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The composition of Council is determined by the College's Statutes.

There are between 19 and 27 members of the Council, the majority of whom are independent members, including the Chair and Deputy Chair. Also included in its membership are representatives of the staff of the College and of the student body. None of the independent members receive any payment, apart from the reimbursement of expenses, for the work they do for the College.

Council consists of the following persons:

  • The Chair
  • The President ex officio
  • The Provost ex officio
  • The Chief Operating Officer ex officio
  • ex officio Members of the senior staff of the College chosen so as to reflect the breadth of disciplines and executive responsibility within the University
  • 1 Elected Member, elected by and from among the academic staff
  • 3 Staff Members, 1 being academic and 2 being from professional services
  • At least 9 and not more than 14 External Members, co-opted by the Council
  • The President of the Imperial College Union ex officio
  • 1 ICU Representative 

Procedures for the appointment, election and co-option of members of the Council, including procedures for the filling of casual vacancies, are prescribed by Ordinance.

Members (other than ex officio members) are appointed for a term of four years and are eligible for re-appointment except that members shall not normally be appointed for more than two consecutive terms.


Council Members
Member of CouncilBiography

  External Members


Mr John Allan CBE (Chair)

John Allan



Chair of the Council of Imperial College, former Chair of Tesco and Barratt Developments (until June 2023). John Allan graduated in mathematical sciences from the University of Edinburgh in 1970. He became Chair of the Council of Imperial College in January 2020. He is a former chairman of two FTSE 100 companies, Tesco and Barratt Developments. He was also Vice President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), having been President until June 2020. His early career was spent with Lever Brothers, Bristol-Myers Company and Fine Fare. He was Chief Financial Officer and a Board Member of Deutsche Post DHL, and Chief Executive of Exel, the global supply chain company. He has been a non-executive director at Royal Mail, PHS Group, the Home Office Supervisory Board, National Grid, Wolseley, Hamleys, 3i and Connell. Previously he has been Chairman of London First, of Worldpay and of Dixons Retail. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2006, for services to freight transport.

 Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz


Sir Leszek was appointed as a Trustee to Cancer Research UK in July 2016 and as Chair in November 2016.
Following a distinguished academic and clinical research career and prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge in 2010, Sir Leszek’s roles included Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council and Deputy Rector of Imperial College London. He was also a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. His work in vaccines included Europe’s first trial of a vaccine for human papillomavirus to treat cervical cancer, research conducted at the University of Cardiff and funded by Cancer Research UK.
He was knighted in 2001 for his pioneering work in vaccines.

Mr Toby Courtauld

Toby Courtauld

Toby Courtauld is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge. Toby has served as Chief Executive Officer of Great Portland Estates plc since 2002. Before that, he worked at MEPC from 1991 to 2002. He is a director of the New West End Company and a non-executive director of Liv-Ex Limited. He was President of the British Property Federation in 2011.

Mr John Cullen

John Cullen

John Cullen is an alumnus of the University of Hull. Until John’s retirement from Aon in 2021, he was Chief Executive Officer of Aon’s Commercial Risk, Health and Affinity businesses, a role encompassing the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Before this, John was CFO for Aon’s externally reported global Risk & Reinsurance business. He has over 25 years experience in the insurance and risk sector dealing with markets, clients and regulators as well as leading and delivering multiple M&A deals for Aon. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PwC in London, John became a specialist in insurance and banking services. He joined Aon in 1994 and was originally based in Hong Kong before returning to the UK in 2002. John became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 2005. John now sits on the Council of Imperial College London as Deputy Chair; he also chair’s the College’s Audit & Risk Committee and it’s Remuneration Committee. He stays connected with Aon by chairing their Global Mergers & Acquisition and Transactions Solutions Advisory Board. He is also the Founding Donor and Trustee of a charity he and his wife set up to gift monies to local charities in Sussex and the South East that focus on helping and supporting the Homeless community, victims of Domestic Abuse and local food banks. They also gift monies to various Counselling and other projects.

Sir Ron Kalifa OBE


Sir Ron Kalifa is an alumnus of Harvard Business School. Ron is Chair of Network International, a FTSE company and leading payments operator. Ron is a Non-Executive Director of the Court of Directors to the Bank of England, a Trustee of the Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales and is a Non-Executive Director for the England & Wales Cricket Board. He authored the Government-commissioned independent Review which defined a strategy and delivery model for the Fintech and high growth sectors of the economy.

Ron was CEO of Worldpay for over 10 years and later Vice Chairman, developing it from a small start-up and transforming it to a globally recognised company. He spent his career in finance across the UK, Europe and the USA and has covered many aspects of business including strategy, marketing and operations.

