Biographies

Council members

Class 1: Ex Officio

Dame Jo Williams

Jo graduated from Keele in 1971 and began her career as a social worker. She spent the next thirty years in public sector, the last ten as a Director of Social Services. In 2003, Jo became the Chief Executive of the Royal Mencap Society. She was previously the Chair of the Care Quality Commission, the health and social care regulator. Jo is currently the Chair of Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Jo was appointed Chair of Council in 2018 and also sits on Business Review Committee, Nominations & Governance Committee and Senior Remuneration Committee.

Jo enjoys reading, cooking for family and friends, travelling, music and the theatre. Jo has a passionate commitment to equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion.

Richard Barnes

Richard has been a member of the University Council since July 2012 and is presently a Deputy Pro-Chancellor and the Chair of the University's Audit and Risk Committee. Richard was also appointed as Senior Independent Member of Council in April 2020. Prior to joining Keele University, Richard was CEO of Barwood Products Ltd and held senior financial positions in Burtons Foods, Waterford Wedgwood and Ford Motor Company both here and abroad. He has also been a founding Director of Advantage West Midlands (the Regional Development Agency) and was Chair of InStaffs, West Midlands In Europe, and the North Staffordshire Regeneration Zone. He is presently Chair of the Lichfield Garrick Theatre Trust. In his spare time Richard sails competitively, shoots and has a love of music and classic cars.

Richard graduated from Keele University in 1990 with a degree in Geography and Economics, which was then followed by an MBA from Leicester University in Sports Management. Following numerous roles within the sports industry at both Adidas and Puma, Richard is currently the Senior Sports Marketing Director at Nike. He lives in Tunbridge Wells in Kent and is married with two children.

Sally Bucknell

Sally has been a member of Keele University Council since September 2015 and was previously a lay member of the Equality and Diversity subcommittee from September 2014.

She is Director, Diversity & Inclusiveness for the UK firm of EY LLP, a global professional services organisation and has over 20 years’ experience in HR roles in professional services , leading on change and organisational development.

Sally lives in Cheshire with her husband and two young children. She works 4 days a week for EY, committing time outside work to mentoring social entrepreneurs with the EY Foundation, and enjoying time with her family.

David Hall

David grew up in Alsager and graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1985 with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Money, Banking and Finance (BSocSc). David joined Arthur Anderson (Birmingham Office) in 1985 as a Trainee Auditor and left as an Audit Partner in 2002.

David joined Deloitte LLP in 2002 as an Audit Partner at both the Birmingham and Nottingham Offices. David successfully became a Qualified Chartered Accountant in 1988.

David retired in February 2017 and joined the Council of Keele University in 2018 as the Honorary Treasurer.

Professor Trevor McMillan

Professor Trevor McMillan became Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of Keele University in January 2014 and was appointed Vice-Chancellor in August 2015.

A radiation biologist, he has published widely on the use of X-rays in radiotherapy and the harmful effects of sunlight. He has taught at all levels in Universities and to medical professionals on the biological basis of cancer treatments. Trevor has also worked on several groups that have examined the harmful effects of radiation in the environment.

Before coming to Keele he was Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Lancaster University, where he led several major academic developments and was the lead for many partnerships with other Universities and external organisations in the UK and abroad. Before that he led a laboratory examining DNA Damage and Repair at the Institute of Cancer Research/Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey. Trevor has taught at Universities around the world and to medical professionals on the biological basis of cancer treatments.

Professor Mark Ormerod

Professor Mark Ormerod became Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of Keele University in August 2015. He was previously Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) and Head of the Schools of Physical and Geographical Sciences, and Chemistry and Physics.

Mark is a chemist by background, graduating in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, where he also undertook his PhD in surface chemistry, and was subsequently awarded the prestigious Cambridge University Oppenheimer Research Fellowship. His research centres on sustainable technologies and processes, in particular sustainable materials chemistry, cleaner catalysis, fuel cells and biogas conversion, and has been extensively cited, with over 150 publications. In 1997 he was awarded a major Research Council Research Fellowship and promoted to Professor of Clean Technology and Inorganic Materials Chemistry in recognition of his research achievements.

