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The transformative power of words

About us


Free Word is supported by a Board of Trustees whose knowledge and experience span publishing, law, finance and the arts. 

  • Tim Duffy (Chair)

    Photo of Tim Duffy (Chair)

    Tim Duffy is Chairman of M&C Saatchi (UK) Ltd.

    He has worked in advertising for over 25 years, joining Saatchi and Saatchi in 1986.  In 1995 he was one of the founders of M&C Saatchi which now operates in19 countries, and has specialist expertise in public relations, direct marketing, digital and mobile marketing.

    He has a particular interest in communications strategy and has advised a range of blue chip companies, including British Airways, Procter and Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, the National Lottery, Royal Bank of Scotland, Transport for London, and London 2012. He has worked extensively with government, most recently advising the Department of Health on its anti-obesity and cancer strategies.

    His personal interests include political history and literature, and he is a judge for the 2014 Josephine Hart Poetry Awards.  Tim is Chair of the General Media Panel, part of the Advertising Standards Authority.

  • Paul Aggett

    Photo of Paul Aggett

    Paul Aggett has worked in the financial services industry in the UK for over twenty years. Paul has been a finance director of a life and pensions group, a director of a financial services outsourcing supplier, a director of a general insurance broker, a director of a global asset management business and a chief executive of a European-wide property asset management business. He is currently finance director of World Media Rights, a television media production company and finance director of Peters Fraser and Dunlop a literary agency. His other interests include the theatre and assisting charities. He is a non-executive director to a financial services charitable trust and was formerly a director of a theatre company.




  • Paul Field

    Paul Field is CEO Europe of TouchCast, a New York-based start-up working with major broadcasters, publishers and brands to produce interactive video. TouchCast has put all the key features of a broadcast TV studio inside an app – and enables the web to be experienced inside HD video.

    Paul is also a Director of Higgaboom, a boutique content strategy and digital publishing consultancy, which also invests in and works with early stage start-ups focused on technologies disrupting traditional media.

    Until December 2013 Paul was Publisher and Editor of Mail Plus, a premium, paid-for digital brand for the Daily Mail, where he was also Associate Editor. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of the Irish Daily Mail and Irish Mail on Sunday, and Executive Editor of the Mail on Sunday.

    Paul divides his time between London and his family home on the Suffolk coast.


  • Isabel Hilton

    Photo of Isabel Hilton

    Isabel Hilton is a writer and broadcaster based in London. She is founding editor of, an innovative, fully bilingual Chinese-English website devoted to building a shared approach on climate change and environmental issues with China. She has reported extensively from South and East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. In addition to her writing career, she has made several radio and television documentaries and has presented for BBC Radio Three and Four. A founding trustee of Free Word, she is also a trustee of the British American Project. She has served as a member of the Editorial Board of International Affairs, the Advisory Boards of the Latin America Bureau and the European Movement. She is a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the British Association of China Scholars, the Society of Authors and the advisory board of the Asia Society’s Arthur Ross Centre. She is a fellow of the Asia Society in New York, the Royal Society of Arts, and the British American Project.

  • Deeyah Khan

    Photo of Deeyah Khan

    Deeyah Khan, is a critically acclaimed music producer and Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary film director, whose work highlights human rights, women’s voices and freedom of expression. Her skill as a multidisciplinary artist led her to use music and film as the language for her social activism. Born in Norway to immigrant parents of Pashtun and Punjabi ancestry. The experience of living between different cultures, both the beauty and the challenges, dominates her artistic vision.

    Her 2012 film Banaz: A Love Story won several international awards. This documentary, chronicles the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman killed in 2006 in London on the orders of her family in a so-called honour killing.  Deeyah is also the recipient of several awards for her work supporting freedom of expression and in 2012 she was awarded the Ossietzky prize by Norwegian PEN.  The focus of her work and access to voices that are often overlooked and misunderstood has led to increasing demand as a speaker at international human rights events and platforms including the United Nations.

    Deeyah is the founder and CEO of social purpose production company Fuuse which creates works in the intersection of art and activism.


  • Ursula Owen

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    Ursula Owen has been an influential figure in the worlds of literature and free expression since the 1970s. She was a founder director of Virago Press, for two years cultural policy advisor to the Labour Party, and, as editor and chief executive, revitalised Index on Censorship.

    From 2003 to 2009 Ursula was project director for the Free Word Centre, taking it through from an idea to a concrete reality with premises in London. She is now founder trustee of Free Word. She is on the board of the Southbank Centre and a trustee of English Touring Opera and World Film Collective.

    She was awarded an OBE in 2003 and lives in London.



  • Sue Woodford-Hollick

    Photo of Sue Woodford-Hollick

    Sue Woodford-Hollick is a businesswoman and consultant with wide-ranging experience in broadcasting and the arts. She is a former current affairs producer and documentary maker for Granada Television and a founding commissioning editor for Channel 4. Sue recently retired after nine years as chair of Arts Council England, London. She has chaired and been a trustee of numerous arts organisations including Tate Members, Index on Censorship, Talawa Theatre Company and the Theatre Museum. She is the founder and co-owner of Bringing Up Baby Ltd, a London based childcare company. Currently Sue is a trustee of AMREF (African Medical Research Foundation), Africa’s largest health NGO, based in Nairobi, and a trustee of Complicite Theatre Company. She was appointed OBE in 2011 for services to the arts.