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Council members

Council Members Mini Biographies November 2022

Mukhtar Ahmed – Independent member of Council

Mukhtar Ahmed is an independent advisor within the healthcare sector. His senior leadership experience spans over 30 years within the biopharmaceutical, technology and healthcare industries. He was formerly the President of the Science Group at Clarivate Plc, the President for eHealth Solutions at Bioclinica and Global Vice President at Oracle Corporation.  He has also held executive and board level positions with various multi-national corporations including Medidata Solutions, Parexel and Kendle International, as well as non-executive and board/advisory positions with the National Health Service (NHS) and a variety of venture and private equity backed companies. 

Dr Vineta Bhalla – Independent member of Council

Vineta Bhalla is a doctor and senior global public health leader with policy, strategy and implementation experience in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia and the World Health Organisation.  She specialises in health system redesign for integrated care and population health. 

Vineta was the Director of Community and Out-of-Hospital Care Programme at the NHS TDA until December 2015, having previously worked at the University College London Hospitals NHS Trust.  She is currently Clinic Lead for Deloitte UK-Middle East.  Vineta also serves on the Board of London Northwest Healthcare NHS Trust.  She chairs the London Northwest Healthcare Charity and the Joint Digital Care Record Programme for NW London. 

Vineta has received various honours and awards during her career, including Public Service Medal and National Day Honours from the Government of Singapore for her leadership in the fight against the SARS epidemic and for her role as the National Director of Hospitals for Singapore. 

Vineta was recently appointed as a Senior Editorial Advisor to the journal, Internal Health.  She has served as a Fellow with the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London and the NHS Staff College.  

Sharon Blackman OBE – Independent member of Council

Sharon Blackman is Managing Director, Head of Legal Services for Citi. She is an Employed Barrister (England & Wales) and NY Attorney Sharon heads the legal team supporting Citi’s Services business globally and serves on the Legal Management Committee (LMC). She is Chair of the Bank of England FXJSC legal subcommittee and a member of the global steering committee for Citi’s Black Heritage network. A mother of three, she is also a founding member of the Inhouse Pro Bono Group, trustee and playing member of the Croydon Symphony Orchestra, member of Brunel University Council, Corporate Advisory Board member for Urban Synergy and the Patchwork Foundation and BACFI representative on the Bar Council’s Race Working Group. 

In 2021 Sharon was listed in Cranfield’s Women to Watch 2021, became a Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn and was recognized in the Queen’s Birthday Honors with an OBE for services to the financial sector.

Janet Dean – Independent member of Council

Janet Dean is an experienced Executive Director, Non-Executive Director and Chair who has advised local authorities, national agencies and partnership organisations on strategic change and development in the fields of housing, regeneration and economic development, health, social care, and education. Since 1996 she has had a successful senior career as permanent and interim Departmental Head, Executive and Non-Executive Director in local government, housing association and arms-length companies, health bodies and independent charities and higher and further education.  Her past appointments include Non-Executive Director of the Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority, and of Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Governor of Sheffield Hallam University and Non-Executive Director of Metropolitan Housing Trust. She is currently a Governor of York College, chair of The Arts Society Ebor, a Director of Mount School Estates Ltd, and a Trustee of the Orkney Wireless Museum. Janet is also a writer and runs writing workshops, courses and retreats.

Professor Dave Delpy – Independent member of Council

Professor Delpy is Emeritus Professor of Medical Photonics in the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering at University College London (UCL). He originally studied physics at Brunel University, then spent two years working for Darchem Ltd, an engineering company, before going to UCL to work on the development of sensors for use in newborn infants. He spent 35 years at UCL developing techniques for the physiological monitoring of infants and adult patients. He is best known for developments of NIR Spectroscopy and Imaging of brain oxygenation. Many companies have marketed devices developed by him and his team.

At UCL, he was head of department for seven years, followed by seven years as Research Vice Provost. In 2007 he left UCL to become the CEO of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, stepping down in 2014. He was then Chair of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council from 2014 to 2017 and Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board for the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme from 2014 to 2019. He is currently a member of the Home Office Science Advisory Council and Honorary Treasurer at the IoP. Professor Delpy is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences and is a member of many advisory committees for universities, professional institutes and national academies.

Dr Rita Gardner CBE – Independent member of Council

Dr Gardner has been Chief Executive of the Academy of Social Sciences since 2019, where she is leading strategic growth and enhancing the Academy’s impact in promoting the social sciences. Previously she was Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Before becoming the Society’s first female director, she was the first woman honorary secretary and co-led the Society’s multi-disciplinary Nepal Field Research Programme. At the Society, she led a strategic programme of modernisation and expansion, advocacy for geography, public and policy engagement.


Following her DPhil at Oxford University, Dr Gardner followed an academic career in geography, from 1979 to 1996 at London University. She has extensive experience in non-executive advisory, trustee and board roles, including personal adviser for geography to Lord Adonis (Schools Minister, Department for Children, Schools and Families); chair of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group; non-executive director or the British Antarctic Survey; and member of the government’s ‘Finch’ Review Group on Open Access to Scholarly Publications.

