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Biographies of the Members of the University Council

View the Anonymised Register of Interests for the Council 2020-2021
David Normington

Sir David Normington

Sir David Normington is the University’s Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor. Sir David began his first term of office as Chair and Pro-Chancellor on 1 August 2017. Prior to this, Sir David has served as an Independent Member of Council since August 2011. Sir David chairs the Nominations Committee, Remuneration Committee (except when it is considering the Vice-Chancellor's remuneration), Honorary Degrees Committee and the University of Warwick Foundation and is a member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee.

Sir David was a civil servant for 37 years, working in the fields of employment, education and criminal justice. He was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education and Skills from 2001 to 2005, at a time when the Department was responsible for further and higher education and skills in addition to its responsibilities for children and schools. From 2006 to 2010 he was Permanent Secretary at the Home Office leading a department with over 30,000 staff and responsibility for controversial issues like immigration and law and order. He worked with five Home Secretaries over his five-year term as Permanent Secretary and led a major transformation programme to restore the Home Office’s capability and reputation.

After retiring from the civil service at the end of 2010, Sir David was the First Civil Service Commissioner and the Commissioner for Public Appointments from April 2011 to March 2016. In these roles he regulated appointments to the civil service and public bodies, seeking to ensure that they were on merit after fair and open competition.

Sir David received a KCB in 2005 and was appointed GCB in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list. Sir David has an M.A.(Oxon) in Modern History and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development. Sir David was a Trustee of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) from 2011 - 2018. He is currently the Chair of Birmingham Royal Ballet, a Royal Ballet governor and a member of the advisory board to Westminster Abbey.

Anita Bhalla OBE

Anita Bhalla OBE is Vice-Chair of the University Council. Anita began her first term of office in December 2016 and began her term as Vice-Chair in February 2020. Anita's current term of office on Council is due to end on 31 July 2022.

Anita is also currently Chair of Performances Birmingham PLC (Town Hall and Symphony Hall), Independent Member of Birmingham & Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, Chair of Creative City Partnership, Director of Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership), Governor of the RSC, Trustee of the Children’s University and Chair of WM Mayor's Leadership Commission.

Anita's media career has been extensive of which she spent over 25 years working with the BBC; from setting up the BBC Asian Network to a news Correspondent, Documentary maker to being Head of Political and Community Affairs in England, then Head and Editor of the BBC's Public Space Broadcasting and President of Circom (a European wide group of public service broadcasters).

Anita has a strong commitment to public services and her portfolio in this area ranges from being a Commissioner on the Chancellor’s Commission (Warwick University), member of Birmingham's Social Inclusion Commission to being a past Chair of mac (Midlands Arts Centre), non-Executive Director of Birmingham Women’s and Children's Hospitals NHS Trust, Director of the High Speed Rail College, a previous Chair of a Junior and Infant School and member of the governing body of Birmingham City University.

In 2009 Anita was awarded an OBE for services to Broadcasting and Communities.

In 2012 Anita was the High Sheriff for the West Midlands. Anita has been awarded Honorary Degrees from Wolverhampton University, Birmingham City University and Warwick University. She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Louise Ainsworth

Louise is an independent member of the University Council. Louise began her first term of office in August 2019 and this term is due to end on 31 July 2022.

Louise is also currently Chief Executive Officer, EMEA, Media Division of Kantar and has worked across the advertising and media industry for more than 18 years, with extensive experience in senior consulting. Louise has held leadership roles in research, digital publishing, advertising and digital advertising agencies, including OgilvyOne, and at the BBC.

Louise has also worked at Shell Aviation and as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company. Louise spent six years at The Nielsen Company, leading Nielsen’s online media and advertising measurement & research business in EMEA.

Yewande Akinola

Yewande Akinola

Yewande Akinola is an independent member of the University Council. Yewande began her first term of office in February 2020 and this term is due to end on 31 July 2022.

