The Governing Council consists of at least 15 and no more than 24 members, of whom a majority shall be independent and shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

Register of Interests and Related Parties

The Governance Office compiles and maintains a register of interests and related parties for Directors and members of the Governing Council. This is reviewed on a quarterly basis. View the up-to-date Register of Interests.

Yemi Adeleye FCMA CGMA MBA

Yemi was appointed as an independent member of Governing Council in August 2022. He is a senior finance professional with a wealth of experience in the IT distribution/technology and retail sectors leading a comprehensive range of accounting, corporate governance, internal controls, audit, and risk responsibilities.

Currently, Yemi is the Senior Director of Finance for EMEA, APAC and CALA regions (based in the UK) of WESCO Inc, headquartered in Pittsburgh, USA.

Before joining WESCO in 2018, Yemi spent 21 years as the Director of Financial Operations for Avent/Tech Data based in the UK. Prior to that, he held senior finance positions at Bell Microproducts and Harrods Knightsbridge.

Yemi is a Certified Chartered Accountant, holding fellowship status at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and an MBA from the University of Derby.

Manal Al Sarraf

Manal Al Sarraf - governor

Manal was appointed as an independent member of the Governing Council in August 2022. She is an audit, risk and compliance professional in Bahrain’s telecom and fintech sectors. She has advised the board and senior management for over 15 years on audit matters, governance, balancing risks, and controls while achieving their strategy. She was also the founding member of the Parent Community Committee for the British School of Bahrain for eight years. She was the treasurer for three of those years, representing the parents of the school and helping raise funds for the community.

Manal is the Director of Compliance at Batelco, headquartered in Bahrain. She is a Certified Public Accountant from the USA and Certified Internal Auditor from the Institute of Internal Auditors (USA).


Dawn was appointed to Governing Council as a non-teaching staff member in January 2022. She has held a series of roles within the University’s Finance Department and currently heads up the Business Accounting Support function.

Dawn started her career in accounting after graduating from Manchester University with a BA Hons in German and French. She worked in a private accountancy practice and then as both a Management Accountant and Financial Accountant for Courtaulds and Molsen Coors, before joining the University of Derby in 2002. She gained her ACMA/CGMA qualification after joining the University.

Sue Bennett BA FCIPD

Sue Bennett, governor co-optee

Sue was appointed as an independent member of Governing Council in February 2020. She had been co-opted to Governing Council to join the University’s Student Affairs Committee in April 2019, which she now co-chairs. Sue is also the Governing Council member of the University Court Advisory Group and sits on the Business School Governors' Reference Group. She has held a number of senior leadership roles in higher education, most recently as Director of Student Careers and Skills at the University of Warwick. Prior to that Sue was Director of the Learning and Development Centre at that university.

Between 2015 and 2018 Sue also held the roles of Vice President, Trustee and Board Member of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), a membership organisation for higher education students’ career development and graduate employment professionals.

Sue left the University of Warwick in 2018 to pursue a portfolio career. Sue is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD).

Simon Bolton, Chair of Audit and Risk Committee

Simon Bolton, governor

Simon was appointed as an Independent Member of Governing Council in April 2019 and as Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee in April 2020. He has spent his whole career working in digital technology, most recently as the Chief Executive Officer at NHS Digital. NHS Digital supplies information and data to the health service, provides vital technological infrastructure for the NHS, and helps different parts of health and care work together.  

Prior to joining NHS Digital, Simon was the Chief Information Officer at NHS Test & Trace, and has held a number of executive technology leadership roles at companies including Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls-Royce plc.

In addition to his role at the University of Derby, Simon is also an Independent Non-Executive Director at MCPS.

Dr Sarah Charles BA MA Ed.D FHEA

Dr Sarah Charles - governor

Sarah was appointed as an Academic Board member representative on Governing Council in September 2021. She is the Head of the Institute of Education (ITE) and leads a team of academic staff and managers in the field of Education. The Institute offers a range of courses and has collaborative working arrangements with schools and colleges locally, nationally and internationally.

Sarah teaches a range of modules, supervises Doctoral students and is an active researcher. Her work focuses on motivating the next generation of educators to strive for excellence in their chosen profession. Her current research explores ITE student preparedness to address homophobic bullying in primary and secondary schools. She also has a keen interest in gender issues.

Andrew Chatten MBA

Andrew Chatten, governor

Andrew was appointed as an Independent Member of Governing Council in April 2019. He is Director of Estates and Facilities Management at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and an advisor to the Trust Board. He has been in post for four years previously having held the same position at the University Hospitals of Leicester. Andrew is a Chartered Builder, a Member of the British Institute of Facilities Management and has an MBA from Sheffield Hallam University.

