Chair of the Board
Sir Andrew Cubie was appointed chair of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education in October 2010, succeeding James Ross, the inaugural chair.
Sir Andrew was for much of his career the senior partner of a leading Scottish law firm. He continues as a consultant to that firm and also holds a number of non-executive directorships in public and private companies ranging from investment trusts to corporate finance and manufacturing. He is also the chair of Quality Scotland, an organisation committed to the promotion of business excellence. He is a former chair of the Confederation of British Industry in Scotland.
He has been engaged in education issues throughout his professional career. He is currently the chair of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework and of the JNC of the USS. He is a Board member of the Inspectorate of Education in Scotland. He is a former chair of George Watson's College, the Court of Edinburgh Napier University and of the Committee of University Chairs (CUC) for the UK.
He is the chair of VSO in the UK, and a Trustee of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and of Common Purpose, Chair of Scotland’s Garden Trust and of the Centre for Healthy Working Lives and vice-chair of the Northern Lighthouse Board.
Deputy Chair of the Board and Chair of the Board of Governors, Sheffield Hallam University
Geoff Dawson joined the Board of Sheffield Hallam University in 2006, becoming chair of its Finance Committee in 2009, and chair of its Board of Governors in 2010.
He is also a member of the Board of UCEA, the HE/FE Employers Association, where he is chair of its Finance and Audit Committee, deputy chair of the Committee of University Chairs (CUC), and chairman of Sporrance Ltd, a management consulting company.
Geoff’s career started in technical roles with British Rail, GEC and British Aerospace, before he joined Scicon Ltd, the IT subsidiary of BP. Following secondment to a Whitehall Department, where he designed and implemented the first strategic planning system in the Public Sector, Geoff returned to Scicon and took up his first director level role, in the sales and marketing of complex IT services.
Wide national and international business experience followed, all at senior management/director level, including five years as a regional director for EDS. On his return to the UK in early 2000, he became one of the managing directors of EDS UK, managing the Energy and Utilities, Travel and Transportation, and Retail Industries business.
After leaving EDS in 2006, he re-entered university life as a student and, having studied Classics at school, he obtained an MA in Ancient History from University College London.
University Secretary and Director of Operations, Birmingham City University
Christine Abbott joined Birmingham City University in 2009, as university secretary. She became university secretary and director of operations in September 2013.
As university secretary Christine is responsible for all matters of governance, and legal and statutory compliance. She is clerk to the Board of Governors and company secretary to a number of subsidiary companies.
As director of operations Christine has overall responsibility for leadership of the professional services and for academic administration across the University, ensuring high standards of service delivery.
The post has line management for: Academic Registry, Campus Services, Corporate ICT, Planning & Performance, Secretariat, and Equality and Diversity.
Before moving to the higher education sector Christine worked for several years for the British Council, with postings in London and overseas. Christine's higher education career includes 14 years at the University of Birmingham as director of strategic planning and acting academic registrar. Before that she worked at Aston University and the University of East Anglia.
Christine has a first class honours degree in french and russian and a masters in information management. Her areas of professional expertise include change management, business intelligence and performance measurement, on which she has written and spoken widely.
Christine is a member of executive of AHUA (the Association of Heads of University Administration), the Leadership Foundation’s Governance Advisory Forum, and a school governor.
Associate Dean of Global Business, London Business School
Wendy Alexander is currently the Associate Dean of Global Business and the former Associate Dean for Degree Programmes and Career Services at London Business School. Her role focuses on leveraging LBS’s existing global partnerships and the identification of future global growth opportunities.
Educated in Canada, UK and France Wendy is an Insead graduate, subsequently consulting with Booz & Co. in US and Asia. She spent over a decade in government/public policy working in the European Parliament, as a UK Government adviser and as a member of the first Scottish Parliament. She was appointed to the first three Scottish Cabinets, where her portfolios included business, energy, trade and higher education. She also served as Scottish Opposition leader.
Wendy serves on the Investment Advisory Board of SEP LLP and is a Trustee of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. She holds Honorary Degrees from Strathclyde University and UWS, spent a decade as a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde and co-edited New Wealth for Old Nations (Princeton Uni Press, 2005). She has sat on the Advisory Boards of the Social Market Foundation, Reform Scotland, Demos and is an FTSE Woman to Watch 2013.
Vice-Chancellor, University of Bath
Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell was appointed Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bath in 2001.
Her other nominals are PhD DSc LLD(Hon) CPsychol FBPsS FRSA HonFBPsS AcSS
After her Prize Fellowship at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, Dame Glynis moved to the University of Surrey where she became Head of the Department of Psychology in 1990 and subsequently Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise). She is a psychologist specialising in research on leadership, identity processes and risk management.
