Our executive team is responsible for the day-to-day management of Royal Holloway, the University of London.
The team consists of:
- Our Principal
- Senior Vice-Principal
- Four Vice-Principals / Deans
- The Chief Operating Officer and Secretary to Council
- Some of our directors of professional services
We also have a senior management team which includes heads of department, associate deans, and the remaining directors of professional services.
Executive team members
Professor Paul Layzell
Professor Paul Layzell joined Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2010.
Previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sussex, Professor Layzell is a distinguished software engineering researcher and has written extensively on software development methods. His most recently published papers contribute to the foundations of service-oriented and ‘cloud’ computing.
After serving as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Resources at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), Professor Layzell was appointed Programme Manager for the UMIST-Manchester merger which culminated in the creation of the new University of Manchester. He was subsequently appointed Vice President for University Development, before moving to the University of Sussex in 2006.
Paul is chair of London Higher, representing most of London’s higher education institutions, a member of the Board of Jisc and, until 2017, was Chair of AQA, the UK’s largest examination boards. In 2017, he was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey.
Executive Officer to the Principal: Pam Kaur
Tel: +44 (0)1784 276429
Professor Katie Normington
Katie Normington is a Professor and previous Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre, and Dean of Arts and Social Sciences / Vice-Principal (Staffing). She joined Royal Holloway as a lecturer from Greenwich University in 1997. Her research focuses on theatre history – in particular, medieval English drama and contemporary theatre practice. She has published six books in these areas. She continues to write articles within the field.
She chairs a number of institutional committees such as Teaching and Learning Strategy Committee, Research Committee, Ethics Committee. She has been the project chair for a number of institutional change projects such as ‘Student First’ which focused on the student journey. In her current role, she oversees strategy and policy for teaching and research.
Katie been project sponsor for a number of large building projects including the new Caryl Churchill theatre, the Boilerhouse lecture theatre and chairs the refurbishment project for Bedford Library and McCrae building. She has also chaired cross College groups concerned with the hosting of athletes at Royal Holloway in 2012, and the preparations for the celebration of the anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015, and for Suffrage in 2018.
Katie is director of the Techne AHRC doctoral training partnership, a consortium of seven universities in London and the south-east.
Outside of Royal Holloway, she has been a governor of Brooklands College of Further Education, Weybridge, a member of the AHRC Research Careers and Training Advisory Group, a member of the SPA Review Group for UCAS, and has advised HEFCE on open access. She has served on the expert review panel for the Concordat of Researchers and is a subject panel member for TEF pilots.
Executive Assistant to Katie Normington: Teresa Martinez-Sancho
Tel: +44 (0)1784 443033
Professor Paul Hogg
Vice-Principal (Enterprise) and Dean of Science
Paul Hogg joined Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2012 from the University of Manchester where he was Head of the School of Materials.
He is a leading international figure in the field of advanced materials with a sustained track record for research in fibre-reinforced composite materials: specialising in recent years in aerostructures and wind turbines. He established the National Composites Certification and Evaluation Facility, the Manchester University Technology Centre for Materials with Aviation Industries of China, and the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing of Composites, with the Universities of Nottingham, Cranfield and Bristol.
Before joining the University of Manchester in 2008, Professor Hogg spent 24 years at Queen Mary, University of London where he became Head of the Department of Materials and in 2006 established Nanoforce, the university’s offshoot company for nanomaterials funded by a £2.8m grant from DTi/LDA.
He served on the Metallurgy and Materials sub panel for RAE in 2007 and was the Vice-Chairman of sub panel 13 – Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials – in the recent REF exercise. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester, as well as at Harbin Institute of Technology and Beihang University in China.
Professor Hogg has been active in establishing Royal Holloway’s first moves into the field of engineering, establishing the Electronic Engineering department which opened its doors to students in September 2017.
He is a strong supporter of regional cooperation between universities and industry and serves as the higher education representative on the Local Enterprise Partnership Enterprise M3.
