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Advance HE governance experts and associates

Profiles of Advance HE's governance experts and associates that work on our governance portfolio of work.

We are at the forefront of providing support to boards, governors and staff such as clerks and secretaries to improve governance effectiveness. All institutions need high performing boards equipped to determine the strategic course of the organisation. The effectiveness of a board depends on strong foundations, exhibiting the right behaviours, high quality information, sound processes and skilled governance professionals.

To help us form and deliver our support our governance experts and associates are vital. Below you will find the profiles of the people who work on our governance portfolio.

Our governance experts and associates

Andy Shenstone

Director of Business Development and Delivery
,
Advance HE
Andy Shenstone
Andy offers a deep understanding and experience of UK and international HE policy, governance and management. He is Advance HE’s Director of Business Development and Delivery, and an experienced Higher Education (HE) consultant with 20 years’ track record of successfully working with Universities, sector agencies and Ministries in the UK and overseas.
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Victoria Holbrook

Assistant Director, Governance
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Advance HE
Victoria Holbrook
Victoria joined Advance HE in February 2019 from the Office for Students and after 11 years at its predecessor the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). As Assistant Director, Governance she leads the development and delivery of Advance HE’s approach and work to support good governance to ensure it meets the needs of its members and clients in their rapidly evolving operating environments.
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Dan Tinkler

Governance Development Manager
,
Advance HE
Dan Tinkler
Dan joined Advance HE in January 2020 and has been in the post of Governance Development Manager since October 2021. Dan works on developing our approach to supporting Advance HE’s member needs across our governance portfolio of work. He has also undertaken governance effectiveness reviews leading projects with students’ unions. Prior to this he worked with supporting leaders in college HE, independent providers and specialist institutions.
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Aaron Porter

Associate Director (Governance)
,
Advance HE
AP
Aaron leads on Advance HE governance activity through the delivery of our national Governor Development Programme which engages with around 900 governors across the UK on an annual basis. He has extensive experience leading reviews of over 25 governing boards. Aaron was previously President of the National Union of Students (NUS) and also chair of trustees for the organisation.
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Kim Ansell

Senior Adviser and Managing Consultant
,
Advance HE
Kim Ansell
She has worked across higher and professional education providing support to groups at all levels including senior leadership teams and Boards, to facilitate change, strategic thinking, planning and performance improvement. Kim has recently led the Advance HE membership themed month on the topic of Transforming Organisations from student to board. 
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John Rushforth

Senior Associate
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Advance HE
John Rushforth
John is a nationally recognised expert on UK University governance. He is responsible for the key documents that underpin the governance of all publicly funded UK HE institutions namely the CUC HE Code of Governance, the HE Senior Staff Remuneration Code, a range of illustrative practice notes e.g. Academic Assurance, Recruitment of VCs, etc and a Leadership Foundation publication on the relationship between Vice Chancellors and Chairs.
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Keith Bartlett

Senior Associate
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Advance HE
Keith Bartlett
Keith has over thirty years’ experience in higher education and the creative industries and provides consultancy in the areas of strategy; governance and management; organisational change and development; application/scrutiny for Degree-Awarding Powers; and quality assurance and enhancement including preparation for external review.
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Suzanne O'Brien

Principal Lecturer
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Canterbury Christ Church University
Suzanne O'Brien
Suzanne is Vice-Chair of the Board and Chair of the Finance Committee at Cross Keys Homes, the largest provider of social housing in Peterborough, Chairperson of The Fifth Trust, a Kent-based charity that supports adults with learning disabilities, and Non-Executive Director at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust where she chairs the Finance Committee.
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Paul White

Associate
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Advance HE
Paul White
Paul has over 40 years’ experience in the higher education sector. He has had extensive roles in university governance, providing external expertise. He has been mentoring newly-appointed vice-chancellors, deputy and pro vice-chancellors since 2013. From 2004 to 2014 Paul served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at the University of Sheffield.
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Ella Ritchie

Emerita Professor of Politics and former Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Newcastle University and Associate
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Advance HE
Ella Ritchie
Ella is an experienced Higher Education academic, senior manager, consultant and advisor in the areas of university governance, values and structures, widening access to higher education (where she established a national network, Realising Opportunities), academic structure, the student experience and university partnerships.
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Kay Renfrew

