Members of the Board

The Sedex Board comprises up to fourteen Directors. These include nine elected Member Directors who together bring a wealth of experience on responsible sourcing, four Independent Non-Executive Directors who bring additional expertise, and one Executive Director (the Sedex CEO).

Further information on the roles and responsibilities of Sedex Board members is available at Sedex Corporate Governance – General Explanation.

Member Directors

The nine elected Member Directors are drawn three from each of the three Membership groups and are elected by the members at the AGM, in accordance with the Sedex Articles of Association. Member Directors are responsible for appointing up to four Independent Non-Executive Directors and the CEO.

Sedex ‘A’ Member Directors

  • Aisha Aswani, Ethical Trading Manager, The Co-operative Group

Aisha is responsible for defining the strategic direction and leading the Co-operative Ethical Trade programme covering over 1500 supplier sites in 70 countries. She has over 15 years of experience working on ethical trade issues in both food and non-food supply chains.  Prior to joining the Co-operative in 2007, Aisha worked at John Lewis and Safeway as Responsible Sourcing Manager, the International Business Leaders Forum and spent over a year working with homeware and garment suppliers in India on improving working conditions.

Aisha has chaired a number of collaborative working groups, and has played an active role in supporting the creation of Sedex, the Stronger Together Initiative and ethical trade supplier forums in key sourcing countries. With her experience of working for retailers, brands, suppliers and non-governmental organisations in different sectors, she is well placed to understand a wide range of perspectives and uses this knowledge to find pragmatic and sustainable solutions to issues.

Prior to her career in ethical trade, Aisha worked in a number of procurement and business analyst roles in the IT services industry. She has a Master’s Degree in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick and a degree in Business Studies and Politics.

  • Giles Bolton, Head of Ethical Trading, Tesco

Responsible for setting ethical trade strategy and priorities across Tesco, Giles manages a team of 45 full-time ethical trade experts around the globe. In 2007 he wrote the activist book Aid and Other Dirty Business on how aid, trade and globalisation affect Africa. It was published in the UK, US and Canada.

  • Louise Nicholls, Head of Responsible Sourcing, Marks & Spencer

Louise heads the Food sustainability team at Marks and Spencer. She deals with issues as diverse as sustainable fish sourcing, labour standards in factories, animal welfare, food miles, genetic modification, fair trade and climate change. With over twenty years’ experience in the field of sustainability her previous roles include Raw material procurement, establishing M&S leading ethical trade programme. She was also part of the small team that developed M&S Plan A, an award winning sustainability plan to address a wide range of environmental and social issues. Louise was a board member of the Ethical Trading Initiative between 2004-2007 and has sat on Sedex board since its inception. Louise also chairs the Sedex Associate Auditor Group and is a Board director of Global Social Compliance Program (GSCP). A key part of her role is interaction with a wide range of stakeholders and suppliers. In the last 12 months she has travelled to America, India, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Peru and Europe meeting with over 1000 suppliers and local stakeholders to understand their issues and perspectives.

Sedex ‘AB’ Member Directors

  • Naomi Pendleton, Head of Technical, MMUK Ltd

Naomi is Head of Technical for MMUK Ltd and has been working within the global fresh produce industry for over twenty years across many categories. Managing over five hundred growers worldwide, Naomi has worked with producers in seventeen different countries across a diverse range of ethnic cultures whilst fulfilling the expectations of key retailer accounts. She has a wealth of experience in ethical issues both at home and abroad.

From small-holders to global exporters, Naomi has worked with Sedex members around the world, both up and down the supply chain, within the Sedex framework. A strong negotiator with a strategic approach to business solutions, Naomi has strong links with many industry contacts including retail suppliers, consultancies, academia, producer groups, research organisations and NGOs. Her passion is to drive change by sharing best practice and knowledge transfer to benefit all participants within the supply chain from grower to end consumer. Naomi holds an MSc in Agricultural Economics from Imperial College, London and has a BSc in Agricultural business management from Imperial College at Wye, University of London.

  • Donna L. Westerman, VP Responsible Sourcing, Mars, Inc. 

Donna Westerman has a 25 year track record of optimising people, process and systems across the Global Supplier industry with a strong focus on Social Responsibility, Operations and Procurement. She has derived success through a combination of strategic and tactical leadership positions that transcends multiple business functions including Supply Chain Operations, Diversity, Global Procurement and Responsible Sourcing.

Donna has created socially conscious and diverse organisations, developing numerous programs to support corporate goals. She is a global thinker with strong business development and responsible sourcing experience. Skilled at developing innovative approaches and methodologies to accomplish initiatives, Donna was the chief architect behind the Wrigley Company’s Responsible Sourcing program strategy.  With her exceptional track record, Donna was appointed to a more broadly defined role as the Vice President of Responsible Sourcing for Mars, Inc. in 2013. The Program, which now covers five segments of the Mars business, aligns practice with the company’s Principles and Values, to mitigate risks within the supply base such as reputational damage, operational implications and supplier relationships.  Through Donna’s leadership the RS reputation of Mars has significantly enhanced the company’s reputation.

  • There is currently one vacant AB Member Director position. 