Dr Gardner holds four leading geography awards, six honorary degrees and a CBE for services to geography.

Mark Garrett – Independent member of Council

Mark Garrett is Chief Strategy Officer at Ricardo PLC having filled several other roles during his 21 years there including the leadership of both the European and US technical consulting divisions.  Prior to joining Ricardo, Mark spent 14 years in various powertrain-related roles in the Rover Group, including at the BMW Engineering Centre in Munich.  Mark is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of both the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Academy of Engineering.  Mark is also the non-executive chairman of Secured by Design Limited.

Professor Paul Hellewell – Executive Dean representative on Council

Professor Paul Hellewell graduated in Pharmacology from King's College London then undertook a PhD at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge.  After a period of post-doctoral research in London he was awarded an MRC Travelling Fellowship to undertake further research in Denver, USA.

In 1990 he returned to the UK, spent two years at British Biotechnology in Oxford before taking up a Senior Lectureship at Imperial College and was then appointed to a Chair in Vascular Biology in Sheffield in 1998.  There he had a number of leadership roles in the Medical School and Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health, latterly Faculty Director of Research and Innovation. 

Paul is a Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society and of the Royal Society of Biology.  Paul joined Brunel University London in August 2014 as Dean in the newly created College of Health and Life Sciences (now College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences), taking responsibility for aligning key strategic objectives with teaching and research.  He became Vice-Provost and Dean in August 2018. 

Key achievements include: leading strategic reviews in Social Work and Health Sciences, reviewing the College structure and implementing changes, improving the College's financial position which has seen high growth particularly in the areas of Biosciences and Psychology, establishing 3 new College Research Centres and developing the Brunel Partners for Academic Centre for Health Sciences. 

Paul is also very much focussed on leading his College to develop graduates that can make a real difference to the world around them. 

Paul is an active member of the Senior Leadership Team and represents the College on a number of committees including Executive Board and Council.  Future priorities include the establishment of a Brunel Medical School, introduction of online learning programmes, growing activities in the Brunel Partners for Academic Centre for Health Sciences, galvanising research opportunities and further improving the College's financial position.   

Lucinda Hunt – Independent member of Council 

Ms Hunt is the Director of the Royal Institution.  Ms Hunt was previously Head at Notting Hill and Ealing High School, GDST. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Physics from Imperial College London and a PGCE from the University of Oxford. Ms Hunt began her career in 1982 as a Teacher at The Cherwell Upper School in Oxford. After a variety of teaching posts in Australia and France, she returned to the UK in 1991, joining Putney High School as a Teacher of Physics. She moved to Wimbledon High School a year later, progressing to Head of Sixth Form in 1996 and to Head of the Faculty of Sciences in 1998.

Following a secondment to Goldman Sachs in 2000, Ms Hunt assumed the position of Deputy Head (Director of Studies) at St Paul’s Girls’ School. She assumed her previous role as Head in 2008.

Ms Hunt stepped down from her role as Head at NHEHS in August 2016. She plans to spend more time sailing, skiing and improving her French, and is looking forward to having the time and the opportunity to develop other aspects of her professional life, including her new role on the Brunel University London Council and existing commitment to the Royal Institution.

David Kennedy – Independent member of Council 

David was educated in Bristol and the University of Lancaster where he read history and politics and completed a PGCE at Birmingham University. David taught history and politics in a number of Grammar Schools in Kent and Buckinghamshire.

In 1992 David was appointed Deputy Headteacher at Goffs School, a large comprehensive school in Hertfordshire which specialised in languages. 

In 1998 he was appointed to the Headship of The John Warner School.  The school was rated as “outstanding” by OFSTED in 2011.  OFSTED described the school as “a rare example of a transformation that has been sustained over time”.  Grades increased from 5A*-C from 13% in 1999 to 98% in 2012 and at the same time had more than doubled the number of pupils on roll from 565 to around 1250.  The school held Investors in People Gold Standard and Champion Status together with Customer Service Excellence with complete compliance in all areas.

David was a National Leader of Education until 2014.  He served on the board of a major national charity promoting financial education in schools (PFEG) until its merger with Young Enterprise.  David also piloted a major project supporting language teaching in primary schools on behalf of the Göethe Institute.  He has also done extensive work in promoting the teaching of modern languages, including German, speaking at conferences and events, contributing to a number of videos and also meeting with German politicians to discuss the English education system. He has also given evidence to the APPG on the importance of teaching languages.

David is a highly supportive member of the local Chamber of Commerce and is deeply involved in a number of projects and served as a Patron of the Chamber of Commerce.

