Meet the Executive team

Ian McDermott

Ian McDermott

Chief Executive

Ian joined Catalyst as the Chief Executive in January 2019, and has 30 years’ experience in the housing sector.

Before joining Catalyst, Ian was the Chief Executive at Aldwyck Housing Group and Chief Operating Officer at Sanctuary Group.

Ian has also held Chief Executive positions at both Shaftesbury Housing Group and Stonebridge Housing Action Trust. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, a Chartered Surveyor and an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.


Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas

Chief Operating Officer

Sarah joined Catalyst from Guinness where, as the Executive Director of Customer Services, she led the delivery of a customer service culture, launched digital services, and implemented a new model for local, mobile customer-facing teams.

Prior to joining Guinness, Sarah was in a similar role at RHP, an innovative housing organisation in South West London, where she revitalised their customer service strategy, resulting in a string of national customer experience awards and improved customer satisfaction. 

As Head of Customer Service at Eurostar, Sarah devised the service strategy and led a Europe wide award-winning change programme to deliver service and operational excellence.  Sarah’s experience includes successfully devising and implementing service strategy, operational delivery and change management in complex environments.


Judith Foss

Judith Foss MSc FCIPD MIoD

Executive Director of People and Culture

Judith’s 20 years’ HR experience includes change management, employee engagement, learning and development, employee relations, reward and people strategy. Judith is responsible for Catalyst’s ongoing culture change and colleague engagement programme.

In 2014, this was recognised when Catalyst was named as one of The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-for-Profit Organisations to Work For and awarded Two Star Accreditation from Best Companies. Judith has extensive experience of people and organisational change in the private and non-profit sectors, including time at British Aerospace plc and other blue chip organisations, as well as Guide Dogs for the Blind.  


Tim Jennings

Tim Jennings

Executive Director of Finance

Tim’s career spans over 30 years. After five years in a medium sized firm of Chartered Accountants, Tim has spent most of his career to date with Capita Plc.

Having been involved in most of the Capita divisions, his last eight years with them was as Finance Director for their Property Services Division, supporting the growth of one of the largest property services consultancies in the UK.

After leaving Capita Tim was Finance Director for both Criterion Capital Ltd and G4S Maintenance Division.


Philip Jenkins

Philip Jenkins

Group Development Director

Philip joined Catalyst from Taylor Wimpey Central London, where he was Managing Director since September 2017. Philip is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors with a property development career spanning three decades, across both private and not-for-profit sectors.

Before joining Taylor Wimpey, Philip was Executive Director of Property and Development at CityWest Homes, during which time he was a non-executive director at Dolphin Living. He has also held senior posts at The John Lewis Partnership, SPAR and Crabtree & Evelyn among others.