Our Advisory Board helps to ensure our work is relevant, timely and of high quality.

The board advises us on teaching provision, research opportunities, career needs and overall strategic direction of our School.

Board members

A Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) graduate from the University of York, Abisola is Global Head, Thematic Risk for the Institutional Clients Group Compliance Function 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 both her outstanding corporate roles and her promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion in Financial Services from the likes of Financial Times, The Telegraph, UK Black Business Awards and Women in Banking & Finance.

Abisola was appointed to University Council in June 2022 where she serves as an Independent (Lay) Member. She also holds an MSc in International Public Policy from UCL, along with a clutch of Chartered professional qualifications under the Capital Markets Programme.


Peter Elson BA (Hons), FRSA

Chief Executive Officer, Gallagher Aerospace


Peter is the Chief Executive of Gallagher Aerospace. He previously held the post of Chief Executive of JLT Aerospace and was appointed to become Chief Executive of the combined Marsh aerospace business after its acquisition of JLT in September 2018. However, in response to regulatory concerns over concentration in the industry, Peter then led the separation of the global aerospace business - reporting to the European Commission and its trustee - and the subsequent divestment of all affected operations around the world through a successful sale and integration into Arthur J. Gallagher.

Peter has helped create one of the industry's leading aerospace insurance brokers. He has focused on developing and executing a growth strategy, as well establishing a space risks team, which has demonstrated its capability by delivering numerous market-leading risk programmes to clients. 

Peter began his career at Leslie & Godwin in 1985. After an intervening year at Crawley Warren, Peter returned to his former employer in 1994 – by then part of the Aon Group - where he performed roles including Senior Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer.

During the course of his career Peter has worked with airlines, aerospace manufacturers, airports, general aviation, and most of the world’s leading spacecraft operators, space agencies and rocket launch service providers. Peter’s client work encompasses sales, risk programme design, account management, market negotiation and syndication, and claims settlement.

Peter holds a BA (Honours) degree in Economics and Politics from the University of York; he is a European Mentoring and Coaching Council accredited Executive Coach; visiting lecturer at the International Space University in Strasbourg; visiting lecturer at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Peter has served on a Ministry of Justice appointed Independent Monitoring Board for a UK prison and he has Chaired the overall board and more than ten country boards for an international group of charities dedicated to ending human trafficking and slavery.




Alice Maynard is Director of Future Inclusion, providing strategic and governance advice to business in relation to inclusive practice. Alice is a Board member of HMRC and Transport for London. She is also a Director and Trustee of Milton Keynes Community Foundation, a grant-giving organisation based in her home town.

Alice has held a wide range of pro bono roles with nonprofits and government. These include: Chair of Scope, where she led the development of a new and ambitious strategic direction that capitalised on the turnaround she achieved and Scope’s strong reputation in the sector; founding Trustee of the Association of Chairs, a membership organisation that helps Chairs of nonprofits with their unique task; Chair of Swanswell, which she successfully merged with a larger drug and alcohol charity; and Chair of a guideline committee for NICE on social care experience.

Alice has an undergraduate degree from the University of York, an MBA from Ashridge and an Executive Doctorate from Cranfield. In 2014 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of York, and won the Sunday Times / Peel Hunt Not-for-profit / Public Service Organisation Non-Executive Director of the Year. In 2015 she was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours list.

Edward Naylor - is CEO of Naylor Industries plc, a fourth-generation family manufacturing business founded in 1890. Edward has fulfilled this role since 1993, having taken over what was then an indebted and loss making £12m turnover business. Prior to taking this role, Edward, a Cambridge University Modern Languages graduate (French & German) and double prize-winning Chartered Accountant, spent 8 years with City accountant Deloitte, developing particular expertise in Anglo-German business matters.

Naylor Industries plc today has £80m turnover, 8 factories (3 in Barnsley) and employs 420. Its principal area of activity is the manufacture of clay and plastic pipes and concrete products which are supplied to the domestic and international construction industries. Edward and his company have received a number of prestigious business awards including the EEF Winner of Winners Award (2015), Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award (2017), the national EEF Leadership Award (2018) & the Queen's Award for International Trade (2021).

Outside of Naylor, Edward is President of the British Ceramic Confederation, a Trustee of Lighthouse, the Construction Industry Charity, an Entrepreneur in Residence (Mentor) as part of the Connect Yorkshire programme and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Co of Builders Merchants. His hobbies include skiing and football.

