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Board of Governors

How we deliver on our strategic vision

Our Board plays an important non-executive role in the success of the University. Our Governors are dedicated to the development of our staff, the learning of our students and the growth of the University as a whole. They are an essential part of our One Middlesex family.

See the Board's responsibilities

Meet our Governors

Our current Governors have all made notable contributions to business, academic and public life. They contribute their professional, specialist and general management skills to drive the development of the University. Members of the Board bring an independent view to their work so they can hold the Executive to account.

Meet the inspiring individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to Middlesex.

  • Marianne Neville-RolfeMarianne Neville-Rolfe

    Interim Chair of the Board of Governors

    Marianne Neville-Rolfe began her career with the Confederation of British Industry and was the first head of its Brussels office, before joining the Department of Trade and Industry. She later headed the Civil Service College and the Cabinet Office's Top Management Programme. Marianne was the first Director of the Government Office for the North West and later joined the South East England Development Agency as Business and then Strategy Director.

    In recent years she has been involved in several small businesses in non-executive roles. She has been a Governor and Chair of the Board at the University of Bolton. She owns a small consultancy and coaching business, P&M Hill Coaching Ltd, jointly with her husband.

  • Professor Liz BarnesLiz Barnes

    Liz was Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive at Staffordshire from 2016 to 2022, having previously been Deputy Vice Chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University and Derby University, following a long career at Teesside University.

    With a commitment to universities playing their role in the community, and supporting opportunities and initiatives to improve the life chances of our young people, Liz is a member of five Multi-Academy Trusts including one in London.

    Liz was appointed to the Order of the British Empire with a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2019 for services to higher education. In 2020, Liz became a Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire.

  • Vice-Chancellor Nic BeechNic-Beech

    Nic Beech is Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University having previously been a Vice-Principal of the University of St Andrews and Provost of Dundee University. He is President of the British Academy of Management, hon. Treasurer of the Academy of Social Sciences, Chair of the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment, Chair of AccessHE and a board member of the QAA and the Chartered Management Institute Race Equity board. His research focuses on identity, diversity, change leadership and learning and in addition to numerous journal articles he has published eight books, the latest of which is Impact in Business and Management Research (with R. MacIntosh, K. Mason and J. Bartunek, 2021, Routledge). He is leading the UK-wide taskforce on reducing drug supply, demand and harm in universities and is a member of the Ministerial working group on spiking. Nic has held visiting chairs in the UK, Europe and Australia and has been awarded fellowships or companionships of the British Academy of Management, the Academy of Social Sciences, the Royal Society of Arts, the Chartered Management Institute, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management.

  • Simon Darling

    Simon Darling is the Managing Director of digital transformation consultancy, Jack & Anna. Clients include multinationals and startups within FMCG, telecoms, financial services, retail and healthcare sectors in both turnaround and high growth situations and PLC and private equity environments.

    Simon started his career in Finance at Unilever. He has been Marketing Director at eBay, VP Marketing at Skype and Chief Commercial Officer at Trainline. He has founded two startups, one of which, Fonepark, was acquired by an AOL-backed company. He has a First in Economics from Cambridge University and is a prize winner and Passed Finalist with CIMA.

  • Chris Fenton

    Chris Fenton, after an early international career in chemicals, has focused on infrastructure and services. Most recently Chris was Chief Executive of the Rail Safety and Standards Board after senior management roles at Amey, Tube Lines and BSI and a non-executive director at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

    In education and skills he is currently on the Boards of City and Guilds Group and at JTL, a major apprenticeships provider. He was previously chairman of the National Skills Academy for Rail.

  • David Gilani

    David started his career at the University of Southampton where he was a Students' Union sabbatical officer, before moving over to the University to establish their Student Communications function. He now works at Middlesex University as their Head of Student Engagement and Advocacy leading on their efforts to engage both current students and alumni.

    He is a passionate advocate of the student voice and in 2012 he founded the Student Publication Association, which supports student journalists across the UK and Ireland. He believes strongly in universities working together to support student engagement efforts, and so co-chairs the CASE Student Communications conference, leads the AUA’s Student Experience and Engagement Network and represents Pearson as their Academic Lead for Student Experience.

    He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of York on the topic of student belonging.

  • Laura Guittard

    Laura Guittard is currently Vice-President Global Finance Risk Management & Controls at GSK. She oversees the risk management of the enterprise risk ‘Finance Controls & Reporting’ on behalf of the CFO. Laura has a BA in Business Administration from Strathclyde University. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant of Scotland and moved to Paris with KPMG. She then moved to Kraft Foods/Mondelez where she had roles of increasing responsibility and lived in 5 different countries across 3 continents. Laura is a strong advocate of meritocracy and in GSK participates or chairs voluntary groups and provides mentoring for women and those just starting their career. Laura is also a Director of various GSK subsidiaries.

