The Council is the University's governing body. It includes members of staff, students and lay members.
Please see the following profiles of the members. You can also read more about the Council on our Secretariat website.
Ed has been a lay member of the Council since 2007 and, in 2019, became a Deputy Pro-Chancellor. A graduate in Economics and a qualified accountant, he chairs the Audit and Risk Committee.
Ed is a former executive director of Leeds City Council and former Chairman of the Yorkshire Building Society and served for ten years as CEO of Leeds Bradford Airport. He is currently Chairman of National Savings and Investments, Vice President of the Royal British Legion for South and West Yorkshire, and former Chairman of the Airport Operators Association. Ed also serves on a number of voluntary sector boards in the region.
A former High Sheriff, Ed is Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire and was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the financial sector and public life in Yorkshire in the 2022 New Year Honours.
Liz has been a lay member of the Council since 2013 and, in 2019, became a Deputy Pro-Chancellor. She is CEO of Yorkshire Water.
Formerly the Finance Director of Kelda Group, owners of Yorkshire Water, she covered not only finance but also strategy, regulation, markets, risk and assurance. Liz joined Kelda in 2010 from EY (formerly Ernst & Young), where she had worked for 23 years as a partner and led the audit practice for the North Region and the UK-wide water utility team.
Liz is a member of the CFO Network of Accounting for Sustainability (a charity of HRH The Prince of Wales), of which she was Chair for two years. She also sits on the board of the Natural Capital Coalition, is a non-executive director of KCom plc, where she chairs the Audit Committee.
Aysha is the Union Affairs and Communications Officer at Leeds University Union.
Tom joined the Council in 2019. With over 30 years’ experience in technology, he has held a variety of leadership roles in multiple geographies, and is currently Group Chief Architect and Chief Technology Officer, Lowell Group.
He was previously Chief Information Officer at Leeds Building Society, IT Director for HSBC Global IT Operations and Vice President for IT for HSBC Global Software Delivery in Chicago.
His experience encompasses the full range of IT-related services expected at a senior level, including cyber security and risks, digital; IT strategy; and infrastructure and asset management. He has previously been a non-executive director of Ongo Homes, Scunthorpe.
Qualified with a bachelors degree in Business Studies and a masters degree in IT Management, he is also a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society.
Seb has been a lay member of the Council since 2016. He graduated from the University in 2004 with joint honours in History and Philosophy.
Since 2015, Seb has been chief executive of Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, which supports charities and social enterprises across England to be more financially resilient through developing enterprise activity and providing blended finance.
Seb’s previous roles have been within the charity sector covering policy, strategy and funding. Following his graduation, he held two consecutive terms on the executive of Leeds University Union, during the latter of which he also served on the Council as a student representative.
Helen joined the Council in 2019. She took her law degree at the University of Leeds and qualified as a solicitor at Hammond Suddards (now part of Squire Patton Boggs).
She has spent the majority of her career as General Counsel and Company Secretary of listed companies across a range of industries – retail, building materials, security and leisure. She is currently General Counsel and Group Secretary at the Co-op Group where she leads their legal and secretarial functions and is a member of the Executive Team.
She participates in the School of Law mentoring scheme.
Dr Kendi Guantai
Kendi is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Marketing Department of the Leeds University Business School, leading modules in Corporate Communication Strategy, Public Relations and Reputation Management. She joined the Business School in 2005 as a postgraduate student, after seven years in industry in Kenya.
Following completion of her Masters in Advertising and Marketing, she went on to successfully complete her PhD studies at Leeds in 2011 before taking up her current role. Kendi also designs and delivers entrepreneurship courses on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women's Programme. In 2021, she received the faculty partnership award for Equality and Inclusion.
Outside the University, she holds a number of positions including Chair of the International Association for Business Communicators (IABC) covering Europe Middle East and North Africa; Vice-Chair of Leeds ACTS! (Academic Collaboration with the Third Sector); Vice Chair of the Chartered Association for Business School's Race Equality Action Group and Advisory Board Member of Archetypical (the company behind the Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders business simulation).
She is also a co-founding trustee and former Chair of the Leeds African Communities Trust (LACT). In 2020, she was recognised as a ‘Local Hero’ by the Leeds City Council for ‘outstanding and tireless services within the local community during the COVID-19 pandemic’.
Megan is the Education Officer at Leeds University Union.
Lauren joined the University of Leeds in 2013 to study her BA Theatre and Performance followed by an MA in Applied Theatre and Intervention and has remained a member of the University community since.
She previously held the positions of Activities Officer and Union Affairs Officer at Leeds University Union before taking up her current role as Student Experience Officer in the Lifelong Learning Centre. In this role she supports mature, part-time and foundation-level learners to thrive at University and works to develop a sense of belonging among students from widening participation backgrounds.
Professor Peter Jimack
Peter is a Professor of Scientific Computing in the School of Computing, and Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics. He joined the University in 1990 as a Lecturer in Mathematical Software.
Peter has since undertaken a wide range of leadership positions at school, faculty and University level, and roles across many parts of the organisation including School Director of Research, Faculty Pro-Dean for Research, and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering between 2010 and 2019.
