Meet the team

Meet the team

OUR EMPLOYMENT EXPERTS

Our dedicated and friendly team are end-to-end employment experts, with specialisations ranging from HR to Business Development.

Laura Blair

Employment Director

Laura is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and served for 12 years in various roles including Head of Recruitment Operations and Head of HR Strategy & Operations (Airborne Task Force). Since leaving the Army as a Major in 2012, Laura continued to contribute to the military community as COO for The Forces Employment Charity (RFEA).

Laura’s varied career in the military, education and third sector gives her a unique perspective on the challenges facing fellow officers as they transition from military to civilian employment.

Clive Lowe

Employment Deputy Director

Clive left the Army after 12 years’ service with the Royal Engineers and Gurkha Engineers and on completing his MBA, joined the management company of the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai. He subsequently held posts at the NEC Birmingham, Nakheel (the Dubai Government property development company) and ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, managing and developing their property portfolios.

LUCY HEAVER

Key Account Manager

Lucy, a former primary school teacher, previously worked as an employment and transition specialist for a military charity that developed a successful online jobs platform for military spouses. As a military spouse herself, she has a deep understanding of military life and has contributed to a report titled ‘Living in Our Shoes: Understanding the Needs of UK Armed Forces Families ’.

She is passionate about supporting the ex-military officer community and ensuring that employers understand the talent and skillsets that ex-military personnel can bring to companies.

Lisa Jones

Career Consultant

Lisa left the Army in 2001 after eight years’ service and embarked on a career in investment banking, where she managed the Listed Derivatives client services team at Morgan Stanley and worked in Prime Brokerage at UBS. She left banking after eight years to study the Persian language, putting this new skill to good use with the FCO in Afghanistan in 2010-2011.

Fiona Jackson

Career Consultant

Fiona completed a Short Service Commission with the Royal Army Education Corps and subsequently spent three years in the TA as an intelligence officer with the Royal Artillery. Since then Fiona gained her extensive HR experience in both the commercial sector – working for John Lewis and a City-based strategic intelligence company; and in the not-for-profit sector as international recruitment officer for Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO).

Esme Swale

Key Partnerships & Events Manager

Esme joined the OA in June 2017 as Events Coordinator & Administrator after graduating from the University of York. Esme now works as an Key Partnerships & Events Manager, working nationally with employers to develop and deliver programmes, events and jobs for officers. She also plays a key part in engaging with Service leavers and raising awareness of the OA’s employment services.

Chris Scott

Key Account Manager

Chris joined the Household Cavalry in 1996 and served until 2002, completing two tours in the Balkans and a tour with the Mounted Regiment in London. Since leaving the Army, Chris spent eight years working in financial services for Lloyds Banking Group as a coach. Chris left to join a large charity to support their employer engagement and partner relationships before joining the OA. 

Paula Sosnowska

Employment Services and Events Coordinator

Paula is a Events Coordinator with over five years invaluable events and project coordination experience, and has delivered events for clients ranging from small local companies to big brand names. A London Metropolitan University graduate with a Bachelor’s in International Relationships and Law, Paula has a keen interest in politics and political affairs.

Anissa Cherkaoui

Recruitment Services Manager

Anissa worked as an IT recruiter for a London agency for almost two years, managing recruitment in the Belgian market. Anissa then moved to a multinational Swiss company in Dubai as an internal recruiter. She returned to London in July 2018 and joined the OA, where she manages employer recruitment services. She is fluent in French and English.

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