Chris Underhill MBE


I was fortunate enough to have the benefits of Chris’s mentoring at a point in my career when an outside perspective and some fresh thinking was needed. Over several sessions with him, his deep listening, empathy and clear thinking became things I soon trusted and valued.  His experience, his breadth of knowledge, and his ability to find the right question to ask at the right time was just what I needed.  And he gave me homework! That none-too-easy process of reflecting and reorienting what I was doing and how I did it felt held, supported and focused.  Thanks Chris. A new chapter is falling into place for me, and I am immensely grateful for Chris’s role in that.

Rob Hopkins

Catalyst and Outreach Manager, Transition Network

Chris has been my mentor since 2009. During this period he has provided trusted advice, guidance, encouragement and challenge. I value the perspective he brings, his down to earth and sensible approach and his steadiness. He has provided me with very helpful support in thinking about strategic issues and dealing with immediate concerns. Our time together can be serious, fun, challenging and supportive – often all in the same session. His mentoring during this period when the African Prisons Project has grown from being immediately post registration to having operations in three countries and more than thirty prisons, has helped to sustain me in this work.

Alexander McLean

Founder-Director General, African Prisons Project

I have known Chris for almost 30 years so I was delighted when he agreed to coach my business partner and I when we needed help to evolve our business. He helped us to find a way forward amicably through a difficult time.

Chris has been my mentor for the last few years while I grew the company (servicing the international development sector) during the 2008 banking crisis and thereafter. He helped me to sell the business recently and keep my sanity.

His calm wisdom and ‘always-on-my-side’ attitude have been invaluable. I would unreservedly recommend his coaching and mentoring to anyone in the INGO sector but also the for-profit world.

Hazel Douglas

Mentoring with Chris has been one of the most significant foundations for my entrepreneurial journey.  I have been working with Chris for the past 10 (?) years and each session takes me to new levels of understanding in my leadership and pushes me to grow in ways I might not have envisaged.  Chris brings not only his many years of expertise in leading and managing socially entrepreneurial organisations, but also brings the wisdom, clarity and gravitas to complement my youthful enthusiasm and creative vision.  He always works with where I am, yet somehow manages to gently ‘lift me’ to new ways of thinking and doing that still honour the integrity of who I am.  Working together over this period of time has also enabled Chris to better understand my strengths and weaknesses so that our mentoring has matured to be very tailored to my individual needs.  I cannot recommend highly enough working with Chris in an ongoing leadership journey.  His support has been invaluable.

Caroline Watson

Founder Director, Hua Dan

Do you have a question for Chris? Then please contact him here.