Sir Ron was knighted in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday 2022 Honours List for services to financial services, technology and public service

Mr Deepak Khanna

Deepak Khanna

Deepak Khanna is President, Human Health Europe & Canada, at biopharmaceutical company MSD. In this role he is responsible for MSD’s Human Health business across this region. He also represents MSD in the Patient Access Committee and the European Markets Committee at EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. Deepak was previously the President of the ABPI, the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry, from 2012 to 2014. Deepak has over 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with broad functional expertise including strategic and operational roles across various geographies and divisions. Prior to his current role Deepak held other senior positions at MSD, including SVP and Regional President EMEAC Oncology, where he led commercial operations for MSD’s oncology business across Europe, Middle-East, Africa and Canada, and SVP and Managing Director of MSD in the UK and Ireland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and economics from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA in marketing from Santa Clara University.

Mr Ric Lewis

Ric Lewis

Ric is Executive Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Tristan Capital Partners, an award winning independent real estate investment management firm. Ric founded the firm in 2009, continuing the collaborative track record he established with former partners at Curzon Global Partners/ AEW Europe.

A graduate of Dartmouth College, USA, Ric was awarded the 2021 Urban Land Institute (ULI) European Leader Award for his contribution to development and real estate, along with his civic and social endeavours. Ric founded The Black Heart Foundation, dedicated to improving educational access and outcomes for talented, underprivileged people. He also serves on a number of Boards, including Dartmouth College; The Royal National Children’s Springboard Foundation; and Legal & General Group Plc.

Dr Mary Meaney Haynes



Mary is an Imperial alumnus, NED on the Board of Jefferies International Limited, and Member of Council at Imperial College. Mary currently works with a range of companies on their most important strategy and organization topics.  She is a member of the Advisory Board of Beamery, the new talent operating system that enables the world's largest companies to attract, engage and retain talent at a global scale.

Prior to this, Mary was a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company where she served on McKinsey's global Board (the Shareholder's Council), led the global Organization Practice, and published a book with co-author Scott Keller entitled: Leading Organizations: Ten Timeless Truths.  While at McKinsey, she worked in over 30 countries with some of the largest companies in the world in consumer products, chemicals, energy, and pharmaceuticals.  She has lectured extensively in France, the US, UK, and China.

Mary was a co-founder of the McKinsey Women’s Initiative, which aims to promote women leaders in business. She is currently running a Remarkable Women's Program with TeachFirst to support women in education.


Sir Jonathan Michael

Sir Michael

Sir Jonathan qualified as a doctor at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School. He is the chief medical officer of Idox health, an IT Solutions Company that focuses on delivering innovative solutions to the healthcare market, integrating technology and healthcare pathways to enable clinicians and health specialists to spend more time on patient welfare. Following a 20-year career as a clinical nephrologist, Sir Jonathan held a number of senior management positions in the NHS. He was appointed Clinical Director, then Medical Director, and finally Chief Executive of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust. In 2000 he was appointed Chief Executive of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust. In 2007 he was appointed Managing Director of BT Health. In 2010, he rejoined the NHS as Chief Executive of Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust. He left the Trust in 2014 to join 6PM Group (now Idox Health). In 2007 Sir Jonathan chaired an independent inquiry into the access to health care for children and adults with learning disabilities, and in 2016, he was appointed to provide independent oversight of plans for a “single hospital service” in Manchester. Sir Jonathan became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London) in 1985, and was knighted in the New Year's Honours in 2005 for services to the NHS.

Ms Sara Murray OBE

Sarah Muarray

Sara Murray is an alumnus of the University of Oxford. Sara founded Ninah Consulting, which uses proprietary software to advise multinational clients on marketing effectiveness. In 1999, she founded Ltd, which owns the brand She then founded and now runs Buddi, a company that provides technology and services for the remote health and location monitoring of vulnerable people. Sara is a SME Advisor to the Government Procurement Service. From 2009 to 2015, she served as a non-executive director of the government’s Technology Strategy Board and was a non-executive director of Schering Health Care. She is a founding board member of Seedcamp start-up school for technology entrepreneurs. Sara was named as the National Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009, and was awarded an OBE for services to entrepreneurship and innovation in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2012.

Dr Mahnaz Safa

Mahnaz Safa

Mahnaz was appointed Non-Executive Director of UK Government Investments in September 2022. She is also the NED responsible for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Chair of the Remuneration Committee.

