The Council is the University's governing body. It includes members of staff, students and lay members. Below are profiles of the members. Read more on our Secretariat website.

Nick Allen

Nick Allen has been an elected staff member of the Council for six years. He is based in Programmes and Support Development within the Student Education Services. In addition to having worked in administration in the University for 24 years, Nick is also an alumnus, having gained a Masters Degree in American Literature via part-time study while continuing to work full-time.

Nick has been the Chair of UNISON on campus since 2009. His interests are wide-ranging: he is a published poet and an ever-optimistic season ticket holder at Leeds United FC.

Ed Anderson

Ed Anderson has been a lay member of the Council since 2007. 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 he served for ten years as CEO of Leeds Bradford Airport. He is currently Chairman of National Savings and Investments and of the Airport Operators Association, and also serves on a number of voluntary sector boards in the region.

A former High Sheriff, Ed is currently a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

Liz Barber

Liz Barber has been a lay member of the Council for four years. She is the Finance Director of Kelda Group, owners of Yorkshire Water, in which capacity she covers not only finance but also strategy, regulation, financing, markets and risk and assurance.

Liz joined Kelda in 2010 from EY (formerly Ernst and 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, and is a non-executive director of KCom plc, where she chairs the Audit Committee.

Dr Helen Billington

Helen Billington has worked at the University for 22 years, for six of which she has been an elected staff member of the Council. She is a member of the University Student Education Service, and manages the Digital Education Service with responsibility for online learners and students.

A graduate in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, Helen has worked in universities on three continents in research, teaching and managerial roles. She is a fellow of the Association of University Administrators and has experience of governance in the charity and education sectors. She is currently a Governor at Selby High School.

Rachael Brown

Rachael Brown has been an elected staff member of the Council since 2017. She has worked in the higher education sector for more than five years, and joined the University in 2013. Rachael’s current role is as PA to the Head of School of Media and Communication, a role in which she provides wide-ranging support for academic staff.

Neil Clephan, OBE

A Leeds alumnus, Neil Clephan has served as a lay member of the Council for ten years.

Neil recently stepped down after 21 years as Headteacher of Roundhay School in order to focus on supporting sustainable school improvement in the region. During his tenure as Headteacher, Roundhay became one of the first 'All-through' schools in the region educating students from the ages of 4 to 18: it was rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted for the first time in 2007.

Neil is a director of the Brigshaw Learning Partnership multi-academic trust; chair of the Jigsaw Charity (which supports visitors to and prisoners in Armley Jail); and a trustee of the Leeds Grand Theatre, of Leeds City Varieties and of the Hyde Park Cinema.

In 2016 Neil became an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to education.

Seb Elsworth

Seb Elsworth 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.  

Nigel Foster

Nigel Foster has been a lay member of the Council since 2008. Formerly head of transport and planning consultancy at Arup, he is a Director and founder of Fore Consulting, a specialist transport and strategic planning consultancy.  He is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Transport Studies, where he provides support on engagement with businesses as Chair of the Advisory Board, and specialises in strategies to integrate transport and land use and support sustainable development for cities.

Nigel is a non-executive Director of Ahead Partnership, an independent not-for-profit company that helps businesses support schools and facilitates business involvement in the social and economic regeneration of cities.  A past President of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, Nigel is currently Chair of the Sustainable Economy and Culture Board for Leeds City Council and the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme Expert Panel.

Paul Gittins

Paul Gittins has been a lay member of the Council since 2014. He is the Director of Group Strategy and Competitive Intelligence at Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation.

David Gray, Pro-Chancellor

Read David's profile.

Michael Howell

Michael Howell has served on the Council as the representative of the Clothworkers’ Company of London (a co-founder of one of the University’s principal precursors) since 2016.

Michael studied engineering and economics at Cambridge, and has MBAs from INSEAD and Harvard Business Schools. He led major US manufacturing businesses for 15 years (Cummins Engine and GE Transportation); he was Commercial Director of Railtrack during the 1990s privatisation of the UK rail network; and he led the procurement of the recently-commissioned tram system in Edinburgh.

Michael is a former Chairman of Trustees and Council of City and Guilds of London Institute; and has been on the Board of Westinghouse Airbrake Technologies Corporation, USA, since 2003.

Caroline Johnstone

Caroline Johnstone has been a lay member of Council since 2010 and sits on a number of University committees. She is a Chartered Accountant.  

Caroline was a partner in PwC until 2009, working with large global organisations on turnaround, culture change and cost optimisation programmes. She sat on the board of the Assurance practice of PwC UK, responsible for People.   

