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.

Dr David Alleyne left school at 16 and completed his studies to BSc level part-time. He is currently the CEO of Guided Ultrasonics Ltd (“GUL”), a company he founded in 1998 to exploit the technology he developed during his research at Imperial College London. An important by-product of GUL’s technology was the company ethos and its social objective to provide formal training and opportunities to thousands of technicians, mostly young, all over the world. David is committed to expanding opportunities for young people through education and self-realisation and has been mentoring through a variety of programmes, offering engineering apprenticeships, internships and providing work experience and scholarships throughout his 20+ years in the industry, while being a foster carer for over 10 years.

Francesca Barnes

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.

Nicholas Bull is a trustee of CET, the multi academy trust, and for nine years was a member of Council of the University of Exeter. He is a trustee of the Design Museum and a past Master of the Tallow Chandlers livery Company. Following a career in the City, he is currently Chairman of the investment trust, Fidelity China Special Situations plc, and the Senior Independent Director of global thread manufacturer, Coats Group plc.

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 a Trustee of the University of Bristol, and a Director of the BBC, currently leading on the response to disinformation. Before that, she led the BBC Online project, tasked with focusing and reshaping the BBC's digital services. She has been Controller of BBC Make it Digital, leading this major initiative to inspire a new generation to get creative with digital technology, and Chief of Staff to four BBC Director-Generals. She is an Emmy-nominated programme maker and senior journalist, and was Assistant Editor of Newsnight. She is on the advisory body of Rand Europe, and is on the International Council of the Wallace Collection.

Victoria Corcoran was the Senior Vice President and Worldwide Client Service Director at Ogilvy and Mather Advertising. She has had a 15-year career in advertising, based in 3 different offices - Ogilvy New York, Sydney and London - working with international clients such as American Express, Kraft/General Foods, Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, Hallmark Cards and Duracell, and a range of pro bono clients such as Amnesty International, World Wildlife Fund. Victoria is currently Director of The Corcoran Foundation, a small family charitable foundation, and a community volunteer.

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. 

Perdita Fraser is a board member of the National Lottery Community Fund and of the University of Edinburgh. She has been involved for over 20 years with youth education and social mobility charities including Rugby Portobello Trust (P3) and Access Aspiration. Perdita has spent the last 20 years working in the cleantech industry in the UK and the US as a director, investor and consultant, following a decade in finance.

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. 

Fiona Laffan is the Managing Director of Prosek Partners’ London office and has over 20 years’ experience in strategic and financial communications. She previously held senior roles at Goldman Sachs, Lloyds Banking Group and Brunswick, and began her career as an equity analyst.

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. 

Janet Legrand QC (Hon) is the former Senior Partner and Global Co-Chair of DLA Piper. She chairs The Children's Society's Trustee Board, is Deputy Chair of Council at City, University of London and holds a number of additional governance roles in higher education. Janet was a founding Board member of PRIME, the legal profession's commitment to improving access to the profession, and led Break into Law, her firm's global widening participation programme, for 10 years.

Tim Lee is CEO of the online recipe box service, Mindful Chef. Tim was previously Head of Strategic Planning for food at Marks & Spencer and 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

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.

Priscilla Mensah is a passionate advocate of social mobility through education who works in international development policy. Whilst at the University of Cambridge for her undergraduate degree in Politics and Sociology (2012-2015), Priscilla focused on widening participation and the experience of black minority ethnic students, leading the first university-wide survey on race relations, off the back of which the University established a working group on racism and the student experience. Priscilla went on to become the first black woman to be elected president of the Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) in 2015. During her tenure, Priscilla established the first ‘Black Students’ Open Day’ and expanded the reach of ‘Fly’ (the University’s BME women’s network), which she co-founded in 2013. 

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. 

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.  

Nat Sloane is a successful entrepreneur, venture capitalist and investor. Nat is the England Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund and the founding chair of Social and Sustainable Capital-one of the largest social investment fund managers in the United Kingdom. He is also the Chair of Pause, an innovative charity working to support women to reduce the number of children taken into care and is the co-founder of Impetus Trust, the first venture philanthropy trust fund in the UK. Nat is a founder trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation, the UK’s largest What Works Centre.

Rebecca Smith is Principal of Co-op Academy North Manchester, an 11-16 school in Blackley, which is part of the Coop Academies Trust. Rebecca has worked in education for over 20 years within a range of different types of schools and is a Local Leader in Education, a role which involves providing school-to-school support to senior leaders and headteachers. In addition to this, she has spoken at a national and regional level on a number of issues relating to education. Rebecca is passionate about ensuring that all children have an excellent education regardless of their background or circumstances and believes in the power of cooperation when seeking to achieve this.

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. 

Andrew Stewart has worked as a management consultant in Financial Services for over 30 years. He started his career in Accenture then formed a new consultancy, Troika. Troika became a leading consultancy in the UK, recognised for its client impact, passionate culture and innovative support for charities. In 2013 he joined A.T. Kearney where he is now the Managing Partner for UK & Ireland. Andrew is also the Chairman of Arville, a UK specialist textile manufacturer.

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. 

Colin Tyler leads the Technology and Media Practice at OC&C Strategy Consultants, a global advisory firm. He was recently named by The Sunday Times, as one of the 10 most influential Britons for his work in the technology space. OC&C and Colin have supported IntoUniversity since 2008 through a series of pro-bono consulting engagements – most recently leading the initial analysis on the Geography of Need.

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.

Eric Wilkinson is a highly experienced senior executive, having had significant success as a private equity and venture capital investor and co-founding Top Golf Inc in the US. He has sat on numerous boards, and is currently a non-executive director of Vaughan Lighting Limited, CEED Limited, Smart TMS Limited and LEO Limited. Eric is also Chairman of the Advisory Board of 8 Hours Ahead, and a member of the advisory board of Committed Capital LLC.

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. 

Our next meeting

Our Advisory Panel meets twice a year, every year in May and October.



Previous Meetings

In October 2018 the panel completed a survey and reviewed the role of the panel. They discussed the format of meetings, leveraging expertise, the different ways panel members could contribute and how the panel could best fulfil its role over the following 24 months.
In May 2018 the panel welcomed an external speaker, Alice Butler, a PhD student at the School of Geography at the University of Leeds. Her research focussed on the production of territorial stigma particularly in relation to Toxteth, Liverpool, in 20th century press coverage. Discussion focussed on how certain areas can be stigmatized and considerations the charity should take when working in these communities.
In February 2018 the panel held an additional meeting which was called to give an overview of a pro-bono strategy project completed for the charity by OC&C Strategy Consultants. The panel welcomed representatives from OC&C who gave an overview of the project which looked at growth strategies.
In October 2017 the panel was welcomed to the offices of our corporate partner BlackRock for its meeting. Panel members heard about the Charity of the Year partnership with BlackRock and also discussed details of the 2017 – 2020 business plan.
In May 2017 the theme of the meeting was Diversity and Inclusion. Discussion was led by a Senior Education Worker with a network-wide responsibility for diversity. The panel took part in breakout discussions looking at what practical strategies could be introduced to promote diversity in recruitment and across the organisation. The panel also discussed advocacy and communications and the most effective ways panel members might advocate for the charity.