Dame Glynis is a director of Universities UK, the Student Loans Company, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, and chairs the Daphne Jackson Trust. She is a member of Council of the Cheltenham Ladies College and the Economic and Social Research Council, whose Research Committee she chairs.
Alan Howarth has extensive senior executive experience in a range of national and international organisations in both the public and private sector. Early management experience was gained with Bass followed by periods in Hewlett Packard and John Swire & Sons before spending nearly two decades in Ernst & Young as one of the founding partners of the Management Consulting practice in the UK.
For the last seven years he has been managing a portfolio of Non Executive appointments. He has been Chairman of fully listed companies, AIM listed and private organisations in the UK, US and Far East in a significant number of sectors. His current Non Executive interests include Cerillion Technologies, Chamberlin plc, Sift Group, CRF Inc and MPL Systems. He was Chairman of an NHS Trust for nearly 7 years. He has co-written several papers including the 'Intelligent Board' and facilitates numerous management programmes for organisations.
Pro-Vice-Master for Learning and Teaching, Birkbeck University of London
Sue Jackson is Pro-Vice-Master for Learning and Teaching and Professor of Lifelong Learning and Gender at Birkbeck University of London and has developed her career in higher, further and adult education. She publishes widely in the field of gender and lifelong learning, with a particular focus on identities. Her work concerns equality, diversity and academic development for women and she believes that these perspectives are especially important in leading higher education in transformational change. She has a strong commitment to promoting leadership development, including her own, and she has completed the Leadership Foundation’s Top Management Programme.
Sue is also a member of Hefce’s Teaching, Quality and Student Experience Committee; a Governor of Barking and Dagenham College; and an Executive Member of the Universities’ Association for Lifelong Learning.
Partner, DLA Piper
Janet Legrand studied law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and has spent over 30 years in the legal profession. She is a partner, Senior Elected Board Member and former Senior Partner and Chairman of DLA Piper, a global business law firm which has offices in over 30 countries, including 30 offices in the US.
She also leads the firm's Women's Network, is Board sponsor for the firm's award winning pro bono practice and is an Advisory Board member of New Perimeter, the US non-profit through which the firm delivers high impact global pro bono projects.
Janet is a Trustee and Board member of PRIME, the body that delivers the UK legal profession's commitment to ensure fair and equal access to quality work experience.
She is also a member of the Audit Committee of the University of Cambridge and a Board member and Trustee of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.
Her client successes include representing the Republic of Zambia in a series of high profile and successful proceedings including the Country's flagship anti-corruption case against its former President, the outcome of which had a transformational effect on governance in Zambia.
Principal, Harper Adams University
David Llewellyn was appointed Principal, of Harper Adams University in September 2009. His earlier university career involved posts at Queen Mary, University of London, King’s College London and the Institute of Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, London.
David joined Harper Adams in 1998 as the Director of Corporate Affairs. In this role he helped implement a wide range of projects and developments across administrative and academic areas of the University College; worked as a consultant on higher education strategic planning in an agricultural higher education institution in Brazil; and undertook research on UK higher education governance.
David was an undergraduate at University College London and a postgraduate student at Birkbeck, University of London. He holds a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) in Higher Education Management from the University of Bath. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers.
In 2009 David served as a member of the BBSRC/Food Research Partnership’s Working Group on Skills and Capacity in the Agri-Food Sector. Amongst other appointments he is currently a member of the West Midlands European Advisory Panel, a Trustee of LANTRA, the Sector Skills Council for the environmental and land-based industries, a board member of Landex, the representative body for specialist FE/HE institutions in land-based subjects, a member of the Telford Business Board and a Council member of GuildHE.
Vice-Chancellor, University of South Wales
Julie became vice-chancellor of the University of South Wales on 11 April 2013. She previously held the roles of vice-chancellor of the University of Glamorgan from April 2010 and deputy vice-chancellor from April 2006.
Following completion of an honours degree in economics, she worked for the Tube Investments group for ten years in variety of management roles. She has a strong reputation of academic leadership including major change projects in strategic academic development, curriculum design, widening access, partnerships and quality. This leadership experience includes the merger which resulted in the formation of her current university.
Her research interests and publications are in the fields of organisational change and collaboration within higher education. She is a board member of the Cardiff Capital Region Board, CBI Wales Council, Newport and Cardiff Business Council, UCEA Board
Vice-Chancellor, University of Gloucestershire
Stephen joined the University of Gloucestershire in 2011 as Vice-Chancellor.