Philip is the Chief Executive Officer of Bridges Fund Management, which he co-founded in 2002 alongside Michele Giddens and Sir Ronald Cohen. Philip oversees Bridges’ investment activity across all its strategies and geographies. He chairs the Investment Committee and has overall responsibility for Bridges’ portfolio and exit strategy. He has personally led Bridges’ successful investments in The Gym Group, The Office Group, The Hoxton, Simply Switch and Viva Gym, among others. As CEO, Philip also focuses on leading and developing Bridges’ internal team, and directing the firm’s strategic growth. He is also a regular speaker about investing for impact and the value of purpose in business.

Prior to Bridges, Philip managed two venture capital-backed businesses and a substantial pan-European business. He previously worked at Aiwa as Director and General Manager and was then appointed Managing Director of MWB Business Exchange Ltd, a serviced office provider. Philip has a BA Honours in Economics from York University and is a qualified chartered accountant.

Sunny Pahal is a Business Development Specialist, who works with entrepreneurs on growth strategies and implementation within their businesses. Having worked on business development within Dragons’ Den investor Sara Davies MBE company; Sunny also supports Sara with the investment process and portfolio management of ventures taken on through the Den.

Throughout her career she has held senior management roles within commercial environments, with a particular focus on new business and growth strategies. Having started her career within TV shopping, she has gone on to build a range of commercial experience across multiple channels at an international level. 

Holding a Masters in International Business, Leadership and Management from the University of York, her research into improving the pipeline of BAME women in business, lead her to become an accredited coach, to help inspire others. Sunny also is a Non-Executive Director for the York Museums Trust.

Paul Rennie is the Head of the Global Economy Group at the British Embassy, Washington DC, leading the UK’s climate and energy, economic and trade, and science and technology networks across the United States. Prior to that, he led the Foreign Office’s strategic transformation programme, focused on delivering a 21st-century Diplomatic Service.

Paul was born in Edinburgh and educated at George Heriot’s School, before going on to graduate with an MA in Economics and Politics (Edinburgh University) and an MSc in Economics (University of York).

He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2001 as the first of a new group of Diplomatic Service Economists. He has served at the United Nations (New York), Brazil, India and Malaysia, as well as working on secondment to the Cabinet Office and the Department for International Development.

Paul is a professional economist, with a particular expertise in the analysis of emerging markets and the international education sector, presenting on the future of education at several international conferences. In 2019, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Heriot-Watt University in recognition of his "expertise and contributions to the development and strategic positioning of UK education overseas".

He was awarded an (OBE) in the Queen’s 2015 New Year’s Honours List for services to UK-India relations.

Chris has led innovation assignments for global corporations such as 3M, Abbott, AXA, Fresenius, GSK, Leo Pharma, Mars, Pepsico, SABMiller and Unilever) and start-ups such as Cellesce, Snap Tech and Sugru, and for universities including Cambridge, Kent, Warwick and York. With a background in physics, engineering and accountancy, Chris has spent 25 years working in design and innovation consulting.

He was Chief Operator Officer of Fitch plc working in the US and UK and MD of PSD Associates Ltd before founding Viadynamics in 1998. Chris is passionate about the role of change management, systems engineering and design thinking in driving breakthrough solutions to innovation challenges.

Danielle Walker Palmour is the Director of the Friends Provident Foundation, an independent grant-making charity established from unclaimed shares arising from the de-mutualisation of Friends Provident Life Office in 2001. Friends Provident Foundation has a wider interest in the use of financial markets to produce social value and has led small trusts in social investment.

Danielle is also a non-executive director of The National Lottery Community Fund, is a trustee of a number of local and national charities and a member of the Congress of the University of York.

Previously, Danielle has held board directorships at Big Society Capital, regional NHS bodies. She held senior policy and research roles throughout the sector including the director of Policy and Practice Development at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, senior research roles at the Commission for Racial Equality and the Law Society of England and Wales, and advisory roles to HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office and the Financial Services Authority.

Roger Worrell is the Chief Financial Officer for the UK and Netherlands division of the SSP Group PLC. He returned to this role in October 2019, after having spent 11 years in the US as Chief Financial Officer for SSP America Inc.

SSP operates more than 2,800 branded catering and retail units at over 180 airports and 300 railway stations across 35 countries as a concessionaire. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Prior to joining SSP he held senior finance positions at Compass Group, Chestermark PLC, Europcar and Tower Records.

While living in Virginia in the US, Roger was on the board of the Airports Minority Advisory Council and on the advisory board for the University of York in America.

Roger has an MSc in Management from the University of York and an MBA from Warwick University.