Youth Services where the service moved from failing its Ofsted inspection to be rated as ‘good’ within two years and in the third year was rated by the National Youth Agency as providing ‘outstanding’ youth participation services.

Dara has a management qualification in health and social care and she continues to be registered as a social worker by the General Social Care Council.

Rachel Kirby-Rider - Director of Income and Engagement

Rachel has worked in the not for profit sector for the past 13 years.

Following a role as Head of High Value fundraising at Diabetes UK, Rachel joined Samaritans in 2006 and was there eight years, the last five as Executive Director of Fundraising & Communications.

She was responsible for overseeing a 50% growth in income during that time by increasing income from Individual givers, establishing a Major Donor team and securing multi-million pound project funding from corporates, government and Big Lottery. 

Before moving into the charitable sector Rachel spent eight years working in sales and marketing for a high-tech multi-national. 

Rachel is a governor at a local primary school and is a member of the Institute of Fundraisings Policy Advisory Board. She joined CLIC Sargent as Director of Fundraising in April 2015.

Jane Couling - Director of People and Learning

Over 25 years ago Jane started her career in the NHS. She stayed in the NHS for 13 very successful years, seven of which she was leading the HR function. 

She moved to Barnardo’s to manage HR operations and employee relations functions across the UK.   

Since that time Jane has developed extensive experience in all the key people and learning functions as well as general management.  

Jane has  worked in a wide variety of public, voluntary and private sector settings.

This includes working in and with organisations who provide social support for children, young people and their families.  

Before joining CLIC Sargent in 2014, Jane led the strategic people function at Brook, the only UK wide charity campaigning for and focusing on the sexual health needs and issues facing young people today.

Kevin O'Brien - Director of Finance

Kevin was  Head of Finance at Grosvenor Estate- focusing on Grosvenor’s London estates in Mayfair and Belgravia. Prior to this, he held several roles at Tata, including Finance Controller and Senior Business Analyst; in 2011, he joined Tesco’s property team where he was the finance business partner for Tesco’s portfolio of town centre regeneration developments. 

For a period of time, whilst at Grosvenor, Kevin was also acting as Head of Finance for the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) – a charity established to raise c. £300m and to facilitate the design, management and construction of the DNRC. Kevin sits on the Finance and Resource Committee of The Lullaby Trust – a charity that provides specialist support for bereaved families, promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and raises awareness on sudden infant death.