Tesse Akpeki

Lead Governance Consultant


  • Shortlisted as Governance Champion of the Year 2021

    Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland

  • Tesse is knowledgeable about governance and leadership matters. She creates an environment that is safe to have difficult discussions, is a good listener, a great facilitator and easy to work with. The outcome for us was excellent and her sense of humour kept going at a really difficult time



I am a consultant, trainer, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution accredited mediator and a non-practising solicitor. I was formerly head of governance and trustee services at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and have worked extensively with third sector organisations nationally and internationally.

I am an accredited coach, specialising in governance development and leadership.  I have served as non-executive director in the NHS for 12 years.  My focus is in enhancing wellbeing, resilience and in enabling harmonious professional relationships  especially for C-suite executives, senior leaders, trustee boards and facilitating change management programmes.

I am founder of the Wellbeing and Resilient Leadership Initiative (WRL&!) and host of Tesse Talks podcasts. I believe that the more voices, the richer the conversation.

Also I am the author of various publications on governance, trusteeship,  leadership and coaching.

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  • I run a boutique service that provides leadership and governance development, facilitation, coaching, mentoring, bridge building and podcasting.

    My podcast, Tesse Talks, is a humorous expression of insight, knowledge, foresight and wisdom Tesse Talks brings management and governance perspectives to life through personal and professional lenses. Listen at tesseakpeki.com/tessetalks/

  • I developed a virtual network, the Wellbeing and Resilience network, which encourages collaboration, connection, cooperation and the delivery of services to individuals and organisations who need them.

    My coaching series, Tesse Leads, is a safe, sensitive and supportive place and space to share, hear and tell your stories and experiences. Get advice from top experts at tesseakpeki.com/tesseleads/

  • I serve as an independent chair to the assessment panel at Royal College of Midwives.
  • I chair the behavioural summit of ICSA, Governance Institute
  • I act as a governance recruitment adviser to the newly formed YMCA St Pauls.
  • I’ve undertaken a governance review for the Terrence Higgins Trust
  • I undertake governance work for Hft
  • I’ve partnered with the Institute of Risk Management to undertake a governance review
  • I facilitate the Action Aid UK strategic away day.
  • I’ve facilitated a strategic away day for the Church Urban Fund
  • I work with SignHealth facilitating its strategic away day.
  • I’ve facilitated an ACEVO Leadership session on diversity.
  • I offer coaching leadership support to Brooke during its recent Governance Inquiry.
  • I contributed to the template for the assessment of board performance against the Charity Governance Code
  • I’ve published an article on the emotional board.

Qualifications and career

  • LLB, LLM, BL
  • FCIS (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators)
  • Accredited coach (Coaching Academy)
  • Graduate, Learn as Lead (USA)
  • Graduate, Creating the Futures (USA)
  • Scholar, Inner Activist (Building deeper and sustainable relationships)
  • Practitioner, Appreciative Inquiry
  • Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT, 1997)
  • Attended Roffey Park facilitators advanced course ‘self as instrument’ (2018)
  • Practitioner accredited coach – C-me profiling and attended C-me wellbeing practitioners session 2019).
  • FCG (Chartered Governance Institute: ICSA)
  • ILM Accredited Coach (MOE)
  • Practitioner Person Centred Leadership (2020)

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • I undertook a governance development assignment for Westway Trust
  • I undertook a coaching governance assignment for NCT
  • Chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee at International Students House (ISH) (2011-2019)
  • Mentors young people and is a mentor for ICSA, the Governance Institute
  • Author of Charity Channel (USA) articles on leadership behaviours and coaching
  • Championing excellence in leadership - Charing a range of leadership thought leadership activities for BOND (diversity awards), the Behavioural Summit (ICSA Governance Institute 2019, Governance Forum March 2019)
  • Addressed All Parliamentary Group (APPG March 2019)
  • Judge for Governance Awards, (Clothworkers 2015 – present)