Advisory board

Our advisory board provides an external perspective on development, curriculum, research and future employability. Through their variety of experience, the board brings intelligent and strategic advice to us and act as a sounding board for how our activity can have an impact on both the local and international business landscape.

Our members

Find our more about our advisory board members and their experience.

After reading Economics and Royal Air Force commissioned service, Brian spent his early career with Shell-Mex and BP (petroleum products) and Spicers (paper merchanting and converting). In 1964 he founded the BIS Group (IT and Marketing services) which grew to £63 million turnover before selling to NYNEX Corporation, now Verizon (telecommunications services) in 1987.  He served on various NYNEX boards until 1993.

Since then Brian has built a portfolio career with quoted company non-executive directorships, including English China Clays (speciality minerals, chemicals and construction materials) Brammer (industrial and electrical components distribution) Unitech (power supplies and control systems) and Microgen (documentation and information management) He served on the Halifax Building Society’s London Board, prior to demutualisation. 

Latterly he has held chairmanships of private equity-backed companies such as Holt Lloyd (car care products) Detica (IT services) and Amtico (specialist flooring). He is currently Senior Non-Executive Director of The Goodwood Estate Company.  Outside business Brian has been a visiting Professor at the University of Surrey since 1976 and was a member of the Economic and Social Research Council.

Cath is a Triple Olympian who competed at the Atlanta, Sydney and Athens Olympic Games as part of the GB rowing team. The highlights of her sporting career included becoming World Champion and Olympic silver medallist. Cath worked as a senior diplomat for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for 12 years, specialising in conflict issues, with postings to Bosnia and Iraq. Her current work as a consultant, speaker and lecturer focuses on the principles of high performance and the challenge of delivering outstanding performance under difficult circumstances.

Core themes of her work include leadership, resilience, high-performance teams, dealing with pressure, peak performance and striving for personal and team excellence. Cath has taught on leadership courses at the Said Business School, Imperial College Business School and Ashridge Business School for clients across a variety of sectors. 

With a successful history in deal negotiation and a talent for developing long-term business partnerships, Megan has been digital strategy advisor to some of the most notable international media companies including Endemol, Star Television, BBC Worldwide and Fox Television advising on some of the world’s best-known TV series.

Megan started out in marketing and business development for the entrepreneurial internet businesses at News International and later Express Newspapers at the beginning of the digital revolution. As a result, Megan was headhunted by Celador International to spearhead the digital development of the show ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’, which went on to win 10 awards and went live in 60 countries. After 4 years Megan raised seed funding and set up a digital innovation business that works with some of the world’s biggest brands like Agatha Christie, Dancing with the Stars, Big Brother, Total Wipeout, etc…

Drawing on this gamification experience, Megan has recently been advising leading museums, cultural institutions, and regional authorities on their journey to making cities smarter, and experiences more relevant and engaging to younger audiences.
Megan has recently co-created a digital innovation course for Dauphine-Paris University and a creative digital strategy module at Westminster University (China Media centre)

Megan has a degree in Psychology and Sociology from University of Surrey and as a result, applies a very human-centred and motivational approach.

David has held senior and executive level roles across international media, technology, gaming and entertainment organisations in B2C and B2B businesses, AIM-listed, corporate and venture capital backed.

David has worked for a number of high-profile global companies such as Nielsen, Microsoft, Nintendo, BSkyB, and Coca-Cola. In addition, he was CEO of venture capital-backed I-Play, a mobile entertainment business, which was sold in 2007 in one of the largest private transactions within the sector at the time. Prior to taking up his role at Rocket Fuel, a leading programmatic marketing software and AI platform company, he was CEO of AIM-listed Nektan PLC, a mobile gaming company.

During his career, David has been involved with the launch of Digital Satellite TV in the UK, across Europe the Nintendo Wii, The Pokemon phenomenon, Xbox Kinect and Xbox Live. At Nielsen, he led the launch of a groundbreaking pan European digital advertising rating solution for the media industry and the introduction of a highly successful marketing effectiveness practice.

Pamela is an international banker with 34 years’ experience, predominantly within the financial restructuring sector. During her career at HSBC, where she was a Managing Director of the global restructuring team, Pam has worked with a wide range of companies from small agricultural businesses to global multinational groups in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and the US. She has helped address the financial challenges facing these companies and thereby enabling them to adapt to changes in their market or in the economy within which they operate.

Good at building positive working relationships with clients, other financial institutions, accountants and lawyers, Pam has strong communication, decision making, information assimilation and negotiation skills which she has used in handling cases of varying complexities, often with widely diverse creditor groups and competing agendas.