Sedex ‘B’ Member Directors

  • Mohammad Aktaruzzaman, Executive Director, DIRD Composite Textiles Limited

Mohammad is one of the widely recognized HR professionals of Bangladesh with over 18 years of experience in leading organizations in the field of HR & compliance. He has participated in hundreds of training programs, workshops, seminars and symposiums related to human resource development, social responsibilities, ethical standards, workplace safety and security, health & hygiene, environmental protection, ILO conventions on labour rights, WRAP principles, BSCI standards, OEKO-TEX standards, GOTS standards, SA-8000 and many more. He is also a recognized social compliance and labour law trainer of GIZ (supported by Federal Republic of Germany) and has conducted various training programs collaborating with different trade bodies of Bangladesh like Bangladesh Garment Manufactures & Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

Mohammad is a post graduate holder in Social Welfare and a BSc. Engineer in Electrical and Electronics (EEE). He is also an IRCA Certified Lead Auditor in Quality Management System (QMS ISO 9001), Environmental Management System (EMS ISO 14000). He has obtained an electrical supervisory licenseship from Government of Bangladesh which is mainly concerned with electrical safety rules and codes. He has a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management.

In his 18 years of experience, he has worked in the position of General Manager for more than 7 years in leading organizations including DIRD Composite Textiles Limited, one of the concerns of DIRD Group. He currently holds the position of Executive Director of HR & Compliance.

  • Nikhil Hirdaramani, Director, Hirdaramani Industries

Nikhil Hirdaramani is a Director of the Hirdaramani Group.  The group’s headquarters are in Sri Lanka and its main business interest is the manufacture of apparel in its 28 facilities spread across Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Vietnam. The group has in recent years diversified into other sectors such as Hospitality, Sustainable Power and Retail. Nikhil has been in the business for over 15 years and has been involved in marketing and supply chain, developing and managing relationships with many customers and suppliers from markets including Europe, USA, India and Japan.  In recent years Nikhil has taken a leading role in the group’s sustainability initiative, which has become a key aspect of the overall group’s strategy. Mihila, one of its newer facilities in Sri Lanka is the first ever carbon neutral facility in Asia.  Many of the other facilities are LEED Certified and it is the aim of the board to have the entire group carbon neutral by 2020.

Nikhil is a strong advocate in sustainability specifically from the angle of the supplier. He has been the chairperson at the Sri Lanka Sustainability Forum, which is part of the annual Sri Lanka Design Festival, bringing together stakeholders from across the supply chain to discuss current issues. With Sri Lanka  already a benchmark for sustainable apparel manufacturing, Nikhil promotes this as a speaker at various international and trade promotional events. Nikhil has previously served as a director on the board of the American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka and currently serves on the Sri Lanka advisory committee for the British Asian Trust in the UK.

  • Elangovan Viswanathan, Managing Director, SNQS Internationals

Elangovan Viswanathan is Chairman at SNQS Internationals Group of Companies and brings thirty years of experience in the Indian Textiles and Apparel Manufacturing Sector. In addition to being a Sedex Board Director, Elangovan is an Executive Committee Member of Apparel Export Promotion Council, Sponsored by Government of India, Ministry of Textiles Apparel House. He is also an Executive Committee Member of Tirupur Exporters’ Associations.


Independent Non-Executive Directors

  • Stephen Hill, Independent Non-Executive Director, Sedex (with Financial expertise)

Stephen Hill is a Fellow of the Charted Institute of Management Accountants with over 25 years’ experience as a Finance Director of various international organisations in the FMCG and B2B sectors. Stephen qualified with Procter & Gamble in the 1980s and went on to hold a variety of senior positions with the company in the UK and continental Europe. Subsequently, he moved into the B2B sector and worked as the European FD of two leading multinational recruitment services companies. More recently, he has been working with a variety of companies as a consultant and part time Finance Director as a member of the FD4 network. Stephen brings with him a broad range of commercial experience, including process and systems improvement and organisation development, alongside his finance and accounting expertise.

  • David Lawrence, Independent Non-Executive Director, Sedex (with Procurement expertise)

David is an expert in enabling organisations to be more effective in their sustainability ambitions through collaborating with others, having over twenty five year’s international experience in branded consumer goods companies.

He is currently Chairman of AIM-PROGRESS, the thirty six company FMCG sector task-force, working collaboratively to improve responsible sourcing practices in their common supply chains.  Most recently he worked as a director for Diageo where his responsibilities included creating and then leading their Sustainable Procurement activities globally.

David brings a practical collaborative approach to balancing the ever-increasing compliance pressures and sustainability opportunities, with the commercial business realities of a customer/supplier relationship in global supply chains. As well as holding an Engineering degree and a Diploma in Management Studies, David has recently completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business, through Cambridge University. He is based in the United Kingdom.

  • Chris Start, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Sedex Group Executive Committee

Chris Start is the Chairman of the Board of Sedex Group, serving as an Independent Non-executive Director of Sedex Information Exchange Ltd and of Sedex Solutions Ltd. He is a former Vice President at Procter & Gamble, where he worked for 25 years in local, regional and global assignments. Today Chris works as an advisor, consultant and coach to the leaders of a variety of companies across Europe. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Vlerick Business School and is an Associate Professor at the Louvain School of Management, both in Belgium. Since joining the Sedex Board in November 2011 Chris has brought his passion, professionalism and extensive international business experience to help drive Sedex forward as an agent for positive change