Alison is chief executive of the Leadership Foundation. She has worked in higher education for 25 years. Prior to becoming chief executive, she was head of policy for leadership, governance and management at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce), where she established both the Leadership Foundation and the Equality Challenge Unit. She is a past president of the Association of University Administrators (AUA) and represents the UK on the Association of Commonwealth Universities Human Resources Management Network and has recently joined the British Council’s planning committee for Going Global, the major international higher education conference. Alison has extensive international experience of higher education including leading the review of teaching and learning for the Australian government which led to the establishment of the Office for Learning and Teaching to enhance teaching quality across the Australian higher education sector. Alison regularly takes part in conferences and events, both nationally and internationally, speaking on all aspects of university leadership, governance and management.
Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive
T: 020 3468 4813
Sophia Kiguta-Kiarie is the Executive Assistant to Alison Johns. She supports the Chief Executive and provides a focal point for contact with key stakeholders and members of the Leadership Foundation Board. She has 10 years’ experience working with senior management in the Higher Education sector. She has held various positions at the Hefce and most recently Universities UK, where she was the Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive and worked on a range of projects. Sophia started her career in Nairobi, Kenya where she was a key member of the team involved in the establishment and international accreditation of the Kenya Youth Business Trust (a chapter of The Prince’s Trust and accredited by Youth Business International). In this role, she provided support to the Chief Executive and Board of Trustees.
Director of Consultancy and Business Development
Andy is director of Consultancy and Business Development at the Leadership Foundation. He is an experienced higher education consultant who has worked with universities and higher education colleges and sector agencies for over sixteen years. Andy supports university and agency executive teams and governing bodies in delivering strategically critical transformation initiatives. His main focus is upon shaping, supporting and evaluating reviews of institutions’ future direction, assessing board and senior team performance, effectiveness and cohesion; and assessing and responding to the impact of changes in government policy at a sectoral and institutional level. His experience encompasses over 30 UK and overseas HEIs and all of the sector’s main agencies, representative bodies and funding councils, typically working to chief executives and vice-chancellors.
He is the lead author of Universities UK’s current guidance to governing bodies on the appointment of senior staff and vice-chancellors. Andy has been an active member of the Hefce /Leadership Foundation Innovation and Transformation Fund Steering Group and also of Universities UK’s Diamond review implementation panel.
Previously Andy founded and led Capita’s higher education advisory business for five years and prior to that Oakleigh’s higher education consulting practice.
Assistant Director Operations (Consultancy and Bespoke Programmes)
T: 020 3468 4823
Sweta supports the development of leadership excellence in the higher education sector by working with institutions in the UK and internationally to design and deliver bespoke initiatives centred on their institutional needs and aspirations.
Sweta’s primary role is to manage the consultancy business and project manage the delivery, marketing and evaluation of consultancy services to clients/ HEI members. Sweta leads a small dynamic team and works closely with our associates, coaches as well as clients to ensure delivery of high quality: bespoke leadership development programmes, organisational development, Coaching and consultancy support. She also supports the Director of Consultancy to develop & grow new business streams. Sweta has developed over 10 years’ experience project managing training design and delivery; ensuring programmes meet cost and quality requirements; developing and managing key client partnerships; acting as a business unit manager for training development activities.
Helen Baird is a Managing Consultant within the Leadership Foundation’s growing strategic consultancy team. She is a highly experienced management consultant and researcher who has delivered numerous successful strategic and organisational change management projects and studies over the past 18 years, the majority in the higher education sector.
As well as working with a broad range of different types of higher education providers across multiple functions and at all levels, Helen has also provided consultancy to most of the sector’s key bodies and agencies. Her work focusses predominantly on: reviewing and helping shape organisations’ future direction at the overall organisational, individual functional or programme level; and researching and evaluating the impact of changes in government policy, at sectoral and institutional level.
Helen’s work has contributed to national policy development and her recommendations and advice have helped secure strategic change required at organisational, functional and programme levels for many organisations. Prior to joining the Leadership Foundation, Helen has spent the majority of her career working for commercial consultancy practices.
