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

Originally from Afghanistan, Masi is a senior lecturer in social psychology. He is internationally known for investigating how victims of ethno-political conflicts respond to their suffering, and how their responses in turn shape or hamper opportunities for peaceful conflict resolution. In doing so, he has contributed to the pioneering research on the role of forgiveness in violent intergroup conflicts and made the discovery of the phenomenon that he coined as ‘intergroup competitive victimhood’.

Masi co-founded the Forgiveness Toolbox in collaboration with The Forgiveness Project Charity to identify the skills that would enable individuals and communities to learn how to forgive others and also how to practise kindness through self-forgiveness, improving mental well-being. So far, the toolbox has attracted over 36,000 visitors from 180 countries. He also led a second project with the same charity that resulted in an illustrated book titled ‘Forgiveness Is Really Strange’. This work aims to make science-based insights into forgiveness more accessible to adolescent and other non-academic readers.

For founding the MSc in Applied Social & Political Psychology, Masi was awarded the 2020 Innovative Teaching Award by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Masi is a co-editor in chief at the European Journal of Social Psychology.

Abbie Rutter profile picture

Abigail is a Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, who joined Keele University in 2006 to study Neuroscience and Psychology. Having graduated with her BSc (Hons) in 2009 she went on complete an MSc in Cell and Tissue Engineering and a PhD in Bioengineering and Cancer studies at Keele. She started her Lectureship within the School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering in January 2019.

Her research focuses on the development of non-invasive tools for investigating and supporting medicine, with the support of bioengineered tissues. Her research group is currently exploring conditions of the ear (age-related hearing loss and infection), and bowel (Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis), looking at diagnosis and restoration. They are also studying stem cell biology for use within regenerative medical therapies, using spectrometry and vibrational spectroscopy techniques. She currently supervises 2 PhD students and has supported numerous MSc students in the completion of their dissertations.

Abigail teaches across both Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses at Keele, delivering a curriculum focussed on anatomy and physiology, cell and tissue engineering and biomedical engineering. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Since 2019, she has been the Chair of the School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and continues to lead the School’s successful accreditation and progression within the Athena SWAN charter.

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.


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 Brown 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 Thompson 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 Chartered Governance Institute). She is also a qualified executive coach and mentor (ILM L7).

‌‌Mike Farrar  I am a well established and respected management consultant with 15 years of CEO experience in the NHS, having stepped down as the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation in September 2013. In my consultancy work I chair the PwC Public Sector Health Board helping to improve the company's offer to the health and care sector.  As part of my portfolio I have also built a successful independent consulting business practice (Mike Farrar Consulting Ltd) working with clients such as Celesio, RCGP, ABPI, NHS Quest, NHS Leadership Academy, J and J, Health Foundation, Medtronic, intuitive, Pfizer, CIPFA, Olympus as well as advising on equity investment and starting up a number of small companies aimed at promoting health innovations, and links with sport.

I remain a prominent thought leader and consultant to the NHS, where I support system wide leadership groups in Greater Manchester, (as a major part of their work on devolution), West Yorkshire, London, South Wales, South Nottinghamshire, Lancs/South Cumbria, Hertfordshire, Essex, Oxfordshire, and Cheshire & Merseyside along with development work with a large number of individual NHS boards. Alongside this, I work internationally on health with previous input to transforming care in the Middle East, Japan, Russia, US, Spain and Australia.

I was previously the chief executive of the North West England SHA from May 2006 to April 2011, and prior to that, chief executive of West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire Strategic Health Authorities, chief executive of Tees Valley Health Authority and head of primary care at the Department of Health. During my time at the Department of Health, I was responsible for a major programme of primary care reform including creating PCGs, PCTs, PMS, and then the new NHS and Care commissioning system coming out of the NHS Plan. .

I chaired the Strategic Health Authority Chief Executive’s Group from 2002 to 2009. and alongside this, chaired the NHS Confederation GP Contract negotiating team that successfully introduced the Quality and Outcome Framework into the new General Medical Service contract in 2002. I also chaired the NHS Life Sciences Innovation Delivery Board and was the key architect of the North West Advancing Quality programme, which was one of the worlds largest and most successful pay for performance quality improving schemes in healthcare

I match my portfolio in health with dedicated work in the charitable sector (with roles on the Charity Bank Advisory Board, Vincent Housing Association and the Positive Practice Mental Heath collaborative)  and in sport, where I currently have active roles as Chair of Swim England, a trustee of the EFL Trust, Chair of Rugby League Players Welfare Forum, Chair of Huddersfield Giants and Rochdale FC Community Sports Trusts. My sports portfolio has been developed on the back of previous roles as the Vice and Interim Chair of Sport England, and my appointment as National Tsar for Sport and Health. I was awarded the CBE in 2005 for services to the NHS and I am an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Physicians and of the University of Central Lancashire

Class 4: Student Representatives

I’m Sarah, and I’m the KPA President for this academic year. I’m nearly at the end of my MA in English Literature.

I completed my undergrad at Keele in 2013, and went on to be a secondary school teacher, before coming back to Keele in 2020 (I just can’t keep away!) I have experience in a variety of different leadership roles and working with a diverse and unique workforce.

I am passionate about improving student experience and ensuring postgraduates all get the best opportunities and support whilst studying at Keele. I will always make sure that their voices are heard, and that their welfare and wellbeing are at the forefront of everything that the KPA does. I will be a stable and visible presence, both on campus and behind the scenes.

I graduated from Keele University in 2020 with a BSc Hons in Mathematics. During my time at Keele, I became a member of Women’s Rugby and a committee member during my second year. Throughout my time, I became increasingly passionate about the Students’ Union and became an actively involved member. I’ve represented students on the Athletic Union committee fulfilling the role of treasurer and nationally as an NUS Delegate. In 2020, I was elected as the Athletic Union and Sport officer and re-elected as the Union Development and Democracy officer in 2021 where I’ll continue to ensure student voices are heard.