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Our Governors

Lucy De Groot CBE (Chair of Corporation)

Lucy de Groot was appointed Chair to Corporation on 1 August 2016. Until her retirement Lucy was the Chief Executive of CSV (Community Service Volunteers). Prior to that her career spanned fifteen years in local government culminating as the Chief Executive of Bristol City Council, a senior civil servant role as Director of Public Expenditure at the Treasury, and six years as the Executive Director of local government’s own improvement agency the IDeA. She has been the independent chair of two Children’s Services Improvement Boards, and spent ten years in the voluntary and community sector earlier in her career. Lucy has given her time as a volunteer in the UK and abroad from an early age. Lucy received her CBE for services to local government in 2009.

Appointed:  August 2016
Committees:   Search; Finance and General Purposes; Remuneration

Meena Chavda (Vice Chair of the Corporation)

Meena is Manging Director in Finance for Citigroup. She has been in the Finance industry for over 30 years and has had varied roles within Citigroup, ranging from Controller covering various regulatory and internal reporting to heading up Operations and Technology Risk and Control function.  Meena has been involved in many global projects that has exposed her to many cultures across the globe.  Meena is part of the Citigroup Diversity Steering Committee and chairs Mentoring and Development Committee. Meena has run a marathon and a mini-triatholon, has participated in Round the Island sailing race twice; climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. She loves going to fringe theatres, cooking, entertaining and reading.

Appointed: February 2013 (re-appointed)
Committees: Search; Finance & General Purposes (Chair); Remuneration (Chair)

Vivien Bailey OBE

Vivien Bailey OBE has more than 40 years' experience as a teacher, curriculum manager, local authority and awarding body adviser, consultant and education inspector.

Vivien inspected further education and skills as a full-time HMI for both the FEFC inspectorate and Ofsted from 1993 to 2009. In this role, Vivien regularly led and participated in inspections of further education and sixth form colleges, as well as of secondary schools, 14-19 area-wide provision and local authority children's services. She has continued as a part-time inspector since 2009. Vivien's specialisms include English, equality and diversity and safeguarding.

Vivien has an honours degree in English and French and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education. She holds qualified teacher status and received an OBE in 2010 for services to Ofsted.

Appointed: October 2014
Committees: Curriculum, Quality & Students

Babu Bhattacherjee

Babu is the Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods at Poplar HARCA, a housing and regeneration organisation working solely in Poplar, Tower Hamlets. His role is to manage a broad range of community regeneration services for Poplar residents including Spotlight, one of the leading creative youth destinations in London, a network of community centres, employment and training services and resident engagement and empowerment. He has worked in the field of community regeneration for over 20 years, is keen on cycling and has a passionate belief in the power of strong and effective partnerships.

Appointed: July 2014
Committees: Audit

Gunner Burkhart

Formerly the Global Head of Senior Relationship Management (SRM) for Nomura, Gunner is now Senior Advisor to the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). He started his career in 1984 at Kidder Peabody where he ran International Equity trading, then from 1986-2001 he was at Goldman Sachs as Managing Director and co-head of European Equities. From 2001-2004 Gunner was on the Global Executive Committee at Deutsche Asset Management, and in 2004 he joined Lehman Brothers as SRM and then Head of Prime Services EMEA. Most recently, from 2008, Gunner was Global co-head of Prime Services for Nomura.

Gunner also currently serves as Chairman of Help For Children UK, Senior Independent Director of The Social Stock Exchange, Board Member of Lehman Brothers Foundation Europe, Advisor to Greenhouse Sports and Business Mentor for the Prince's Trust. 

Appointed: December 2013 (re-appointed)
Committees: Search; Finance & General Purposes; Remuneration

Anne Canning

Anne is currently working as Director of Education and Head of Hackney Learning Trust in Hackney. She has a wealth of experience, with over 30 years in education and her recent role as the Service Head (Learning and Achievement) for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Her background is in education having spent all her professional life working in schools. Prior to joining Tower Hamlets she was Headteacher of Camden School for Girls for ten years which has a thriving sixth form, and before that Deputy Head of La Sainte Union School which was part of the very successful LaSWAP consortium. 

Anne is committed to partnership working across the Local Authority to improve the life chances of all our young people.

