Leadership Team


Jane Ruffer Chair of the Leadership Team

Jane Ruffer is married to Jonathan and along with being a wife, mum, daughter and dog walker has been a doctor, a lecturer and a school governor, has run a national helpline and has been a trustee of various charities and a hospice. She likes encouraging people to have a go and realise their potential and is a big fan of life-long learning. 


David Maddan Chief Executive Officer

David Maddan spent 32 years in the Army, leading troops on every continent except Antarctica and commanding a regional brigade in the North East of England. He specialised in worldwide intelligence and operations for the Ministry of Defence and commanded the School of Infantry, where he was responsible for training the next generation of infantry soldiers and junior commanders.  David is a Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and a trustee of the Grenadier Guards charity.  He joined The Auckland Project as Chief Executive Officer in July 2016.


Chris Bramley Chief Finance Officer

Chris, who joined The Auckland Project team in October 2013, is a Chartered Accountant with over twenty years’ involvement in several organisations across a number of sectors. This follows a ten-year career with KPMG. Chris is particularly involved in shaping the financial infrastructure of the Trust and ensuring financial probity and efficient use of resources to meet the varied demands of the project. When not acting as a taxi to his children’s varied interests, his own interests include football, walking and exploring the less visited parts of the USA. He lives with his wife, three sons and two daughters in Durham.


Rebecca Coates HR & Corporate Services Director

Rebecca joined The Auckland Project in April 2012 and immediately began to develop the castle’s commercial offering, including bringing private events and weddings to the castle. Rebecca is now also responsible for Corporate Services and manages the compliance, human resources and internal communications functions. Passionate about the local area and the project as a whole, Rebecca is keen to develop new and exciting ways for people to get involved with the castle, including working with local colleges on apprenticeship schemes and creating work experience opportunities. Having lived a stone’s throw from the castle as a child, Rebecca now lives in Weardale with her husband and two sons.


Liz Fisher Engagement Director

Liz joined the staff in January 2014. She previously worked for the National Trust as Assistant Director of Operations in Yorkshire and the North East. She worked for the National Trust for over twenty-five years, directing community and volunteering as well as operational management. She led the National Trust’s campaign to save Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland. This involved the community, developing the business plan to enable £13 million investment in the site and, once the National Trust had acquired the property, ensuring the site was operationally ready. From 2014 her focus has been the delivery of the Heritage Lottery Fund activity plan, community consultation and development, visitor experience, and operational effectiveness.


Lynda Sale Director of External Affairs

Lynda has over twenty-five years’ experience as a strategic marketing and communications director. Before working at Auckland Castle, she was a founder partner of SaleOwen, an independent brand strategy and research consultancy. She started her career working in advertising and communications agencies, latterly as Director of Research and Planning and Board Director of Valin Pollen Ltd, then the largest corporate communications agency in the UK, working on blue chip clients such as Visa International, and Unigate plc.


Adam Duncan Group Finance Director

Adam moved from South West London to join The Auckland Project in late 2017, returning to the North East after graduating from Van Mildert College, Durham University in 1985. A qualified Chartered Accountant, he is an experienced Finance Director with extensive operational experience in the international art, luxury and design and UK healthcare sectors. Adam is married with two sons.

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