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Read more about our board members

Pedro Barra (Academic Staff Member)

Pedro BarraPedro is an Associate Professor in the School of Life Sciences Pharmacy and Chemistry at Kingston University. He is a graduate from University of Porto, Portugal, in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and came to the UK in 2000 to complete his MSc and PhD studies.

He joined Kingston University as a Lecturer in Nutrition in 2007. He is a registered nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition – the nutritionists' professional body in the UK and the professional, statutory and regulatory body responsible for the accreditation of Kingston University's two undergraduate nutrition programmes (for which Pedro has been the lead person, managing two successful (re)accreditation events over the last six years).

Pedro is also an alumnus of Kingston University, having completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education in 2009. He joined Academic Council (previously Senate) in September 2014, became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015), Course Leader for the BSc (Hons) Nutrition (Human Nutrition) (2016) and Faculty Research Ethics Lead (2019). He has a keen interest in learning and teaching, particularly around the use of technology to enhance learning and teaching, having previously held related faculty and university roles (Faculty's Blended Learning Leader (2011-2013) and Acting Associate Head of eLearning for Kingston University (2014)).

His higher education experience, over many years and multiple roles, has enabled Pedro to develop a greater understanding of the inner workings of Kingston University. He wishes to contribute further to improve the University's educational mission and its learning environment.

Stephan Burow (Independent Member)

Stephan has an international background, having been born in Germany before finishing schooling in Scotland. He has also spent time in the US and southeast Asia.

Stephan went to Kingston Business school, completing a BA (Hons) in Business Studies before embarking on his professional career and becoming a chartered accountant. He worked for many years in fast moving consumer goods (Unilever, JTI, Tesco/dunnhumby) before getting closer to the world of start-ups and scale-ups. The interest in the latter has taken him to Gousto, where he held a senior leadership role within finance. During his time, the business scaled to become a so-called unicorn (a start-up that successfully scaled to a valuation of >$1bn). He is now CFO of Lintbells, a private-equity backed pet care business.

Stephan is passionate about giving back and extending a helping hand and support to those at the beginning of their career, whether students or early professionals. In addition to his investment in Kingston University, he is supporting Oxford Said Business School as well as CIMA, the chartered accountancy body.

When he finds some 'free' time he loves to go for a swim, a cycle or more generally spend time outdoors.

Samad Chaudhry (Student Member)

Samad Chaudhry Samad Chaudhry is the elected President at the Union of Kingston Students (UKS) for the academic year 2023/24. Samad also Chairs the Board of Trustees at the Union of Kingston Students.

Samad joined Kingston University London in 2021 as a Biomedical Science student, and undertook several different part-time positions with UKS, including roles relating to administration, finance, sales, marketing, and more.

Samad chaired Kingston University London's Student Council, during which he organised a campus-wide referendum relating to the UCU strike action. Samad also stood in the NUS' 2022 national elections, as a candidate for the NUS National Vice President of Higher Education.

Having been a prominent member of the student movement over the past few years, Samad now joins the University's Board of Governors.

Sandra Campopiano (Vice Chair)

Sandra Campopiano Sandra is a portfolio non-executive director and board advisor with extensive experience in HR and organisation development operating at board level in complex multi-national organisations. Sandra has worked on several board governance committees including policy, risk and remuneration committees. Sector experience includes technology, financial services and tourism. Specialties include leading and supporting businesses through transformational change, building organisational culture and capability.

Sandra was previously Chief People Officer at Sage Group plc, responsible for all aspects of human resources globally. This included strategic HR planning, talent acquisition, reward, and organisational development. She had specific responsibility for Sage's capability agenda, digital skills ambitions and for accelerating diversity in a high-performance customer-focused culture. Before Sage, Sandra was Chief People Officer at Thomas Cook plc and Premier Farnell plc. In these roles she developed people strategies to support business transformation and led global programmes in all areas of organisation effectiveness, people development and colleague engagement.

Sandra holds an MBA from Surrey University, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD) and an Accredited RSPP Mediator, having trained at the Regents University London School of Psychotherapy & Psychology.

Ian Jennings (Professional Services Staff Governor)

Ian JenningsI was recently elected as the voice for Professional Services staff on the Board of Governors at a time when the sector is facing many challenges, both financially and politically. I am looking forward to working with the Board to identify strategies to positively influence Kingston University.

My role at Kingston University is the Sports & Active Lifestyles Manager, and I have been in post since 2013. My responsibilities include the Tolworth Court sportsground, the recreational programme and on a Wednesday afternoon, supporting our student teams playing against other Universities.

Prior to Kingston, I held the position Head of Sport at London Metropolitan University.

I have a Degree in History, a Diploma in Management Studies (Leisure) and a Master's in Economics.