In a career spanning 27 years, Andrew has worked in a number of NHS Trusts delivering estates and facilities services but also for John Laing’s as Chief Officer of Southern Derbyshire Local Investment Finance Trust and with Compass Group UK and Ireland as an Operations Director. He has a depth of experience in delivering support services and longer term estate master planning.

Gurpreet Dehal BA MSc MRes, Vice-Chair of Governing Council and Chair of Remuneration Committee

Gurpreet Dehal, governor

Gurpreet was appointed as an independent member of Governing Council in September 2021. He has been involved in Higher Education since 2010, first as a Council Member at Royal Holloway, University of London, and then in a national regulatory role. This was initially as a Board member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England and then subsequently with the Office for Students from its inception in 2018.

His non-executive experience includes trusteeships with multi-academy trusts, as well as Board roles in the infrastructure and finance sectors. He has also advised the government on improving access to dormant assets for the public good.

Gurpreet's earlier career was in risk management, financial planning and business leadership for global trading and lending businesses. These included organisations such as Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse, where he was a Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer.

Tony Edwards BA ACA

Tony Edwards, governor

Tony was appointed as an Independent Member of Governing Council in April 2019. Until April 2022 he was Vice President and General Manager of the European gas cylinder business unit of Luxfer Holdings plc, headquartered in the East Midlands. Before joining Luxfer, Tony spent two years as Corporate Development Director for Renold plc and 11 years as a Managing Director in international B2B manufacturing groups headquartered in the East Midlands.

Tony is a chartered accountant, having qualified whilst at Price Waterhouse, then spending 14 years in a variety of increasingly senior group, divisional and operational financial roles with Rio Tinto plc, Norcros plc and the Filtrona division of Bunzl plc. Tony has a degree in Accounting and Finance from Nottingham Trent University and served as a Governor there for 11 years up to July 2016. He joined Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as a non-executive director in August 2022.

Dr Ruth Larsen

Dr Ruth Larsen - governor

Ruth was appointed to Governing Council as teaching staff governor in April 2021. Since joining the University of Derby in 2005, she has held a series of roles within the department of Humanities. She is currently a senior lecturer in History and the programme leader for the undergraduate History programmes. Ruth teaches a number of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, covering a wide range of topics, including the history of the body, material culture studies and research methodologies. Her research expertise is in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British history and she has published widely on gender history, the history of the aristocracy and the country house.

Ruth is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Royal Historical Society and is part of the editorial board for the journal Midland History. She is committed to excellence in learning and teaching and was named the University Lecturer of the Year in 2010; she is especially dedicated to supporting undergraduate students to develop their distinct academic voice, in pedagogies of engagement, and championing students as co-creators. She has experience of being a school governor at both primary and secondary schools and is currently an active member of the East Midlands Centre for History Learning and Teaching.

Owen Marques BSc

Owen Marques, governor

Owen serves as a Student Representative Governor, having been elected as President of the Union of Students for the academic year 2022/23 following the completion of his degree in Forensic Science 2021. 

Owen was previously elected as the Vice President Welfare for the academic year 2021/22 and continues to prioritise the welfare of all students in his current role. He strongly believes in giving back to the community by building on his own experiences, listening to the voice of the students and making the student experience that much richer.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL BSc PhD CPsychol

Kath Mitchell

Professor Kathryn Mitchell is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Derby.

Prior to joining the University in September 2015, she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of West London with special responsibility for academic provision and quality across the University. She has also held senior positions of Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic and Student Support Services and Dean of Students at West London.

Professor Mitchell was a Wellcome Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, London and has studied at the Universities of York and London. She has worked at the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Institute, New York and the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel.

Kath is a Chartered Psychologist and played an active role within the Institute for Practice and Interdisciplinary Research (INSPIRE), supervising and directing a range of research programmes.

In April 2019, Kath was appointed one of five new Deputy Lieutenants of Derbyshire. She was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to education in the 2022 New Year's Honours List. She is Chair of the Derby Priority Education Investment Area.

She is married with two children.

Dr Louise Richards PhD SFHEA MInstP

Louise Pigden - governor

Louise is the Academic Board representative on the Governing Council. She is the Deputy Dean of the College of Science and Engineering.

Louise studied Physics as an undergraduate at the University of Warwick, and as a postgraduate at the University of Leeds. She has held varied senior academic leadership and management roles that have provided a broad insight into higher education from differing perspectives. She was Principal Lecturer managing the Leeds Beckett University’s network of further education colleges; Head of Division of Digital Media and Entertainment Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University, having departmental responsibility for third stream income generation, enterprise and student employability; Assistant Registrar - Assessment, Awards and Regulations at Sheffield Hallam University, having wide-ranging responsibilities that directly impacted on the student experience. At Derby she was initially Head of Joint Honours, a role that afforded a unique insight into the academic student experience across all colleges of the University.