He had previously been Director General, Universities and Skills, at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Before then, Stephen was Director General for Lifelong Learning and Skills in the former Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and prior to that he was Director of Skills Group at DfES. Stephen joined the Department for Education and Science in 1983, where he worked on a range of schools, Further Education, Higher Education, and finance issues in various posts across the Department.
Stephen worked in the Cabinet Office/Economic Secretariat in the early 1990s. Between 1998 and 2002, he worked in the Higher Education Funding Council for England as Director for Institutions.
Stephen won a scholarship to Cambridge University where he studied Classics.
Vice-Chancellor, University of Northampton
Professor Nick Petford is the vice-chancellor of the University of Northampton. Nick is a former Royal Society University Research Fellow and fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. A geologist by training with expertise in volcanoes, Nick has worked in industry (BP) and on academic and commercial research projects throughout the world. He has held visiting research appointments at the Universities of Michigan and Vermont (USA) and NASA and is currently visiting professor at Macquarie University, Australia. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School.
Nick has contributed to the debate on energy usage and climate change and has featured in several TV documentaries including Channel 4's The Volcano that Stopped the World and Top 10 Natural Disasters. He is championing social enterprise and social impact across the UK university sector, is chair of Procurement UK and works with the Cabinet Office to promote social value in procurement.
Nick is currently a member of the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership Board, the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership Board, the Northamptonshire Health and Wellbeing Board, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association Board and the Universities UK Board. He is a Director of Floodstop, a company that manufactures and sells flood defence barriers.
President and Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University
Professor Colin Riordan took up the post of President and Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University in September 2012. Previously he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, having been appointed in October 2007. He moved to Essex from Newcastle University, where he had been Pro Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences since August 2005.
Professor Riordan taught English as a foreign language at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in Germany (1982-1984) and was Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in German at Swansea University (1986-1998). He became Professor of German at Newcastle University in 1998, where he remained until his move to Essex in 2007. He has published widely on post-war German literature and culture, including editing books on the writers Jurek Becker, Uwe Johnson and Peter Schneider. Other research interests include the history of environmental ideas in German culture.
He is a Vice-President and Board member of Universities UK, the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, the Edge Foundation, NARIC, UCAS and the Equality Challenge Unit. In 2013 he became chair of Higher Education Wales, the body which represents the interests of Higher Education Institutions in Wales. He is also a member of the South East Wales City Region Board. As chair of the International Policy Network of Universities UK, he is active in promoting and advancing the role of UK universities aboard. He is also chair of the UK Higher Education International Unit, and is a member of the International Education Council sponsored by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
Director of Human Resources, London School of Economics and Political Science
Indi Seehra is Director of Human Resources at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and until May 2014 had held the same post at the University of Cambridge. Indi has held a number of significant private and public sector appointments, including Director of Human Resources for the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (now renamed National Crime Agency). He is currently also a non-Executive Director with the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and on the HR Advisory Panel of Aon Hewitt. He is a regular speaker on Leadership and Organisational Behaviour – and a visiting teacher/speaker at a number of Universities including Austria, Moscow, and India.
Indi has contributed to the work of the European Union on researcher development and in recent times been a member of the task group looking at Researcher Mobility and a separate task group implementing the Pan European Pension Scheme for Research Professionals.
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Northumbria University
Previously senior vice-principal at Royal Holloway University of London (2006-08) Andrew was responsible for strategic planning, the College's financial resources and its estate, leading the development of Royal Holloway's Corporate Strategy 2005-2010, developing strategic collaborations, and overseeing a £100 million capital programme. He led its Music Department to a 5** in the 2001 RAE.
His other nominal are: FRHistS FRSA FSA
He is currently chair of the regional higher education association, Universities for the North East, and in this capacity is a member of the CBI Regional Council. Andrew is deputy chair of the University Alliance and chair of the Student Finance England Stakeholder Forum. He was chair of the Music Sub-Panel in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and was also active in the 1994 Group of Universities, chairing its Strategic Planning and Resources Group.
Andrew is a Fellow of the Industry and Parliament Trust, of the Royal Historical Society, of the Royal Society of Arts, and of the Society of Antiquaries. He is a governor of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a Board member of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, and of the Centre for Life, 1NG and NGI.
Deputy Chief Executive, Hefce
Observer at Board Meetings
Chief Executive Officer GuildHE
Observer at Board meetings
Chief Executive Higher Education Academy (HEA)
Observer at Board meetings
Policy Adviser, Universities UK (UUK)
Observer at Board meetings