Our Advisory Panel

The IntoUniversity Advisory Panel is made up of professionals with expertise in areas as wide ranging as journalism, business and law joined by past and present IU students.

They meet twice-yearly with the IntoUniversity Trustees to discuss topics of concern and interest to IntoUniversity, and to give advice and guidance to the charity.

The Panel

Adetayo Akinyemi was previously a student at our Hackney South centre. He joined our Advisory Panel in May 2016 and later that year began studying Maths and Spanish at Queen Mary, University of London.

Maria Bentley has over 35 years experience in the financial services sector, specialising in fixed income and Human Resources. She currently is a non-executive director of Nomura Europe Holdings plc and Picton Property Income Limited, in addition to providing advisory services on HR.

Nils Blythe is a communications consultant and was Director of Communications at the Bank of England from 2011 to 2014. Before joining the Bank, he had a long career in journalism, including 22 years at the BBC as a correspondent and presenter on television and radio.

Simon Cairns recently retired as Chair of the Charities Aid Foundation. He has also been chair of the Commonwealth Development Corporation, the Overseas Development Institute, Voluntary Service Overseas and is currently a board member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

Rachel Calderon is currently Deputy Director for Partnerships & Philanthropy at the charity Bloodwise. She is responsible for Corporate, Trusts, and Individual Giving and the charity’s special events. Previously Rachel was Head of Major Gifts International at King’s College London, she is a passionate supporter of higher education and social mobility. Rachel graduated from UCL and LSE and currently plays for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Clare Carolan is an independent consultant with particular expertise in strategic communications, marketing and business planning. Her experience spans both the commercial and third sectors in a range of areas including health, education, media, conservation and social enterprise.

Jessica Cecil is the Head of the Director-General's Office at the BBC. She has worked in television for 15 years. She moved into science programming in 1998, as deputy editor of BBC One's Tomorrow's World, and was the series producer of Ancient Apocalypse

Adele Eastman is a solicitor at Farrer & Co., where she specialises in child protection. Adele was formerly a Senior Policy Specialist at the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), where she spent two years on secondment at the charity Kids Company. Adele was a founding Trustee of the Tom ap Rhys Pryce Memorial Fund.

Roger Enock spent 33 years as a solicitor specialising in commercial litigation at Freshfields and US firm Covington and Burling. He retired in 2016 and is currently taking a Masters at the London School of Economics in International History.

Cortland Fransella is an Anglican priest and former member of H M Diplomatic Service. After nearly 15 years of parish ministry in North London, he is now the Assistant Priest at the Chapels Royal in H M Tower of London and also works for the Archbishop of Canterbury as the Lambeth Awards Officer. He is a keen proponent of life-long learning and has been an IU volunteer in Secondary Academic Support at the Haringey North centre since January 2011. 

Katrin Henkel is a specialist in Old Master drawings. She has been a Director of Colnaghi in London since 2002, and also serves on a number of museum and other committees.

Elizabeth Jack worked as a supervisory analyst in the City for a number of years. She is now involved in the charity sector; she’s a Visitor for The Henry Smith Charity, on the Development Board of the Royal Ballet School and helps manage a family charitable trust. 

James Lambert is a founder investor in and Deputy Chairman of Value Retail, which developed and operates Bicester Village and ten sister villages throughout Europe and in China. He served as Chair of Trustees for IntoUniversity between 2009 and 2018. 

Tim Lee is Head of Strategic Planning for food at Marks & Spencer. He spent fifteen years at Tesco in senior roles in the UK and internationally. Tim was a founder and former Trustee of the Sara Lee Trust and is married with two children.

Sir Alasdair Macdonald was Headteacher of Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets for 20 years. He has also taught in Malawi and Papua New Guinea. He is currently working for the Institute of Education on developing school partnerships, for several Local Authorities on school improvement and as a Headteacher mentor.

Davina Mallinckrodt is the founder and CEO of a communications and public relations agency, specialising in the field of design and decorative arts, based in London.  She is a Patron of The Design Fund for the V&A and sits on the Curatorial Committee of The Design Museum. Davina actively supports a number of charities and is married with two young sons

Lucy Morris is a Trustee of CHK Charities and a volunteer at IntoUniversity. She also helps with fundraising.

Dr Catherine Nelson is a chartered psychologist with a particular interest in major life transitions. She has worked within schools, the NHS and third sector organisations as well as in private practice. During her early career, Catherine held various European marketing roles in a global business. 

Rosemary O'Mahony was a partner with Accenture in Chicago and Paris and specialised in implementing Information Technology applications for global clients. Since her retirement in 2006, she has focused on using her professional experience to help a number of charities in the UK and France, including Camfed, Youth Business International, OneWorld UK and 1001fontaines.

Pasha Michaelsen is operations manager at Refugee Support Network, which supports young refugees and asylum seekers in the UK to access and to succeed in education.  She is also a trustee of Praxis. Pasha worked as a finance lawyer for a number of years, followed by an legal voluntary role at CAFOD and work at Big Society Capital through On Purpose.   