Consultancy and International Projects Manager
T: 020 3468 4838
Dot provides support to both consultancy and international projects. For consultancy projects, she ensures that our clients and associates have the resources they need to deliver successful projects. For international projects, she is responsible for liaising with internal and external stakeholders to agree the logistical and administrative support needed to deliver projects in both the UK and abroad.
Consultancy and International Projects Coordinator
T: 020 3468 4832
Oprah provides support to both consultancy and international projects. For consultancy projects, she ensures that our clients and associates have the resources they need to deliver successful projects. For international projects, she is responsible for liaising with internal and external stakeholders to agree the logistical and administrative support needed to deliver projects in both the UK and abroad.
Consultancy and International Projects Coordinator
T: 020 3468 4837
Haedish provides support to both consultancy and international projects. For consultancy projects, she ensures that our clients and associates have the resources they need to deliver successful projects. For international projects, she is responsible for liaising with internal and external stakeholders to agree the logistical and administrative support needed to deliver projects in both the UK and abroad.
Interim Chief Operating Officer
T: 020 3468 4820
Carol is responsible, in an interim capacity, for all aspects of the infrastructure of the Leadership Foundation, including advising and supporting the board and chief executive, reporting to regulators and stakeholders, and the management of HR, Finance, Estates and IT.
She spent her early career in international business development, strategy and media consultancy while also gaining experience of governance in the third sector. She joined the higher education sector in 2003 in a legal and governance role in a medium-sized, research-intensive university, followed by seven years as registrar and secretary of a larger, multi-campus, professionally focused university. During this time she served on a number of multiagency working groups tackling such issues as equal pay; student visas and harassment on campus. Since the beginning of 2016 she has returned to consulting, now for HEIs, and has conducted a number of organisational reviews for universities seeking to improve their responsiveness to the demands of an increasingly fast-paced and challenging environment. At the Leadership Foundation she will work towards the same objectives, building a strong infrastructure to support Catalysing Change, the Leadership Foundation’s strategy to 2020.
T: 020 3468 4821
Stephen is responsible for developing the detailed annual budgets for Leadership Foundation activities and operations. He monitors and reports financial performance against budgets through the production of management accounts and provides regular projections of anticipated annual performance. He oversees the maintenance of the accounting function and manages the payroll. He also prepares annual financial statements for audit.
T: 020 3468 4822
Mick is responsible for the day to day financial functions of the Leadership Foundation, including maintenance of the general ledger, weekly bank reconciliations, supplier payments and credit control as well as assisting in the production of management and year end accounts. He is also part of the membership team calculating annual subscription rates, administering the Innovation and Transformation Fund and Small Development Project funds, producing internal and external membership analysis, and answering general membership queries.
Vijaya Nath is the Director of Leadership Development at Leadership Foundation and leads a team who work on Leadership Development and related interventions and projects. The team’s aim is to enable leaders, managers and governors in higher education to manage and lead organisational and personal change and to enable the system’s capacity for identifying, nurturing and developing future leaders at a strategic level.
She brings over 26 years of experience in developing leaders in the private and not-for-profit sector. For the past 18 years she has worked with leaders in health and care, in the four countries of the United Kingdom and internationally. She has significant experience in the design and development of innovative leadership programmes and senior organisational development consultancy.
As Director of Leadership Development at The King's Fund, London, Vijaya established a portfolio of interventions including networks, open programmes and thought leadership in medical leadership. She has led a number of international study tours that feature learning from health and non-health organisations that are leading-edge in quality innovation and leadership.
Vijaya has published and written a number of papers on Leadership Development and has influenced thought leadership in the areas of Medical Engagement, Quality Improvement in Health, Equality & Diversity, and the importance of advancing Women in Leadership. She is a visiting professor at Milan's SDA Bocconi School of Management and is a facilitator and chair for Windsor Leadership. For more on Vijaya click here: Vijaya Nath
Picture credit: P.Solanki
Programme Director (Funded Programmes & Projects)
Following almost 20 years’ experience of working in universities, Tracy’s main role with the Leadership Foundation is as Programme Director (Funder Supported Projects) overseeing and co-ordinating activity funded by the four UK higher education funding councils. This activity addresses specific issues connected with higher education – such as diversity and financial development, as well as the Prevent agenda. Tracy is the key liaison between the funding bodies and the Leadership Foundation teams developing and delivering the programmes, ensuring that this funded activity is effectively scheduled, resourced, evaluated and reported in line with stakeholder and funder expectations. She will also be involved in responding to further funded opportunities that meet sector needs.
