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University Council Members

List of Council Members and Constituency

Dr Alice Maynard

Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor

Photographic portrait of Dr Alice Maynard at the University of York

Dr Alice Maynard was appointed to Council on 6 March 2023 as an Independent Member and from 1 August 2023 is the Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor. Alice founded and runs Future Inclusion as an executive coach/mentor and business adviser, helping leaders improve organisation performance through inclusive practice. She currently sits as a NED for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) where she chairs the People Committee. She is a member of the Government Commercial Office Remuneration Committee. She is a past NED for HMRC where she chaired the People Committee, and past member of the Board of Transport for London where she was Vice-Chair of the Customer Service and Operational Performance Panel. From 2008 to 2014, Alice led the Board of Scope, the disability charity, rebuilding its financial and management capability.  This led her to join third sector colleagues in establishing the Association of Chairs, to improve performance through better chairing. In 2014 Alice won a Sunday Times Non-Executive Director of the Year award, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of York.  She received a CBE in the 2015 New Year Honours.

Philip Carpenter


Council - Philip Carpenter


Philip Carpenter is by background a publisher for Higher Education with an interest in the ways in which publishing and digital technologies can support the development of teaching, learning and research to enhance student outcomes and enable the impact of the research community. 

After leaving Oxford University, where he was awarded the Beddington Prize for English, he joined Blackwell Publishers in 1979, where he published extensively across the Humanities and Social Sciences.  Following the merger with Blackwell's sister company in Science and Medicine in 2000, he took responsibility for the company's combined book publishing across the whole academic spectrum for the global market, including particularly its development in the United States and Asia.  When John Wiley Inc. acquired Blackwell Publishing in 2007 he took on the leadership of the combined journal and book publishing of the merged company in the Social Sciences and Humanities.  He subsequently became Senior Vice President for Wiley's journal programme, then in 2014 Executive Vice President, Research  with responsibility for all the company's digital products and services for the global research community.

He has taken an active interest in how the publishing industry can support universities and governments in the development of Higher Education.  He served on the Board of STM, the International Association of Scientific, Medical and Technical Publishers from 2013 to 2017 and in 2021/22 as its CEO on an interim basis.  He is a Non Executive Director of Institute of Physics Publishing and Advisory Board Director of Kortext, the leading UK student learning platform.

Chris Thompson

Pro-Chancellor, Treasurer

Council - Chris Thompson


Chris is a chartered accountant who was Chief Financial Officer at the University of Nottingham from 2007 to 2013, where he was responsible for finance, procurement, IT and research administration. His career has largely been spent in the retail and food manufacturing sectors. After working for KPMG for 10 years at their Newcastle and London offices, he went on to work in senior financial positions in a number of retailers, including Asda and Woolworths before joining the Co-operative movement where he worked for eight years. During this time he was responsible for the management of a number of large businesses in the funerals, pharmacy, retail, distribution and manufacturing sectors. Chris is married with 4 children and lives in Harrogate.

Lindsey Fussell

Deputy Treasurer

Lindsey Fussell joined the Council in July 2018. 

Lindsey is Networks and Communications Group Director at Ofcom, the independent telecoms and media regulator.  Lindsey is responsible for leading Ofcom’s regulation of the telecoms and postal sectors.  She sits as an executive member on the Ofcom Board. 

Before joining Ofcom in April 2016, Lindsey’s career was mostly in the Civil Service.  From 2012 to 2016, she was the Director of Public Services at HM Treasury, responsible for oversight of public spending on defence and security, education and criminal justice.  She is a qualified accountant. 

Professor Simon Best

Independent Member

Professor Simon Best OBE, FRSE joins the University Council as a lay member from 01 November 2019. Simon is a life sciences and biotechnology entrepreneur, and is currently Lead Independent Director at the pharmaceutical company Liminal Biosciences, which dedicated to healing conditions such as fibrosis, after seven years as CEO and Chair of its Board. Simon’s track record in life sciences commercialisation has seen him founding and developing substantial ventures. These include Ardana, Zeneca Plant Science, Evofem in the United States which focuses on products supporting women’s sexual and reproductive health and Roslin Biomed, spun out from The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh. Simon was Chair of commercialisation for Edinburgh BioQuarter from 2010-15.

Simon is an alumnus of the University of York (BMus 1977), holds an MBA from London Business School, and was awarded an honorary degree from York (2004). Simon was awarded the OBE in 2008 for services to the pharmaceutical industry. Simon has been awarded such accolades as Science and Technology Venturer of the Year (1999) Technology Pioneer of the Year (2000). Simon is a Visiting Professor of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

Building on his first love of music, Simon started his career as music talent-spotter and started a record label, working with the 1980s electropop-synth band, The Human League.