Mark’s research interests also include interdisciplinary research on sustainability and energy, focusing on reducing energy use and factors affecting pro-environmental behaviour in individuals and communities. He has a national profile for his public engagement activities and educating schoolchildren, particularly in disadvantaged communities, in sustainability issues.

Class 2: Members of the University Staff

Peter Andras

Professor Andras is a computer scientist with a PhD from the Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj, Romania). His research is about information processing in complex systems, covering the analysis of biological neural systems, agent-based modelling of social systems, and machine learning. He worked in the 1990s as the CEO of a non-profit foundation active in local and regional development. He started his academic career as Lecturer in the Department of Psychology of Newcastle University in 2001. He was a Lecturer (2002) then Reader (2005) in the School of Computing Science of Newcastle University. He joined Keele University in 2014 as a Professor in the School of Computing and Mathematics and he became the Head of School in 2017. He was member of the Senate (2003-2006, 2009-2012) and Council (2011-2014) at Newcastle University. He is member of the Senate at Keele University since 2015. He is co-founder of three university spin-off companies, one of these, e-Therapeutics Plc, entered the London Stock Exchange in 2007. He was a local councillor (Liberal Democrats) in Newcastle upon Tyne (2011-2014).

Dr Lisa Dikomitis Professor Lisa Dikomitis is an anthropologist currently working on global health projects in Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Her research areas are forced migration and effects of conflict, non-communicable diseases (with a focus on mental health), health systems and neglected tropical diseases in unserved and underserved areas.

Since 2014, Professor Dikomitis was awarded over £12 million in external research income from UKRI Councils and the NIHR, of which £5 million as lead investigator (SOLACE and ECLIPSE). She has pioneered new and transformative ways of conducting interdisciplinary global health research, combining anthropology, development studies and health services research with culturally appropriate and context-bespoke community engagement. She is regularly appointed to UKRI (GCRF, MRC, AHRC) and NIHR funding panels.

Professor Dikomitis is currently an external examiner for several UK universities. She currently supervises 8 PhD students, has completed 4 PhD students and over 40 master’s students.

Shalini_Sharma Shalini graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1994 and went on to complete a first-class Master’s (MPhil) in Politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and was awarded a PhD in 2005 from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. Shalini's career has seen her responsible for teaching and examining modules pertaining to the governance and politics of South Asia; international history; colonial and postcolonial history and modern history to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Shalini joined Keele University in 2005, where she took up a permanent lectureship in Colonial and Postcolonial History.

Shalini is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and currently the Director of Postgraduate Studies for the School of Humanities (2019). Since 2017, she has co-led the ‘Decolonising the Curriculum Group’ at Keele University. Shalini was also Co-Chair of Keele University’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff (BAME) Network from May 2018 – July 2019.

emma colley Emma joined Keele University in June 2014 as the Professional Development Advisor in the previous Learning and Professional Development Centre, having worked at another HE Institution for 17 years as a HR/OD professional.

In 2018 she joined the central HR team as the Organisational Development (OD) Officer. She leads a core programme of development including over 100 different workshops, accredited and non-accredited programmes, conferences and events and online learning through Learning Pool. Her role enables her to work in partnership with colleagues across campus on such projects as the Technician Commitment, Apprenticeships, AUA, Professional Services and Technical Services Networks, JISC development projects and coaching opportunities for all-staff.

Emma completed a Masters in Strategic Human Resources Management in 2018 and holds a range of regional and national memberships to groups such as the Heads of OD, Midlands Staff Development Partnership (MSDP), Staff Development Forum (SDF), Association of University Administrators (AUA) and is a Peer Reviewer for the Technician Commitment.

