Meet our governors
Alastair Da Costa
Executive Director, Nicholson McBride
Alastair has over 20 years’ experience developing teams in various sectors across the UK, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. He is an executive director of Nicholson McBride, one of Europe’s leading business psychology and leadership consultancies, which he joined following a career which has included roles as: Partner, Managing Director (for Asia Pacific and Middle East), Global Board and Executive member at international law firm DLA Piper where he also practised as a corporate lawyer, CEO of Prince’s Trust International which Alastair helped set up, and Chairman of Capital City College Group which through mergers in 2016 and 2017 became one of the largest further education college groups in the UK. Alastair is also Advisory Chair to Boyden, the global talent management firm, and he is a director/Council member of The London School of Economics. Alastair has a law degree from the University of Leeds, an MSc in Development Management from The London School of Economics and he is a qualified solicitor.
Regeneration consultant, Primera Ltd
Ruth Duston is MD of Primera Corporation a specialist regeneration consultancy, creating public and private sector partnerships to positively shape and influence local environments. Ruth has over 25 years’ experience in social and economic regeneration, leveraging over £35m of private sector investment into central London. In the last decade, Ruth has specialised in the development and management of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and voluntary led business partnerships. Ruth has spearheaded some of London’s most prestigious BIDs, from the city of London through to some of London’s most iconic locations. Ruth is a member of the Guards Museum management committee and was instrumental in raising over 70% of private sector funding for the Flanders Field memorial garden. Ruth is the former Chair of Governors for Westminster Kingsway College.
Professor Anthony Smith
Vice Provost, University College London (UCL)
Anthony Smith was appointed Vice Provost (Education and Student Affairs) at University College London (UCL) in 2012 where he takes the strategic lead for all matters related to education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Prior to his appointment at UCL, he was Principal and Dean for six years at the School of Pharmacy, University of London. The School merged with UCL in January 2012. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. He is Chair of Trustees at Pharmacy Research-UK, a Trustee of Villiers Park Education Trust and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Formerly Investment Director at Impetus – Private Equity Foundation
Amelia was most recently an Investment Director at Impetus Private Equity Foundation, a venture philanthropy funder, which she joined in 2005. Prior to that, Amelia was COO at Common Purpose, a social enterprise running leadership programmes internationally. Having trained as a solicitor, and qualifying in England and Israel, Amelia worked in central and local government and then as an in-house lawyer in the IT sector. Amelia has deep knowledge of the education, youth and reducing re-offending sectors in the UK, having worked closely with 15 organisations from these sectors, whilst at Impetus PEF.
Dr Leslie Brissett JP
Principal Consultant & Company Secretary, Tavistock Insitute
Leslie has been involved in FE governance for over 20 years, having been a governor at College of North East London (where he was Vice Chair and acting Chairman), Sussex Coast College, Hastings and Westminster Kingsway College. He has held roles in NHS and charity governance, both at Non-Executive Director level and senior management. He has worked in and with large complex organisations, including two Chief Executive appointments. He leads on Board Dynamics for the Tavistock Institute and consults to Group Relations clients in China, Argentina, Peru, USA, Israel and across the EU. He is a leadership coach to senior teams in Government and at Board level in industry.
Dame Martina Milburn
Group Chief Executive of the Prince's Trust
Dame Martina started her career as a journalist, working for a wide range of broadcast and print media.
In 1993 she became the Chief Executive of the Association of Spinal Injury Research Rehabilitation and Reintegration (ASPIRE). In July 2000 she became the Chief Executive of the BBC Children in Need Appeal, a post held for four years before moving to the Princes’ Trust.
Dame Martina is a member of a number of boards, including a Director of Prince’s Trust Trading and a Non-Executive Director of the National Citizen Service. She is also Vice-Chair of the Government’s Youth Action Group, a Trustee for HRH The Prince of Wales US Foundation, based in Washington DC, and a member of The Movement to Work Advisory Board.
Chief Executive Officer, Camden Town Unlimited
Simon is the Mayor of London’s “Champion for Small Business”, sitting on the capital’s ‘LEAP’ (the Local Enterprise Partnership for London). He is the Chief Executive of the multi-award winning Business Improvement Districts, Camden Town Unlimited and Euston Town, as well as Camden Collective which supports start-up businesses and young entrepreneurs. He is Chair of Camden Giving and has worked as a political consultant for JP Morgan and the Institute for Public Policy Research.
Chief Executive with PublicCo
Joel is Chief Executive with PublicCo, a joint venture with the Learning and Work Institute and an experienced management consultant with broad private and public sector experience. He qualified as a chartered accountant.