Caroline provides consulting services to a range of global organisations. She is also an Independent Non-executive Director of Shepherd Group Limited and of Synthomer plc, (where she also serves as Chair of the Audit Committee); and has previously held similar roles at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and BARCA Leeds.   

Pam Jones

Pam Jones has been an elected staff member of the Council since 2017. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in Biochemistry and a DPhil in Natural Sciences, Pam took a postdoctoral position in Basel, Switzerland, funded by a Royal Society Fellowship. A second postdoctoral period at the Friedrich-Miescher Institute in Basel was followed by five years as a Senior Scientist in a biotechnology/pharmaceutical company in the USA. Pam returned to the UK to a Fellowship position in Leeds and is now Professor of Biomedical Research with an interdisciplinary research interest focused around the functioning of blood vessels. Pam has had an increasing focus on leadership roles: she recently stepped down as the Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Medicine of Health in order to take up a Head of Institute role within the School of Medicine.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor

Read Sir Alan’s profile.

Roger Marsh, OBE

A Leeds alumnus (in Metallurgy), Roger Marsh 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 2015, Roger became an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to business and the economy.

Amanda Mellor

Amanda Mellor has been a lay member of the Council since 2013. She is the Group Secretary and Head of Corporate Governance of Marks and Spencer Group plc and a Non-Executive Director at Volution Group plc. She spent her early career working in investor relations, corporate communications and investment banking. She is also a visiting professor in the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre at Leeds University and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries.

Natasha Mutch-Vidal

Natasha Mutch-Vidal is the Equality and Diversity Officer for Leeds University Union. Her role in the Student Union is to champion equality and be a voice for under-represented and marginalised students. She has run campaigns on support for students who are estranged from their family, hosted discussions on black male mental health and launched LUU’s first ever leadership conference for Black and Minority Ethnic students in partnership with the University. Natasha graduated in 2017 with a first class honours in French and Portuguese and was former president of Leeds University Union’s African Caribbean Society. She sits on the Council as a nominated representative from the Students’ Union.

Dr Yvette Oade

Yvette Oade 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. 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; and she was closely involved in the development of the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network.

Yvette is also a trustee of Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Jack Palmer

A History graduate, Jack Palmer was elected as the Union Affairs Officer for Leeds University Union in 2016 and is currently serving his second and final term in that capacity. His role in the Students' Union focuses on the governance, finance and democracy of the organisation. He sits on Council as a nominated representative from the Students' Union.

Geoff Potter

Geoff Potter has been a lay member of the Council since 2011. He is a corporate communications consultant who serves as a Senior Partner with Instinctif Partners, having been Senior Vice-President, Corporate Communications, for GlaxoSmithKline for 23 years.

A graduate in Politics from the University of Sheffield, Geoff is a trustee of the Royal Institution and Deputy Chairman of the Ryedale Festival. Formerly he was a trustee of Opera North and a Council member of the School of Pharmacy, University of London.

Geoff is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Mark Taylor-Batty

Mark Taylor-Batty has been an elected staff member of the Council since 2015. He is a Senior Lecturer in Theatre Studies in the School of English at Leeds and a former President of the UCU local association at the University.

Mark’s teaching and research are grounded in Twentieth-Century British and European Theatre and Performance, with special interests in the works of Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett. He is series editor of Bloomsbury’s Methuen Drama Engage series of books. He is the Principal Investigator on an AHRC-funded three-year project Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies.

Luke Windsor

Luke Windsor has been an elected staff member of the Council since 2017. He has worked as an academic at the University of Leeds since 1998, after carrying out postdoctoral research in the Netherlands, holding research assistant and distance learning development posts at the University of Sheffield, and completing his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at City University, London. He has worked in record retail, performed in orchestras, choirs and rock bands, and served as a trustee of a parent-run nursery. Luke is currently Deputy Dean of Arts, Humanities and Cultures and was promoted to his Chair in Music Psychology in January of 2017. He has two sons, and is a long distance cyclist.

Quentin Woodley, Deputy Pro-Chancellor

Quentin Woodley has served as a lay member of the Council since 2007, and as Deputy Pro-Chancellor since 2013. He is Chair of the Strategy and Investment Committee and of the Remuneration Committee.

Quentin graduated in Mathematics from the University and qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants with Price Waterhouse in London. He spent most of his career as a Senior Partner in McKinsey & Company, the international consultancy firm, where he advised major global companies on strategic and investment-related issues.

Quentin is the co-founder of Woodley Pension Trustees Limited, a company set up to chair the boards of high profile defined benefit pension schemes. The company currently chairs six large pension schemes, including 3i plc and Mirror Group Newspapers, the total scheme assets for which exceed £7 billion.