Louise’s research interests have spanned computational physics with a focus on hyperbranched polymers, through to the pedagogy of web programming, and more recently the experience and employability of joint honours students. Louise recently completed a PhD by Published Works.

The Very Reverend Dr Peter Robinson

The Very Reverend Dr Peter Robinson

Peter was appointed as an Independent Member of Governing Council in April 2021 and is the Church of England nominee. He is Dean of Derby and moved to the city in 2020. Based at Derby Cathedral which he leads, Peter is a member of the Bishop of Derby’s senior staff team. Previously Peter served in suburban North Tyneside, the inner city of Newcastle upon Tyne and in Northumberland where from 2008 he held the post of Archdeacon of Lindisfarne, leading the Newcastle Diocesan Strategy for the rural church.

Peter is leading Derby Cathedral to engage with the communities of both Derby City and the County of Derbyshire by developing the Cathedral’s arts, culture and heritage offer alongside its existing choral excellence. Peter is committed to partnership working: he is the independent chair of the Derby City Poverty Commission and a member of the City’s Stronger Communities Board. He is developing strategic relationships with the faith sector across Derby and Derbyshire, and working closely with the Multi-Faith Centre which is based in the University. His educational interests include overseeing the Cathedral’s relationship with Derby Cathedral School. Peter holds a doctorate in Divinity from Durham University and is an experienced contributor to theological education and training within the church, both as a theological educator and as a leader of governance.

Hilary Stables FCIPD

Hilary was appointed as an independent member of Governing Council in February 2020. She had been co-opted to Governing Council to join the University’s Strategy, Finance and Planning Committee in April 2019. She has held a number of senior leadership roles in a variety of industries including retail, communications, and healthcare services. She is currently Chief People Officer for NHS Property Services Ltd. 

Prior to joining NHS Property Services as HR Director, Hilary held the role of HR, Talent and Communications Director at McKesson UK, part of the McKesson Company which owns brands including Lloyds Pharmacy and AAH Pharmaceuticals. She joined McKesson in 2015 from BT Facilities Services, where she was HR Director. Earlier in her career, Hilary spent 15 years in a variety of increasingly senior HR positions at Asda Wal-Mart UK.

Stephen Smith BA FIOD, Chair of Governing Council

Stephen Smith has been an Independent Member of Governing Council since 2014. He became Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Governing Council in August 2018, having previously been Chair of the Strategy, Finance and Planning Committee.

Stephen was the founder and Chief Executive of EMB Group, a leading business service, risk management, cyber security and ISO Certification company, leading the sale of its main subsidiaries to Private Equity and the subsequent remaining business to other corporate entities in 2021. He now acts as a strategic advisor and non-executive for leaders and organisations looking to shape their future thinking.

His earlier career was in brand marketing with multinational corporations followed by general management roles in the greetings cards and logistics sectors, the latter as Managing Director of a high growth £100m plus pharmaceutical distribution business. Stephen also has significant experience as a non-executive director in both the private and public sectors. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (IOD) and an IOD Director of the Year category winner on two occasions, whilst EMB Group were an Amazon Growing Business Awards Finalist, a Business Desk Business Masters Winner and recognised by the London Stock Exchange as one of the 1000 Companies to Inspire. He was also a recent member of the CBI Regional Council, advising the government on business policy issues.

Andy Storer

Andy Storer - governor

Andy was appointed as an Independent Member of the Governing Council in August 2021. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with over 30 years’ experience in the nuclear and energy sectors as a manufacturer, engineer and business leader. Owned by the University of Sheffield, the Nuclear AMRC is part of the government’s Catapult Network, with its mission to support UK companies to secure work in the nuclear and adjacent industries, working with around 1,200 SMEs across the UK.

Prior to this, Andy worked for Rolls-Royce including as Programme Director for the Civil Nuclear arm of the company, primarily focused on building the submarine business. Andy is a member of the Nuclear Industry Council, Nuclear Industry Association and Nuclear Innovation Advisory Board, working across central government, local enterprise bodies and with over 1,200 supply chain companies. As part of his CEO role at Nuclear AMRC, he is also Professor of Nuclear Manufacture and Supply Chain Capabilities at the University of Sheffield.

Stephen Taylor BMus FCA, Chair of Strategy, Finance and Planning Committee

Stephen Taylor

Stephen has a 40-year career helping organisations across Europe and beyond. His focus is on improving governance, negotiation strategies and decision making especially during complex, business critical transactions.

Best known for his work on complex western European corporate restructurings, Stephen’s roles have encompassed board roles at several internationally high-profile cases. He was a partner in the European leadership team at PwC and later a senior managing director at Alix Partners.

