Dr Esteban Pacha,
Chair of Trustees
With a strong maritime background, Esteban accumulates significant diplomatic experience having served as Director General of the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), Founder Commissioner of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, Representative of Spain to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Governor of the World Maritime University.
As a seafarer, he progressed his career at sea to the rank of Captain before moving ashore as Harbour Master, and subsequently Regional Director of the Spanish Department for Transport. Currently, he serves as the Transport and Infrastructures Attaché at the Embassy of Spain in London, promoting increased efficiency, sustainability, and internationalisation of transportation systems.
Esteban holds a doctorate in Nautical Sciences and Engineering and a Diploma in Public Administration, is married with three daughters and enjoys weekend sailing in the Thames.show less
Vice Chair of Trustees & Chair of the Safeguarding & Human Element Committee
Theresa read Geography and Economic History at Leicester University and joined the UK Civil Service in 1981. She worked in a number of Government Departments, dealing with issues as diverse as access for the disabled, radioactive waste management, housing, and marine environmental protection.
For six years she was Head of Shipping Policy in the Department for Transport, where she was responsible for a wide range of maritime issues and from 2010-14 she was Deputy Director responsible for the Safety and Standards Department at the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in Lisbon.
After three years as Executive Director of the UK Major Ports Group, in November 2017 she became CEO of the International Maritime Rescue Federation, an international charity which aims to improve maritime search and rescue capability around the globe.
In her spare time, Theresa is a school governor and sings in a local choir.show less
Chair of Finance, Audit & Risk Committee
Luisa is a non-executive Director at Aberdeen Harbour Board and Managing Director of William Wilson, a Plumber’s Merchant based in Scotland.
She holds an Engineering degree and an MBA and has worked in a variety of industries over the years including IBM, Playtex, Reid Furniture and Wolseley.
She enjoys cooking, reading and travel and is single but with 16 nieces and nephews from 9 brothers and sisters has all the children she needs.
She plays a full part in her local parish running the finances, the administration, the flowers, parental catechesis and RCIA as well as helping another parish with their financial duties. In the past in the Archdiocese of Glasgow she has been a member of the Liturgy Committee and a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan Team and is currently on the Diocesan RCIA Team.show less
Chair of the International Committee
Robert Ashdown is the Secretary General for the International Association of Classification Studies (IACS).
Before joining IACS, Robert served as the Secretary General of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in Brusells, and has also worked for the UK Chamber of Shipping.
Robert holds a History degree from Queens’ College, Cambridge. He enjoys sailing, fishing and cricket and is married with three children.show less
William Azuh is a Maritime Policy Analyst and Administrator and holds a post graduate degree in Maritime Policy from the University of Greenwich, London.
He is currently the Head, Africa Section, Technical Cooperation Division at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). William is responsible for the provision of technical assistance to countries in Africa and the Middle East in their compliance with relevant IMO instruments, including support to those countries in the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Prior to joining IMO Secretariat in 2011, William was Nigeria’s Alternate Permanent Representative to IMO for ten years. During his tenure he held a number of positions which included Member of the Governing Board of the World Maritime University, Chairman of both the Advisory Committee and the Assembly of the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO).
He is an ardent follower and supporter of the work of the of Stella Maris.
William is Nigerian by birth, and is married with three children.show less
Maita is CEO and Director of Pathfinder Consultants Ltd. She works with companies to develop and implement international sales strategies through partnerships with organisations that can successfully drive growth of their brand and product portfolio.
Maita was born in the Philippines and is now based in Dundee, Scotland.
She serves as a Board Member in The High School of Dundee and is a parishioner at St Andrew’s Cathedral Dundee.show less
James Gosling, ESQ, OBE
James is a lawyer with HFW, initially in the Shipping Finance Department but moved quickly to the Admiralty Department which deals with maritime casualties, marine insurance, and ‘wet’ work. He was Head of Department from 2004 until retirement in 2016.
In 2014 James was recognised for the 4th year running as one of the most influential lawyers in Lloyd’s List Annual ‘Top 100 Most Influential People in Shipping’ report. In 2012, he won the Lloyd’s List Global Award ‘Maritime Lawyer of the Year’.
James is an acknowledged piracy expert and was appointed Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year’s honours announced in December 2006, in particular for his role in pioneering the global shipping industry’s response to piracy in Somalia.
James has been named in The Legal 500’s UK Hall of Fame.
He was educated in Ampleforth College, York; St Catharine’s College Cambridge; and Guilford Law School.