Executive Assistant to Paul Hogg: Katherine O'Sullivan
Tel: +44 (0)1784 276318
Professor Bob O'Keefe
Vice-Principal (Student Experience) and Dean of the Faculty of Management, Economics and Law
Bob O’Keefe was previously Dean of the Faculty of Management and Law at the University of Surrey, Professor of Information Management at Brunel University, and an associate of Henley Management College. He has also held a position at Virginia Tech, USA, and was a tenured faculty member at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA, in addition to visiting positions at the University of Sydney Business School and Telecom, Paris.
As Professor of Information Management, Bob conducts research at the intersection of Information Systems, consumer behaviour and human-computer interaction, particularly where users have to interact with complex models. He was the co-editor of the European Journal of Information Systems from 2000 through 2005, and his work has appeared in Management Science, Operations Research, the Information Systems Journal, Decision Support Systems, the Journal of Retailing and the Journal of Business Research, plus various ACM and IEEE Transactions. As Dean, Bob is responsible for the School of Management, the Department of Economics and the School of Law, which together total approximately 150 academic staff.
As Vice-Principal, he has oversight for a number of student-related activities, such as the services and processes related to student volunteering and sports. He also undertakes College roles, as determined by the Principal, in various activities including project boards and international engagement. For example, he is currently chair of a number project boards related to IT, and is the sponsor for College expansion of activities in central London. Bob has experience with educational joint-ventures in China and delivery of programmes in Hong Kong, Singapore and Europe.
Executive Assistant to Bob O'Keefe: Katherine O’Sullivan
Tel: +44 (0)1784 276318
Professor Rosemary Deem
Vice-Principal (Teaching Innovation; Equality and Diversity) and Dean of the Doctoral School
Rosemary Deem is a Professor of Higher Education Management. She was previously Dean of History and Social Sciences. Before joining Royal Holloway in 2009, she was Professor of Education at Bristol University and Research Director for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. She was also Dean of Social Sciences at Lancaster University (1994-7).
An academician of the Academy of Social Sciences since 2006, Professor Deem is a sociologist who has also worked at Lancaster, Bristol and the Open Universities, as well as North Staffordshire Polytechnic. She directed the Education Subject Centre ESCalate (2001-2004), has been an RAE sub-panellist three times (1996, 2001, 2008), was an Economic and Social Research Council Grants Board member from 1999-2003, twice chaired the British Sociological Association and was Vice Chair of the Society for Research into Higher Education (2007-2009). She chaired the UK Council for Graduate Education from 2015-2018.
She is an editorial board member of Studies in Higher Education, and Higher Education Quarterly and a co-editor of the Springer journal Higher Education. She is a trustee of the Sociological Review Foundation and a peer review panel member for the European Science Foundation. In 2014 she chaired the social sciences panel of a country-wide review of university research and development centres in Portugal.
Her research interests include higher education policy, management, leadership and governance, public sector organisations and equality in educational settings. In 2013 she was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Higher Education and Social Science. In 2017, with Heather Eggins, she edited the book The University as a Critical Institution (Sense Publishers) following a Consortium of Higher Education Researchers conference at Queen’s College, Cambridge in 2016.
Her Vice-Principal responsibilities include developing teaching innovation and events about teaching for teachers and support staff in the college and supporting teaching-focused staff, the formulation and implementation of equality and diversity strategies for both staff and students and all aspects of research degree programmes and research student matters.
Executive Assistant to Rosemary Deem: Teresa Martinez-Sancho
Tel: +44 (0)1784 443033
Professor James Knowles
Vice-Principal and Executive Dean of Arts and Social Sciences
James Knowles joined Royal Holloway in August 2017 having previously been Professor of Renaissance Literature and Culture and Vice-Dean (Research) at Brunel University, London, and Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Head of the School of English at University College, Cork.
