College Council is the governing body of Royal Holloway and is responsible for overall strategy and policy-making.
Council is responsible for:
- setting the overall strategic direction for Royal Holloway
- ensuring our financial and academic probity and our sustainability
- safeguarding our good name
- ensuring that policies and processes are in place to achieve our desired outcomes and are properly executed
Council has adopted the Higher Education Code of Governance and Statement of Primary Responsibilities drawn up by the Committee of University Chairs (CUC).
Membership of Council
There are 25 Council members. Membership consists of:
- Council Chair, Stephen Cox, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)
- the Principal, Paul Layzell, and President of the Students’ Union (ex officio members)
- 16 independent members, appointed for an initial term of five years
- three members elected by non-academic staff
- three members elected by the academic staff
- one student member elected by the students.
Council members are also trustees of the Founder’s Endowment Fund, a trust established in 1992 for the benefit of Royal Holloway. The Academic Board reports to Council. See below for full details of current Council members.
To contact a member of Council, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The key governing documents for Royal Holloway are:
- Royal Holloway and Bedford New College Act 1985
- The College Statutes
- Council Standing Orders and Register of Approved Policies
Mr Stephen Cox CVO (Chairman)
Stephen became Chairman of the College Council in November 2011. Previously, he was the executive director of the Royal Society for 14 years from July 1997 until his retirement in February 2011. During his time there, he led the Society’s 350th anniversary celebrations.
He started his career by joining the Overseas Career Service of the British Council in 1969 and was posted to Warsaw after language training. Stephen spent time in West Africa, notably Ghana and Togo, with the British Council. He was then education attaché at the British Embassy in Washington DC in the early 1980s.
In 1985, Stephen joined the Royal Society where he ran the international office until 1990 before becoming executive director in 1997. From 1991-97, he was director-general of the Commonwealth Institute; an organisation he remodelled in the light of reducing government grants. He was also chief executive for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, where he worked closely with both Houses of Parliament to support institutions in the emerging democracies of central Europe, the former Soviet Union and sub-Saharan Africa.
Stephen is a trustee of the International Polar Foundation, the Frederick Soddy Trust and was a trustee of the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics 1997-2009. He also chaired the Board of Atlantic College in South Wales from 2010-2015. In the 1997 Queen’s Birthday Honours, he was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO). He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and was awarded an honorary DSc by Lancaster University.
Ms Ann Ewing
Ann joined College Council in July 2014.
Ann graduated from Royal Holloway with a degree in History and went on to complete her PGCE and PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge. She was awarded her MBA at Warwick University Business School. She is also a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Ann is an experienced executive and has held a wide range of roles in the private and not-for-profit sectors as well as consultancy assignments in the UK and internationally. Many of her roles have focused on strategy, change management, and leadership development.
In addition to her membership of Royal Holloway Council, Ann is a governor at De Montfort University, chairs the governing body of ARK Oval School in Croydon, and works with the Open University Business School.
Mrs Christine Goodyear
Christine joined College Council in October 2012.
Christine qualified as a solicitor in 1980 and has spent the greater part of her career as a partner of one of Surrey’s leading law firms. As Head of the Business Services Group in that firm, she was responsible for its development into one of the largest in Surrey.
For a number of years, she was also chairman of the firm before setting up a niche commercial law practice with two other partners in 2010. Called Goodyear Blackie Herrington LLP, it is dedicated to providing pragmatic legal advice on business matters to SMEs and charities as well as individuals in relation to their business affairs.
She has always taken a special interest in education and is highly regarded as an adviser to independent schools. Christine acts for large senior and preparatory schools in London and the south-east, regularly speaking at conferences and events for the sector.
Currently, Christine is a director of Enterprise First (Southern) Ltd; a not-for-profit enterprise agency, and has previously been chairman of Guildford Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the professional services group of Guildford Business Forum.
Mrs Margaret Jack
Margaret joined College Council in 2011.
Margaret has held a number of senior roles in the higher education sector, including deputy academic registrar at South Bank Polytechnic, assistant director (Programmes) at the Polytechnics Funding Council and director of Quality Assurance at BTEC.
Most recently, she was chief executive of the Guildford Chamber of Commerce and business development manager at Hart Brown Solicitors. Margaret is a trustee of the Guildford Institute and three other charities.
Ms Sarah King
Sarah joined College Council in July 2014.
Sarah has a career in media and PR spanning more than 30 years, working for a wide range of "blue chip" commercial, public and charitable clients covering reputation management, brand development, CSR/corporate ethics, communications strategy, media and government relations and internal communications.
She has extensive executive experience as a board and divisional director of leading communications consultancies as well over 15 years' experience as a non-executive director of both commercial organisations and charities, working objectively and collaboratively to help bring about real and positve change. Sarah is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees for Polka Theatre, Britain's leading children's theatre, and also serves on the Board of Hillgate Public Relations and on the Global Fundraising Board of the aid and development charitiy, Tearfund.
Mr Jeremy McIlroy
Jeremy joined College Council in 2010.
