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Board of Governors

How we deliver on our strategic vision

Our Board plays an important non-executive role in the success of the University. Our Governors are dedicated to the development of our staff, the learning of our students and the growth of the University as a whole. They are an essential part of our One family.

See the Board's responsibilities

Rebecca Lawrence

Chair of the Board of Governors

Rebecca is currently the Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and brings a wealth of finance, technical and HR experience to role and will support the University in taking its Strategy 2031 forward.

Rebecca is committed to co-leadership with staff and students. The hybrid working models at the CPS were co-designed by staff and managers and she brings this collaborative approach to her role at .

Meet our Governors

Our current Governors have all made notable contributions to business, academic and public life. They contribute their professional, specialist and general management skills to drive the development of the University. Members of the Board bring an independent view to their work so they can hold the Executive to account.

Meet the inspiring individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to .

  • Dr Sandra Appiah

    Dr Sandra Appiah is an Associate Professor in Biochemistry and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry with research and academic career spanning over 15 years. She is also registered as a Chartered Manager with the Chartered Management Institute. She has a Master of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry, a PhD in Biochemistry and a Master of Business degree in Senior Leadership.

    Sandra demonstrates excellent academic citizenship through serving on several boards, committees, networks, clusters, and groups across the University and externally. She holds several leadership roles in the areas of teaching, research and inclusivity.

    In her role as a Faculty of Science and Technology Learning and Quality lead, she proactively works to maintain a high standard of student experience through initiatives on intentional inclusivity. She builds communities of enquiries to seek solutions for issues by collaborating with students, academics, Professional Services staff and businesses. Sandra leads a productive Research Group studying aberrant cell signalling pathways involved in the pathogenesis of leukaemia and Alzheimer's disease with the goal of developing drug combinations designed to modulate different cell death processes. She also co-leads a Biosensor Research Group dedicated to developing novel biosensors for the early detection of chronic diseases.

  • Professor Liz Barnes CBE

    Professor Liz Barnes was Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive at Staffordshire University from 2016 to 2022, having previously been Deputy Vice Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University and Derby University, following a long career at Teesside University.

    With a commitment to social justice and mobility Liz continues to serve as a non-executive Director on a number of Boards including a NHS Trust and a Social Housing Board.

    Liz was appointed to the Order of the British Empire with a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2019 for services to higher education. In 2020, Liz became a Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire.

  • Simon DarlingSimon Darling

    Simon Darling is the Managing Director of digital transformation consultancy, Jack & Anna. Clients include multinationals and startups within FMCG, telecoms, financial services, retail and healthcare sectors in both turnaround and high growth situations and PLC and private equity environments.

    Simon started his career in Finance at Unilever. He has been Marketing Director at eBay, VP Marketing at Skype and Chief Commercial Officer at Trainline. He has founded two startups, one of which, Fonepark, was acquired by an AOL-backed company. He has a First in Economics from Cambridge University and is a prize winner and Passed Finalist with CIMA.

  • Professor Mandeep K DhamiProfessor Mandeep K Dhami

    Professor Mandeep K Dhami is based in the Department of Psychology at . She has previously held academic and research positions in the UK (University of Cambridge, University of Surrey), Canada (University of Victoria), USA (University of Maryland) and Germany (Max Planck Institute for Human Development), as well as visiting posts in Spain and Australia. Mandeep has also worked as a Principal Scientist for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (UK Ministry of Defence), and has work experience in British prisons.

    Mandeep is an internationally recognized expert on human judgment and decision-making, risk perception and uncertainty communication. She has authored over 130 scholarly publications and is lead editor of the book ‘Judgment and Decision Making as a Skill’. Her research has received several international awards including from the European Association for Decision Making, American Psychological Association (Division 9), and NATO Science & Technology Organisation. Mandeep was awarded Fellowship of the Psychonomics Society, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. She regularly advises Government bodies nationally and internationally on evidence-based policy and practice in the criminal justice and defence & security domains.

    Mandeep was previously Chair of the Ethical Standards Committee for Cambridgeshire Police Authority, and Executive board member of the Restorative Justice–City of Victoria Program (BC, Canada). She is currently Editor of Judgment and Decision Making, and UK representative on a NATO research panel. Her hobbies include competitive Ballroom and Latin dancing.