Yewande is an award winning Chartered Design Engineer and Innovator, specialising in Design and Construction, Innovation and Manufacture of buildings and systems for the built environment. She has worked on projects in the U.K., Africa, the Middle East and in East Asia.

Yewande is also currently Principal Engineer and Innovation Lead at Laing O’Rourke and a TV presenter for Engineering Television programmes.

Gareth Bennett

Gareth Bennett

Gareth is Chief Operating Officer at Warwick Business School, with lead responsibility for the overall effectiveness of all functions of the School’s professional services. Gareth joined the University of Warwick in 2007 and held a number of leadership roles, including in governance and space management, before joining WBS in 2012.
Gareth is the Professional Services member nominated to represent Professional Services staff on the University Council. Their current term of office on Council is due to end on 31 July 2023.

Bal Claire

Bal Claire is an independent member of the University Council. Bal began his first term of office in May 2019 and this term is due to end on 31 July 2021.

Bal is an independent Management Consultant, helping organisations across a broad range of industry sectors and individuals to grow and succeed. Bal has built a diverse portfolio of roles including holding a number of non-executive positions, including a local NHS Trust and as well as Chairing a charitable Trust of the BT London Telecoms Region Amateur Sports Association. In a previous association with Warwick University, Bal was an independent member of the Faculty Advisory Board for the Medical School.

Bal had a hugely successful career at BT and has a deep understanding and experience of the telecommunications industry. Starting as an apprentice he worked his way up to senior Director roles holding significant accountability and led large-scale business transformation. Bal is motivated and passionate about delivering the right business outcomes that bring real value to customers.

In his spare time Bal fundraises for charity and likes walking and watching a range of sports including Rugby Union, Football and F1.

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Professor Stuart Croft

Stuart became the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Warwick in February 2016, moving from his previous role as the University’s Provost and prior to this as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research (Arts and Social Sciences). Stuart has been part of Warwick’s community since 2007, when he joined the Politics and International Studies department as Professor of International Security.

Stuart chairs the Financial Plan Sub-Committee and is a member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee, Nominations Committee, Honorary Degrees Committee, University Estate Committee, University of Warwick Foundation and the Investment Sub-Committee.

Working with colleagues, Stuart is responsible for ensuring the University of Warwick delivers excellent education and research within the region, nationally and internationally. Stuart’s work is in the field of security studies for which he has previously held senior posts at the University of Birmingham, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the British International Studies Association.

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Professor Christine Ennew OBE

Christine Ennew is Provost at the University of Warwick where she supports the Vice-Chancellor in the academic leadership of the University. A key aspect of her role is leading the development and delivery of the University’s academic strategy, ensuring that Warwick remains competitive and relevant within HE and beyond. She is responsible for the efficient and effective use of academic resources (including departmental resources, capital planning and space management, and information resources). In addition, she is Chair of the University’s Social Inclusion Committee and is the Executive Board lead for the University environmental sustainability strategy and its implementation.

Christine graduated from Cambridge University and completed her PhD at Nottingham. She was previously one of Nottingham’s Pro-Vice-Chancellors and served as Provost and CEO of the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. She joined the University of Warwick in August 2016.

In 2016, Chris was awarded an OBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to Higher Education and British-Malaysian Relations.

She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Common Purpose Student Experiences. She is also a Board Member for the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and Chair of its Regulation Committee.

John Ferrie

Dr John Ferrie CBE

Dr John Ferrie is an independent member of the University Council. John began his first term of office in August 2014. John's current term is due to end on 31 July 2021. Prior to this, John was an external expert member of the University's Audit Committee for the 2013/14 academic year. John is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, Remuneration Committee and the University Health and Safety Executive Committee.

John was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Honours list in 2004 for services to the defence and aerospace industry.

John has a DEng from the University of Warwick and holds a BSC (Hons) from the University of Strathclyde. John is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), a Chartered Engineer (CEng), a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE) and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS).