Jeremy is a chartered accountant who spent his entire career with Ernst & Young, one of the “Big Four” accountancy firms, until his recent retirement. During his career, he undertook a number of roles in management as well as advising clients. Jeremy acted as the head of the London tax department for a number of years too. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
Mr Gerry O'Hagan
Gerry joined College Council in July 2014.
Gerry is Managing Director of Fairholme Consulting Ltd which provides business advisory services and executive coaching to companies, specialising in innovation and supply chain management. He acts as an Adviser for Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Scheme, Europe’s leading programme helping businesses improve competitiveness and profitability through the better use of the technology and skills that reside within UK Universities. For most of his career Gerry held a variety of global business leadership roles in Diageo plc who he joined as a graduate trainee.
Gerry has a degree in Economics from the University of London, an MBA from the University of Glasgow and is currently studying part-time for a postgraduate qualification in Coaching and Behavioural Change at the University of Reading. He is VC of Governors at Wycombe High School Academies Trust and Treasurer of KidsOut; a children’s charity.
Mr Nick Perryman
Nick is an alumnus of the College (BSc Psychology, Royal Holloway 1997). He joined College Council in 2014.
Nick Perryman is a Managing Director at UBS. He is Head of Wealth Management, Global Emerging Markets in London, and leads a team of 90 professionals serving clients in Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Prior to this role, for five years, Nick was Head of Investment Products & Services, UK where he led a team of specialists - across investment management, capital markets, alternative investments, lending and wealth planning – responsible for over £30bn of client assets. Additionally, he oversees the UBS UK philanthropy offering and, in this capacity, is a member of the boards of directors of the UBS Optimus Foundation UK and the UBS UK Donor Advised Foundation. He joined UBS in 2002.
In addition to having a BSc in Psychology from the College, he holds an MBA in Banking from the University of London, is a Chartered Wealth Manager and Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. In 2015, Nick was selected as an Institute of International Finance - Future Leader, and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Mrs Chris Shoukry
Chris joined College Council in October 2012.
Chris is an experienced project and programme manager and expert reviewer of large and complex public and private sector projects and programmes. This is in addition to being a specialist in public procurement and contract management.
Her key strengths are in the translation of policy and strategy into reality and in the management of complex multi-stakeholder programmes and projects spanning an array of sectors from ICT, science and services through to construction.
Following a successful 20 year career in major project procurement and project management for the National Grid Company (specialising in construction and operational ICT), Chris was TFL programme manager for the implementation of the London Oyster card smart ticketing programme.
Since then, as a board director of the ALCO Group LTD and Gateway™ review team leader for High Risk Projects, she leads reviews for numerous high profile and public sector clients including UK Central Government agencies, the Welsh Assembly Government, the Scottish Government, Government of Northern Ireland, the UK National Health Service, Transport for London and various governments in Australia. She is also a reviewer of major projects for the Major Projects Authority and has led or participated in seven Major Project Reviews to date.
Outside the Gateway™ process, Chris works internationally conducting project and programme reviews for both public and private sector organisations as well as consulting on a wide variety of major projects and programmes including the smart ticketing projects for Vancouver and Melbourne.
Mr David Spence
David joined College Council in 2010.
David was a partner in Grant Thornton UK until 2005. A chartered accountant, he has been a Department of Trade and Industry Inspector and has specialised in corporate finance, investigations, audit, forensic and expert witness work.
He was president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, chairing their research committee. He has also been a member of the UK Auditing Practices Board, chairman of the Chartered Accountants Joint Ethics Committee and convenor of the ICAS Research Committee.
Currently, David is chairman of the Scottish Accountancy Trust for Education and Research. He is a member of the Rules of Golf Committee of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club as well as a trustee and treasurer of health charity DEBRA too.
Mr David Williams
David joined the College Council in 2016.
David is a chartered accountant who trained at Price Waterhouse before moving into the commercial sector. He has been Finance Director and Managing Director to a number of companies in both the IT and construction sectors. Apart from travelling extensively across Europe, USA and Japan he has lived in both Ireland and Finland. He subsequently moved into education and was a bursar at Charterhouse for 8 years. He is currently acting as a consultant bursar, and is founder of BursarSearch, a small recruitment company.
Ms Colette Wilson
Colette is an alumna of the College (BA Honours Economics and Public Administration, Royal Holloway 1993). She joined College Council in March 2012.
Colette is a chartered accountant with 17 years’ experience in audit and a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
In her current role in Ernst & Young Global, she is part of a small team building a single global internal audit function for the company and responsible for devising and delivering the programme of internal audits.
Previously, in Ernst & Young she worked with a number of FTSE 50 organisations to assess the performance of their internal audit and risk functions and identify areas for improvement. Colette’s previous roles include European audit director for American Express and internal auditor, financial and IT auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is an independent member of the Corporation and chair of the Audit Committee at Richmond upon Thames College, Twickenham.
Ms Tina Harris
Tina became a full member of College Council in 2017.