Tracy is also a programme director on the recently relaunched Future Professional Directors programme.
Doug is responsible for a range of Leadership Foundation open programmes as well as undertaking bespoke consultancy assignments for universities. Key interests include educational and research leadership, the leadership of professional services, strategy development and leadership for sustainability. An accomplished teacher, facilitator, coach and conference speaker, Doug has achievements across a wide range of leadership, educational and organisational development projects. People who work with Doug comment on his enthusiasm, great preparation, powerful insights, breakthrough moments and sheer inspiration. They go away with new energy, ideas and perspectives on themselves and others.
Assistant Director Operations (Leadership Development)
T: 020 3468 4833
M: 07843 868 131
Melissa leads a dynamic and innovative team responsible for the development and delivery of new projects and business streams. She has been a key player on a range of the Leadership Foundation’s programmes and developments. These have included the flagship Top Management Programme, the full suite of core programmes, a range of one-day events and conferences plus new initiatives such as Changing the Learning Landscape and Aurora. She supports the director of programmes and works closely with our associates and staff in achieving our vision.
Steve has taken on the role of Assistant Director Programmes and Projects during a period of maternity cover managing the team of eight. Steve is also responsible for managing a portfolio of ‘Supporter Funded Programmes’. These programme and projects cover a variety of different topics targeted at addressing specific needs within higher education. Steve is responsible for managing the full project lifecycle from development to delivery. Much of his role involves working closely with a variety of stakeholders including Programme Directors, Co-facilitators, external organisations and monitoring bodies.
Michael’s position sits within the Programme Development team that look after the development and design of new programmes offered by the Leadership Foundation. The primary focus of his position is the management of all the events taking place in the delivery of new programmes, whilst managing relationships with key stakeholders and suppliers.
Programmes and Projects Manager (Funder Supported Projects)
T: 020 3468 4826
Alice works as part of the Programmes and Projects team. Primarily focusing on the delivery of a suite of new funder supported projects, she also supports a number of other key programmes. Currently she is engaged with rolling out Diversifying Academic Leadership and a number of events around the Prevent Agenda, as well as a series of governance roundtables. Having previously worked within the international schools sector as professional development trainer and as a research assistant within the British and Canadian Parliaments, she brings a number of transferable skills to the post.
Programmes and Projects Manager (Funder Supported Projects)
T: 0203 468 4825
Shireen is a Manager in the Leadership Development team. Her primary focus will be consolidating the governance work across the organisation and leading on the delivery of the governance and research arms of the funder supported projects 2016-17. In addition to the funded work, she will have involvement in the running of open programmes primarily through the Governor Development Programme and the Research programmes.
Jade supports the Programmes and Projects and team as a Programmes and Projects Coordinator, she is responsible or delivery and planning of various programmes and projects. The primary focus of her position is the coordination and delivery of core programmes In particular her remit covers the Top Management Programme, Preparing for Senior Strategic Programme, Leading departments, Introduction to Head of Department, Transition to Leadership, Leading Research Leaders and Research Team Leadership.
Tori supports the Leadership Development team as a Programmes and Projects Coordinator, she is responsible or delivery and planning of various programmes and projects. The primary focus of her position is the coordination and delivery of core programmes. Her remit covers, supporting the Top Management Programme, and leading on the Executive Leaders programme, Strategic Leadership Programme and SOS: Solutions for Organisational Success.
Lucy supports the programme development team in developing and growing new business streams. This has included working closely with internal colleagues and external partners on the development and delivery of two new and exciting partnership programmes; Changing the Learning Landscape and Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching. Lucy also assists with the co-ordination of new developments within the Aurora programme.
Thahmina works as part of the Leadership Development team, primarily focusing on the delivery of the new funder supported projects. In addition to the funded work, she will also be involved with the open programmes, in particular the Governor Development Programme, Research Programmes, Strategic Finance Programme and Introduction to Higher Education Programme.