John's Aerospace career spans 44 years with Rolls-Royce, Smiths Group and GE.

Professor Saul Jacka

Professor Saul Jacka is one of four academic members of staff who are nominated to represent the Senate on the University Council. Their current term of office on Council is due to end on 31 July 2021.

Saul is a Professor in the Statistics Department specialising in Mathematical Finance and Probability and a Turing Fellow. He is a member of the University’s European Executive and inaugural chair of the Academic Freedom Review Committee (AFRC).

He is an independent examiner for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, a director of the UoW Pension Scheme trustee company and a member of the Joint Expert Panel on USS.

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Richard Hyde

Richard Hyde is an independent member of the University Council. Richard began his first term of office in May 2021 and this term is due to end in 2024.

Richard is Chief Executive of a construction products company. He has combined the leadership of his business with non-executive public sector roles focused on housing, the built environment and regeneration. This has included a number of nationally significant and complex organisations. He is a Chartered Accountant and has a degree in Economics.

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Dr Deborah Keith

Dr Deborah Keith is an independent member of the University Council. Deborah began her first term of office in August 2015 and her term of office is due to end on 31 July 2022. Deborah is a member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee, Honorary Degrees Committee, Remuneration Committee and the Nominations Committee.

Deborah has over 30 years of experience in the science and technology sector, most recently in corporate R&D with Syngenta, a global agri-business. Following an early career in academic research in plant genetics, and in international development in Bhutan, she spent sixteen years focused on the commercialisation of R&D innovation, which included heading up the Syngenta crop protection research portfolio to deliver global products to development, leading R&D strategy development and organisational change. As Head of External Collaborations at Syngenta, Dr Keith headed global teams to build strategic partnerships with academia and commercial enterprises.

Dr Keith is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Boards of the Aerospace Technology Institute, the John Innes Centre, the James Hutton Institute and Redag Crop Protection Ltd, and Chair of James Hutton Ltd.

Professor David Leadley

Professor David Leadley is one of four academic members of staff who are nominated to represent the Senate on the University Council. Their current term of office on Council is due to end on 31 July 2022.

David is a Professor in the Physics Department, where he has been Head of Department since 2015. His research is in experimental condensed matter physics and specifically in the electronic properties of low-dimensional semiconductors.

David joined Warwick, from Oxford, in 1995. He set up the Midlands Physics Alliance Graduate School in 2007, has been Chair of the Science Faculty Graduate Studies Committee and was briefly Academic Director of the Graduate School. In 2014, he established the interdisciplinary Materials Global Research Priority, and co-led this for five years.

David is also Deputy PVC for Research (Infrastructure and Ethics) in which he chairs the Research Governance & Ethics Committee and leads the Research Technology Platforms. He has sat on many University committees, panels and working groups, which currently include Senate, the University Health & Safety Executive Committee, Honorary Degrees, Academic Staff Committee and Research Committee. He is committed to widening participation, equality of opportunity, and a workplace where everyone is respected and appreciated.

Andy Lockett

Professor Andy Lockett is one of the four academic members of staff who are nominated to represent the Senate on the University Council. Their current term of office on Council is due to end on 31 July 2022. Andy is Dean of Warwick Business School.

Prior to becoming Dean in 2016, Andy undertook a number of leadership roles in WBS including the Head of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, Associate Dean, and Pro-Dean. He became Deputy Dean of the school in 2014 with specific responsibility for the school’s research, engagement and impact strategy.

Andy’s research and teaching interests intersect the areas of strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Luke Mepham

Luke Mepham

Luke is the President of Warwick Students’ Union and is a student member of the University Council.

Luke began his term in Office in August 2020 and this term is due to end on 31st July 2021.

Luke is the outward face of Warwick Students’ Union, representing students from Warwick's 27,000+ strong student community. Luke previously studied Maths at Warwick, and more recently served as Societies Officer for Warwick SU.

