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College Council

College Council

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

College Council Nov 2019

 Membership consists of:

  • Council Chair, The Right Honourable Dame Margaret Hodge, Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE), Member of Parliament (MP)
  • the Principal, Paul Layzell, and President of the Students’ Union (ex officio members)
  • independent members, appointed for an initial term of four years
  • members elected by professional services staff
  • members elected by the academic staff
  • 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

Governing documents

The key governing documents for Royal Holloway are:

Independent members

Margaret Hodge

Educated at Bromley High School and Oxford High School, Margaret obtained a B.Sc (Economics) degree at the London School of Economics in 1966. Her early career was in teaching and international market research. She became an elected councillor in 1973, rising to be Leader of L.B. Islington from 1982-92. She was also Chair of the Association of London Authorities and Deputy Chair of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. She has served as Chair of school governing bodies and housing associations. She has been a member of a hospital trust, a prison governing board and held a number of Government appointments during her period in local government.

In 1992 Margaret joined Price Waterhouse Coopers as a Senior Public Sector consultant.

She became the Labour Member of Parliament for Barking in June 1994. In 2010 she faced a challenge from the leader of the British National Party in the General Election of that year, but was returned with a comfortable majority.

She was a Minister in the Governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, holding portfolios in the Departments for Education, Work and Pensions, Business, and Culture. She was the first Children’s Minister from 2003 to 2005, Minister for Universities from 2001-2003 and Minister for the Arts and the Creative Industries for the last years of the Labour Government.

In 2010 she became the first elected Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and was also its first female Chair. She held the post for the full parliamentary term, retiring in 2015.  Margaret published “Called to Account” in September 2016, reflecting on her time as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.

Margaret is now a Visiting Professor at The Policy Institute at King’s College London. She chairs the Board of the Theatre Royal Stratford East. She chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Responsible Taxation and co-chairs Govern Up with Nick Herbert M.P. She is a Director of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and sits on the editorial board for Political Quarterly. In 2017, she co-chaired the Fawcett Society’s Local Government Commission and undertook a review of the Garden Bridge Project for the Mayor of London. In 2018, she became a member of the board at the Social Market Foundation.

Ann joined College Council in July 2014.

Ann is a senior executive leader with broad experience in general management, change management and strategic HR. She has worked in the commercial and not for profit sectors, specialising since 2010 in education. After graduating from Royal Holloway University of London she completed her PGCE and PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Ann joined BP in the early 80s and worked in a range of executive roles until 2006, when she took up the position of Head of Learning and Development at HSBC Bank. She later worked with Ark, the children's education charity.

Ann currently teaches on postgraduate programmes wtih the Open University Business School, is Vice Chair of A New Direction, a charity promoting access to the arts and culture, and is chair of governors at Ark Oval Primary School in Croydonh. She chairs the Academy Trust Board of the Girls School Trust.

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.

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.

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 charity, Tearfund.

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.

Nick is an alumnus of the College (BSc Psychology, Royal Holloway 1997). He joined College Council in 2014.

Nick has over 20 years of experience in the wealth and investment management, and acts as an independent strategic advisor to wealthy families and non-profits.

He was with UBS between 2002 and 2019, where he was a Managing Director. During this period, he held a number of leadership roles, including as the Head of Wealth Management, Global Emerging Markets in London, where he led a team of over 100 professionals serving families in Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. During this period, he was also responsible for the firm's intermediaries business, serving wealth management firms and multi-family offices. Prior to this, between 2010 and 2015, Nick was Head of Investment Products & Services, UK & Jersey where he led a team of 110 specialists - across investment management, capital markets, alternative investments, lending and wealth planning – responsible for over GBP30bn of client assets. At UBS, he also founded the client philanthropy unit in the UK, and in this capacity, he was a member of the boards of the UBS Optimus Foundation UK and the UBS-UK Donor Advised Foundation (which became the UK’s second largest donor advised fund).

He holds a BSc degree in Psychology from the College, and an MBA degree from the University of London. He is also a Chartered Wealth Manager, Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a part-time doctoral student at Durham University.

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.

Joined the College in 2020.

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.

Joined the College in 2020.

Ex officio members

Previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sussex, Professor Layzell joined the College in 2010.

See our Executive Team for more information.

Kate Roberts graduated from Royal Holloway with a degree in Bsc Physical Geography in 2019. She then went on to fulfil the role of Vice President Education at Royal Holloway Students’ Union for the 2019-20 academic year. She has now been elected as President of the Students’ Union and will be joining Council in this role.

Elected members

Alissa was elected as the Students’ Union Vice President Education for the year 2020/21. Alissa pursued a BA History degree and was involved in influencing education standards at Royal Holloway through being a Course Representative and Peer Guide Leader. This year, Alissa has planned to focus on improving standards of flexible learning for all students, the BAME attainment gap and support for joint honours and postgraduate students.

Robert Fitzgerald

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.


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.

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 Head of International Support and Inclusivity.

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.

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 a trustee 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.

Council agendas and minutes

Council meetings 2020/21

Council meetings 2021/22 - Comming Soon

08 January - Special

20 February

15 April - Special

7 May

4 June - Special

2 July

  • Agenda - Not yet avaliable.
  • Minutes - Not yet avaliable.

1 October

  • Agenda - Not yet avaliable.
  • Minutes - Not yet avaliable.

19 Novermber

  • Agenda - Not yet avaliable.
  • Minutes - Not yet avaliable.

28 February

2 May

4 July

9 October

20 November

21 February

25 April

4 July

10 October

22 November

22 February

10 May

5 July

4 October

23 November

19 March

21 May

2 July

1 October

18 November

20 March

26 June

2 October

28 November

28 March

20 June

11 October

23 November

26 January

13 April

29 June

5 October

21 November

3 February

31 March

23 June

13 October

8 December

14 January

25 March

24 June

24 September

16 October

16 January

26 March

25 June

17 October

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