IFAN maritime activities buoy and boat

About IFAN

Promoting safety at sea and the protection of the marine environment

The International Foundation for Aids to Navigation’s (IFAN) is a company and charity headquartered in London, United Kingdom, whose overall objective is the promotion of safety at sea and the protection of the marine environment. IFAN achieves this by contributing to the efforts of several other maritime organisations, through funding of global Aids to Navigation projects and supporting education initiatives.

IFAN’s operating division is the Middle East Navigation Aids Service (MENAS) and is based in the Middle East Gulf. Established over 60 years ago, the once called ‘Persian Gulf Lighting Service’ was created as the responsible authority for aids to navigation in the Arabian Gulf. This structure evolved to become MENAS (Middle East Navigation Aids Service), which continues to be the Gulf region’s leading innovator in the supply and maintenance of Aids to Navigation including Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS). In addition, it provides advisory services related to the safe navigation of vessels entering and transiting the Arabian Gulf and its approaches.

The change of name of the parent Company, from MENAS to International Foundation for Aids to Navigation (IFAN), was made in 2011 to reflect extended global coverage of safety at sea and Aids to Navigation activities and functions.



IFAN is constituted as an English company limited by guarantee and is registered with the UK Charity Commission as a charity. The company has no shareholders and is absolved from taxation in the UK.

IFAN provides its support at the lowest possible cost, by extracting the maximum value from its assets and by effectively managing its costs. The aids to navigation service provided by MENAS throughout the Arabian Gulf is financed by the payment of Nav Dues ( or Light Dues) for vessels making trading voyages into the Gulf. All dues collected are exclusively utilised to cover MENAS’ operating costs and to improve the aids to navigation service in the Gulf region. Moreover, IFAN funds global activities related to safety at sea and protection of the marine environment from income from charitable assets such as retained reserves or funds invested in various securities managed by professional investment managers. IFAN’s policy on funding global activities can be found here.

Catherine Mulvihill (CEO)

Ms Mulvilhill was appointed CEO in October 2023 and is also Company Secretary. Prior to joining IFAN, Catherine spent 20 years with Charles Taylor, latterly as Managing Director for Charles Taylor TPA. Catherine has 40 years of experience across the maritime sector in a wide range of areas including container shipping and operations, ports and terminals, and marine insurance in both mutual management and the London and commercial markets.  She has been an FCA-regulated Director of UK companies, is a Court Assistant and Chair of the Education and Charity committee for the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and sits on the Board of Governors of the London Nautical School.

Francesca Pradelli (Development Manager)

Ms Pradelli was appointed Development Manager in September 2022. She holds a master’s degree in Law from the University of Torino (Italy) and is a certified maritime lawyer and project manager. She has a solid experience of both the maritime legal private sector and the international one, thanks to her previous experiences in top Italian maritime law firms and at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, the United Nations Peacekeeping Department (DPKO) – Security Sector Reform Unit (SSR) in New York, and the Pacific Community (SPC) in Fiji.

Board of Directors

IFAN is guided by a non-executive Board of Directors which comprises members representing organisations that are the end-users of navigation aids services, thus with a vested interest in ensuring that the initiatives that IFAN selects for funding assist seaborne world trade and are in line with IFAN’s charitable objectives. IFAN’s Board currently includes representatives of major oil and gas producers, the transporters of these commodities as well as container and bulk operators.

Guy Mason (Chairman)

Mr. Mason was appointed at a Board meeting of the organisation held in Bahrain in December 2022. He replaced outgoing chairman Alan Marsh, the former CEO of London broker Braemar, who stepped down after three years in the post. Mr. Mason joined the IFAN Board in March 2022 having retired from BP at the end of 2020 as senior vice president and global head of shipping. He is already a director at the shipping intelligence service Windward and Lithuanian oil company Klaipedos nafta. Mr. Mason spent nearly five years at BP Shipping.

Alan Marsh

Mr. Marsh was appointed to the Board in August 2018. He is a Trustee and Council Member of The Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC), a Vice President of the RNLI. He sits on the development board of WetWheels UK and is an Associate Member of the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, a UK Charity. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers for whom he is a former President. He is also a Younger Brother of Trinity House, Past Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and formerly CEO of Braemar Shipping Group PLC as well as a Director of ITIC.

Peter Stanley

Mr Stanley was appointed as a Director in September 2019. He was previously the IFAN CEO from July 2019 to October 2023. Formerly with BP for 30 years working in BP Shipping, HSE, Refining Manufacturing and Supply, Chemicals and finally as Head of Control of BP's Corporate segment. He is an external advisor to the Audit Committee of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. He graduated from Newcastle University obtaining a first-class honours degree in Marine Engineering and has a BA from the Judge Business School, Cambridge University. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

Aslak Ross

Mr. Ross was appointed as a Director in March 2022. He is currently Head of Safety and Resilience APM Terminals in Maersk A/S and is responsible for all Health, Safety, Security, Environmental and Business Resilience matters for APM Terminals. Prior to this he was the Head of Marine Standards and Designated Person Ashore and thus responsible for all Health, Safety, Security, Environmental and Quality matters for the Maersk managed container fleet, including navigational and cargo safety policies. Mr. Ross started his career in Maersk in 1994 as an engineer apprentice and has a degree in marine engineering and has also completed a master mariner degree.

Doug Summerhill

Mr Summerhill was appointed a Director in November 2020. He is presently Vice President of Chartering for BP Shipping Limited, accountable for the global chartering activity and monetisation of BP's oil and gas fleet. He is a supply, shipping and trading specialist, having worked in this sector for over 20 years and holds a Bachelor of Business degree from RMIT University, Australia.

Captain David Hill

Captain Hill was appointed as a Director in March 2023. He is currently Nautical Operations Lead within Shell Trading & Shipping Company. His sea going career began with the Shell Fleet in 1995 and he has sailed as both Deck and Engineer officer, continuing to the rank of Master on LNG Carriers. Captain Hill has held various roles within Ship Management ashore, including Company Security Officer & DPA, Technical Superintendent and Shipping HR & Training. Captain Hill is an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, and a Freeman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.

Captain Yousef Al Sager

Captain Al Sager was appointed as a Director in November 2010. He is presently Deputy Chief Operating Officer fleet operations Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC), formerly Manager Fleet newbuilding projects KOTC and also formerly Manager Fleet Marine Operations KOTC. He has served in numerous roles on shore in Fleet operations , Marine Affairs and risk assessment. He holds a BSc in Maritime Transport Technology and was a Master Mariner on board KOTC VLCCs and Gas fleet.

Captain Iain Scally

Captain Scally was appointed a Director in November 2021. He is presently serving as Marine Advisor to NYK's Global Tanker Quality Group in Tokyo. Formerly with ExxonMobil for 28 years serving as Master and then a variety of shore-based positions including HSQE, Marine Operations and Shipping Manager within LNG operations. Captain Scally commenced his seagoing career with Shell in 1970. He is founding member and Fellow of the Nautical Institute and serves on technical committees within Intertanko and SIGTTO.

Louise Evans

Ms Evans was appointed to the Board in June 2020. She is currently non-executive director and audit committee chair of AB Dynamics plc and Gooch & Housego plc. Ms Evans previously held Group Finance Director roles at Braemar Shipping Services plc and Williams Grand Prix Holdings plc. She has also held senior positions at RPS Group plc and Reynard Motorsport. She qualified as a chartered accountant whilst working with Ernst &Young. Ms Evans graduated from the University of Wales with a first-class degree in Management Science and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.