His research has focused on the masque and its political, theatrical, and social contexts; on Ben Jonson's masques and entertainments; on sexuality and gender in the early modern period and in contemporary writing; on space, spatiality and cultural geography; and on the new histories of the book, including the queer history of the book, and manuscript studies and codicology. He has held grants fellowships from the AHRC, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Huntington Library, and the Ransom Library, Texas, as well as being P.I. for six EU funded Marie Curie Sklodowska fellowships, most recently mentoring Dr Jemma Field's work on Anna of Denmark and cultural patronage.
James oversees the overall strategic direction of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, covering both research and teaching, and chairing key faculty committees, such as Faculty Board. He currently chairs the university Exhibitions Committee and is leading on the development of foundation degrees and the creation of new JYA programmes and partnerships. He is leading on the development of the new Music Media building and the Centre for Digital Creativity and he chairs the TECHNE training group for the National Productivity Investment Fund studentships.
Externally, he is a Strategic Reviewer, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and a Member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2016- ); an External examiner, UG English programme, University of Buckingham (2016 onwards); a member of the TEF Subject Pilot panel (2018); and has reviewed Rutherford Fellowship grants for RCUK. Until 2017, James was a School Governor, Sir William Ramsay School, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Other advisory roles include as consultant curator at the Rubenshuis, Antwerp, for the Royalist Refugees Exhibition (2005-6); as a historical and literary consultant for English Heritage for the redisplay of Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire (2012-14); and as an advisory board member for virtual reality, new technologies, and performance project for the Banqueting House, Whitehall, 2016 (AHRC funded).
Executive Assistant to James Knowles: Katherine O’Sullivan
Tel: +44 (0)1784 276318
Dr David Ashton
Chief Operating Officer and Secretary to Council
As the Chief Operating Officer (COO), David is responsible for the effective and efficient operation of the College. As Secretary to Council, he is responsible for the College’s governance framework, ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and for implementing decisions made by the governing body.
David leads the Professional Services. His direct reports are: Academic Services (comprising Careers and Employability, Centre for the Development of Academic Skills, Centre for Educational Development, Library and Learning Resources, Student Administration, and Student Services); Commercial Services; Development and Alumni Relations; Estates; Governance and Legal Services; Information Technology; Human Resources; Marketing and Communications (including Student Recruitment); Research and Enterprise Services; and Strategic Planning and Change.
David joined Royal Holloway in September 2016, having spent six years at the University of Surrey, first as Vice-President (Administration) & Registrar and later Vice-Provost. Before Surrey, he was Deputy Director of Student Services and Administration and later Academic Registrar at Kingston University, London.
Earlier appointments include five years as Sub-Dean and Faculty Senior Tutor of the Faculty of Economic & Social Sciences at the University of Reading, Joint Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Reading and various roles in the Academic Office at the University of Warwick. He has also worked in Japan. David’s early academic interests were in 16th Century political history, notably provincial administration in England and the Tudor system of justice.
David is a Trustee and non-executive Director of UCAS and link Trustee to the UCAS Consultative Council. He is a member of the Association of Heads of University Administration and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. Former non-executive posts include Vice-Chair of Council of West Thames College, London; council member at Guildford Cathedral, and governor at Guildford High School.
Executive Assistant to David Ashton: Teresa Martinez-Sancho
Tel: +44 (0)1784 443033
Chief Financial Officer
Stephen Avery joined Royal Holloway in March 2016. His main focus is to provide strategic financial and policy advice to the Principal, members of College Executive and other managers.
The Finance function Stephen leads is responsible for student fee collection, student loans and maintenance grants, financial reporting and monitoring, procurement, payroll and payments, and treasury management. Stephen joined Royal Holloway from City University London where he held the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since 2012.
Prior to City, Stephen worked at universities in Lincoln, Bournemouth, Cumbria and Salford. He began his career with what is today known as PwC, working in the Assurance and then the Management Consultancy practice. He has also held senior financial management roles at the BBC, the CBI and what was previously known as the Financial Services Authority.
Executive Officer to Stephen Avery: Jane Brett
Tel: +44 (0)1784 276945