Tina qualified as a solicitor with the City law firm of Davies Arnold Copper, now DAC Beachcroft, and specialised in commercial litigation. Tina followed this experience as in-house legal counsel for Marsh and McLennan Companies Inc. a major international financial services company. Recently, Tina's experience was at Seymours, a commercial law practice located in the City of London. Tina is currently at the Bank of England within the Prudential Regulation Authority where she is a Senior Supervisor.
Tina is an experienced mentor of students and is currently a professional mentor at the Amos Bursary that supports British African Caribbean heritage boys, from under-privileged backgrounds who want to attend the top universities. In addition to her membership of the Audit and Compliance Committee, Tina is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of Women on Boards.
Mr Alistair Buchanan, CBE
Alistair was appointed to Council from 1 August 2018.
Alistair joined the Boards of Thames Water, Electricity North West and Royal Holloway University of London in summer 2018. Prior to those appointments, he had been Chief Executive Officer of Ofgem (the UK's gas and electricity regulator) from 2003-13, during which time he also sat on the boards of Durham University (of which he is an alumnus) and Scottish Water.
In 2013, Alistair rejoined KPMG, where he had qualified as a Chartered Accountant, as Chairman and Partner of the UK utilities practice. Before joining Ofgem he spent the majority of his career in financial services with investment banks, in London and New York, where he was the top-ranked analyst in his sector. Alistair was awarded a British civic honour (CBE) for services to public policy making in 2009.
Ex officio members
Professor Paul Layzell
Previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sussex, Professor Layzell joined the College in 2010. See our Executive Team for more info.
Mr Clem Jones
President of the Students' Union 2018/19
Clem graduated from Royal Holloway in 2017 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Drama and Theatre Studies. After serving as the Students’ Union’s first ever Vice-President (Education) last year, he took up the office of Students’ Union President in July 2018, and is chair of the Students’ Union’s Board of Trustees. As President, he is focused on facilitating the Union’s democratic processes and mobilising student campaigns, such as campus-wide initiatives to tackle climate change.
Ms Willow Wong
elected by the student body 2018/19
Willow is a current student in BA English and Philosophy. In her second year of studies, she was elected into the role of International Students’ Representative at the Students’ Union, where she campaigned on LGBTQ+ rights across global cultures. She also went solo-travelling across Europe to experience different cultures.
Willow became an intercalating sabbatical officer when she was elected into office as Vice-President (Welfare & Diversity) in 2017, with a manifesto to campaign on mental wellbeing and sexual health. Apart from being an active member on Surrey Police’s Independent Advisory Group (IAG), she has been re-elected into office to continue amplifying student voice on college and SU committees, advising key stakeholders on BAME, LGBTQ+, disabled, international and women students’ experiences at Royal Holloway.
Professor Robert Fitzgerald
elected by the academic teaching staff
Robert Fitzgerald is currently Professor of Business History and International Business at Royal Holloway, University of London, which he joined as a lecturer, and he has taught at the London School of Economics and at universities in Japan and The Netherlands.
He is a former President of the Association of Business Historians, and founded the academic journal Asia Pacific Business Review. He has researched and written on the historical, international and comparative analysis of business, multinational enterprise, and the Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and British economies. 'The Rise of the Global Company: Multinationals and the Making of the Modern World' was recently published by Cambridge University Press.
Mr John Gregory
elected by the non-academic staff
John Gregory is a member of staff in the IT Services department at Royal Holloway, University of London. He graduated from Loughborough University in Geography & Library and Information Studies.
Mrs Denise Keable
elected by the non-academic staff
Denise joined Royal Holloway in November 1994 initially working in the Student Union and has then held roles in student funding advice and international student support. She currently holds the position of Deputy Head of Support and Advisory Services.
She has always had an interest in education and has served on the board of governors for a local secondary school and Strodes College in Egham.
Professor Sarah Ansari
elected by the academic teaching staff
Sarah Ansari is currently Professor of History at Royal Holloway, University of London, with research interests in the history of South Asia and Pakistan in particular. She was formerly Head of the History department (2010-13), and has carried out other departmental roles such as Chair of the History Sub-Board of Examiners (2007-10). She has spent the greater part of her academic career associated with Royal Holloway, progressing from an undergraduate to postgraduate to postdoctoral fellow to member of staff over the last 30 years, with only a few short interruptions at other institutions! She is a trustee (member of its Council) of the Royal Asiatic Society (and the editor of its journal, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society [( published by CUP)], and also one of the trustees of the Charles Wallace Trust (Pakistan), which operates in partnership with the British Council. She is also a governor at a local primary school in Egham.
Professor Elizabeth Schafer
elected by the academic teaching staff
Elizabeth Schafer is Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has taught at universities in Australia, Canada, Brazil, France and Hungary and her research focuses around two main areas: Shakespeare in production and Australian drama and theatre. Her publications include Ms-Directing Shakespeare: Women Direct Shakespeare and performance histories of The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night. Her Lilian Baylis: A Biography was short listed for the Theatre Book Prize 2006 and she edited The City Wit for pioneering Richard Brome Online (2010). She is general editor of the online journal Australian Studies (hosted by the National Library of Australia) and is currently writing a performance history of The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Council agendas and minutes