Who we are

Starfish is an owner led business, reliant on the quality of our work,
reputation and relationships.


Juliet Taylor

Chief Executive
Juliet specialises in executive and non-executive leadership appointments wit...

Graham Goodwin

Graham’s early career was in the British Army where he served for nine years ...

Katy Giddens

Katy specialises in executive and non-executive leadership appointments acros...

Catherine Kift

Catherine is Head of Interim Talent at Starfish and leads the recruitment act...

Penny Ransley

Penny has worked closely with local government members and chief officers to ...

Rob Stirk

Finance Director
Rob has been a qualified Chartered Accountant for 18 years working in a varie...

Juliet Brown

Juliet specialises in executive and non-executive leadership appointments acr...

Luke Judd

Luke has an extensive track record of public sector executive search, recruit...

Parna Taylor

Parna has specialised in strategic counsel and communications across the poli...

Rebecca O’Connor

Rebecca has worked within executive search across the social sector for over ...

Lorraine Payne

Lorraine has worked within the recruitment industry for 14 years. Her previou...

Liz Barclay

Advisory Associate
Liz is a Radio and TV Broadcaster and Producer; writer and author. She is a p...

Zoe Thompson

Research Associate
Zoe has worked in the field of executive recruitment since 2005 securing both...

Charlotte Basran

Assessment Associate
Charlotte is an Assessment and Development Specialist with experience of deli...

Clair Clarke

Office Manager
With over 15 years’ experience in Executive Recruitment, Clair has a particul...

Sarah Smithson-Ellis

Executive Assistant
Sarah worked in the legal sector for 35 years before joining Starfish Search ...

Katherine Rake

From her days as an academic, through her spell in government, to being a cha...

Esther Foreman

Esther has spent 20 years working in the not for profit, social enterprise an...

Justine Powell

Justine brings extensive commercial experience and a passion to promote women...

Toni Anderson

Project Manager
Toni gained her International Relations Degree from York University. She has ...

Joëlle Prins

Project Manager
Joëlle spent seven years working worldwide in Hotel and Event Management prio...

Joe Green

Project Manager
Joe gained a master’s degree in Sport Business Management from Sheffield Hall...

Alex Frith

Project Manager
Alex joined the team in September 2021 following the completion of his master...

Beth Grady

Project Manager
Beth attained a degree in History from Newcastle University then developed he...

Kate Pearlman-Shaw

For over 30 years Kate has specialised in helping people gain insight into, a...


We are building an advisory group to provide ideas, support and challenge to our team.


Liz is a Radio and TV Broadcaster and Producer; writer and author. She is a passionate people person and works with Boards and CEOs on improving governance, trust and culture, diversity, customer understanding and engagement, and employee engagement – raising the bar across the charity, public and private sectors. She coaches in communication and presentation skills and chairs national and international conferences. Liz is Chair of the Money Advice Liaison Group and the Fair by Design Campaign to tackle the poverty premium; non-executive Director of the Lending Standards Board; member of the Fundraising Regulator Standards Board, The Equity Release Council Standards Board and the Ofgem Consumer Progress Panel; a Financial Inclusion Commissioner, Ambassador for the Money Advice Trust and IPSE the organisation for freelancers and the self-employed.

Katherine Rake

From her days as an academic, through her spell in government, to being a charity Chief Executive, to setting up a national statutory body and being a Trustee, governor and advisor, Katherine has always been focused on social purpose. As Founder and Director of Lucent she works with public bodies, charities and foundations who want their good intent to translate into real change in the world around them. She supports boards and senior teams to see clearly, make connections and drive change. This work helps provide new insight and connections that build confidence and equip people with the tools and skills they need to tackle old issues in new ways.

Esther Foreman

Esther has spent 20 years working in the not for profit, social enterprise and business sectors, running award winning campaigns, supporting enterprise and building teams. She founded the Social Change Agency in 2013 with a desire to combine organising, technology, communications and social enterprise to create a leading non sector-specific agency to improve movement building across the world. In 1995, she was the youngest person in the UK to be diagnosed with MS and continues to champion for better services and research for the MS community. Esther is a 2011 Clore Social Fellow; 2012 Winston Churchill Fellow, and 2013 School for Social Entrepreneurs Fellow and was recently placed in the Top Women in Social Enterprise. She is a former trustee of Genesis Housing Association and The National MS Society, and currently serves on the Board of The House of St Barnabas.

Justine Powell

Justine brings extensive commercial experience and a passion to promote women to senior level and board positions. She is currently working with a talented team to build the digital newswire Huxley Hub, investigating and reporting on climate change news and crimes. Prior to founding Huxley Hub, Justine worked at the crossroads of media and technology for 25 years at a number of big media and telecoms organisations, including the BBC, CNBC, Hutchison Whampoa and Handelsblatt Media Group. She was a Trustee and Non-Executive Director of MedicAlert, a social enterprise, for six years and holds an MA from University College London (UCL), BA from the University of Bristol and was a scholarship student on the Advanced Management Programme at Oxford University’s Said Business School.

Wondering how we chose our name?

The starfish is a symbol of guidance, vigilance, inspiration, brilliance and intuition. For millennia it has represented safe travel over troubled waters, friendship to the impoverished and those in need, and been guardian to troubled seafarers. Through its powers of regeneration, the starfish is also an emblem of strength and longevity. In a social and leadership context, the starfish helps us think about the power of renewal through organisational change and shifting thought and attitudes.

Join our team

Starfish is a modern, forward-looking employer that invests in its team and is dedicated to becoming an employer of choice. Our clients rightly expect the highest standards of service from us and we are a professional, achievement-driven and engaged team. We offer an exceptional range of benefits as well as the chance to work with lovely people who are amongst the best in the industry.

To find out more please contact katy.giddens@starfishsearch.com