Stephen is also an advisor to various governments and pan-national institutions and has been a guest lecturer at several European universities.

Educated in Derbyshire and living in the county for many years, Stephen is a Chartered Accountant and also holds a degree in Music.

Zhuofang Wei MSc

Fang Wei, governor

Fang was appointed as an Independent Member of Governing Council in August 2021. She has over 15 years of professional experience largely focused on risk management at sell-side institutions (companies that issue, sell or trade financial securities). In 2014, she built a 20-people London team for a financial technology start-up providing treasury and risk management platforms for multi-billion-dollar global hedge funds across all investment strategies which was later acquired by markets operator ICAP.

Fang began her career at Goldman Sachs FICC (Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities) division as a strategist on the commodities derivatives desk and worked in the high-tech consulting division at Accenture in Silicon Valley. She currently serves as the Chief Risk Officer for System Two Advisors LLC.

Fang received her BA in Mathematics from Princeton University and MS in Computer Science from Stanford University. She also sits on the board of Princeton Association UK. In addition, she has advised the board of trustees of London Air Ambulance on their digital transformation strategy.

Dominic White BA

Dominic White, governor

Dominic is a Student Representative Governor, having been elected Vice President (Activities) of the Union of Students for the academic year 2022/23. He completed his undergraduate degree in History in 2022. During his time as a student, Dominic was heavily involved with the Union of Students, first serving as a Programme Representative and then as the Part Time Officer (Humanities & Journalism) and having numerous committee posts within Sports and Societies, such as President of Rounders and Sports & Societies Councillor.

Dominic is highly passionate about creating an accessible and vibrant student community that supports growth and development. His key aims are increasing resource and facility provision as well as widening accessibility and development opportunities across the Union and University.

John Yarham, Chair of the Skills Committee

John Yarham, governor

John was appointed as an Independent Member of Governing Council in May 2021. He is Deputy Chief Executive of The Careers and Enterprise Company, the Government’s body for careers education in England.

John’s career in the skills sector over the last 25 years has been largely driven by his passion for promoting social mobility and providing excellent standards for career guidance and opportunities for young people and adults. Throughout his career, he has gained extensive knowledge of skills policy, from a central Government angle with the Learning and Skills Council, local Government from being Director of Economic Development at Nottingham City Council, and from a provider position through his role as CEO of the Futures Group. He has occupied chair and vice-chair roles in charities, schools, trade associations and awarding bodies.

John has been the Deputy CEO at The Careers and Enterprise Company since 2019, overseeing all delivery of the organisation's responsibilities.

Co-opted members

Mahad Ali

Mahad was appointed as a co-opted member of the Skills Committee in August 2021. He is the Director of Programmes at Career Ready, a national social mobility charity, where he manages a team of twenty regional managers overseeing the delivery of 11-19 programmes to 69,000 young people every year.

Prior to this role, Mahad was the Head of Education and Research at WorldSkills UK and was a Trustee of the De Paul Trust, a youth homelessness charity. He also used to help lead and implement strategic youth employment whilst working at the Greater London Authority.

Jaine Bolton

Jaine was appointed as a co-opted member of the Skills Committee in August 2021. She is an Independent Consultant and former Senior Civil Servant, who has spent the last 30 years in the education, skills and employment sectors. She spent four years at the National Apprenticeship Service, completing her time there as Chief Operating Officer. As the National Engineering Lead at the Service, she worked closely with Rolls Royce and Toyota, and oversaw apprenticeship activity in the East Midlands through several projects.

As a Senior Civil Servant, Jaine co-led the development of a Government Skills White Paper and had responsibility for the policy and programme development of the following national skills programmes: Train to Gain, 2009-13 Apprenticeship reforms, National Skills Academies and Higher level and Degree Apprenticeships.

As a Consultant, Jaine supports employers, training providers, Higher Education Institutions, charities and colleges to develop and deliver high-quality skills and employment programmes in support of the Government’s Skills Agenda, and to meet the skills needs of employers, their workforce, and communities.

Idris Abiodun Tayo Olufowobi

Idris Olufowobi - governor co-optee

Idris was appointed as a co-opted member of the Strategy, Finance and Planning Committee in August 2022. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Forte Upstream Services Ltd (FUSL), a company providing services to help oil exploration companies achieve their oil and gas production quota. He is a Chartered Accountant with over a decade of professional experience in financial reporting, procurement, treasury management and internal control/audit which cuts across Oil and Gas, Financial Services and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods sectors.

Prior to joining FUSL, he was the Group Treasurer of Forte Oil Plc (now Ardova Plc) managing the group’s investment portfolio and liquidity, including coordination of periodic review of foreign exchange policies to hedge exchange difference volatility. He is working on his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Aston Business School and holds a degree in Accounting from the University of Lagos.

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