Class 3: Lay Members Appointed by the Council

Ruth Bagley has over 35 years' experience working in the public sector of which the last 16 were as a Chief Executive of Councils in Devon and Slough. She has considerable experience attracting national recognition in the fields of, Economic Growth, Skills and Inward Investment, Affordable Housing, Strategic Transport Infrastructure, Community Safety and Community Cohesion. She has led organisations through major transformation and extreme austerity, succeeding in achieving high employee satisfaction and continuing investment. Under her leadership Slough became the most productive town per capita in the UK and achieved a faster reduction in crime than comparable and less disadvantaged areas.

Ruth’s early career was an Archivist and Manager of Heritage Services in Wales and Shropshire before moving into Senior Management. She now holds a non-executive role in a Housing Association and provides advice to the private sector. She is currently chairing a Thames Valley Working Group to secure delivery of a rail link to Heathrow and sits on the British Chambers of Commerce Expert Panel on Transport. She acts as an Independent Investigator.

Ruth was the first female Chief Executive to lead a CPA Excellent Council and was awarded an OBE in 2007 for services to Local Government.

Professor MacLeod is an accomplished organisational leader in the for profit and not for profit sectors, leading in emergencies and stability. He simplifies complexity, institutes change management, constructs diverse partnerships, and builds high performing, cross-cultural teams.

He has run major natural disaster operations (for the UN), led membership organisations (Committee for Melbourne), been critical in start-up to growth in sustainable investing fintech (Cornerstone Capital, Sendry), led award-winning practices (Griffin Law) and critical environment advice (Burnham Global and Risk Advisory Group). A leading communicator, MacLeod is effective on major TV networks globally, including BBC World and CNN. He is a master public speaker.

Manali Lukha

Manali graduated from Keele in 1997 after completing an undergraduate degree in Geography and Geology, continuing at Keele to complete her Masters in Information Technology. With a passion for meteorology, she combined the two disciplines and joined the Met Office as a software programmer, working on key strategic projects with high-profile clients such as the FA (Football Association).

After progressing to the position of IT Manager in 2001, she later became the Business Manager if the Met Office's independent broadcast sector based in Central London. Manali was responsible for managing key-accounts commercially and contractually, developing new and existing customer relationships, across all broadcast and multimedia channels. In parallel to this role, Manali was asked to screen test as a weather presenter, this resulted in a successful career presenting forecasts for national and regional ITV channels.

In 2014 Manali was appointed Head of ITV Weather, in this role she continues to manage all ITV's weather content across broadcast, online and mobile platforms whilst maintaining her screen presence. She currently lives in South West London with her family.

 

Schaefer

Sherree graduated from Keele in 1991 with a degree in German and Russian Studies and graduated from University of Chester in 2013 with a Masters in Organisational Development.

She has spent her career in HR and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD) as well as an active member of the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and Association for Coaching (MAC).

With a career spanning over 20 years she has worked for organisations such as BASF, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Barclays specialising in organisational development and change and transformation management. Roles have involved responsibility for graduate recruitment and development for UK and International graduate schemes.

Sherree is currently the Director of Human Resource for Pay.UK Ltd, the UK’s leading retail payments authority. Sherree joined Keele Council as a lay member in 2016.

David, a Keele graduate, is the Group President and Founder of Oxford International Education Group. Oxford International was founded with a £5,000 loan from the Prince’s Business Trust in 1991 and has grown to be a £100m revenue international education company offering programmes in a number of countries and in the areas of secondary schools and sixth forms, university pathway colleges, trans-national education programmes overseas, English language schools in UK, USA and Canada and study trips and student mobility programmes for schools and universities. David is passionate about the opportunities international education offers to students of all ages from around the world. He is also on the Board of the Association of Language Travel Organisations, Oxford Sixth Form College and d'Overbroecks Independent School in Oxford. As well as being a lay member of the University Council, David is a member of the Business Review Committee.