James interests include ships, barges, narrow boats, vintage cars, building, rugby, skiing, opera, beer, brewing, tennis, antiques, and modern art. He supports Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.show less
Bishop Paul Mason, Bishop of the Forces
Bishop Paul Mason was appointed Stella Maris’ Bishop Promoter for England & Wales in 2017.
He was born in North Shields, Tyne & Wear and attended St. Anselm’s Roman Catholic High School, North Shields, and then Kings College, London. He then worked in Turin for Olivetti, and later moved to London to work for Hewlett-Packard until September 1992.
He was ordained to the priesthood in July 1998, in his home parish of Our Lady & St. Edmunds, Backworth, and his first appointment was as assistant priest was to the parish of Saint John the Baptist, Purley.
In 2012 he became Pastoral Director, Allen Hall Seminary, at the same time taking on the role of Director of Southwark Ongoing Formation. In 2014 he left Allen Hall, to take up the new post of Episcopal Vicar in Kent. In April 2016 he was named as Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark by Pope Francis, with the Titular See of Skàlholt.
In July 2018, Bishop Paul was appointed eight Bishop of the Forces by Pope Francis. Bishop Paul was also a former Stella Maris cruise chaplain.show less
John went to sea as a junior purser in 1974 with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and enjoyed a career spanning 41 years. In 1982 he survived the tragic loss of RFA Sir Galahad in the Falklands conflict and went on to serve in most all classes of ships in support of operations around the world.
He came ashore in 2005 to serve in the Royal Navy Fleet Headquarters in Portsmouth as Captain (Logistics & Supply) managing a diverse portfolio on behalf of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Royal Navy & Royal Marines. In 2010 he became HR Director of the RFA. During these appointments he was a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport and the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.
In 2015 he retired from the RFA and joined Seafarers UK (now The Seafarers Charity) as Regional Representative for Scotland & Northern Ireland, moving to an advocacy role in 2021. He is chairman of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board Port Welfare Committee for West and Central Scotland.
John is married to Freda, with four daughters and two grand-children, and near Glasgow. If time allows he enjoys tinkering with his Morris Minor Traveller, his model railway and the odd spot of fly-fishing.show less
James is Chief Commercial Officer at V.Group, the maritime industry’s largest ship manager.
In his role at V.Group, James leads the growth strategy of vessels in the V.Ships fleet by engaging with potential customers whilst having a core focus on managing existing customers.
His previous roles at V.Group include Operations Director and Financial Controller, involving him in multiple areas of the industry, including ship management, marine services and crew management.
A chartered Accountant, James has many years’ experience in finance and has also volunteered for a number of community initiatives and charitable organisations, including Wheatley Care, Scotland’s largest social care organisation.
James is married with two children, and lives in Glasgow.show less
Right Reverend Hugh Gilbert OSB, Bishop of Aberdeen
Born in Emsworth, Hampshire in 1952, Bishop Hugh was educated at St. Paul’s School, London, and King’s College, University of London (where he gained an Honours degree in History). He was received into the Catholic Church in 1970.
In 1974 he moved to Scotland to enter the Benedictine monastery of Pluscarden Abbey, Elgin, Moray. He has been a monk of Pluscarden Abbey for 37 years, and Abbot for 19. He was nominated to the See of Aberdeen by Pope Benedict XVI on 4 June 2011.
When he was Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey, Bishop Hugh published two books based on the conferences he had delivered over the years to his monastic community, along with a few homilies. The first book, Unfolding the Mystery, covers the main seasons and solemnities of the liturgical year; the second, Living the Mystery, deals with the Christian life and how to live it more authentically.show less
Fr David Burke
Fr David was born in Coventry, attended Bishop Ullathorne RC School and then studied Mathematics and Psychology at Wolverhampton University. He then worked as a youth retreat leader at Damascus House, followed by two parish youth worker posts, the latter at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Enfield where he completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Youth and Community Work and a Masters in Pastoral Theology from Heythrop College.
Following appointments as a school chaplain, an Apostleship of the Sea (as the charity was then known) port chaplain to the ports of Hull and Goole and the Director of Youth Ministry for Westminster Diocese, he was accepted by the Diocese of Westminster as a student for the priesthood. He was sent to the Pontifical Beda College in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood in June 2015, at Westminster Cathedral.
His first appointment was as assistant priest at The Annunciation parish, Burnt Oak, followed by a second curacy at St Francis de Sales, Tottenham. During these appointments, Fr David was the youth chaplain for SPEC and on the vocation promotion team for the diocese. Since September 2017, he has been the Parish Priest of Sacred Heart, Berkhamsted and Corpus Christi, Tring.show less