Executive Leadership Team

The Executive Leadership Team is led by the Chief Executive and is responsible for the delivery of Ambitious about Autism’s strategy. Through the Chief Executive, the Executive Leadership Team reports to the Board of Trustees.


Jolanta Lasota - Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism

Jolanta Lasota - Chief Executive

Jolanta is passionate about enabling children, young people and families affected by disability to live the life they choose. She previously worked for a number of leading voluntary sector organisations including Turn2us, Shelter, I CAN and the Governance Hub. Jolanta is a Trustee of the charity Contact a Family, which supports families of disabled children.



Rachel Dufton

Rachel Dufton - Director of External Affairs

Rachel joined Ambitious about Autism in January 2014. She was previously Head of External Affairs and Member Communications for the Royal College of Nursing, the largest professional trade union for nurses in the world. Rachel started her career in media relations, working for a number of charities representing the interests of children and young people, including the NSPCC, Children’s Society and Brook.



Dr. Julie O’Sullivan - Headteacher at TreeHouse School

Dr. Julie O'Sullivan - Headteacher at TreeHouse School

Julie joined TreeHouse School in 2007. Before that, she was Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at the north London comprehensive, Fortismere School, for seven years.  Julie originally trained to teach music and started her career as a secondary music teacher.




Anne Shinkwin

Anne Shinkwin - Director of Fundraising

Anne joined Ambitious about Autism in October 2011 having spent many years working in corporate fundraising. Anne was previously Head of Corporate Partnerships at UNICEF UK for five years and led an ambitious strategy which doubled income in four years. She previously worked for the British Red Cross managing key corporate partnerships and securing new partners. Anne’s career started in the private sector working for Kimberly-Clark. Anne has been involved in voluntary work with young people with disabilities since her youth.



Zoe Weaver - Director of People

Zoe Weaver - Director of Resources

Zoe joined Ambitious about Autism in September 2008 and was responsible for leading the people strategy and plan. In April 2012 she took over responsibility for leading and managing all of the charity's resources activities including finance, business planning, people,  IT, property, facilities and legal. She previously worked across the private, public and third sectors in a range of leadership roles having started her career in education. She is currently a Trustee for the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and has recently retired as a Trustee from the Arts Pension Fund. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.