Associate
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Advance HE
Kay Renfrew
Kay Renfrew is an experienced consultant and researcher who has delivered assignments for clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She has a Masters degree in information management. Kay has expertise in data analysis and reporting, to assess project impact and performance.
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Alison Allden

Associate
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Advance HE
Alison Allden
Since retiring as Chief Executive Officer of the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), Alison has developed a non-executive portfolio and consultancy career. She is currently Deputy Chair of Regents University London Ltd and on the Board of Study Group UK. She is also a member of the Bar Standards Board responsible for the regulation of barristers.
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Andrew West

Associate
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Advance HE
Andrew West
Andrew’s career in Higher Education spans thirty years, most recently in the post of University Secretary at the University of Sheffield. In that role he worked to ensure the highest standards of governance in liaison with the Chair of Council, Vice-Chancellor, University Executive Board and Professional Services Directors.
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Carol Burns

Associate
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Advance HE
Carol Burns
In all, Carol has 20 years experience working with governing bodies across HE, the public and not for profit sectors. Her early career was spent in the private sector, including three years as a management consultant at KPMG and three years at the Financial Times. She then ran her own media and marketing consultancy before joining the HE sector.
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Dawn Turpin

Associate
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Advance HE
Dawn Turpin
Dawn has more than 20 years’ experience in leadership and management positions within the education sector with expertise in corporate and academic governance, executive and non-executive recruitment, risk management, strategic programme management, strategic planning and information rights.
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Lydia McClelland

Associate
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Advance HE
Lydia McClelland
Lydia McClelland is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Chartered Marketer and a qualified Executive Coach. Lydia has 16 years' senior management experience working across a range of sectors including economic development, the arts, higher education and visitor attraction/science centre sectors in Northern Ireland.
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Richard Blackwell

Associate
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Advance HE
Richard Blackwell
An experienced leader, consultant and interim in higher and tertiary education. Since 2015, Richard has led successful consultancy projects on governance and leadership, graduate employability, teaching excellence and the higher skills agenda. Richard has been an active governor/non-executive director and Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) assessor.
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Olymbia Petrou

Associate, EDI and Governance
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Advance HE
Olymbia Petrou
Olymbia is a driven and passionate Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) specialist with extensive and practical experience of supporting organisations across the public, private and charity sectors. Working as an equality practitioner for 20 years, she has advised on many aspects of EDI including the design and delivery of solutions at all levels of organisations.
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Marion Fanthorpe

Associate
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Advance HE
Marion Fanthorpe
Marion now works as a consultant and non-executive with educational and other public service organisations, to enable them to develop the strategies, cultures and processes to achieve their educational and social purposes. Marion has been the HR Director at Anglia Ruskin University and at the University of Kent, as well as within other local government and the policing bodies.
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Jan Juillerat

Associate
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Advance HE
Jan Juillerat
Jan is a qualified HR and OD executive and an experienced non-executive director. She has served as a charity trustee for national and local organisations and as a lay member and Vice-Chair of a UK university. She developed her governance practice and expertise in public sector research establishments, in higher education and with small and large charities.
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Samantha Budd

Associate
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Advance HE
Samantha Budd
Sam is a specialist in inclusion and cultural transformation. Sam’s work focuses on inclusion and cultural transformation with a particular emphasis on racial equity in the workplace. She supports senior leaders and boards to develop competence in racial literacy in order to confidently lead a strategic response to tackling institutional racism.
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Nick Smith

Associate
,
Advance HE
Nick Smith
Nick Smith has over ten years’ experience of supporting leaders, volunteers and staff in charities and higher education institutions. His work developing the model governing documents used by over 200 Students’ Unions was used as an example of good practice in the House of Lords.
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Zulum Elumogo

Special Advisor
,
Freuds
Zulum Elumogo
Zulum Elumogo is a Special Advisor at Freuds Communications. He was General Secretary (President) and Chairman of the LSE Students’ Union from 2018 to 2020, making him the first black man to hold the position in the LSE’s 125-year history.
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Tessé Akpeki

Senior Associate Consultant
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Wellbeing and Resilience Leadership Initiative
Tessé Akpeki
Tessé served as an Equal Opportunities Commissioner, a Non-Executive in the NHS (13 years), a governor of International Students House (ISH) and served as a chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee of ISH until December 2019. Tessé combines cutting edge governance and leadership approaches with pragmatic wisdom, curiosity, cultural approaches and behavioral strategies.