Steve Rafferty has recently left BlackRock where he was the Global COO for Fixed Income. He is a co-founder of Big City Bright Future, a BlackRock-led initiative which provides 120 students from IntoUniversity with a three week placement across 17 city firms in London. Steve continues to work on developing the Big City Bright Future program in quality and number of students and partner firms.

Alec Rattray has worked in strategic communications for 25 years, with a particular focus on branding. Since 2008, Alec has operated as an independent consultant, helping clients to think about and articulate their strategic purpose, market positioning and brand personality.

Caspar Rock is Chief Investment Officer of Cazenove Capital, one of the U.K's leading Charity and Private Wealth Managers, and has overall responsibility for their investment strategy. He is a Trustee of Chance to Shine, the national charity on a mission to spread the power of cricket through schools and communities.  He is also a non-executive director of Geoffrey Faber Holdings, the holding Company for publishers Faber & Faber, and Faber Music.

Nitin Sharma is a Portfolio Manager at BlackRock. He is co-founder of Big City Bright Future,  a BlackRock-led initiative which provided 120 students from IntoUniversity with a three-week placement across 17 city firms in London. Nitin continues to work on expanding this programme.  

Mary Ann Sieghart spent 19 years as an Assistant Editor and columnist on The Times before leaving to pursue other interests. She presents documentaries on Radio 4, chairs the Social Market Foundation think tank, sits on several boards, and is currently a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, writing a book about women’s authority.  

Dr Ros Smith is a Founder Director of Student Information Services which provides the website BestCourse4me.com, a free-to-use website providing information to help students choose university courses, and is a Trustee of a grant-awarding trust specialising in education.  Prior to this, she was Operations Director of a software business. 

Chris Stephens is Emeritus Professor of Medical Education at the University of Southampton. Prior to his retirement he worked as a General Practitioner and was Associate Dean for Education in the Medical Faculty. He has always been interested in widening participation and led the team that developed BM6, an innovative widening access to Medicine programme. 

Amelia Sussman recently stepped down from Impetus Private Equity Foundation, where she was an Investment Director for 11 years, working closely with many of the portfolio charities and with the private equity community.  Prior to that, she was COO at Common Purpose. She is currently on the Board of the Capital City College Group and Chairs the City and Islington College Advisory Group. 

John-Paul Warszewski is Director and Founder at Fulcrum Advisers Ltd. John-Paul has over 30 years' experience in the investment banking sector in London. He is also Senior Advisor to Nomura and STJ Advisors, was Member of the Investment Advisory Council to the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania and held various Non-Executive board positions.

Tim Webb is the Global Head of Fixed Income at BlackRock, the world’s largest investment management firm. Tim has over 24 years of experience covering a wide range of senior investment management roles.

Nick Wright is Managing Director, Corporate Responsibility & Community Affairs at UBS. He has over 30 years' experience in financial services with expertise in fixed income and community investment. He has overseen the development of UBS's award-winning Community Affairs programme which has a focus upon social mobility. He is a Governor of The Bridge Academy, Hackney and a Trustee of UBS's Donor Advised Foundation. Nick has a BA in History. 

The advisory panel is very pleased to have welcomed Francesca Barnes to the team.


Our next meeting

Our next Advisory Panel Meeting will take place in May 2019. 



Previous Meetings

In October 2013 Scott Malkin, the Chairman of Value Retail PLC, gave a talk entitled How can entrepreneurial organisations retain their best qualities in a period of increasing scale and complexity? at the Advisory Panel meeting. This was followed by a discussion about how the principles of Scott’s talk could be applied to IntoUniversity. 

In May 2013 the Advisory Panel meeting took the form of a refresher course on IntoUniversity's values and programmes, and was led by members of the IU delivery staff team. We had a lot of positive feedback from our members on the new format of the evening.

In October 2012 Daniela Barone Soares, Chief Executive of Impetus Trust, spoke to the Panel about Impetus and venture philanthropy in the UK. 

Daniela explained that through strategic funding, management support and specialist expertise, Impetus had been able to substantially increase the financial and social impact of the organisations that it worked with. 

The Panel also discussed the challenge of getting young people for disadvantaged backgrounds into prestigious employment as they often lack relevant contacts and interview experience. 

In May 2010, our Advisory Panel and Trustees discussed the topic “What is the value of a university degree?”

The talk was led by Anna Vignoles, a Professor in the Economics of Education at the Institute Of Education and a Deputy Director of the Centre for the Economics of Education. Her research interests include education, school choice and the economic value of schooling. 

Read more about the meeting on the IntoUniversity Blog.

In October 2009, we were joined by Ben Widdicombe from the Cabinet Office, who spoke about the recommendations made in the cross party report Unleashing Aspiration which featured IntoUniversity. An interesting round table discussion followed, in whch panel members voiced their concerns about social mobility in the UK and discussed what actions the government should be taking.