Lesley is Vice President, Academic and Government Strategic Alliance at Elsevier. In this role, she is responsible for building strong relationships with the UK’s research leaders, building collaborative projects with universities and contributing to the development of Elsevier's work in data analytics for research and life sciences. She is also Chair of the Oxford Local Enterprise Partnership Innovation Board. Lesley was formerly Research Director for the EPSRC, chaired the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Research Directors Group, she was a founder member of the Royal Society Diversity Board and non-executive Director of the UK Research Councils Shared Services Board. As well as being a lay member of the University Council, Lesley is a member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Group.

Hifsa has had a career that has spanned a number of disciplines, including health, research and education. In 2012, she was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire and received an MBE for Services to Community Cohesion. Hifsa is a founding member of the Armed Forces Muslim Forum for the UK Ministry of Defense and a Director of the Association of British Muslims. She is an outspoken advocate for British Muslims and actively promotes a positive image of Islam, which is consistent with British values. She has been active at grassroots social engagement and supporting vulnerable groups for several decades.

Hifsa is regularly called to give interviews on regional and national media, speak at conferences and has written for a number of mainstream newspapers. She has also written a number of academic articles and published papers on palliative care for minority groups and nursing assessment processes. She is currently delivering the Government’s Prevent strategy in colleges and universities across the West Midlands region. She is currently a Trustee of Nisa-Nashim, a Muslim and Jewish women’s charity. Hifsa is an active supporter of Oxfam and The Citizen Foundation, a charity working to build and support primary and secondary schools in Pakistan’s most neglected communities.

Tracy Bullock Tracy qualified as a Nurse in 1987 whilst at Bolton Hospitals NHS Trust and throughout her 18 years there she progressed through roles of increasing responsibility; Ward Manager, Clinical Risk Manager, Governance Manager and Directorate Business Manager. During this time and until 2019 Tracy held a seconded role undertaking investigations and reviews for the Commission for Health Improvement, the Health Care Commission and more latterly the Care Quality Commission.

In 2002 Tracy started working as an Associate Director, with a newly formed national team of health professionals who were instrumental in providing support to some of the most challenged NHS Trusts in the country to achieve turnaround and latterly Foundation Trust status. During this time Tracy gained experience working in Acute, Primary Care, Ambulance and Mental Health Trusts.

In 2006, Tracy joined Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as Director of Nursing and Quality and subsequently was given the responsibilities of Chief Operating and then Deputy Chief Executive until becoming the Chief Executive in October 2010. Tracy joined UHNM as the Chief Executive in April 2019 and is a highly regarded leader who has served the NHS for 36-years.

Tracy is married and enjoys travelling, reading and gardening.

Jane Burns has worked in local government since graduating from Keele University in 1987 (BA French and Politics).

Jane is a committed public servant. She is currently Executive Director of Corporate Services at Cheshire East Council. She has worked in Gloucestershire, Dorset and the former Cheshire County Council in a variety of senior leadership roles. She is Local Government Association Peer Reviewer and a Non-Executive Director on the SOLACE Board (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives).

Jane is part of the Executive Leadership Team at Cheshire East Council. She is responsible for a wide range of functions, a team of over 500 staff and a budget of £34m. She is the lead for equalities. Jane is an associate Members of ICSA (now the corporate governance institute). She is also a qualified executive coach and mentor (ILM L7).

Class 4: Student Representatives

Elisia Narbett (KPA President) Elisia came to Keele from Pembrokeshire and graduated in 2019 with a BA Hons in Business Management and Media, Communications and Culture with advanced competency in French. Much of her university life was spent representing students through student voice representative and student ambassador roles, often acting as a liaison between staff and students.

Elisia returned to Keele to undertake a master’s in International Business before starting a professional career in business development. Quickly realising she missed an opportunity to continue with her passion of bettering student experience, she ran for the role of KPA Vice President. Through this role, Elisia recognised the importance of postgraduate representation across the university and after various successes was elected President of the KPA in 2021.

Elisia continues to champion postgraduate wellbeing and promote the postgraduate student voice within the university and local community. Aside from her work and studies, Elisia is a member of various music groups including Ceramic City Choir and Keele Acapella.

Biography to follow