Who's who in Harry and Meghan's Archewell foundation?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·5 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Watch: Meghan and Harry's chief of staff is leaving role after a year

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been making changes to the foundation that will look after their work in the US in post-royal life.

The couple set up Archewell soon after they decided to step back as senior royals, but they have taken their time with its projects as they work out who they want to work with and the causes they want to support.

One of the most senior figures in the non-profit has now stepped down from her role after less than a year.

Catherine St-Laurent was the executive director, but is moving to an advisory role. She'll also be working with the foundation as she sets up her own project, which Archewell will support.

Her move opened up a promotion for James Holt, who has worked for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for several years.

The couple has also hired producer Ben Browning and Genevieve Roth, founder of a social impact agency.

Yahoo UK looks at who's who in Archewell.

James Holt

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) James Holt (Communications Officer to Prince Harry) attends the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
James Holt at Harry and Meghan's wedding in May 2018. He's now the director of their foundation. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Read more: Prince Harry gets new job with £1bn professional coaching company

James Holt became the executive director of Archewell in March, a promotion from his role as UK spokesman for the couple.

He has been working for Harry and Meghan for several years, and was the head of communications for the Royal Foundation when it involved the Sussexes and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

He has a political background, and worked for several years for the Liberal Democrats, and for Nick Clegg when he was deputy prime minister.

Holt studied journalism at Lincoln University.

It's likely Holt will be swapping London for Los Angeles, or at least the west coast of the US, making a move to be able to run the organisation from the same time zone as the Sussexes.

Catherine St-Laurent

Catherine St-Laurent stepped down from her role as executive director and has become an adviser to Archewell.

She was also chief of staff.

St-Laurent, from Seattle, Washington, previously worked for Melinda Gates's Pivotal Ventures company, which seeks to advance social progression in the US.

She'd worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation for a few years before that.

St-Laurent is now setting up her own social impact consulting firm, with Rebecca Goldman, who worked on the Time's Up campaign.

Posting on LinkedIn, St-Laurent said: "It’s been a privilege working closely with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex helping to establish Archewell Foundation in its first year. Their commitment to compassion and wellbeing has been the undercurrent of all our activities both within the organisation as well as with impactful projects of the foundation on the ground.

"I am deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together and I’m honoured to remain on as an adviser."

Toya Holness

Toya Holness is Archewell’s global press secretary and will now deal with UK media as well as US from California.

Holness started working for the royals in October 2020, and has been in communications for more than 10 years.

She's worked for the New York City department of education and the LA Clippers, among others.

Her Twitter bio reads: "I get to help people tell their stories for a living."

Ben Browning

NAPA, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Producer Ben Browning attends the closing night screening of
Producer Ben Browning, here in 2016, has been snapped up by Archewell. (C Flanigan/FilmMagic)

Read more: Queen sends flowers to NHS hospital where Philip was treated as she marks one year of lockdown

Ben Browning has been hired by the Sussexes to oversee the production arms of Archewell, which will produce podcasts for Spotify and documentaries, children's programmes and scripted series for Netflix.

Browning, a producer, worked with The Crown's Emerald Fennell on her revenge thriller Promising Young Woman, which earned him nominations for best picture Oscar, a Bafta, a PGA Award and a Golden Globe.

He was also an executive producer of HBO’s series I Know This Much Is True, for which Mark Ruffalo won an Emmy and Golden Globe.

He said: "From the moment they shared their vision for Archewell as a global production company that will spotlight diverse voices and share uplifting stories, I knew I wanted to help with this unique opportunity. It’s a thrilling company to be starting."

According to Forbes, the Sussexes were introduced to Browning via a mutual friend, and they met him several times before offering him the role.

Browning, who also worked on The Big Sick and Passengers, will have responsibility for the couple's multimillion-dollar deal with Netflix, which was signed last summer.

The duke and duchess were reported to have at least one project in the works at the time, but no further update has been released since then.

Genevieve Roth

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09:  Glamour Special Projects Directorm Genevieve Roth, attends Glamour And Ann Taylor, in partnership with Breast Cancer Research Foundation, host a panel and cocktails for Breast Cancer Awareness Month on October 9, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Glamour)
Genevieve Roth, here in October 2014, is the founder of Invisible Hand, which will now work with Archewell. (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Glamour)

Read more: Meghan Markle's blue gemstone necklace has an inspiring hidden meaning

Genevieve Roth is a former director of special projects at Glamour magazine, and now runs Invisible Hand, a "social impact and culture change agency".

On the Invisible Hand instagram, Roth explained the agency "harnesses the power of creativity and storytelling to propel the world forward".

Roth also has a political background and was director of creative engagement on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

Roth may have some shared experiences with Harry, as she has written a number of times about how her whiteness has impacted her marriage to a black man.

Harry said he only understood what unconscious bias meant after meeting Meghan.

Invisible Hand has joined Archewell to focus on “strategic change through storytelling and community building in support of gender and racial equity”.

Roth is a senior strategic adviser to Archewell, according to her LinkedIn.

Her page says: "Working at the intersection of social impact and narrative change, Invisible Hand has created campaigns, strategies, and activations for clients including Archewell, PBS, The Obama Foundation, The XQ Institute, and The Girl Effect."

Watch: Prince Harry to join mental health firm BetterUp