Board of Trustees

Lord Michael Hastings

Lord Dr 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.

Nizam Uddin

Nizam Uddin

Vice Chair and Chair of Governance and Nominations Committee

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.

Jo Beall

Jo Beall

Second Vice Chair and Lay Member

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.

Richard Millward

Richard Millward

Honorary Treasurer Chair of Resources and Planning Committee

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.

Jenny Greenshields

Jenny Greenshields

Lay Member and Chair of Audit Committee

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.

Sir Richard Stagg

Lay Member

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.

Kersti Börjars

Lay Member

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.

Yaa Ofori-Ansah

Lay Member

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.

David Willey

Lay Member

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.

Sally Townsend

Profile of Sally Townsend

Lay Member

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.

Andrew Atherton

Lay Member

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.

Cedric Ntumba

Lay member

A registered chartered accountant in South Africa and the UK and a Chevening Scholar, Cedric is the Group CEO and co-Founder of Little Ashford, South Africa’s leading and largest privately owned preschool group. He is a Trustee of the Board at SOAS University of London, Chair of the Board of London Bubble Theatre and a member of the Stowe School Parents Committee. 

Cedric, a Deloitte alumnus, has spent many years in Private Equity, in both executive and governance roles, across sub-Saharan Africa and the UK. He has expertise in early years education management, software and mobile app development, banking and insurance, asset management and performing arts. Notably, he has held directorships at Transaction Capital Limited (JSE-listed entity with market cap of ~£1.5 billion) where he was a member of the Board, Social and Ethics, and Audit and Risk Committees. He is a former Chairman of South African Ballet (renamed Joburg Ballet) for almost 10 years, member of the Board at the Railway Safety Regulator for eight years (Audit and Risk and chair of Finance and Procurement committees) and a member of the Audit Committee of South Africa’s largest economic hub.

He’s completing his MBA at the University of Edinburgh and his MA in International Affairs at King’s College London.

Tom Yoritaka

Lay member

Tom Yoritaka is a London-based venture capital investor, supporting emerging companies in fundamental technology sectors in Europe and North America. He was a corporate executive at global technology companies such as Cisco Systems, Yahoo! and Microsoft in the US. He was also a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group in the US and Asia. Tom serves on several technology industry boards in the UK and previously served on the Board of Governors of the University of Plymouth. Tom is passionate about entrepreneurship in higher education and the future of learning powered by technology.

Rehana Ameer

Lay member

Rehana Ameer is a London business owner. She is the Founder and Director of Prosap Technologies Limited, an IT, Management and Engineering Consulting Company. She has over 20 years of experience in Information Technology, managing and successfully delivering multi-country, large, complex IT and Business Transformation projects for clients in the City and worldwide. She also runs a small retail business. Rehana holds an MBA in International Business from the UK and has gained numerous IT certifications. Her key focus areas are improving road safety, improving air quality, mental health and wellbeing, safer city and Brexit representation.

Steven Pfeiffer

Lay member

Steve Pfeiffer is an American lawyer with Norton Rose Fulbright based in Washington, DC, specialising in international business law. Educated at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, Oxford University (on a Rhodes Scholarship), SOAS and Yale Law School, he also served on active duty as an officer in the United States Navy. He recently chaired the Board of the Africa-America Institute in New York for five years and is currently a director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the leading civil rights law firm in the US.

Adam Habib

Adam Habib

Ex-officio member and Director of SOAS

Read more about Professor Adam Habib on the Leadership page.

Emilia Onyema

Pro-Director of Learning and Teaching

Read more about Professor Emilia Onyema on her academic profile.

Laura Hammond

Pro-Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange

Read more about Professor Laura Hammond on her academic profile.

Khadir Meer

Secretary to the Board and Chief Operating Officer of SOAS

Read more about Khadir Meer on the Leadership page.

Awino Okech

Senate representative and Associate Director Equity and Accountability at SOAS

Read more about Dr Awino Okech on her academic profile.

Emma Crewe

Senate representative

Read more about Professor Emma Crewe on her academic profile.

Tawnya Cheatheam

Director of Marketing, Student Recruitment and Admissions

Before joining SOAS in 2019, Tawnya held positions at Kingston University, Regent's University London, and Goldsmith's University of London. She has over 20 years' experience in higher education spanning the US, the UK and South Korea, spending nine years teaching at Sangmyung University in Seoul, before coming to the UK to complete an MBA in International Management.

Justin Smith

Director of Finance and Planning

Zoë Marriage

Head of Department

Read more about Professor Zoë Marriage on her academic profile.

Elisa Van Waeyenberge

Head of College B

Read more about Professor Elisa Van Waeyenberge on her academic profile.

Jenni Schofield

SU Co-President


  • Senate
  • Academic Assembly
  • 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

Charter, articles and standing orders

Open PDF