Our Council

The Council is the governing body of the Society, with ultimate responsibility for its governance and administration.

The Council consists of 12 members, elected every other year by the membership using the Single Transferable Vote. The current Council was elected in 2019.

Members of the Council elect four of their group to act as Officers and undertake specific administrative duties on behalf of the Council.

About the council

 The Council is the Electoral Reform Society’s governing body.

The Council meets four times a year. It is made up of 12 members who are elected every other year and serve for a two-year term. All fully paid-up members are allowed to stand for election and to vote.

What do Council members do?

Council provides creative challenge and independent scrutiny on issues such as strategy, planning and business performance and it works with the senior staff team to ensure that high standards of governance are upheld.

The Council meets 4 times a year in central London (expenses are reimbursed). Members of the Council are also the Directors of the company, with collective responsibility for ensuring that the organisation is legally compliant. The Council:

  • Establishes the Society’s strategic direction and aims, in conjunction with the senior staff;
  • Ensures accountability for the Society’s performance;
  • Ensures that the Society is managed with probity and integrity.

How do Council members get elected?

There are 12 places on the Council, and elections take place every two years with all seats on the Council up for election. Candidates are voted in by the Single Transferable Vote (STV) method.

Why get involved?

Council members have a central role to play in deciding the key priorities for the Society.

It’s an important job and we need members with the right balance of ideas, skills, and experience. This is a special opportunity – available only to members – to help shape the Society’s agenda and to inject energy and enthusiasm into the job of building a better democracy in Britain.

What skills and experience do I need?

Council members can bring invaluable experience and perspectives from all walks of life.

As the governing body of a rapidly expanding national campaign and research organisation, the Council needs active and engaged members – particularly those with some of the following attributes:

  • Accountancy or financial management skills
  • Experience of leading or working on high-profile campaigns
  • Experience of working in politics
  • Media, press or marketing experience
  • Knowledge, understanding and commitment to the not-for-profit sector
  • Experience of a governance role
  • Strategic vision and sound, independent judgement
  • Human resources qualifications and/or experience at a senior level
  • Experience in business development and/or fundraising

The Electoral Reform Society Council

Ruth KellyRuth Kelly

Ruth works at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford. She supports the Symposium on Strength and Solidarity, which aims to build resilience in human rights organisations globally. Since 2016, she has been working with artists and activists in Bangladesh and Uganda, exploring how art and storytelling can help people reimagine justice. Before that, she spent five years helping campaigners make sense of international trade and tax rules and supporting campaigning to change them. She has experience working on high-profile campaigns for Oxfam and ActionAid, including raising money for public campaigning and research projects. She’s keen to see a much wider range of people having real influence in UK politics, especially as the country moves towards a new political setup.

Andrew CopsonAndrew Copson

Andrew has worked for Oxford University Student Union, Citizenship Foundation and Humanists UK, where he has been Chief Executive since 2010 and has wide experience as a member of nonprofit Boards in the education, human rights and other sectors. ERS was the first organisation he ever joined, having had an interest in electoral reform since his school days, bunking off to stay home and watch the live report of the Jenkins Commission.

Justina CruikshankJustina Cruickshank
Vice-Chair Management

Justina is Commercial Director of The Brew, a start-up which runs membership-based workspaces for entrepreneurs, freelancer and small businesses in Shoreditch.



Lisa French

Lisa French
Deputy-Chair Campaigns

Lisa first became involved in the electoral reform movement during the AV referendum and has been campaigning for democratic reform ever since. She is a Senior Strategy Manager at the Open University, and has previously worked in roles related to governance, project management and information analysis.

Victor ChamberlinVictor Chamberlain

Victor is a Corporate Communications Manager for an affordable housing developer in London. He is a former Manchester City Councillor and parliamentary candidate.

He has worked for the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors (ALDC) and in the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary Support Team. Victor sits on the Liberal Democrats Federal Conference Committee and ALDC Management Committee.

Cien CrawleyCien-Maria Crawley

Cien is a social science researcher with a particular interest in class and gender relations in political and economic anthropology, and sociology of law.

She has spent time in the charitable sector, leading projects in Malawi and a team in Norway, where she has gained experience in project planning, risk management and financial planning. She has also campaigned at University of Manchester to implement the living wage, and equalise minimum wage rates across all age groups.

She has a keen interest in gaining non-partisan support for an STV voting system in the U.K. from working class voters.

Christopher GrahamChristopher Graham

Christopher served as UK Information Commissioner from 2009 to 2016. From 2000 to 2009, he was Director-General of the Advertising Standards Authority, and Chair of the European Advertising Standards Alliance, 2003 – 2005. Non-Executive Director of Electoral Reform Services Ltd (2002 – 2009) and Senior NED from 2017 until the sale of the business in 2018.

Chris joined to BBC as a News Trainee in 1973 and worked in News and Current Affairs in both Radio and TV. He was Managing Editor, News Programmes, 1992 – 4, and served as BBC Secretary, 1996 – 1999. He was elected to Liverpool City Council at the age of 21 and twice stood for Parliament. He was founding chair of Capacity: The Public Services Lab LLP, 2016 – 2019.

David Green

David has been involved with the electoral reform movement since the early 70s. He is an independent-minded liberal and runs liberalbrexiteers.com in addition to knackered.org.uk which sets out the case for electoral reform from a unique viewpoint and promotes STV as “Voter PR” as distinct from party PR systems. He can be contacted by email via [email protected]

Kirsten de KeyserKirsten de Keyser

Proportionality in any form of election process is fundamental to fairness. And fairness is fundamental to a healthy society. That’s why the Electoral Reform Society essentially holds the key to our future as a progressive, democratic country.

As a television producer of several decades, I have a good grasp of how to get our message onto the media agenda. As a Dane, to me, PR is simply how voting is done. As a Green Party activist and candidate, I campaign hard for root and branch reform of our parliamentary system. My efforts will be even more effective as a member of the ERS council.

Andrea MARCELLIAndrea Marcelli

Andrea is a qualified chartered accountant and currently works for an international business consulting group managing a wide portfolio of SMEs from different sectors, including non-profit.

He is experienced at working with boards and committees, providing strategic advice and financial scrutiny.

Esther RobertonEsther Roberton

Esther Roberton is currently Senior Governor at the University of Aberdeen. Her previous roles include Chair of NHS 24, non-executive director with Scottish Government and the Scottish Ambulance Service and Chair of NHS Fife and the Scottish Further Education Funding Council.

She also served as an independent member of the Press Complaints Commission and as Chair of SACRO, the community justice charity. Esther was actively involved in the campaign to secure Scotland’s Parliament. She served as Coordinator of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, and as a member of the Consultative Steering Group that developed the standing orders for the Parliament.

Jon WalshJon Walsh

Jon has experience as a constituency organiser and National Campaigns Officer for the Liberal Democrats. His experience has seen him working on and running campaigns across the country and in most types of election currently held in Britain including managing London for the Yes to AV campaign.

In addition to the Council, Jon works in Public Affairs for the University of Southampton.