Steve Cowden - Chairman

Steve Cowden is a senior commercial lawyer with over 30 years’ experience working for some of the UK’s largest public companies.  Steve retired from Reed Elsevier, the business information publisher, in 2011, after 10 years as General Counsel and Company Secretary. 

Prior to this he worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years, latterly as Group Company Secretary of Glaxo Wellcome plc and before that with SmithKline Beecham plc.  He is a member of the In-house Lawyers’ Advisory Board of the legal publisher, LexisNexis and is a trustee of the Henri Morel Foundation, a Dutch charitable foundation.

He is a member of the Law Society of Scotland, the Institute of Directors and the Royal Society of Arts and prior to retirement, and was a member of the International Bar Association and an alternate member of the Hearings Committee of the Takeover Panel.  Steve graduated Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Edinburgh in 1974 and is a Scottish solicitor, having been admitted in 1976.

David Keenan OBE

Brigadier (Retired) Keenan was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment in May 1971. He served in many parts of the world as a regimental officer including two UN tours of duty in Cyprus and 5, six month operational tours and 3, two year operational tours of duty in Northern Ireland as Platoon, Company, Battalion and Brigade Commanders. He served outside the Regiment in numerous appointments including exchange officer with the 82nd Airborne Division, 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines and Loan Service in Zimbabwe. He has visited or exercised in some 29 countries across, Americas, Africa,  Far East and Europe. He attended a range of Staff Colleges, both as a student and as member of the Directing Staff, in UK, Zimbabwe and South Africa. His last appointment, before retirement, was as Defence Advisor South Africa.

On retirement from the Army in Oct 2006 he took up the post of Director Business Development with New Line Learning Education Federation in Kent. The federation set out a strategy for educational provision that integrated a new build Academy programme with service delivery and a new model of learning.

 In 2007, he took on the challenging role of Managing Director for a start-up, Not-for-Profit Regeneration Company called Dorset Squared (D2).  It was a free standing Regeneration Company developed as a social enterprise to focus on making Dorset a vibrant place to live and work and providing a 2012 Games (Weymouth/Portland) legacy.  He returned to Army HQ as a Full Time Reserve Officer on 7th Dec 2009 as Director Youth & Cadets to develop strategy and policy and finally retired to enjoy life in Oct 2016.

He is married with two grown up children, who live in Vancouver and Singapore respectively.  He and his wife Wendy, live in North Dorset and enjoy the country life with a menagerie of animals, many hobbies and a variety of other interests.

Andrew Buckham Partner with Irwin Mitchell

Andrew qualified as a solicitor in 1998 having read Law at Leeds and completing an LLM in International Law at the University of London.

He was commissioned into the Army Legal Services in 1999 and completed postings in Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, Germany, Northern Ireland and Canada. Andrew left the Army in September 2006 as a Major and joined Irwin Mitchell’s dedicated Armed Forces Team to help injured Service personnel and their families on a variety of legal issues, which includes assisting severely injured service personnel with brain and spinal injuries with their compensation claims (both on and off duty), Service Inquiries and Coroners Inquests.

He supported Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson and his family in their fight for fairer compensation for injured soldiers and was also part of the legal team that represented all 14 families from the Nimrod accident at the Coroner’s Inquest.  Andrew is married to a GP and has a baby boy. He and his wife recently took sabbaticals and spent time living and travelling in India.

Mike Griffiths CBE

Mike has been Chief Constable and Chief Executive of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary since October 2012. The CNC is a national police force providing the armed response element of the UK’s civil nuclear security infrastructure.

 Before joining the Constabulary, Mike served for 35 years as an officer in the Army and left as a brigadier. His background in the Army was operations, training, personnel and policy. He was commissioned into an Infantry regiment, The King’s Own Royal Border Regiment and deployed on operations to Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Afghanistan. His most recent key appointments were Commander British Forces Afghanistan (2004), Brigade Commander NW England (2006 - 2008), Director Personal Services Army (2008 - 2011).

Mike is married to Sue, a community midwife, and they have four adult children, of whom a daughter served as an officer in the Intelligence Corps. Their eldest son, Andrew, served as an officer in The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. In 2010 he was seriously wounded by an IED whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion in Afghanistan and died from his wounds twelve days later in The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. 

Barbara Cooper

Barbara Cooper enjoyed a highly successful career in the RAF where she rose to the rank of Air Commodore. She has a strong background in the personnel and welfare arena having been the Deputy Director Service Personnel Policy (Operations and Welfare) Ministry of Defence, where she established and headed the UK’s Prisoner of War Information Bureau at the beginning of the Gulf conflict in 2002, to identify and track British and foreign personnel and civilians holding Prisoner of War status. She worked closely with British Red Cross and International Committee of the Red Cross and where she was cited by both organisations as providing ‘benchmark practice’. She also developed the process and ceremony for repatriating those killed on operations around the world. Still in use today, Barbara (on behalf of her team) was recognised for her work as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE). She has also been Directing Staff at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Director of Personnel and Training and Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation, in charge of over 45,000 teenagers and 15,000 adult volunteers.

Since retiring from full time Service in 2012, Barbara has volunteered with the National Trust and is currently the Senior Member of Council; also a trustee of the RAF Club and a part time Reservist Officer, dealing with Service Complaint appeals.

All this experience has prepared her for her current project, as 'champion' of building a 70,000 LEGO brick model of Cirencester Abbey. The 6 month build concludes 31 Oct 17 and has raised funds and successfully encouraged wide community engagement. She is very much looking forward to joining the Board of DMWS in Nov 17."