Outside of working at Kingston University, I can be found in the evenings either at my local athletics track coaching talented athletes, enjoying a yoga class or wild swimming.

Dirk Kahl (Independent Member)

Dirk KhalDirk Kahl is a member of the International Board and the Chief Accounting Officer of Schwarz Group, Europe's largest retailer, and the owner of Lidl Great Britain. Dirk joined Lidl as Global Finance and Accounting Director in 2008 and was subsequently appointed as Board Executive for Finance, Accounting and Tax for the German operation before joining the UK Board of Directors in 2014. He is currently a member of the joint economic working group of the GBCIC and the Embassy of the F.R. of Germany, and the Institute of Directors.

Prior to joining Lidl, Dirk held the position of Chief Financial Officer for Group Lagardere's German travel retail division.

As a qualified chartered accountant, Dirk worked for KPMG out of Frankfurt, Shanghai and Singapore for almost ten years while also lecturing at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt.

Dirk earned a masters degree in Economics from the University of Mainz and is a certified fraud examiner.

 Roger King (Independent Member)

Roger King

Professor Roger King was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lincoln and is a Visiting Professor and Teaching Fellow in the School of Management, University of Bath. He is the Senior Director of Wells Advisory HE Ltd. – a higher education management consultancy company. He has published numerous books and articles on regulation, governance, science policy, and globalisation.

Roger has sat on numerous governance boards in higher education, including recently as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Richmond, the American University in London. He has been a Visiting Professor at a number of Australian universities, including the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Currently he is a research associate at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation, where is also the conveyor of the Higher Education Regulation Network.

Caroline Mawhood (Independent Member)

caroline mawhoodCaroline was a prominent figure in auditing for more than 12 years as Assistant Auditor General in the National Audit Office and she now has a number of non–executive roles. She is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Chair of its Audit Committee and she is a member of the Audit Board of the European Audio Visual Observatory. She is also a trustee of the Wimbledon Guild which is a local charity.

For 8 years, until 2019, Caroline was one of three external members of the Audit Progress Committee of the European Commission. She has also been a member of the Audit Committees of the City of London (until March 2021), the UK Debt Management Office (until June 2019) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (until 2016) with representation on the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. She has contributed to charity by being the Treasurer and Trustee of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and its successor Breast Cancer Now.

During her executive career in the National Audit Office, and also as President of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, she played a significant role in the development of strong financial management in the public sector. Her experience encompassed auditing major UK government departments and running the corporate services of Audit Office. Caroline is a geography graduate from Bristol University and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

Alison Osborne (Independent Member)

Alison OsborneAlison qualified as a chartered accountant in 1981 and worked as a management accountant at Trusthouse Forte before joining a City law firm as financial controller soon after its establishment. During the time spent there the firm expanded rapidly both in London and overseas. Following a period living in New York, and with three small children, Alison gained a first class honours degree in Mathematical Sciences from Kingston University and an MSc in Applied Stochastic Systems from UCL. This was followed by 15 years teaching at Cass Business School and 5 years at Kingston University.

The subjects taught included Finance and Financial Reporting, Corporate Finance, Decision Analysis, Probability and Statistics and Accounting for Informatics students. Voluntary work includes 8 years as a primary school governor, 10 years as a trustee and treasurer of a local children's charity and independent examiner of several clubs and charities. From April 2023, Alison has been the Central Chairman of the national Women in Fellowship organisation.

Bimal Patel (Independent Member)

Bimal is the Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust. He has over 20 years of NHS acute provider experience and has held the role of Chief Finance Officer in two NHS organisations. He is a CIMA qualified accountant and has worked at all levels within finance, from a Trainee accountant to Head of Financial Management and then to Head of Financial Control with a variety of experience.

Bimal's ethos for finance is to reduce as much waste as possible to give clinicians more time to deliver excellent patient care (in the NHS) and more resources for students (in academia).

Bimal is a Kingston University alumnus who wants to be able to give something back to the university that gave him so much.

 Andrew Pearce (Independent Member)

Andrew Pearce Andrew Pearce is an Independent Non-Executive Director on the CSL (Chaucer Syndicates Ltd) Board. CSL is a global speciality (re) insurance group. He is also a member of the Audit Committee, Risk and Capital Committee and Remuneration and Nominations Committee.

Andrew previously was employed as a Managing Director for Accenture Operations (UK and Ireland). A client account lead and delivery specialist with many years' experience of delivering and leading complex multi-geography IT transformations and outsourcing programs. He has been a delivery centre lead in Mauritius and lived and worked in New York and Brazil. An ex Royal Air Force Squadron Leader, he is an alumnus of Oxford and Imperial College.