Sheraine supports the Leadership Development Team as a Programmes and Projects Coordinator, she is responsible for the delivery and planning of various projects. The primary focus of her position is the coordination and delivery of core programmes such as Preparing for Senior Strategic Leadership, Leading Matters, Introduction to Head of Department and works closely with the Aurora team to coordinate and deliver the fantastic Aurora programme.
Leadership Development Officer/Executive Assistant to the Director of Leadership Development
T: 020 3468 4836
Jamila is part of the Leadership Programmes and Development team. Her primary focus is supporting the team with Aurora and Introduction to Higher Education. She is also a key contact for the Governor Development Programme, and a key support for the wider team working on a range of other programmes with logistical and event administration tasks. She is also the Executive Assistant to the Director of Leadership Development.
Tricia is responsible for leading and directing all the marketing and communications plans, programmes and activities of the Leadership Foundation. With her team of five she ensures that our members and customers are aware of and have access to our programmes and services. A chartered marketer, Tricia has held a number of senior marketing posts that focus on leadership, development and training, including for the UK's senior civil servants. Tricia’s professional interests include customer life cycles, digital marketing and measuring the impact of public relations.
Susie maintains the integrity of the contacts database and is responsible for the ongoing development of the Leadership Foundation website, liaising with our web provider to ensure that the website remains up-to-date and relevant to the needs of the higher education sector. Susie provides communications support to all areas of the organisation, ensuring that the right information is provided to our stakeholders on a timely basis. She is part of the production team that creates key communication materials such as our termly magazine, Engage, and the annual report, and is responsible for the e-newsletter to the staff development / human resources community.
Kyra has an overview of the project management and marketing strategy of all of the Leadership Foundation's open programmes and events. She also works across the organisation on marketing strategy for new programmes, international projects, research and consulting developments. She is a lead contact for associates, programme directors and key stakeholder partnerships and has a strategic focus on the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.
Simone has an overview of the project management and marketing strategy of all of the Leadership Foundation's open programmes and events. She also works across the organisation on marketing strategy for new programmes and international projects, research and consulting developments. She is a lead contact for associates, programme directors and key stakeholder partnerships and has a strategic focus on the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.
Louise supports the development of leadership excellence in the higher education sector by organising, marketing and running a range of leadership programmes and initiatives. These are designed with the needs and aspirations of the HE sector in mind, and have a wide reach across academic and professional services.
She has recently joined the Marketing team having spent the previous year and a half within Consultancy; working closely with clients, associates and staff to deliver in house leadership initiatives designed around the individual needs of institutions.
Since joining the Leadership Foundation in July 2013, Louise has taken part in the first year of the Aurora programme, and co-authored a research paper on strengthening organisational culture with Professor Paul Gentle.
Rita is responsible for the marketing, planning and event management of a wide range of leadership development programmes and events for staff in the higher education sector. Since joining the organisation in February 2014, Rita has developed professional working relationships with stakeholders, programme directors and customers in order to increase institutional engagement. Rita is very passionate to be part of the small but dynamic marketing team, working across the organisation, to ensure that the Leadership Foundation is positioned at the forefront of leadership development in higher education.
Director, Membership and Organisational Development
M: 07977 457 949
Lesly is Director of Membership and Organisational Development at the Leadership Foundation. She works across the organisation, with our network of national and regional Assistant Directors, Membership and with our 155 member institutions, to ensure delivery of high quality membership benefits and services. Lesly is also lead contact for institutions in the South West of England. She leads on investments for members such as the Small Development Projects and Innovation and Transformation Fund in partnership with other sector bodies such as Hefce, Universities UK, UHR and UCEA.
Lesly also leads on Change Academy, one of our strategic consultancy services, and manages and facilitates our Leadership Development Academy in Ukraine with the British Council and Institute of Higher Education in Kiev.
A doctor of education, Lesly has 30 years’ experience in higher education roles spanning staff development, digital technologies, teaching and research, in the UK and internationally. She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and a Fellow of the AUA.
