Board of Trustees
Lord Michael Hastings
Lord Dr Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE is Chair of the SOAS Board of Trustees.
Lord Hastings has had a deeply purposeful career across the public, private and non-profit sectors, working within education, philanthropy, justice and commercial business to support and develop communities around the world.
Lord Hastings began his career as a teacher then worked across government agencies on policies to build racial equality, including as a Commissioner with the Commission for Racial Equality for nine years. He is Chair of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Black Business Association and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Black Business Institute. He was conferred with a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2003 for services to crime reduction; with Peerage to House of Lords in 2005 as an Independent Baron. He is currently a Vice President at UNICEF UK and a trustee for the Africa Philanthropy Foundation.
Professor Jo Beall, currently Emeritus Professor and Distinguished Policy Fellow at LSE, brings vast HE experience having previously worked at University of Natal, University of Sussex, UCL and University of Cape Town. Jo was also Global Director Education and Cultural Engagement, Executive Board, for the British Council, where she directed one of its three strategic business units, overseeing a global team of education leads and development specialists across 110 countries.
Jo has previously chaired the Board of Trustees of INASP, an Oxford based charity putting 'Research at the Heart of Development'; was Co-Chair of the Advisory Board on the Global Challenge Research Fund for the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UKRI; and is Deputy Chair (Development) of the Anthropology and Development Panel for the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021). She has been a member of several professional committees, academic advisory boards and editorial advisory boards.
Nizam Uddin OBE is Chief Strategy Officer of Algbra, a values-focused and sustainable FinTech headquartered and regulated in the United Kingdom. Nizam was previously the Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration at The Prince’s Trust, where he oversaw the organisation's community cohesion and social integration activities and led Mosaic, an independent Initiative founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to engage diverse Muslim communities across the UK.
Nizam has a strong interest and background in overcoming the societal and economic challenges that prevent disenfranchised and minority communities from fulfilling their potential. He is a 2019 Greenberg World Fellow at Yale University and a 2019 US State Department International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) participant.
Nizam is currently Vice-Chairman of SOAS, University of London, a Trustee of the Aspen Institute UK and a member of the Mayor of London’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Group. He holds an MA in Public Policy from King’s College London and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours list for services to social mobility and community integration.
Professor Andrew Atherton is Global Director Transnational Education for Navitas Limited, a leading global education provider.
Professor Atherton was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee which he held from January to November 2019. During his period as Principal of the University of Dundee, it rose to 4th in the UK for student satisfaction, its highest ever result, and to its highest league table position of 24th in the Sunday Times University Guide and 3rd in Scotland. During Atherton's tenure the University was also named Student Experience University of the Year by the Sunday Times as a result of its rise in student satisfaction.
Prior to this role, he held academic and directorial positions at the universities of Durham, Lincoln, and Lancaster. His areas of academic interest are business and entrepreneurship, particularly related to small and medium-sized enterprises and China.
Professor Kersti Börjars has degrees from Uppsala University (Filosofie Kandidat), the University of Leiden (Doctorandus) and a PhD from the University of Manchester.
From 1990 to 1994 she worked as Research Assistant to the Subordination and Complementation group of EUROTYP, a large European typological project. Since 1994, she has been a member of staff at The University of Manchester, where she was promoted to professor in 2002. During 2002, she was a visiting professor at Göteborg University, and she is currently Professor II at the University of Oslo.
Jenny joined the NHS as a graduate trainee before becoming a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and has spent her entire career in NHS finance.
She has worked extensively across all sectors in healthcare, both in commissioning and provider, most recently as Director of Finance at Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Before that she was Acting Director of Finance at Moorfields NHS Foundation Trust.
Professor Adam Habib is the Director of SOAS. Read more about Adam on the Leadership page.
Richard Millward has been advising management boards on their business plans and financing strategies in the UK, Germany and France for 30 years. He has supported charities through arts organisations, including the Photographers Gallery and Acme, an arts studio organisation. A key area of his focus is on improving financial understanding and transparency, to enable members of boards and operational teams to make informed decisions.
He has his own consultancy, Monceau, and is a senior adviser with Rothschild & Co and Bain & Co. He lectures on restructuring at London Business School.