With 30 years of experience in finance, Mahnaz has been a Senior Executive at UBS, Citi and ANZ. She led Debt Capital Markets for EMEA and headed Markets for Europe and America. Whilst at UBS and Citi, she co-chaired their respective women’s leadership Executive Committees. She has previously served as a Senior Independent Director on the Board of Alternative Credit Investments, a FTSE 250 company. Mahnaz holds a PhD in computer aided technology from Imperial College.

Current additional appointments:

Non-Executive Director at Jefferies International Limited

Member of the Council at Imperial College where she is the Champion for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Professor Jeremy Sanders CBE FRS

Jeremy Sanders

Jeremy Sanders is an alumnus of Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge. He is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. Jeremy’s research career has included wide-ranging contributions to organic, inorganic, biological and physical chemistry, recognised by his election to the Royal Society in 1995 and, amongst other awards, the Davy Medal in 2009.

From 2006 to 2010, Jeremy served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, overseeing its 800th anniversary celebrations. He was the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs at the University of Cambridge between 2011 and 2015, where he was responsible for the University’s 11,000 staff, its environmental and energy policy, relationships with the local community and the North West Cambridge Development. Jeremy was Chair of the Chemistry panel for the 2008 national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and is currently a Trustee of Storey's Field Community Trust. He was awarded a CBE for services to scientific research in 2014.

Mr Subhanu Saxena




Subhanu Saxena is currently Managing Partner at New Rhein Healthcare LLC Private Equity, and President of the New Rhein Foundation. He has been a director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as a Senior Advisor to Bain Capital, and a member of the Health Policy Advisory Board for Gilead, and has previously held various board and advisory roles, such as Supervisory Board member of Kiadis Pharma
A highly accomplished global executive, his experience has spanned markets in Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia and industries including pharmaceuticals, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), consulting and banking.
In other prior roles, Subhanu was with Cipla, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company with a presence in over 170 countries as MD and global CEO. He has also served as a member of Novartis' Pharmaceutical Executive Committee and held previous roles with Citigroup, Boston Consulting Group, and Pepsi Co Inc.
Subhanu graduated with an MBA from INSEAD France, Fontainebleau, and a M.A. (Hons) in Engineering Science from Oxford University. Subhanu plays classical guitar and also teaches Sanskrit and ancient Indian literature and is an executive committee member of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, the largest Centre for Indian classical arts in the UK. He speaks 6 languages, Russian, French, German, and Sanskrit, in addition to his native English and Hindi

Mr Chris Williams

Chris Williams

Christopher Williams is an alumnus of the University of Birmingham. Christopher is a Partner at the global financial services firm, Perella Weinberg Partners. Prior to joining the firm, he was Executive Vice Chairman of the Global Financial Institutions Group at Credit Suisse, where he also served as an Executive Board Member for Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) and Credit Suisse International.

Previously, Christopher was Co-Head of the Global Financial Institutions Group at Citigroup, where he was a member of the Global Investment Banking Committee, and spent 13 years at Goldman Sachs, ultimately rising to the positions of Managing Director and Head of European Banks Advisory. He began his career in mergers and acquisitions at Bankers Trust International and Hill Samuel & Co. Christopher is currently also a Donation Governor of Christ’s Hospital in West Sussex.


Internal Members


President, Professor Hugh Brady

A graduate of University College Dublin (UCD), Professor Brady trained in general medicine and nephrology, and was awarded PhD and MD degrees for research in renal physiology and molecular medicine, respectively. His academic career as a physician-scientist included positions at Harvard Medical School, the University of Toronto and UCD. He is an international authority on the pathogenesis of renal inflammation and diabetic kidney disease. 

Professor Brady is a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the Queen’s University Belfast, an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal College of Anaesthetists in Ireland and the Robert Menzies Medal from the University of Melbourne.   

Professor Brady is a non-executive director of Kerry Group plc; a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU); and chair of Ireland’s Public Health Reform Expert Advisory Group. He has also served as a member of Ireland’s Higher Education Authority; chair of the Irish Universities Association; chair of the Universitas 21 Network of global research universities; member of the Western Gateway Partnership Board, and was a non-executive director of ICON plc from 2014 to 2022. 