  • Sagar Joshi

    Sagar Joshi is President of Middlesex University Student's Union for the 2022-23 academic year. He came to this university in 2019 and started an international business course and was elected as a President while he was in my second year of his studies. Prior to this he was working as a Support worker for 2.5 years in a Private Mental Health Company. In his role as president of MDXSU he is leading on academic and welfare representation for the students. He is working along with three Vice Presidents as well as students to identify issues and campaign for change, ensuring student voice is at the centre of every decision made. This year his focus will be on helping international students with the fee's instalment plans and easy fees extensions and sponsorships, mental health and wellbeing and LGBTQ+ students' support to get the exposure they need.

  • Mark Leach

    Mark Leach is the founder, CEO and Editor in Chief of Wonkhe - home of the UK higher education debate. Before setting up Wonkhe, Mark worked in policy and public affairs roles in and around higher education, working at the National Union of Students, HEFCE, University Alliance, GuildHE as well as a stint in politics as a special adviser to the former Shadow Minister for Universities and Science. As CEO of Wonkhe, Mark is responsible for running and developing the business and as Editor in Chief, oversees Wonkhe’s editorial platforms that span influential email briefings, Wonkhe.com and The Wonkhe Show podcast which he also hosts.

  • Matt Lewis

    Matt Lewis retired from KPMG in March 2016 having worked there for 30 years and been a partner for 20 years. He worked in a number of industry sectors, including Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Retail, Leisure, Engineering, Defence and Business Services. His clients were predominantly large international listed groups. As well as audit, Matt supported clients on many significant transactions, including IPOs, mergers, acquisitions and disposals.Matt chairs the Audit, Assurance and Risk Committee and the Remuneration Committee. Matt is also a trustee of the Weald and Downland Museum in Sussex.

  • Li Li Long


    Lili is an experienced angel investor and portfolio non-executive Director.

    She serves as the Vice Chair at Partnership Learning Multi Academy Trust, where she also  Chairs the Audit and Risk Committee. She is a non-executive Director at the London Historic Building Trust, where she Chairs the Finance, Risk and Investment Committee, a charity focussed on regenerating the future of heritage buildings in London. In addition, Lili is a non-executive Director at the Quality of Life Foundation, an organisation which, through its research and local engagement, strives to make health and well-being central to the way homes and communities are developed. Lili’s other focus is on advising and investing in tech start-ups.

    During an Executive career spanning over twenty years, Lili held a number of senior strategic and commercial roles in sectors ranging from capital markets to retail financial services and real estate in the UK and Asia.

    An active member of the socially-engaged Buddhist movement, SGI-UK, Lili graduated with a Masters degree from the London School of Economics and completed her undergraduate degree at Royal Holloway, University of London.  She is fluent in Mandarin, Hainanese and English.

    Lili loves to travel, often using her native Singapore as a base, enjoys competitive ballroom dancing, Pilates, theatre, opera and is a self-confessed foodie.

  • Dr Mona Sakr

    Dr Mona Sakr is Senior Lecturer in Education and Early Childhood. As a researcher in Early Years (EY) provision, she has published extensively on creative, digital and playful pedagogies. Mona's current research is an exploration of pedagogical, organisational and community leadership in EY and how leadership can be more effectively developed through innovative practice-based and digitally mediated professional development.

    Recent publications include an introduction to Social Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care (Bloomsbury), a report for the British Educational Research Association on Ethnicity and the Early Years Workforce and an article in the acclaimed journal Early Years on leadership in the context of social enterprise early years settings.

  • Martin TaylorMartin Taylor

    Martin Taylor spent his early career in finance and consultancy and then joined Inchcape plc, the international automotive distribution and retail Group. In 2009 he moved on to build a ‘portfolio career’ which now includes his role as Treasurer ( Chair from 2012-2021) of Befrienders Worldwide, a registered charity, which previously operated as the international division of Samaritans. Martin is also Chair of Infinity Health, an early stage health technology business.

    Martin has worked in various international roles, including a total of 18 years in Greece and Belgium where he lived with his family. He has an MA in Economics from Cambridge University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

    Between February 2012 and June 2013, Martin was an independent co-opted member of the Middlesex University audit committee prior to becoming a governor. He was appointed as Deputy Chair of the Board and Chair of the Finance Committee in September 2016.

  • Homiyar Wykes

    Homiyar Wykes is currently Group Financial Controller for ED&F Man responsible for financial reporting and analysis, budgeting and planning and lender reporting.  He started his career as an audit trainee with Arthur Andersen and worked in positions of increasing global responsibility at KPMG, ArcelorMittal (Metals and Mining), Stolt-Nielsen (Transportation and Logistics) and ED&F Man (Commodity Trading).  Homiyar is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Warwick Business School.

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