Passionate about inclusion and diversity, Andrew was named as one of the Top 50 BAME Execs in the UK, US, and Ireland by the Upstanding List 2016, Empower List 2017 and ranked by the Empower List in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 as being a top minority ethnic leader across the UK, US, Ireland & Canada. Andrew was also recognised on the Green Park list as one of the top 100 BAME leaders in Business 2018 and on the Power in the City list 2018 as one of the top 30 most influential leaders in the UK of African, Caribbean or African American heritage working within legal, financial and professional services.

Andrew lives in Lincolnshire with his wife Sally – a therapist. He has a son who is a Consultant General Surgeon specialising in trauma at the John Radcliffe Oxford and also a Royal Air Force Squadron Leader. He is still rugby-mad but is now more of a spectator. Golf, hiking, skiing, and reading make up his leisure time.

Francis Small (Chair)

Francis SmallFrancis Small is Chair of Nexteq PLC, an AIM-listed technology company and a Non-Executive Director of 1Spatial plc, another AIM-listed technology company where he chairs the Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee. He was previously Chair of British Business Investments, an investment company with over £3bn committed to finance providers supporting some 40,000 SME businesses across the UK.

Francis had a 36-year international career working for Ernst & Young, a global professional services firm. A chartered accountant by profession, Francis has held board roles at UK, European and Global levels. Career highlights include being Global Head of Corporate Finance and Senior Partner for International Clients. Prior to this Francis was Managing Partner of EY's London Office.

Francis is an MA Law graduate from Cambridge University.

He joined the Board of Governors in 2015 and became Chair in March 2020.

Tom Smyth (Independent Member)

Mr Tom Smyth

Tom has over 35 years' experience of financial markets, the last 25 years of which were at Rothschild & Co from where he recently retired as Executive Vice Chairman, Financing Advisory.

He founded Rothschild & Co's debt advisory business in the UK which has grown to become the largest independent financing advisory franchise of its type in Europe and beyond. He has advised the boards of the biggest listed and private equity owned companies on a wide range of their funding, risk management and treasury structures and strategies. He has also helped them establish and negotiate their financing arrangements through business cycles.

He is a non–executive director of Clarion Housing Group where he also chairs their Treasury Committee.

He holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from Durham University. He has previously served as a Trustee of Rothschild & Co's UK pension fund.

He is married with two children and has lived in the Kingston area for the past 20 years.

Steven Spier (Ex-officio Member)

Professor Steven SpierA respected expert in architecture, theatre and dance, Professor Spier was appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor in October 2016, before being made Vice-Chancellor in May 2017. He was formerly Dean of the University's Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, which rose to prominence as one of the top providers of design education, both in the United Kingdom and around the globe, under his leadership.

Before becoming Vice-Chancellor, he also held the post of Pro Vice-Chancellor for Culture and Civic Engagement – a role in which he was pivotal in strengthening links with the wider community and forging an extensive network of high-profile external partners.

A strong advocate of excellence in teaching, research and enterprise, Professor Spier joined Kingston University in September 2012 after heading the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Ulster. Born in Canada, Professor Spier grew up in the United States. He holds a degree in philosophy from Haverford College, Philadelphia, and completed postgraduate studies at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. His early career saw him based in a number of European cities, including a period teaching at the world-renowned Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zürich. He was later founding principal of the HafenCity University Hamburg in Germany, which specialises in urban planning, architecture and civil engineering.

An acclaimed expert in contemporary Swiss architecture, Professor Spier's many published works include Swiss Made, named one of the books of the year by Architects' Journal in 2003. Also a specialist in choreography as a form of spatial organisation, he edited the first English-language book on renowned choreographer William Forsythe, William Forsythe and the Practice of Choreography. It Starts from Any Point.

Professor Spier has links with a wide range of cultural institutions. He was a founding director of the board of Architecture and Design Scotland, is an honorary fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and of German body Bund Deutscher Architekten and was a long-serving board member of Scottish Ballet. He is also a board member of the cutting-edge Glasgow-based production house Cryptic – much vaunted for its work fusing music, sonic art, theatre and multimedia.

Katy Taylor (Independent Member)

Katy Taylor

Katy is Chief Customer Officer at Southern Water, having previously spent nine years as Chief Strategy and Customer Officer at FTSE250 passenger transport provider Go-Ahead Group. She oversees customer services, corporate affairs, transformation and sustainability. She has also held director-level roles at Kroll, VTB Bank and IG Group.

Katy is a Non-Executive Board Director of Anchor care and housing group, an Advisory Board Member of micro-donation charity Pennies.

Katy has as MA in Strategic Marketing from Kingston Business School and CIMA accounting certificate and lives and runs in Kingston.

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Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000