Vanessa is the current Chief Executive to the Commandery at St John Guernsey with overall strategic responsibility and operational oversight of the Commandery’s voluntary personnel. She is also responsible for ensuring delivery of the Commandery’s vision, mission and strategy.
Prior to this, Vanessa was Operations Director for the British Red Cross in London. A key achievement in this role was to lead the largest single British Red Cross peace time operation to provide first aid support during the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympic Games. This resulted in her personally receiving the Red Cross Badge of Honour for Outstanding Service, and her team in London receiving the Queen’s Diamond Volunteering Award for 2012.
In her role as Head of UK Emergency Planning and Response for the British Red Cross between 2008 and 2010 she was responsible for deploying teams internationally to support British Citizens caught up in environmental disasters and terrorist incidents. She also lead teams responsible for the repatriation of hundreds of British Citizens from Zimbabwe for which she received a Red Cross excellence award in 2010.
Vanessa served in the Royal Navy from 1983 to 2008 during which time she spent 12 years at sea, becoming the Navy’s first seagoing female warfare officer and second in command of a Type 23 Frigate. During her time as operations officer of HMS Sheffield, Vanessa coordinated post hurricane humanitarian assistance in 1998 in the Caribbean resulting in the award of the Wilkinson Sword of Peace for HMS Sheffield.
In addition to her paid role at St John Guernsey Vanessa is passionate about volunteering and is currently a Trustee of InterHealth Worldwide, a committee member of Parkinson’s Society Guernsey, and of the Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.