He studied music at Oxford University and business studies at Harvard Business School. He is fluent in German.
Sir Richard Stagg is a former member of the British Diplomatic Service. His last two roles were Ambassador to Afghanistan (2012-15) and High Commissioner to India (2007-11). His previous positions included Chief Operating Officer, Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to Bulgaria.
Sir Richard is currently the chairman of Rothschild India; chairman of Afghan Connection (a charity which supports education and cricket); and a Trustee of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation (which works in Afghanistan and Burma). He is also on the Advisory Board of the UK/India Business Council.
Sally Townsend is a chartered accountant who has worked in both the private and the public sector, building effective teams to bring about effective change within an organisation. Sally has been a Financial Consultant at Jenson Solutions from 2018.
In Sally’s previous roles as Finance Director and Resources Director at Goldsmith University and then Interim CEO at CoSector in 2015, she was responsible for all aspects of financial management and strategy for the College. She has also developed forward-looking strategies to set clear direction, implemented improvements to systems, processes, reporting and management information and raised the profile of the functions.
With a background in Law and Development, Yaa works as an Assistant Vice President within Barclays Sustainability & ESG team, focused on environmental, social and governance impacts.
At Barclays, Yaa is a proud member of the Barclays Black Professionals Forum Leadership team, and was recently appointed Deputy Co-Chair, leading responsible for leading on career development and community engagement initiatives. For nearly three years, Yaa has also co-led BPF’s flagship RISE mentoring programme, equipping Black and Ethnic Minority students with the skills and confidence to achieve their future goals; nurturing talent from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds; and creating a pipeline of diverse talent into Barclays. She also helps organise the bank’s annual Black History Month events.
In June 2019, the Barclays Black Professionals Forum Leadership team won the 2019 Barclays Citizenship and Diversity Award for Inclusion Champion, as result of the RISE Mentoring Programme, amongst other successes. Barclays Black Professionals were nominated again in 2020 and have been nominated again in 2021. Yaa is also part of one of the bank’s Race at Work Taskforce, helping to embed the Bank’s Race at Work Agenda commitments, to ensure tangible, and long-term changes across the organisation.
Passionate about African development, Yaa’s previous experience includes working as a Researcher at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, a Research Assistant at the Constitution Review Commission in Ghana, and volunteering as a Team Leader in Tanzania, as part of Raleigh International’s International Citizenship Service programme.
Dr Awino Okech is Associate Director Equity and Accountability at SOAS. Read more about Awino on the Leadership page.
Professor Claire Ozanne is Deputy Director and Provost at SOAS. Read more about Claire on the Leadership page.
David Willey is a highly experienced executive with 25 years at main board level in higher education and central government. Now in active retirement, David has wide experience in strategic leadership, programme delivery, change management and board governance with particular experience in solving complex organisational problems where sensitivity, discretion and political astuteness have been essential.
His primary responsibilities have been for organisational, financial and strategic management including major IT, estates and organisational change project delivery with resource responsibilities up to £120m per year.
David has substantial experience as regional, national and international representative for Bournemouth University, Regent's University London and for Ordnance Survey, building relationships and working in collaboration with partners across higher and further education, local and central government, and commercial business.
Member in attendance
Member in attendance
Professor Zoë Marriage is Head of the Department of Development Studies. Read more about Zoë on her academic profile.
Secretary to the Board
Khadir Meer is Chief Operating Officer at SOAS. Read more about Khadir on the Leadership page.
- Academic Board
- Academic Senate
- Audit Committee
- Board of Trustees
- Curriculum Quality Assurance Panel
- Doctoral School Management Group
- Equality and Diversity Committee
- Executive Board
- Governance and Nominations Committee
- Health, Safety and Security Committee
- Honorary Degrees and Fellowships Committee
- LMEI Board of Trustees
- REF Steering Group
- Research and Enterprise Committee
- Research and Ethics Panel
- Resources and Planning Committee
- Senior Staff Remuneration Committee
- SOAS Collections and Galleries Advisory Panel
- Student Experience and Engagement Committee
- Student Outcomes Panel
- Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Committee