Appointed: February 2014 (re-appointed)
Committees: Curriculum, Quality & Students

Bobbi Ehsan, Staff Governor (Curriculum)

Bobbi has worked in FE colleges over the past 15 years and is an experienced teacher who has extensive vocational experience in early years. Having worked in East London colleges, she began her teaching career at Newham College, moving onto Redbridge College and has since been at Tower Hamlets College for the last 6 years. Bobbi is an Advanced Practitioner and over the last 3 years has been supporting teaching and learning to help raise teaching standards. More recently she has become a NQT mentor (newly qualified teacher), supporting new teachers and working with the local authority to validate the NQTs training.

Bobbi has an honours degree in IT and Education and Community Studies and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. She speaks 3 languages and is very proud of her East End roots.

Appointed:  December 2016
Committees:  Curriculum, Quality & Students 

Win Harris CBE

In her career in the civil service, Win specialised in EU and international business, working both on education and employment and on justice and home affairs. Win was Director of the Joint International Unit, advising the Department of Children, Schools and Families, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Work and Pensions and had a particular focus on building international education partnerships, particularly with China and India and through the Prime Minister’s Initiative. Prior to this Win served for 5 years as Director for Education and Training in the Government Office for London, being responsible for establishing and monitoring the network of Training and Enterprise Councils and of Career Service providers in London.

Appointed:   July 2016
Committees:  Curriculum, Quality and Students (Chair)

Rachael Halliday

Rachael is a trained nurse with over 20 years’ experience working in the  NHS and holds a Master’s degree in Nursing. She is currently the Head Nurse in a division of the Homerton   NHS Foundation Trust and is responsible for setting the direction for nursing within it, for developing the divisional strategy and delivering high standards of care within budget.

Appointed:  July 2016
Committees:  Curriculum, Quality and Students

Steve Hedges, Staff Governor (Support)

Steve has more than 20 years’ experience in the FE sector as a lecturer, curriculum manager and service manager. He has worked at a variety of colleges and across the years has undertaken a variety of additional tasks, such as, delivering sessions on quality and observation systems to vocational colleges in Saudi Arabia, acting as a member of the original FELTAG group and discussing FE issues with David Evennett MP whilst serving as Support Staff Governor of Hackney Community College. Steve's specialisms include Computing, IT and eLearning and eSafety.

Steve holds a Masters Degree in Computing and Information Systems and a Cert-Ed.

Appointed:  December 2016
Committees:  Curriculum, Quality & Students 

Professor John Joughin

Professor Joughin is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of East London with responsibility for all administrative and academic matters. Professor Joughin has over twenty years of senior management experience in Higher Education and his previous appointments include senior posts at Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor level at the University of Central Lancashire and as Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of East London (2010-13). He serves on a number of external committees and governing bodies, including UCL Partners (2014 onwards), and as a Board member on the recently constituted National Refugees Welcome Board (Citizens UK). He is also a founding executive member of the British Council of Undergraduate Research (2011 onwards).

Professor Joughin is a well-known Shakespearean scholar and a member of the International Shakespeare Conference (2000-2016). He has published extensively in the areas of Shakespeare, philosophy and literature, and literary and cultural theory, and was the founding Chair of the British Shakespeare Association (BSA) from 2002 to 2008. He is an Honorary Fellow of the BSA as well as being one of the founding editors of the internationally respected journal 'Shakespeare'

Appointed:  July 2016
Committees:  Curriculum, Quality and Students

Gerry McDonald, Group Principal & CEO

Gerry was appointed Group Principal and CEO of the newly merged colleges in 2016. Previously he was Principal of Tower Hamlets College since April 2013 following almost four years as the College’s Vice Principal – Curriculum & Standards.

Gerry is a qualified business studies teacher who has worked in the sector since 1993. He holds business degrees from University of West of England and Aston and a PGCE from Manchester Metropolitan University. Gerry has worked in sixth form and further education colleges in Birmingham and London, leading on business development, mergers, curriculum improvement, inspection and culture change.

Gerry is also a Director of London Capital Colleges and the College’s recruitment company, Tower Recruitment Services. He sits on Corporation as an ex-officio member.

Appointed: April 2013
Committees: Search; Finance & General Purposes; Curriculum, Quality & Students

Gareth Wall

Gareth is currently Public Health Manager at the London Borough of Hackney, having previously been the Council’s Head of Overview and Scrutiny, contributing to its strategic and corporate planning processes. He has extensive experience having worked for Centre for Public Scrutiny and Improvement and Development Agency.

Appointed:  July 2016
Committees:  Audit




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