Fiona has worked as an independent consultant and researcher focussed mainly on the energy sector, international development and foreign direct investment, and has served as a board member of several not-for-profit organisations including CARE International UK, where she was vice chair. She is currently a director and chair of the audit committee of Forum for the Future and serves on the board of Transparency International UK and the Overseas Development Institute. She is also a member of the audit committee of the UK Department of International Development. She is a UK Chartered Accountant, has a PhD in international development and has lived and worked in India, Brazil and South Africa as well as the UK.
Chief People Officer for Hogan Lovells
Kay Willis has more than 25 years of experience of HR within professional services firms. She is currently the Chief People Officer for Hogan Lovells, a major global law firm. Based in London, she has overall responsibility for the HR, recruitment and learning & development functions across the firm. She was voted HR Director of the Year 2011 in The Lawyer HR Awards. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, she was an HR Director at Andersen.
Head of HR at Process Systems Enterprise
Catherine has worked for a number of start-up and high growth research and technology businesses for over 20 years. She has experience in setting up HR for global organisations, creating consistent cultures and change management. She is currently Head of HR at Process Systems Enterprise, a global process modelling software and consultancy company. She was previously Global Head of People at Hall & Partners and before that worked as a Research Director in several market research companies, presenting consumer marketing insights about advertising and branding to FTSE 100 clients. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and holds a Social Psychology degree from Sussex University.
AoC Area Director - East & West Midlands
Shane has worked in further education for the last ten years and has held a number of roles in policy and campaigning in the sector, including Vice President (FE) and Deputy National President at the National Union of Students and now Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Learning and Work Institute. In that time, he has held other Board roles at City College Plymouth and Learning South West, and has completed a teacher training course at City and Islington College. Shane has a monthly column in sector newspaper FE Week where he writes about the latest developments in skills and employment policy from Westminster.
CEO, The WKCIC Group and the Capital City College Group
Following a career of over 30 years in the FE sector, Andy recently led the formation of the Capital City College Group. Prior to this, Andy was Principal of Westminster Kingsway College. Previously, Andy was Deputy Principal at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College and Vice Principal at the College of NE London. Andy took a particular interest in Apprenticeships and adult skills through his six years as a member of the Association of Colleges (AoC) Board, its Skills Portfolio Group and a number of other groups developing and advising on policy. He was a partner in establishing and chaired the London Apprenticeship Company, the UK’s first Apprenticeship Training Agency, and is a founder member of the London Capital Colleges group of the largest London colleges. He has been a member of groups advising the AoC, SFA and LSC on capital projects and chaired the RIBA Learning & Skills Client Forum during the Building Colleges for the Future initiative.
Staff Governor and maths lecturer
Heather is a maths lecturer and Lead Tutor who has worked at City and Islington College for over 15 years. Heather works at both the Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL) and the Centre for Business Arts and Technology (CBAT), and teaches across the cohort of adult learners and 16-19 students. She also chairs the Student Union at CLL.
Mike has worked at the College for more than 20 years, fulfilling a variety of roles within that time. After 18 years in the classroom, teaching business, mathematics and psychology, with the majority of them in curriculum management, he took up the post of Student Engagement Manager. Currently Mike works with staff on behaviour management and leads on safeguarding and welfare, student enrichment and the student voice.
Chief Investment Officer, Elton Capital
Maarten serves as the Chief Investment Officer of a single-family investment firm. In addition to his full-time responsibilities, Maarten retains a number of non-executive and charitable board positions. Maarten holds an Executive MBA from Columbia Business School & London Business School, and a Masters in Economics from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Lord David Triesman
Executive Director of Salamanca Group and Member of the House of Lords
David has extensive commercial and political experience at senior levels in business and government. By training an economist, he holds visiting fellowships at Warwick, the LSE and Cambridge Universities and is a Doctor of Laws. He is on the Governing Council of the University of Northamptonshire. Currently he is an Executive Director at Salamanca Merchant Bank and Chairman of Funding Affordable Homes and Mandela Concerts, and a Non-Exec Director of Havin Bank and Salamanca Topaz (real estate).
He formerly chaired The Football Association and Templewood Merchant Bank and was on the Board of Wembley National Stadium and Advisory Board of UBS. In political life, after serving as General Secretary of the Association of University Teachers, David assumed responsibility for the Prime Minister’s political organisation (2001-2004) and has served as Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and subsequently in the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills. He held Ministerial roles in Energy, Business, Higher Education and Europe. He is a Lord in Waiting to HM the Queen; and plays rock and blues guitar.”