Assistant Director, Membership (Scotland)
PA T: 07711 378 757
Jean joined the Leadership Foundation in August 2012 with a range of experience in leadership and management development design, delivery and facilitation. Jean’s early career was in NHS Scotland, prior to moving into human resources management, latterly as head of staff and organisational development at Glasgow University. Jean has experience of using different development tools to help groups and individuals and is accredited to deliver Myers-Briggs personality profiling. Jean is also a qualified Institute of Leadership and Management level 7 executive coach, coaching within and outside higher education. She is interested in the use of coaching within teams and how this can help improve performance.
Assistant Director, Membership (Midlands, Yorkshire & NE)
Judy has worked for the Leadership Foundation since 2011. As Assistant Director, Membership, she is lead contact for over 30 member institutions in the East Midlands, West Midlands, North-East England, Yorkshire and Humberside. Her role is to work in partnership with institutions, listening and responding to their needs, and maximizing the benefit they receive from - and contributions they make to - the LF. In 2011-12 Judy was the Project Manager of MASHEIN, the LF-supported network of small and specialist institutions in the UK. In 2014, Judy created the East and West Midlands LF Regional Change Network. Meeting twice yearly, deploying TED-style inputs, this Network has been particularly successful in attracting senior academics as well as professional staff, in demonstrating the value of shared expertise, and in fostering collaborative relations
Judy brings four decades of cross-sector education experience to her LF role - as an academic, researcher, consultant and professional leader and manager - in adult, community, further and higher education. Her experience also spans countries and cultures. For a number of years, she worked in higher education in South Africa as a lecturer, researcher, author, masters and doctoral supervisor/examiner.
Judy holds an MEd in the Management and Administration of Higher and Further Education, from the University of Manchester, and a PhD from the Open University.
Assistant Director, Membership (Ireland)
T: 020 3468 4827
Maeve has recently joined the Leadership Foundation as an Associate to promote the Aurora programme in the UK and Ireland and to engage directly with Aurora stakeholder representatives and (potential) participants. She was an Aurora Champion for University College Cork, where she actively promoted her university’s engagement with the programme and continues to work with their first 6 Aurora ‘graduates’. She has substantial experience of implementing a number of the LF programmes in-house and sectorally in Ireland, including the Introduction to Head of Department and Head of Department programmes, Research Team Leadership and Leading Technical Teams. In 2014-15 she looks forward to introducing the newly revised Leading Teaching Teams in-house.
Maeve has 20 years of experience working in people and organisational development in higher education in Ireland and England. Having held various roles in HR, Equality, Learning and Development and Welfare, her principal expertise lies in leadership and management development, group facilitation, action learning, executive coaching, personal development, resilience and wellbeing. Maeve also provides freelance, customised interventions to organisations, teams and individuals and runs open programmes.
Gary’s role involves liaising with all higher education institutions in Wales, developing relationships with LF members, and coordinating and developing events and leadership development initiatives that support and complement individual institutions’ strategies and needs and the national Welsh higher education agenda. The role also involves undertaking consultancy and facilitating leadership training.
As Gary is seconded part-time, he retains his role as director of Research, Business & Innovation at Aberystwyth University, where he and his team support research and enterprise activities across all disciplines. Gary is also responsible for researcher development and is a Welsh Crucible champion and programme facilitator. Gary also headed the Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities’ Strategic Alliance Office, which included project managing three multimillion pound projects. Previously, as a management academic at Loughborough University for 10 years, Gary lectured in leadership, strategy, management and marketing on a number of professional programmes for blue chip clients, and he was director of research for the centre of automotive management. His previous experience includes: qualified secondary school teacher, FE College lecturer, and telecommunications systems sales.
Cindy works with Leadership Foundation members and other stakeholders with a particular focus across Greater London, the East and Southeast of England. Cindy supports the members to gain optimum value from their membership by accessing services that support and complement each institution’s strategies and the higher education agenda.
Cindy has focussed her career since 2001 within the higher education sector. Her previous experience encompasses staff roles across a range of functions at universities in the UK and in Canada (University of Victoria, University of Cambridge and University of Kent) and she has led organisational development, research, leadership and change initiatives that have focused on the development of people and of organisations. Cindy brings cross-functional experience through her previous time at international consulting firm Accenture as well as in the arts sector. Cindy holds first class Bachelor of Fine Arts and MBA degrees, receiving top honours for her final management report on the topic of developing a climate for organisational innovation.
