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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.

  • Professor Nic BeechProfessor Nic Beech

    Nic joined Middlesex University as Vice-Chancellor in February 2020 having previously been a Vice-Principal of the University of St Andrews and Provost of the University of Dundee. He is President of the British Academy of Management, a member of the Council of the Academy of Social Sciences and a board member of London Higher and the Chartered Management Institute Race Network.

    His academic background is in business and management and his research focused on identity, diversity, change leadership and learning. His work has been funded by AHRC, ESRC, EU, Nesta and industry partners and he was Lead Fellow of the ESRC Advanced Institute of Management. Nic has worked extensively with industry and over the last decade has focused on change and innovation in creative industries and the health service. He also led the national academic input to the current Scottish cultural policy and is currently working on methods of impactful engagement between practice, policy and academia.

    Nic has extensive experience of leading international and blended learning. As well as many journal articles, Nic has published seven books and his next book on Impactful Research is due out in 2021. Nic has held visiting chairs in the UK, Europe and Australia and holds 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.

  • Elita Eliades

    Elita Eliades is the Head of Education Liaison and Outreach at Middlesex University. Her strategic leadership shapes the direction for outreach and recruitment activities, as well as widening participation initiatives. Following graduating with a BA English Studies and an MA in Arts Criticism, Elita has been working within the FE and HE sectors since 2001 and has been at Middlesex University from 2004. She started her career through working as a Student Ambassador and has been promoting the benefits and rewards of Higher Education since.

    Her ability to build and maintain relationships with education providers and HE partners (including government bodies, local councils and youth groups), has been fundamental in the delivery of a diverse range of initiatives that are aligned with young people’s needs, as well as responsive to government agendas. With a passion for social mobility and socio-economic integration, her initiatives aim to drive reform through a portfolio of deliverables, increase attainment and remove barriers to learning within educational establishments.

    In a voluntary capacity Elita has held numerous committee and advisor member roles in schools and colleges, where she has led on child safeguarding agendas, fundraising, enterprise and estate planning projects. Elita is an advocate of positive mental health and actively promotes well-being practises in the workplace that aid a healthy work-life balance, such as meditation and mindfulness.

  • 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.

  • Twinkle Gupta

    Twinkle Gupta is the President (Student officer) of Middlesex University’s Student Union. Leading a team of four other student officers, she represents the Middlesex University student body and acts as a spokesperson within the university, the local community and to government. She is responsible for representing student views on learning, teaching and your wider experience via a variety of committees as well as leading on a variety of campaigns throughout the year. As President, Twinkle ensures students have the right support and guidance from both MDXSU and the University throughout their MDX journey. She is also responsible for making sure that the Students’ Union is student led and that students can shape their Students’ Union. Her academic background with the university is in MA International Business management and doing research on ‘Corporate Social Responsibility bringing change in Corporate world’. Twinkle has an extensive experience on supporting international students and volunteered in many events within the university.

  • 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 is also a trustee of the Weald and Downland Museum in Sussex.

  • Paul PughPaul Pugh Profile picture

    He was Chief Executive of HM Passport Office, and previously Executive Director of Operations, between 2010 and 2014. Previous roles include Regional Director of the Government Office for the East of England, Chief Executive of the national police training agency, and posts at Director level within the Home Office. He worked within the NHS as a non-executive director of North Central London Strategic Health Authority, Executive Director of North West London Strategic Health Authority, and HR Director at Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust. Since 2015 he has held senior interim roles in London local authorities, supporting organisational transformation and strategy development.

    He is a non-executive director of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust; a non-executive director of the Institute of Customer Service; and a trustee of the Campus Educational Trust.

  • Nishtha Relan

    Nishtha Relan is the Vice President for the faculty of Arts & Creative Industries at Middlesex University Students' Union for the 2021-22 academic year. Previously a Middlesex University student and a BA Advertising, PR and Branding graduate, Nishtha first ran and was elected for office in 2020, therefore she currently serving her second term. In her role, she leads on academic representation for students within her faculty and works alongside the President and other Vice Presidents as well as students to identify issues and campaign for change, ensuring student voice is at the centre of every decision made.

    Over the past year, Nishtha's particular campaign focus has been on the provision of support for international students at Middlesex and on mental health. This includes support to international students arriving to the UK who had to self-isolate, working on introducing additional fee instalment plans, expanding the eligibility for financial support, and reducing stigma around mental health.

  • Asif Sadiq

    Asif is the Senior Vice President at WarnerMedia for Equity and Inclusion, International, he was previously the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at adidas and has a long and rich career in the diversity and inclusion space with senior executive roles at The Telegraph Media Group, EY Financial Services and the City of London Police. He is a board member for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and a member of the board of advisors for Hedley May. Over his 20-year career he has worked in Europe, North America, South America, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

    Asif has been credited with impactful global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion activities and programs across organizations, that have created a strong sense of belonging for all and resulted in truly diverse workplaces. He has been key in building synergies between internal and external D&I efforts within organizations, ensuring diversity and inclusion is embedded in all elements of a business, resulting in innovative, creative and inclusive products and services.

    Asif has been credited with impactful global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion activities and programs across organizations, that have created a strong sense of belonging for all and resulted in truly diverse workplaces. He has been key in building synergies between internal and external D&I efforts within organizations, ensuring diversity and inclusion is embedded in all elements of a business, resulting in innovative, creative and inclusive products and services.

  • 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. Forthcoming books (with Bloomsbury) include an introduction to Social Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care, and an edited volume on international perspectives on EY pedagogical leadership. Working internationally and across the EY sector in the UK, she has developed strong relationships with researchers, providers,  and membership and advocacy organisations.

  • 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 included, until March 2021, his role as Chair 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 working and living with his family in Greece and Belgium. 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 in September 2016.

  • Andy WilsonAndy Wilson

    Andy retired in 2018 from his position as Chief Executive of London’s largest group of Further Education colleges (turnover of £110 million), a role that enabled him to successfully bridge the gap between the private and public sectors, as well as to transform a complex organisation.

    He was Principal of Westminster Kingsway College for 12 years prior to the creation of Capital City College Group. He was one of the key architects of CCCG and became founding Group CEO when Westminster Kingsway and City & Islington College merged in 2016.

    Andy successfully led the organisation as it expanded when the College of Haringey, Enfield & North East London joined and the Group’s innovative training arm, Capital City College Training, was created to work directly with London’s employers.

  • Join our Board of Governors

    We're recruiting for a Chair of our Board of Governors, and for new members of our board. If you'd like to play a role in shaping the development of Middlesex then we'd love to hear from you.

    Find out more about our board and how to apply:

    Chair of the Board of Governors


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