  • Chris Fenton

    Chris Fenton, after an early international career in chemicals, has focused on infrastructure and services. Most recently Chris was Chief Executive of the Rail Safety and Standards Board after senior management roles at Amey, Tube Lines and BSI and a non-executive director at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

    In education and skills he is currently on the Board of City and Guilds Group. He was previously chairman of the National Skills Academy for Rail and a Trustee at JTL, a major apprenticeships provider.

  • David Gilani

    David Gilani started his career at the University of Southampton where he was a Students' Union sabbatical officer, before moving over to the University to establish their Student Communications function. He now works at as their Head of Student Engagement and Advocacy leading on their efforts to engage both current students and alumni.

    He is a passionate advocate of the student voice and in 2012 he founded the Student Publication Association, which supports student journalists across the UK and Ireland. He believes strongly in universities working together to support student engagement efforts, and so co-chairs the CASE Student Communications conference, leads the AUA’s Student Experience and Engagement Network and represents Pearson as their Academic Lead for Student Experience.

    He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of York on the topic of student belonging.

  • Dr Nabeel Goheer  Nabeel Goheer picture

    Dr Nabeel Goheer, PhD, is PATH’s Chief of Asia, Middle East, Europe (AMEE) Region. He is responsible for providing strategic leadership and guidance and overseeing program activities in the regional hubs in South Asia, South East Asia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, China, and Western Europe, as well as PATH’s other projects in the region. He also develops and executes strategies to expand and grow the AMEE portfolio into new regions, including the Middle East and additional countries in Asia.

    Nabeel is a seasoned leader with near 25 years of professional experience. Before joining PATH, he spent the last ten years assisting and representing the Commonwealth Secretary-General while providing leadership in the areas of strategy, governance, partnerships, portfolio, evaluation, technology, innovation, and digitalization. Prior to joining the Commonwealth, he worked with the International Labor Organization (ILO) at the United Nations, World Bank, United Nations Development Program, USAID, and the Government of Pakistan.

    Nabeel holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan, a Master of Arts in International Development from the International University of Japan, a Master of Philosophy in Technology Policy from Cambridge and MIT, and a PhD in Management from the University of Cambridge. He also holds a Certificate in Macroeconomic Policy and Management from Harvard.

  • Laura Guittard

    Laura Guittard is currently Vice-President Global Finance Risk Management & Controls at GSK. She oversees the risk management of the enterprise risk ‘Finance Controls & Reporting’ on behalf of the CFO. Laura has a BA in Business Administration from Strathclyde University. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant of Scotland and moved to Paris with KPMG. She then moved to Kraft Foods/Mondelez where she had roles of increasing responsibility and lived in 5 different countries across 3 continents. Laura is a strong advocate of meritocracy and in GSK participates or chairs voluntary groups and provides mentoring for women and those just starting their career. Laura is also a Director of various GSK subsidiaries.

  • Sagar Joshi

    Sagar Joshi has been re-elected President of Students' Union (MDXSU) for the 2023/24 academic year.

    Sagar joined as a student in 2019 on an International Business course and was elected as the President of MDXSU while he was in the second year of his studies. Prior to this, he worked as a support worker for 2.5 years in a Private Mental Health Company. In his role as MDXSU President he leads on academic and welfare representation for students, with particular focus on identifying issues and campaigning for change, ensuring that the student voice is at the centre of every decision made.

  • Anne Kiem OBE

    Anne is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors.

    Prior to this, she was Executive Director of the Small Business Charter, Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools and of the Institute of Financial Services, part of what is now the London Institute of Banking and Finance. She has also worked in banking and as a Secondary school Maths teacher. She was awarded an OBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. She is a Higher Education Commissioner with Policy Connect and sits on the British Academy’s Research and Higher Education Policy Committee.

  • Mark Leach MBE

    Mark Leach is the founder and Editor in Chief of Wonkhe – home of the UK higher education debate. Before setting up Wonkhe, Mark worked in policy and public affairs roles in and around higher education, working at the National Union of Students, HEFCE, University Alliance, GuildHE as well as a stint in politics as a special adviser to the former Shadow Minister for Universities and Science.