Assistant Director, Membership (NW England)
Meriel is Head of Staff Development at Liverpool John Moores University. She is the LF’s Regional Co-ordinator for the North West of England. She is a Fellow of the LFHE and Staff Development Forum, joint Chair of the UK Organisation Development in Higher Education network and SDF North West Co-ordinator.
Meriel has 20+ years’ management experience working in HE and is passionate about helping people to realise the full extent of their potential. As Chair of the LGBT Staff Network she has been instrumental in enabling LJMU to achieve international recognition as a Top 100 Employer since 2010 in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index; leading the sector on LGBT equality practice. In July Meriel spoke at the Stonewall National ‘Education for All’ Conference. Meriel is a member of the LF’s Diversity Advisory Group.
Meriel also provides consultancy and supports people across sectors in leadership and organisational development. She is a Person Centred Counsellor, Coach and Personality Profiler and is a member of the British Psychological Society and Equity.
Assistant Director, Membership (Small & Specialist Institutions) + MASHEIN Project Director
Becky Bull commenced her career working in higher education as an Editorial Assistant for the Regional Studies Journal whilst following part-time postgraduate study at the University of Sussex. She joined the Management of Small Higher Education Institutions Network (MASHEIN) Project, a Hefce funded project based at Bishop Grosseteste University College, in 2002 as the Project Officer. In this role she explored the distinctiveness of small institutions, their management and leadership, and models of collaboration and partnership. She disseminated the findings in a project report submitted to Hefce. In 2003, with other members of the MASHEIN team, she successfully secured follow-on funding from Hefce to identify the feasibility of a joint staff development project for small institutions. Following the success of this project, the MASHEIN team made a successful bid for continued funding to the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. Becky’s role was re-designated as MASHEIN Project Manager in 2007 and MASHEIN Project Director in 2014, reflecting her increased responsibilities arising from the development of the MASHEIN network and the expansion of its programmes and activities.
From January to May 2007 Becky was seconded to GuildHE on a part-time basis as a Policy Support Officer with responsibility for the areas of Employer Engagement and the United Kingdom Arts and Design Institutions Association (UKADIA). Within her own institution she served on the Research Group from 2003 – 2009 and the Research Ethics Group from 2008 - 2009. She has been a member of the Leadership Foundation’s Membership Advisory Group since 2008.
Fiona leads research and thought leadership with a particular focus on generating learning for organisations on ‘what works’. Fiona has a background in community health and social policy and has worked as practitioner, teacher, research leader and senior manager over a 35 year career in higher education. She has had academic leadership roles at King’s College London, Kingston University and St George’s, University of London where most recently she was an executive dean. She has published widely on policy and care of older people, public engagement, collaborative practice and leadership of change. In addition to her role with the Leadership Foundation she has a part time professorial appointment at Kingston University and St George’s and does research and writes on collaborative governance and evaluating system wide interventions including Kingston University’s approach to narrowing the attainment gap for students from BME backgrounds. Fiona has recently been appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees of Princess Alice Hospice, which delivers end of life care in Surrey and South West London. She was awarded a CBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list for services to health care and higher education.
Will manages the Leadership Foundation’s programme of research. His role is to ensure research outputs are shared with, and useful to, our members and stakeholders. Will co-ordinates the commissioning process; monitors project progress; contributes to the editing of final research outputs and manages research expenditure. He contributes to the ongoing development of the research strategy and co-ordinates meetings of the Research Advisory Panel. Will is also the Leadership Foundation’s Policy Officer, and works with the chief executive officer and her senior leadership team to enable the Leadership Foundation to engage with and contribute to sector discussions and consultations on higher education policy developments.
Frances coordinates operational aspects of the Leadership Foundation’s new and existing research and innovation activity. Her part-time role includes supporting the development, delivery, dissemination and evaluation of research and innovation projects and programmes. Frances also coordinates relationships with project teams, partners, stakeholders and other parties involved in research and innovation programmes. Frances completed a PhD in Educational Studies at the University of Sheffield in 2011, and has worked in the higher education sector since 2002.
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