Most recently, he was interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education. As Executive Dean he played a key role in the establishment of the Joint School with Southwest Jiatong University.
Robert W Kelsall studied for BSc and PhD degrees at the University of Durham, and held research posts at both Durham and Newcastle universities before coming to Leeds.
He joined the University as a lecturer in the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, and is now Head of School and Professor of Semiconductor Nanotechnology.
His research work has spanned the interface between physics and electronics, focusing on the simulation and design of semiconductor devices for applications in micro- and opto-electronics.
A Leeds alumnus in Metallurgy, Roger has been a lay member of the Council since 2013.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Roger initially qualified as a chartered accountant at PwC, where he spent much of his career and was a partner for over two decades. Roger has managed change at the highest level of Government, and in major businesses and companies, implementing sensitive projects in times of transition and for long term financial health.
He has been Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) since 2013; and has led the LEP through a period of significant transformation, including securing the country’s largest ever Local Growth Deal with Government.
In the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Roger was awarded a Knighthood for services to business, to the economy, and to the community in Northern England.
Iain joined the Council in 2019 and is a chartered accountant by profession.
He retired from KPMG in September 2019 after 22 years as a partner, for the last seven heading KPMG’s UK national business, and prior to that was the senior partner in Leeds. During that time he’s worked with most of Yorkshire’s leading businesses and institutions.
He is now a non-executive director of two companies, and is a governor of Barnard Castle School. When he’s not doing this, he’s following most sports and playing some.
Iain is married to Jan, with one son, Jamie, who is studying at Newcastle University.
Dr Yvette Oade
Yvette has been a lay member of the Council since 2015. She is Chair of the University Research Ethics Committee. She joined Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as Chief Medical Officer in June 2013, retiring in 2019 to become Medical Director at Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and Humber. Her portfolio includes responsibility for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, and leading Medical Education and Research.
Originally trained as a doctor in Leeds, Yvette became a Consultant Paediatrician in Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation NHS Trust. On moving into clinical management she held a number of senior managerial roles which culminated in her appointment as Executive Medical Director.
Yvette also served for two years as the Chief Medical Officer of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Deputy Chief Executive, focusing on quality improvement and patient safety. She was also closely involved in the development of the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network.
Yvette is a trustee of Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Professor Alice O’Grady
Alice is a Professor in Applied Performance and currently Dean for Student Education with responsibility for Quality and Standards. She is a Leeds graduate, having completed her undergraduate and PhD studies at the University.
Alice took up her post at Leeds in 2003 and, as a long-serving member of staff, she has held various leadership positions in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries including admissions tutor and Director of Student Education. She served a five-year term as Head of School (2015–2020).
She chairs a number of key committees, including the Quality and Standards Committee, the Cultural Institute Steering Group and Digital Assessment at Leeds Project Board.
Leyla is the Director of Diverse Minds UK Ltd, providing workplaces with training, coaching and consultancy on mental health, wellbeing and inclusion. Previously, Leyla was the Head of Centre for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Imperial College London for five years.
Prior to joining Imperial College, Leyla worked at the University of Oxford for six years; firstly in student recruitment specialising in increasing applications from underrepresented BAME young people, then becoming Oxford University’s first specific advisor for race and religion. She is a Leeds alumna and was Leeds University Union’s Welfare Executive Officer from 2003 to 2004.
Dr Cordelia Rogerson
Cordelia is currently the Head of Collection Care and Metadata Management at the British Library, overseeing the care, use, and risk management of the library collections to enable access and preservation of a varied and actively used collection.
Leading a team of 240 people, her remit includes setting and managing building environmental conditions, conservation, collection management policy and procedure, appropriate metadata creation, and managing the loans programme.
She is currently a member of three project boards for major capital projects to transform both St Pancras and Boston Spa library sites, and a member of the British Library Senior Leadership Team. Cordelia is the nominee from the Clothworkers’ Company of London.
Janet was appointed head teacher at Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley, in 2009, and is the first female head teacher in the school’s 400-year plus history. She was also the first BME secondary head teacher in Leeds. More recently she was appointed to the role of CEO for the Collaborative Learning Trust, a Multi Academy Trust with Prince Henry’s as the first member school.
Janet is a passionate advocate of greater diversity in school leadership: She is chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Diversity Steering Group and, as part of this group, she has developed the Diversity Internship Programme for the Yorkshire Leadership Community, along with other equality and diversity programmes and Continuing Professional Development opportunities for women and BME teachers.
Tim joined the Council in 2019 and is currently Chairman of the Trade and Agriculture Commission and an independent adviser and non-executive director. Recently he was advising Pret a Manger on consumer protection and Tesco on food policy, including health, agriculture and food waste. Tim graduated from Leeds University with a degree in Microbiology and Zoology.
In October 2012 Tim joined Tesco as the Group Quality Director where he led a team responsible for product development, responsible sourcing, standards, quality and food policy. He stepped down in 2017.
He is now a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of Cranswick Plc and Pret a Manger, and holds a number of external advisory and charity roles.
Tim was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to agriculture, food, and drink trade policy in the 2022 New Year Honours.
Simon Thompson was elected to the Council in 2020 as one of the two support staff members. He is a Client Assurance and Administration specialist within IT.