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The team
Michael Rooney headshot

Michael Rooney

Chief Executive Officer

Mike Rooney was previously the Chief Operating Officer of London First (2004-2018) and was responsible for member management, commercial development and company support services. Before joining London First in 2002 as Commercial Director, he was Chairman and Chief Executive of Langdon’s Foods Plc.

He has had a wide experience of the dairy industry having worked during the 1980s and 1990s in senior management positions for Dairy Crest Foods Plc and as Household Director responsible for the doorstep delivery business. His early career was spent in marketing and advertising, working with leading advertising agencies including CDP and Inter Public as an account manager.

Robert Hall headshot

Robert Hall

Executive Director

Robert Hall is the Executive Director of Resilience First. He was previously the Director of the Security & Resilience Network at London First. Before joining London First in 2013, he was Director of Resilience at G4S Risk Management Consulting. Robert has worked in the risk, security and resilience arenas in both the public and private sectors for many years.

He has held senior positions in two FTSE100 companies that specialise in financial services and manufacturing. He has also been Head of Analysis at a national intelligence agency and Managing Editor of security titles at an international publishing company. In 2000, he founded and managed an international forum on global security and law enforcement for senior executives in government, business and academia.

Robert spent his early career in the military before moving into the commercial world. He has written and presented extensively on strategic risk and security issues. 


Alastair Brown


In 2014 Alastair became Europe’s first city Chief Resilience Officer for Glasgow. As CRO, he reported to offices in New York and London and played an active and leading role in a network of RC100 cities from across the world. He acted as point of contact for Glasgow and shared learning and experience with other cities. He set up and led a sub-set of post-industrial cities with participants from Europe, USA, China and Australia.

In 2016 he delivered the Resilience Strategy for Glasgow, with its focus on actions to enhance resilience around four pillars relating to civic participation, economy, place, and local communities. He and his team developed this over two years working with other sectors and the public to define Glasgow’s shocks and stresses and set out actions to address these. He has a strong media presence on resilience, with both recorded and live media as well as published articles and has presented at international conferences and events on the subject. He undertakes lecturing on resilience and provide training on resilience for other organisations. He have been working with BSI as it develops its City Resilience Standard (BS67000).



Beena Chester

Director of Operations and Communications

Beena is responsible for managing and developing Resilience First’s member services, events and communications.

With over 20 years’ experience in the membership sector, Beena was previously the Events Director at London First, where she grew their programme of events whilst presenting large-scale summits (including EWI’s second Worldwide Cyber Security Summit) and awards ceremonies, together with leadership events with senior business executives and politicians. Beena also led Skills London, the UK’s largest careers fair for 15 to 24 years old, and the London Planning Awards, organised in partnership with the Mayor of London. 

Prior to that, Beena was the Head of Membership at the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain (FCCGB), where she grew their membership base and introduced new member services to increase the network’s engagement. At the FCCGB, Beena also had the opportunity to work with the French government as well as HRH The Prince of Wales.

Outside of work, Beena enjoys life with her family, yoga and travelling.


Guilherme Santos

Operations Coordinator

Guilherme is an MBA graduate from London School of Commerce and holds a BA in Business & Management from Henley Business School, University of Reading.

He has previously completed an internship in the convergence of digital technologies and financial services. He has a keen interest in business resilience and risk management.

Guilherme likes to keep abreast of current developments and is actively engaged in broadening both his perspective and his experience.

Personally, he was a competitive swimmer and enjoys exercising and playing tennis.