Judith McNicol

Independent Member (on leave of absence 11/09/23 - 29/02/24)

Judith McNicol joined the Council of the University as a lay member from 01 November 2019. Judith is the Director of the National Railway Museum (NRM) in York – a role which she has held since 2017. The NRM is part of the prestigious Science Museums Group (SMG) and Judith is embarking on a transformation of the Museum as it shifts from a social history to a STEM focus. Prior to this role Judith has held group-wide senior posts in the wider SMG, including as Director of People and Culture, Change Director and Commercial Development Director.

With a commitment to outreach and opening access, Judith herself completed a Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Countryside Management as a mature student from Bishop Burton College.

Judith has lived in Yorkshire for twenty years and her commitment to the future success and growth of the City and its major institutions, including the University and the NRM, will be an asset to the work of Council.

Professor John Loughhead

Independent Member

Professor John Loughhead CB OBE FREng FTSE joins the Council of the University from 01 November 2019. John is a specialist in industrial research at the interface of industry and academia, and was Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) since 2016 to 2020. Prior to this he has held role as Chief Scientific Adviser at the former Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and Corporate Vice-President of Technology and IP at global transport company, Alstom.

He is Past-President of the UK Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and its Australian counterpart, and was made a Fellow of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in 2009, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Cardiff.

John has strong regional roots, and lives in West Yorkshire, with his wife having spent her entire career working in Yorkshire.

Professor Dame Vicki Bruce

Independent Member


Professor Dame Vicki Bruce joined Council as a lay member from 01 February 2021, and is Professor Emerita in Psychology at the University of Newcastle, where she was latterly Head of Department until 2015. As well as holding Professorships at the universities of Nottingham and Stirling, Vicki was Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Vicki is a former President of the British Psychological Society (BPS),  Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and was awarded an OBE in1997 and DBE in 2015 for services to Psychology and Higher Education. She holds honorary doctorates from Goldsmiths, University of London, St Andrews, the University of York and several Honorary Fellowships.

Abisola Barber

Independent Member

Independent Lay Member of Council

Abisola Barber was appointed to Council as an independent (lay) member on 01 June 2022 for an initial three-year term.

A Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) graduate from the University of York, Abisola is Global Head, Thematic Risk for the Institutional Clients Group at Citibank, and has previously held a number of senior positions in banking and finance, including at Barclays Investment Bank.

Abisola is also a professional development consultant and holds experience in and exposure to an array of industries and professions including Entertainment, Public/Third Sector, and Commercial Services. Her formative years were spent in Government and Politics, as a Strategic Advisor and Board Member for several Local Government Groups and National Agencies – providing strategic guidance for content, execution and delivery of key Children & Young People’s Services.

Abisola has been shortlisted for, and won, numerous accolades for her work promoting women and diversity in finance, including  Barclays Plc’s UK Winner & Global Finalist: ‘Citizenship & Diversity Role Model’ 2020 and Finalist in the same year in Athena40/Global Thinkers Forum for the world’s most innovative women.

Abisola sits on the Advisory Board for the University’s School for Business and Society. She also holds an MSc in International Public Policy from UCL, along with a clutch of professional qualifications under the Capital Markets Programme.


Dr Philip Rycroft

Independent Member

Dr Philip Rycroft CB joined the Council of the University as a lay member on 26 February 2020.  Philip has had a distinguished career as a senior civil servant, holding senior roles in both the Scottish and the UK Governments.  He was responsible for Higher Education policy in Scotland between 2006 and 2009 and was Director General in the office of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg between 2012 and 2015.  Philip’s most recent role was as Head of the UK Governance Group in the Cabinet Office, with responsibility for constitutional and devolution issues, and as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU).  He left the civil service at the end of March 2019 and is now a non-executive director, independent consultant and academic.  Philip was awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 2014 for services to the UK’s devolved and coalition governments.  His own academic background is as an historian; he completed a Doctorate of Philosophy (DPhil) at the University of Oxford in the late 1980s on the local social and economic history of part of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the course of which he visited York to use the archives of the then Borthwick Institute of Historical Research.

In September 2019, Philip took up a distinguished visiting fellowship at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, and holds an Honorary Professorship at Edinburgh University.  His current research interests are in the governance and politics of the United Kingdom.

David Watson

Independent Member

David Watson

David is currently Chair of the University’s Audit and Risk Committee and has recently become a member of Council (February 202I).  He is a chartered accountant (Price Waterhouse) with a law degree from Cambridge University, David has worked throughout his career in the financial services sector and has held senior management roles within investment banking, private equity and asset management.

Most recently, David was co-founding partner of Pensato Capital, an asset management firm, where David was responsible for the overall management of the business, including governance, finance, risk and all legal and compliance matters. David ran this well-regarded business for some 10 years before managing its sale in 2017 to a sector consolidator.

A competitive cyclist and keen gardener, David lives in North Yorkshire with his partner and three dogs. David is also a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk committee of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.


