Social innovators don’t follow a linear pathway of change…..Indeed, things often get worse before they get better as systems change creates resistance to and pushback against the new
Michael Quinn Patton, 2010   Developmental Evaluation

Our board

Deborah Ghate D.Phil, FAcSS (Chair)​

Deborah is the chief executive of the Colebrooke Centre for Evidence and Implementation and has been working in applied implementation science since 2008.


A former academic, CEO of an implementation support centre in Ireland, and director of a policy research centre in London, she now specialises in child and family services and in research and advisory roles for public service and voluntary organisations, where learning from implementation and improvement science can be brought to bear on service design, delivery and evaluation. She collaborates widely with colleagues across the world and was a board member of the Global Implementation Initiative from its inception until 2017. Contact the Chair:

Tom Jefford (Vice-Chair; Safeguarding)

Tom is a Director of Family Psychology Mutual. Tom is completing a professional doctorate in implementation science at Anglia Ruskin University. He previously was a Head of Service at Cambridgeshire County Council with responsibility for youth offending, alternative education, drug and alcohol commissioning, young carers and youth services.


Tom is also a Director of The Edge Café. Tom has a long interest in evidence based interventions and established the first English MST Team. He is a board member of the European Implementation Collaborative and also of CSSL which delivers the social impact bond in Essex. He is currently a Fellow of the Go-Lab at Oxford.

Dez Holmes (Membership) 

Dez is Director of Research in Practice and Research in Practice for Adults, charitable organisations supporting evidence-informed practice across the children’s and adults sector. Prior to this, she worked with C4EO and held a range of local government roles.


Dez has developed and managed integrated early intervention services to families, with practice experience largely within youth offending services, and research experience focused on Participative Action Research with vulnerable groups.  Dez sits on the Board of The Staff College, is also a trustee of Family Action, and is a member of the NICE Implementation Strategy Group. Her specific interests include adolescent risk, sexual harm, gendered violence and practitioner resilience.

Annette Boaz Ph.D (Trustee)

Annette Boaz is a social scientist and Professor of Health Care Research in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University and St George’s University of London in the UK.  Her research focuses on the relationship between research evidence, policy and practice, implementation, improvement and service user engagement. 


She supports a number of initiatives aimed at increasing capacity for research use including the UK National Institute for Health Research Knowledge Mobilization Fellowship scheme, the Alzheimers Society Implementation Grant Advisory Board and the South London Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC). 

Melissa Van Dyke Ph.D (Scotland, International)

Melissa is International Expert Advisor on Implementation at the Centre of Excellence for Looked after Children (CELCIS) at the University of Strathclyde. She works with key stakeholders to support capacity-building of the health, education, and social care sectors in the areas of improvement and implementation science and supports the Scottish Government to transfer policy and legislation into real practice change.


Previously co-director at the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) in the United States, she has also worked in statutory services in the United States in child welfare, mental health, and youth justice systems, and in state government, coordinating and leading organizational and state-wide programme implementation and system improvement initiatives. 

Professor Nick Sevdalis

An experimental psychologist by training, Nick is a Professor of Implementation Science and Patient Safety, Director of the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London, joint Academic Director of the King's Health Partners Quality Improvement & Implementation Science Clinical Academic Group, Deputy Director of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration: South London (NIHR ARC: South London), and Associate Editor of Implementation Science. Prior to this appointment, Nick was a Reader in Patient Safety in the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, UK, and Deputy Director of the NIHR Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre. 

Our officers

Andrew Walker (Knowledge Resources)

Andrew is Deputy Clinical Director (MSK) and Evaluation Lead at the Health Innovation Network (south London’s Academic Health Science Network). His work focuses on supporting the spread, adoption and evaluation of evidence-based interventions within healthcare, particularly for chronic musculoskeletal conditions. He is a physiotherapist and has a PhD in implementation science from St George’s, University of London. He produces the UK Implementation Society’s bulletin, Implementation Knowledge and News, and curates and commissions our Digest series. Contact Andrew at

Mark Pearson (Commissioning Editor, Blogs)

Mark is a social scientist and Senior Lecturer in Implementation Science & Knowledge Mobilisation in the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at Hull York Medical School, University of Hull. His research focuses on the evaluation of implementation strategies and processes in health, social care, and public health systems. 


Mark is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of the international knowledge translation journal Evidence & Policy, Honorary Senior Lecturer at University of Exeter Medical School, and a member of the National Institute for Health Research’s Health Services & Delivery Research (HSDR) Funding Committee. Contact Mark at  

Penny Matthews (Administrator)

Penny looks after membership and website administration, and is the person to contact in the first instance with any queries about the Society or about how to join us. Contact Penny at  

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The UK Implementation Society is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered in England and Wales. Charity Number 1175244.