Rachel Moseley

Rachel Moseley

Professor Rachel Moseley is one of the four academic members of staff who are nominated to represent the Senate on the University Council. Their current term of office on Council is due to end on 31 July 2023.

Rachel is a Professor in the Film & Television Studies Department.

Jayne Nickalls

Jayne Nickalls is an independent member of the University Council. Jayne began her first term of office in October 2019 and this term is due to end on 31 July 2022.

Jayne is Non-Executive Director of the Pension Protection Fund, and has a strong track record of using information technology to deliver services to consumers during a career spanning almost 30 years in the private and public sectors. Jayne is also currently non-executive director at JADU Inc,

Jayne led Directgov (the UK citizen information service, now GOV.UK) for over five years, leading the organisation from start-up to an established business, at the heart of the government’s digital strategy in the Cabinet Office.

Jayne is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

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Adrian Penfold OBE

Adrian Penfold is an independent member of the University Council. Adrian began his first term of office in 2016 and his second term is due to end on 31 July 2022. Adrian chairs the University Estate Committee and is a member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee and Nominations Committee.

Adrian joined British Land in 1996, following his time in local government and with the London Docklands Development Corporation.

At British Land he dealt with major mixed use development projects in the UK and in the Republic of Ireland, with a particular focus on central London, including the award winning Regent’s Place and Leadenhall Building (the 'Cheesegrater').

He was a member of the Barker Review of Land Use Planning’s Panel of Experts and led the Government appointed independent Penfold Review of Non-Planning Consents which reported in July 2010. He was a member of the Government appointed Local Plans Expert Group which reported in 2016 and was a commissioner on the Government's Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.

He was awarded the OBE in March 2016 for Service to the Property Industry and Public Service to Planning.

He is also Non-Executive Chair of the Design South East charity.

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Neil Sachdev MBE

Neil Sachdev is the Treasurer of the University and an independent member of the University Council. Neil began his first term of office in 2016 and his current term is due to end on 31 July 2021. Neil is Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee, Investment Sub Committee and the Warwick Business School Advisory Board. Neil is also a member of the Financial Plan Sub-Committee.

Neil joined Tesco PLC in 1978, and was property director there before joining J Sainsbury PLC as commercial director in March 2007. Neil held the position of property director until leaving J Sainsbury PLC in March 2014. He was Chair of the Institute of Grocery Distribution until April 2014.

He is currently Chair of Bonhill Group plc, CakeBox Holdings plc, Energy Savings Trust and Exclusive Contracts Group Limited, as well as being a governor at Nuffield Health and Network Rail Property.

Neil also is Chair of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation Board for the Ministry of Defence and a Non-Executive Director for the Houses of Parliament Restoration and Renewal Programme.

Akosua Sefah

Akosua Sefah

Akosua is Democracy and Development Officer of the Warwick Students’ Union and is a student member of the University Council.

Akosua began their first term of office in September 2020 and this term is due to end on 31 July 2021.

Akosua’s role covers two main areas of Students' Union (SU) business. The first is the democratic processes of the SU. Akosua is in charge of running All Student Meetings, Autumn Elections and Sabbatical Officer Elections.

The development agenda concerns the SU outlets. Akosua has responsibility for making sure these outlets are run in the best interest of students and that feedback on current and future outlets is taken into account.

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Gail Tucker

Gail Tucker is an independent member of the University Council. Gail began her first term of office in 2016 and her second term is due to end on 31 July 2022. Prior to this, Gail was an external expert member of the Universtiy's Audit Committee for the 2015/16 academic year. Gail is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Gail is an experienced audit partner and lead Global IFRS technical partner responsible for insurance at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is a member of the EFRAG Insurance Accounting Working Group and the ICAEW Insurance Committee in the UK. Gail was admitted to the partnership in 1997 and has worked with insurance companies for over 20 years.

Gail is a frequent speaker at conferences and author of several publications. She works closely with clients and engagement teams on a number of the largest companies reporting under IFRS.