Professor Charlie Jeffery

Vice-Chancellor and President

Professor Ken Badcock

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost

Professor Lesley Stewart

Elected by and from Senate

Professor Nicky Milner

Elected by and from Senate

Professor Nicky Milner

Professor Nicky Milner FBA, FSA, FSA (Scot) joined the Council from September 2021. She holds a BA from the University of Nottingham and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. She was a lecturer at the University of Newcastle before joining the University of York in 2004. She was appointed to Professor in 2012, and has been Head of Archaeology since 2019. She was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2019. She sits on a number of boards, trusts and societies including being a member of the Heritage Monitoring and Advisory Scientific Committee for the A303 Stonehenge project, a member of the Jersey Heritage Framework Advisory Board, a REF subpanel member for Archaeology, a Director and Trustee of Antiquity (the leading Archaeology journal),  former Vice-President of the Prehistoric Society, and a British Academy H7 steering committee member. 

Her research focuses on the Mesolithic period (Middle Stone Age) and she has directed a number of excavations including the site of Star Carr (a site near Scarborough) which revealed Britain's oldest known house, the earliest evidence of carpentry in Europe and evidence that hunter-gatherers 11,000 years ago were resilient during a period of climate change. Her excavations and research have featured on a number of TV and radio programmes including Time Team specials, several episodes of Digging for Britain and Ray Mears' Wild Food. She has given over 40 public talks on Star Carr and collaborated on a number of museum exhibitions including at the Yorkshire Museum, the Rotunda in Scarborough and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge. She has also won a number of national prizes including Research Project of the year in the Current Archaeology Awards (2014 and 2020) and the Best innovation prize in the British Archaeological Awards. 

Professor Kieran Gibson

Elected by and from Senate

Kieran Gibson joined the University of York in 2007, as a Reader, before being appointed to a Chair in Plasma Physics in the York Plasma Institute in 2013, and from 2017 has been Head of School in the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology.

He graduated with an undergraduate degree from Imperial College, London, followed by a PhD at the University of Manchester.  He began his academic career at UMIST, and subsequently the University of Manchester, as a lecturer in 1993.  

His research is focused on the development of fusion energy – the energy source that powers the sun and the stars - and specialises in magnetically-confined fusion plasma research, seeking to provide environmentally sustainable sources of energy for the future. His expertise spans the development of plasma measurement systems, plasma stability, as well as studies of the handling of heat and particle exhaust at the edge of fusion devices – a critical issue for future fusion reactors which involves both plasma physics and materials science.

He has served as a senior member of the Board of Governors of FuseNet, the co-ordinating body for fusion education in Europe, and was Programme Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Science and Technology of Fusion Energy, a consortium of five UK universities providing doctoral training for the next generation of fusion scientists. Among a number of roles he currently holds in the community, he is a member of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Programme Advisory Committee, a body that advises on the UK government strategy in fusion science and technology.



Professor Kiran Trehan

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement


Andy Durrant

Elected by and from Professional Support Staff

Andy Durrant joined the University of York in February 2011 and he is currently the Head of Estates Operations and Maintenance for the University. His introduction to the University came via a year with the University Partnership Programme (UPP).

Andy began his career in Facilities and Estates Management in 1990 with the Civil Service College at Sunningdale Park. He then moved onto being the Facilities Manager with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) based at York in 2002 until 2009 followed by a year with Interserve FM. Andy has been responsible for both hard and soft FM working closely with a number of FM contractors.

Andy moved to Yorkshire in 2002 and has 2 children now in their early twenties.

Jonny Exon

Elected by and from Professional Support staff

Jonny Exon

Jonny Exon joined the University of York in November 2010. He has 13 years’ experience in higher education administration and management, namely in research support and student support.  He has been the Manager of Langwith College for the past 8 years.  

Jonny gained an LLB in Law from the University of Durham.  He also holds an MA in Criminal Justice from the University of Leeds, and an MA in Fine Art from the Istituto Europeo di Design, Madrid.

Jonny has been a trustee of several local and regional charities including the Pay & Employment Rights Service, York Family Mediation Service and Tang Hall Community Centre.  He is currently trustee and honorary treasurer of St Nicks - a nature reserve and environmental centre close to York’s city centre.

In his spare time Jonny enjoys reading, rock climbing, canoeing and photography.

Pierrick Roger

President, Students' Union

‌Pierrick is the President of YUSU, the York University Students' Union. This means that he is the lead representative for all students at the University. This requires him to sit on a variety of University committees to ensure the student voice is heard. 

Maierdanni Nasier

President of the Graduate Students' Association‌‌

Maierdanni is the President of Graduate Students' Association (GSA).Her key role is to voice the opinions of all postgraduate students in all senior level committees of the University.