    Mark established Wonkhe as a business in 2014 which he now runs, as well as overseeing its editorial platforms that span influential email briefings, Wonkhe.com, events and The Wonkhe Show podcast which he also hosts. Mark was awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours in 2023 for services to higher education.

  • Matt Lewis

    Matt Lewis retired from KPMG in March 2016 having worked there for 30 years and been a partner for 20 years. He worked in a number of industry sectors, including Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Retail, Leisure, Engineering, Defence and Business Services. His clients were predominantly large international listed groups. As well as audit, Matt supported clients on many significant transactions, including IPOs, mergers, acquisitions and disposals.

    Matt chairs the Audit, Assurance and Risk Committee and the Remuneration Committee. Matt is also a trustee of the Weald and Downland Museum in Sussex.

  • LiLi Long

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    LiLi Long is an experienced angel investor and portfolio non-executive Director.

    She serves as the Vice Chair at Partnership Learning Multi Academy Trust, where she also Chairs the Audit and Risk Committee. She is a non-executive Director at the London Historic Building Trust, where she Chairs the Finance, Risk and Investment Committee, a charity focussed on regenerating the future of heritage buildings in London. In addition, LiLi is a non-executive Director at the Quality of Life Foundation, an organisation which, through its research and local engagement, strives to make health and well-being central to the way homes and communities are developed. LiLi’s other focus is on advising and investing in tech start-ups.

    During an Executive career spanning over twenty years, LiLi held a number of senior strategic and commercial roles in sectors ranging from capital markets to retail financial services and real estate in the UK and Asia.

    An active member of the socially-engaged Buddhist movement, SGI-UK, LiLi graduated with a Master's degree from the London School of Economics and completed her undergraduate degree at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is fluent in Mandarin, Hainanese and English. LiLi loves to travel, often using her native Singapore as a base, enjoys competitive ballroom dancing, Pilates, theatre, opera and is a self-confessed foodie.

  • Dame Jil Matheson

    Dame Jil Matheson was National Statistician, Head of the Government Statistical Service and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority from 2009 until 2014, following a career in social research and statistics. Jil also Chaired the OECD's Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy and the UN Statistical Commission.

    She is currently a member of various committees, including the UK Committee on Research Integrity, and the Academy of Social Sciences. She is a non-executive Director of the Sports Ground Safety Authority.

    Throughout her career Jil has championed research and statistics for the public good to enable citizens and decision makers to understand their communities, their countries, and the world. She was appointed DCB (Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath) in 2014 for services to official statistics.

  • Professor Sean WellingtonProfessor Sean Wellington

    Professor Sean Wellington is Interim Vice-Chancellor. Prior to this role, he was Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, having joined in 2019 as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean for the Faculty of Science and Technology.

    Previously, Sean worked at Oxford Brookes University where he held senior leadership roles including Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience). He has led on the development of innovative new partnership activity and worked closely with the further education sector. Sean has served as an External Governor of two general Further Education (FE) colleges and is currently a Trustee and Chair of Colindale Communities Trust (CCT) and a Trustee of WorldSkills UK.

    Since beginning his career in the engineering industry, initially as an Apprentice, Sean has held teaching, research and leadership positions in three universities and roles with sector bodies including Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and Office for Students (OfS). Sean was appointed to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Panel, with responsibility for carrying out the 2023 TEF assessments.

    Sean has taught a range of subjects in engineering and computing over more than thirty years. He is a thought leader on engineering education and led a review of the Engineering Council standard used for the accreditation of engineering degree programmes. The standard, AHEP Edition 4, better reflects the crucial role that engineers play in tackling societal concerns such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and there is a new expectation that graduates will adopt an inclusive approach to engineering practice and recognise the importance of supporting equality, diversity and inclusion.

  • Homiyar Wykes

    Homiyar Wykes is currently Group Financial Controller for ED&F Man responsible for financial reporting and analysis, budgeting and planning and lender reporting.

    He started his career as an audit trainee with Arthur Andersen and worked in positions of increasing global responsibility at KPMG, ArcelorMittal (Metals and Mining), Stolt-Nielsen (Transportation and Logistics) and ED&F Man (Commodity Trading).  Homiyar is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Warwick Business School.

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