The DofE International Award Foundation co-ordinates and develops the Award worldwide, as well as upholding the principles and standards of the Award Programme. John is himself a Gold Award holder, following participation at school and university.

Trained as a teacher, John has worked with children and young people in a variety of situations, ranging from schools in suburban England to refugee camps in Uganda. He became a Headteacher at 28, going on to develop a reputation for regenerating underperforming schools. John has since been the National Education Director of Business in the Community, Chief Executive of Career Academies UK and Chief Executive of Young Enterprise.

John is a trustee of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets and a former non-executive director of UNICEF.  He recently completed his term as Vice Chairman of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.  John helped to found ‘Teach First’ in the UK.

John received the Freedom of the City of London in 2009 and, in 2008, The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in recognition of his long-standing dedication to enterprise education.

Simonetta is responsible on a global basis for driving all areas of brand, marketing and customer engagement at Western Union. This includes brand strategy, brand management, creative services, marketing strategy, marketing planning and transformation, social media, CRM and the membership and loyalty program.

Her main focus is to drive the modern age reappraisal of this iconic 160-year-old brand with customers, prospects and various types of stakeholders and influencers alike. She also works with teams all around the world to support their creative execution needs and maximize the impact of overall marketing communications through the development of effective strategies and execution best practices.

Simonetta joined Western Union in 2013. Prior to that, she spent two years at Bupa International, leading the strategy and market development function, and 10 years at American Express, where she held product management and development roles as well as a variety of strategy and strategic planning roles.

Simonetta started her career in McKinsey, working in Italy, Spain and London, and holds an MBA with Honors from Insead (1998), and a degree cum Laude in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Venice (1995). She is originally from Italy but is based in London and is fluent in Italian, English, Spanish and French.

David is a Non-Executive Director, Advisor and Chartered Engineer. He began his career as an engineer in the aerospace industry working across the world for customers such as Boeing and Airbus in both design and manufacturing functions. Following this, he was Chief Executive of the Engineering Employers Federation for London and the South East (EEF South) and a Director of EEF for over 12 years.  He worked with hundreds of technology based companies and led the team that delivered the Manufacturing Advisory Service for London and the South East.

He has been a Non-Executive Director and Trustee for nearly 20 years and as well as working with many technology and manufacturing businesses has been retained by DMH Stallard LLP, a leading law firm for over 5 years as their Strategic Advisor on manufacturing matters.

David is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Member of the Institute of Materials, Mineralogy and Mining, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of World Traders and a Freeman of the City of London.

In his spare time, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of a local arts centre and theatre company, ECB level 2 cricket coach and keen cyclist.

The major part of Paul's career was spent in the downstream oil products businesses working for Shell. Seventeen years were overseas in countries which included: Brazil, USA and Mexico. Over the last seven years at Shell, he held senior global positions, alongside direct P&L accountability for businesses in growth markets such as: India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. He was a Board Director of several Shell companies, Chairman of Shell Turcas Petrol AS and Vice President Strategy & Portfolio, Shell International.

Since 2010, he has been involved in a portfolio of activities, including: Independent Director to a US privately owned IT services company, FuelQuest Inc., Director of Stone & Associates, which primarily advised companies seeking growth internationally. He is a member of the International Advisory Board at Surrey University and is also a visiting professor in the Surrey Business School. He was part of the London Olympics Protocol Team and raises funds for cancer charities.

He has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Surrey, attended the Oxford University and Insead Business Schools. Fluent in Portuguese and understands spoken and written Spanish.

Gavin is a graduate of the University of Surrey with a successful 35-year career in education, technology and entrepreneurship. His career has ranged from senior executive positions in the United States with Ashton-Tate, Ansa and Norton Utilities through to entrepreneurial ventures in the UK and elsewhere including being a co-founder of WinMail. Creative and innovative with a track record of leadership and business transformation and turnaround.

Inspirational speaker and educator with a focus on bringing practical experience into the classroom at all levels of higher education. He is passionate about helping students fulfil their potential by providing an in-depth and practice-based perspective on the study of management.

Recently retired from corporate life having completed a 42-year career in engineering and management, Richard has unique experience of managing in the public sector, FTSE 100 sector, and global private equity environments.

After studying electrical engineering at Sheffield, he commenced a career with British Railways as a sponsored engineering management trainee.  Richard reached senior management status within the organisation and was notably appointed to take charge of the Southern signal engineering projects business in the aftermath of the Clapham Junction rail disaster in 1989, in which 35 people died as the result of a major systemic failure within the signalling organisation.

In the early 1990’s, Richard managed the creation and privatisation of a significant engineering business within British Railways. Later following the sale to the global conglomerate BTR, he transferred as Chief Executive of one of BTR’s subsidiary companies.