Provost, Professor Ian Walmsley FRS

Ian Wamsley

Professor Ian Walmsley FRS became the second Provost of Imperial College London in September 2018. Before joining Imperial, Professor Walmsley served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) and Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Oxford. Professor Walmsley graduated from Imperial with first class honours in physics in 1980, and completed his PhD at the University of Rochester before working as a postdoc at Cornell University. He became Assistant Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester in 1988, and held a number of roles there before joining the University of Oxford in 2001 as Professor of Experimental Physics. He was also a Senior Visiting Fellow at Princeton University. He was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) of the University of Oxford in 2009, becoming Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) in 2015. At Oxford, he led the Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub and headed up the creation of the Rosalind Franklin Institute. In recognition of his contributions to quantum optics and ultrafast optics, Professor Walmsley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2012. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, and the Optical Society of America. He was a member of the EPSRC Physics Strategic Advisory Team and was on the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics’ Science Advisory Board.

Chief Operating Officer, Mr Robert Kerse


Robert Kerse was appointed Chief Operating Officer in February 2023. 

Reporting to the President, Robert is a key member of the senior leadership team and the University Management Board. He has responsibility for Campus Services, Estates, ICT, Finance and the Commercial & Investment Activities Group. Robert plays a key role in helping to shape the development and implementation of the College’s vision, strategic goals, objectives, and values.  

Robert held a similar role at the University of Bristol since 2016, including being the senior responsible owner for Bristol's new Temple Quarter Campus. Robert spent thirteen years in several executive roles within the social housing sector in London and the West Country before moving into Higher Education. He started his career training as a chartered accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, after being educated at the University of Cambridge. Robert is the Treasurer and Chair of the Resources Committee of the young person's homeless charity, Centrepoint

Professor Franklin Allen


Interim Dean of Business School Professor Franklin Allen is currently overseeing the delivery of the School strategy, which aims to increase the School's impact on society and business and drive collaboration within the College. The Associate Deans and Vice Deans support him in this mission by leading the School's efforts in education quality, creating an integrated approach to communications and promoting research. This work is all done in consultation and collaboration with the Management and Advisory Boards.

Professor Nigel Brandon

Nigel Brandon

Nigel Brandon is an alumnus of Imperial College London, having graduated with a BSc in 1981 and a PhD in 1984. Professor Brandon joined the then TH Huxley School for Environment, Earth Sciences and Engineering at Imperial in 1998 as Senior Lecturer in Electrochemical Engineering, and transferred to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology in 2001.

He was appointed to the Shell Chair in Sustainable Development in Energy in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering in 2004. Professor Brandon was the Director of the Energy Futures Lab from 2005 until 2014, and was its founder as a College Global Challenge Institute in 2009. He has been Dean of the Faculty of Engineering since October 2017, having previously been the Faculty’s Vice-Dean (Research) since May 2016. He is the Director of the Sustainable Gas Institute and the BG Chair in Sustainable Gas. Professor Brandon’s research is focused on electrochemical devices for energy applications, with a particular focus on fuel cells, electrolysers, and batteries. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2008, and was awarded an OBE for services to UK-China science in 2011.

Professor Richard Craster

Richard Craster

Richard Craster is an alumnus of Imperial College London, having graduated with a BSc in 1989. He has been the Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College since January 2020. Previously he was Head of Department of Mathematics at Imperial College for six years until 2017. He is also Director of the CNRS-Imperial "Abraham de Moivre" International Research Laboratory in Mathematics. He has worked at Imperial College since 1998, apart from two years spent in Alberta, Canada, before he returned to become Head of Mathematics. He chaired the A-level Content Advisory Board, which shaped the content of the current A-level in Mathematics. He sits on the scientific advisory boards of the Smith Institute ( and Multiwave (an SME in metamaterials), and has undertaken numerous consultancy and advisory roles in both industry and government. His research is mainly in the area of acoustic metamaterials, elastic wave propagation and fluid mechanics, and ranges from theory and simulation through to experiments, usually undertaken with collaborators in engineering and physics.

Professor Deborah Ashby

Professor Deborah Ashby is Interim Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London where she holds the Chair in Medical Statistics and Clinical Trials. She was previously Director of the School of Public Health and was Founding Co-Director of Imperial Clinical Trials Unit. Her research interests are in clinical trials, risk-benefit decision making for medicines, and the utility of Bayesian approaches in these areas. 

She is a Chartered Statistician and Honorary Member of both the Royal College of Radiologists and the Faculty of Public Health Medicine. She was awarded the OBE for services to medicine in 2009, appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in 2010, elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2012 and was President of the Royal Statistical Society for 2019 and 2020. 

Staff Representative

Professor Liz Lightstone

Professor of Renal Medicine for the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, and an Honorary Consultant Physician at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Renal and Transplant Centre in Hammersmith Hospital. Liz is also currently the Faculty of Medicine Consul (Clinical) for the College and Deputy Campus Director Hammersmith White City Campus. Her research is focused on improving outcomes for patients with lupus nephritis as well for pregnancy in women with kidney disease.

