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Professional expertise

David is an Executive Coach.  He works to help highly motivated professional people to realise their goals and potential, often through periods of change.  With a background in leading transformational change in complex and high profile organisations his clients are drawn from the private, public and voluntary sectors.  He was trained by Meyler Campbell.


Following an early grounding in the private sector and national charities, since 1987 David has held chief executive roles in UK and international organisations in widely different fields.  He was from 1987 to 1995 Chief Executive of Relate where he led a brand transformation and a vigorous period of growth. 

From 1997 to 2009 David led two Foreign Office sponsored organisations: first as Director General of the Commonwealth Institute, and from 2003 as CEO of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy through a period of intense international interest in democratic transitions.  He has a special interest in the Middle East and from 2011 to 2014 was the founding Chief Executive of the Alexandria Trust, a new educational charity working in the Arab region.  He remains Secretary to the Board of the Trust.

In each of these roles David has convened and built talented teams which have achieved some extraordinary results.  Having benefited from coaching early in his career he knows of its transformational value both from personal experience and that of his clients.

Education and qualifications

David holds a social science degree from Durham (1969) and is a graduate of the Henley General Management Course (1984) and Cabinet Office Top Management Programme (1995).

He has been Chairman or Trustee of a number of other charities and has the rare distinction, for someone with no medical background, of appointment as a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.  He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

To contact David French

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