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

There are between 19 and 23 members of the Council, the majority of whom are lay members, including the Chairman and Deputy Chairman. Also included in its membership are representatives of the staff of the College and of the student body. None of the lay 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 Chairman
  • 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
  • At least 9 and not more than 13 External Members, co-opted by the Council
  • The President of the Imperial College Union ex officio

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, Chair of Tesco and Barratt Developments. 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 currently chairs two FTSE 100 companies, Tesco and Barratt Developments. He is 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

Ron Kalifa


Ron Kalifa is an alumnus of Harvard Business School. Ron is Chair of Network International and is also Chair of FutureLearn. His early career was spent at NatWest, in the US, Europe and UK where he led the development of its online banking services. More recently, Ron was Vice Chair of Worldpay (2013-19) and its global CEO (2001-2013) building the business from a start up to a global, multi billion pound entity. Ron is on the Court of the Bank of England and a board member at Transport for London and the England & Wales Cricket Board, The Hundred. He is also an Operating Partner for Advent International. Ron was awarded an OBE for services to financial services and technology in 2018.

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 Safa is a graduate of Imperial College London, with a PhD in Engineering. Mahnaz is Head of Markets, Europe and America, at the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group. From 2013 to 2016, she was a managing director of Citi EMEA Banking. Prior to that she was at UBS, where she headed the EMEA Debt Capital Markets business. Mahnaz has previously served on the British Business Bank’s investment committee and has advised new platforms for working capital finance and is an investor in start-ups in the FinTech space. She has co-chaired UBS and Citi’s women’s leadership executive committees, and promotes STEM initiatives in education. She is also a patron of the Academy of Ancient Music.

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 Francisco Veloso

Francisco Veloso

Francisco Veloso is an alumnus of the Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon and the Lisbon School of Economics and Management. He gained his PhD in Technology Management and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Veloso joined Imperial College Business School in 2017, having previously served as Dean of the Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics since 2012, and where he was also Chair and Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Between 2002 and 2012, he was a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, when he was promoted to full Professor in 2011. He was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Industry Studies Fellowship in 2008.

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 Jonathan Weber

Jonathan Weber

Jonathan Weber is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge. Professor Weber joined St Mary's Hospital in 1982, and then worked at the Institute of Cancer Research and at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital. He has been the Jefferiss Professor of Communicable Diseases and Genitourinary Medicine at Imperial since 1991. He has held the role of Vice-Dean (Research) within the Faculty of Medicine since 2013, having previously been Deputy Principal (Research) from 2011. Professor Weber was appointed Director of Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre in 2014 and has been Acting Dean of the Faculty of Medicine since October 2017. Professor Weber is a clinician by training and has undertaken extensive research on HIV and AIDS, HTLV-I and other sexually transmitted infections. He is currently leading an international HIV vaccine efficacy programme, on European Community funding.

Staff Representative 

Professor Jonathan Mestel


Professor Jonathan Mestel obtained his PhD “Magnetic Levitation of Liquid Metals” at Cambridge in 1981. He joined the Mathematics Department at Imperial in 1989 and was awarded a chair in 2009. His interests are in theoretical fluid mechanics, including MHD, electrohydrodynamics and physiological flows. In 2015 he received a President's Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence. From 2017-20 he served as a College consul for the Faculty of Natural Sciences and is currently a proconsul. His nonacademic interests include chess and bridge, in each of which he attained a grandmaster title and has represented England.

President of the Imperial College Union

Ms Hayley Wong



Hayley Wong has been President of Imperial College Union since August 2022. She has been a student at the College since 2018, studying Aeronautics with Spacecraft Engineering. She has been involved in the Union in many ways, including as an academic rep and as the City & Guilds College Union President for two years. 

Her priorities this year include continuing the Back to Basics Strategy to ensure the basic Union functions are correct, improve support for Constituent Unions, and strengthening the sense of student community amongst postgraduate students and students based outside the South Kensington campus.


The Clerk to the Court and Council  

College Secretary and General Counsel

Ms Grainne Brankin



As a member of the senior management team and reporting to the President, Grainne has overall responsibility for the Central Secretariat and for legal, risk and governance advice to the President and College, with management responsibility for Safety, Risk Management, Legal Services and the governance of Research Integrity. She also reports to the Chair of Council as Clerk to Imperial College Court and Council.

Grainne joins the College from the British Standards Institution (BSI), a Royal Charter Company, where she served as General Counsel and Company Secretary and her responsibilities included oversight of insurance, property and facilities, compliance and sustainable operations and she was also executive sponsor of the LBGTQ+ group.

After completing her bachelor’s degree at King’s College London and graduating from the College of Law, London, Grainne worked in private practice as a lawyer at Clifford Chance LLP and Bird & Bird LLP where she specialised in Intellectual Property, Telecoms, Telechnology and Media law and M&A. She then moved in-house and has been General Counsel in various roles in the UK, France and Switzerland at Yahoo!, CBS and Centaur Media plc.

Grainne is a Governor of United Colleges Group which runs Further Education Colleges in West London, non-executive director of Siege FX and continues her education at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, reflecting her interests in ESG. technology/data businesses and inclusivity.


Council Members