David has a special interest in financial education for school children and has given evidence to the All-Party Group at the House of Commons and spoken at the Gleneagles Conference sponsored by Goldman Sachs

 Additionally, David holds or has held the following posts:

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts·     
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management and Member of the Institute of Directors.
  • Member of Ambition Broxbourne which seeks to raise the economic performance of the Borough of Broxbourne and links with the Hertfordshire LEP.
  • A non-executive director of a large catering company serving on its Remunerations and Audit Committee
  • Headteacher Consultant for the Prince’s Teaching Institute overseeing projects, being a lead consultant at conferences and working with them on a continuing basis. 
  • Trustee of Personal Financial and Educational Group, now merged with Young Enterprise
  • University board member of the London Institute of Banking and Finance and Chair of its Audit Committee and is also the Board’s Safeguarding Lead
  • Chair of the Regional Network for Chairs of school boards in SE Hertfordshire
  • Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching
  • Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Founders and Chair of its Education Committee.
  • From September 2018 David served as CEO and Executive Headteacher of the Hoddesdon School Trust and now serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Professor Andrew Jones – Ex officio member of Council, President and Vice-Chancellor


Chris Maw – Independent member of Council 

Chris Maw is a former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where he led the West London office for a number of years and had wider responsibility for the Firm's private equity and private company markets across the South East of England. Since retiring from PwC, Chris has focussed on acting as a Trustee for various organisations, including The Dartington Hall Trust and The Forum Trust, as well as being the Chair of West London Business and being involved in supporting and advising a number of privately owned businesses. He is an Honorary Fellow of Brunel University London.

Josie Mangan – Elected member of Council

Josie Mangan has been duly elected as a Member of Council, representing the University's Administrative, Clerical, Secretarial, and Professional Staff from 1 August 2020 until 31 July 2024.

Josie has been working at Brunel University London for the past 15 years.  Josie is on various University Committees such as the Staff Consultative Committee, the University Health and Safety Committee etc.  Josie is also on the Rewards and Recognition Panel at the University. 

Josie has been the University's UNISON Branch Secretary for the past 3 years.  Josie is the Chair of the Greater London Higher Education Committee and retains a general seat on the Higher Education Service Group Executive Committee.   

Josie is a member of the Reading Team at her place of worship - St Bernadette Catholic Church Hillingdon.  Prior to her employment at the University, Josie worked at The Irish Embassy, and in Logistics with various Fashion Houses.  Josie also worked as a Licensee of a Public House for several years.

Shushank Manjunatha – Student member of Council


Professor Stuart Palmer – Chair of Council

Prof Palmer sjoined as Chair in October 2022. He studied physics at the University of Sheffield before launching a distinguished academic career, notably at the University of Warwick, where he held roles including Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and then Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Tone Rosingholm – Independent member of Council

Ms Rosingholm is a Venture Partner at Dreamstake Capital, a London based accelerator for technology start-ups. She is on the Board of Aid:Tech, a fintech company delivering development aid through blockchain digital identity, and Quarkonics, an AI driven technology solutions company. Ms Rosingholm was previously an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Investment Bank, and has studied in Norway, France and North America. She is a graduate of l’Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP, Grande Ecole) and has completed the General Management Program, Executive Education, at Harvard Business School.

Amanda Rowlatt CBE – Deputy Chair and independent member of Council 

Ms Rowlatt is an experienced director in the civil service and is currently Chief Analyst at the Department for Transport.  She has been Chief Economist in several government departments, and has held policy director roles at the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for International Development. She was a former board member of the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. She is also a Council Member for the Society of Business Economists. 

Suraj Shaw – Student member of Council


Dr Peter D. Thomas – Elected member of Council

Dr Peter D. Thomas joined Brunel University London as a Lecturer in the History of Political Thought on 1 July 2010. He studied at the University of Queensland, Freie Universität Berlin, L’Università “Federico II” in Naples, and the Universiteit van Amsterdam, where he completed his doctorate. He has been a member in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a research fellow at the University of Helsinki and the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, and a recipient of Australian, British, German, Italian and Dutch government-funded research fellowships. He has also held visiting professor and scientist positions at the Universität Wien, Fudan University, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, and the University of Sydney. He has published widely in the fields of the history of political thought, the history of philosophy, and political theory, and has translated scholarly monographs and articles in these fields. A Brunel Student-Led Teaching Award winning supervisor, he has twice been elected to the Brunel Senate, and has acted as the Senior Tutor and Director of Undergraduate Programmes in Politics and History and as a member of the Education Enhancement Committee. He currently serves on the Brunel Misconduct and Professional Suitability Board and the Academic Appeals Committee. Dr Thomas is a member of the editorial boards and scientific councils of a number of international peer-reviewed journals, book series and scholarly collaborations.

Professor Claire Turner – Senior staff member of Council, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education


Anne Waltham – Independent member of Council

Ms Waltham is an experienced real estate litigation Partner at Gowling WLG (formerly Wragge Lawrence Graham/ Wragge & Co) which she joined in 2003 having previously been a Partner at Hogan Lovells between 1998 and 2003.  Prior to this Ms Waltham was a Solicitor at Lovell White Durrant, Oppenheimers and Linklaters. 

A graduate in Law from King’s College London, Ms Waltham was a Trustee at Our Sorority and is a mentor for students at her alma mater.

Professor Jonathan Wastling – Senior staff member of Council, Deputy Vice-Chancellor