Staff Member on Council

Liz Elvidge

Dr Liz Elvidge is currently the Head of Postdoc and Fellows Development. She is the newly appointed member of Council representative of the academic job family.

As Head of Postdoc and Fellows Development she is the principal advocate for early career researchers (ECR)- postdocs and fellows at Imperial and has been responsible for leading and developing a sector leading centre for ECR’s in the UK. Her cross-college role enables her to connect with the College’s most senior managers via the HoDs, Vice Deans for Research, Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience) and Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) as well as the academic community, the researchers and the PTO staff who provide support for research.

She has worked at Imperial for 15 years and has worked in Academia for her entire career. She is a leading expert on researcher development. Her publications include ‘What every postdoc needs to know’, Elvidge, Spencely and Williams.

Previous committee experience includes elected member of the Council of the Higher Education Academy, membership of BBSRC and NERC committees and project work with  Wellcome.  Outside the College Liz is a member of LERU CARE group and on the steering committee. Internally she is on the University Research and Enterprise Board, Faculty of Medicine Research Committee, Faculty of Engineering of Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine Culture Committee, Faculty of Engineering Equality Diversity, Culture and Inclusion Committee, Faculty of Natural Sciences EDI committee, and the EDI College Forum.  Membership of these committees enables Liz to both advocate for the ECR’s as well as to the EDI agenda.


Liz undertakes casework for the college in partnership with the employee relations team and was recently appointed as Magistrate on the Cambridge Magistrate court bench.

Staff Member on Council

Alice Ashley-Smith

Alice is the Department Operations Manager for Electrical and Electronic Engineering, a role she has held since 2019.

Alice leads the Departments’ administrative function, managing a team of professional, technical and operational staff across finance, HR, post-award, facilities and education to support the department in achieving its mission. She works closely with the Head of Department, Department Management Committee and Faculty leadership to develop departmental strategy and planning. She manages departmental finances and undertakes strategic projects.

Prior to this role, Alice supported the establishment of the Data Science Institute as the Operations Manager for 5 years. Alice also worked in various operational roles across the Faculty of Medicine, having initially joined Imperial as a Management Trainee. Alice graduated from the University of Southampton with a BA in History.

Staff Member on Council

Rasha Dabagh

Rasha Dabagh is an alumnus of the London School of Economics and Political Science. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Economic History, Rasha spent a decade working in Investment Banking where she held various compliance and audit roles ranging from fixed income advisory to conducting specialist regulatory focused audits.

She joined Imperial College in 2021 as part of the Commercial and Investment Activities Group looking after endowment and property investments in her capacity as Senior Manager – Governance, Risk and Compliance. She works closely with the Chief Investment Officer to effectively implement policies and processes within the Group.

Rasha is very passionate about addressing challenges we face from climate change and joins the Council as PTO representative. 

ICU Representative

Nathalie Podder


Nathalie has been the ICU Deputy President (Welfare) for two years. She was elected to the Board as a Student Trustee 2023/24 in the Leadership election in March 2023. Her recent achievements include being invited to speak at the 2022 Annual UUK Conference for vice chancellors and the All-Party Parliamentary Universities Group on the Cost-of-Living Crisis. Three of her recommendations have been accepted and actioned by the Government. She has also led the creation of the EDI strategy for ICU and the first institutional Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy for the College. Having led the Wellbeing Representation Network for two years, she is in touch with the opinions of the student body.

 Nathalie is currently a taught postgraduate student studying an MSc in Security & Resilience in the physics department. As a woman of colour with a hidden disability, she has a deep understanding of the experience of students from marginalised groups.

President of the ICU

Camille Boutrolle

Camille Boutrolle is President of Student Union at Imperial College London for 2023-24. She is London born and raised, and holds a master’s degree in aero engineering. In her time at Imperial, Camille’s interaction with the Union has mainly been through sport and holding several executive positions on CSP committees, including the running of IC's netball club.

The Clerk to the Court and Council  

Interim College Secretary 

Dr Malcolm Edwards



Dr Edwards has been appointed Interim College Secretary on 23 October 2023. Reporting to the President and Chair of Council he has overall responsibility for the Central Secretariat and acts as the Clerk to the Council.

Dr Edwards joined the College in January 2016 from the University of Cambridge, where he held the role of Head of Planning and Resource Allocation since 2012. Prior to this he worked at the University

of Manchester, UMIST, Aston University and the University of Oxford. Dr Edwards holds a PhD in Theology from University of Cambridge.


Council Members