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Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Group

Professor John Latham CBEProfessor John Latham

Vice-Chancellor and CEO

John is Vice-Chancellor and CEO of the Coventry University Group. John is a double graduate of the University and has a background in information technology and telecommunications. He previously worked for several private sector organisations including JHP Group, Jaguar Cars and BT - including a period as a sponsored Research Fellow based at Martlesham Research Labs, Ipswich. In 2015, John was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Fellowship of the British Computer Society for his services to the IT industry.

John has held high-profile roles at regional, national and European levels promoting innovation, technology and economic development. To that end he is an Advisor to the Australian based Software provider TechnologyOne and also Chair’s the Universities UK/JISC Software Negotiations and Strategy Group. He is a Director for the University Alliance mission group of universities and is a Non-Executive Director of Qualifications Wales. John is additionally an advisory board member of the UK’s National Growth Board which is responsible for the oversight of the remaining UK based European Structural Funds Programme and most recently became a Member for the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) for the Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care System. Among his other various roles he is also a Panel Member for the Singapore Governments Home Team Academy Operation. Earlier in his careeer he has spent periods of time working overseas including roles in France, Spain, Portugal and Germany as well as being a long-term advisor to the European Commission.

John is an Extraordinary Professor in the area of enterprise and entrepreneurship at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, where in 2019 he received an Honorary Doctorate for his services to UK Higher Education. In the same year he was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with a CBE for his Services to Higher Education.

As a Non-Executive Director of the HEE Board, John Chaired the Audit and Risk Committee and was a member of the Remuneration Committee. He worked in partnership with HEE’s Regional Director in the East of England to ensure the Board maintained strong links with regional activities. Following the transition of HEE to NHSE, John is now a Non-Executive Director for the NHSE Workforce Training and Education Committee.

Most recently, John has been appointed by the Minister for Health and Social Care as an Independent Panel Member on the Advisory Assessment Panels for the Recruitment of members to NHS Bodies.

Andy Palmer

Professor Andy Palmer CMG

Founder and CEO Palmer Automotive Ltd., VC & CEO SWITCH Mobility Ltd. and VC Inobat j.s.a.

Dr Andy Palmer, CMG, is recently appointed VC & CEO of SWITCH Mobility Ltd, extending his long relationship with Ashok Leyland. He was until May 2020, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. He joined the business 2014 and over-saw its transformation in both product line up and profitability leading to its listing in 2018 and the launch of its first SUV, the DBX in summer 2020.

In 2010, Coventry University awarded Andy an Honorary Doctorate of Technology and in 2014 he was appointed Professor, advising the University in the automotive field.

Prior to joining Aston Martin, Andy was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Planning Officer at Nissan Motor Co after holding a number of senior positions during a 24 year career with the firm. He is most well known as the architect of the Nissan LEAF.

Andy started his professional career in 1979 aged 16, as an apprentice at Automotive Products Limited (UK) and after six years with Austin Rover, he joined Nissan. He gained his ONC / HNC from Leamington Spa’s Mid-Warwickshire College of FE followed by a IIM Diploma / Degree in Industrial Management from Coventry University (Lanchester Polytechnic).

In the 2014 New Year’s Honours list Andy was named a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in recognition of services to the British automotive industry.

Andy is the Founder and Co-Trustee for the Palmer Foundation that seeks to give disadvantaged youths the opportunity of an apprenticeship.

Professor Majid AlsadiProfessor Majid Alsadi

Founder & Chairman of Eastern Investment Group Holding

Majid is founder and chairman of the Eastern Investment Group Holding, a British registered company with headquarters in Jordan and operating in the Middle East. The Company manages investments in the aviation, hospitality, training and security industry.

Majid has a wide reaching academic career, including a stint as a visiting Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Coventry University.

As the founder of a scholarship foundation and sponsor of several international educational foundations, offering support across the board, from the most talented to the most opportunity-deprived children and students, Majid is a devotee of the transformative power of education.

Involved as a trustee and sponsor in several different schemes, Majid also sponsors an initiative supporting young Iraqi architects in association with Coventry University.

Professor Kathryn ChapmanProfessor Kathryn Chapman

Director of Science & Entrepreneurship, Babraham Research

Kathryn Chapman is the Executive Director of the Milner Therapeutics Institute, a partnership between pharmaceutical companies and academics at the University of Cambridge. Its mission is to connect the intellectual know-how of academic institutions with the drug-developing capacity of the pharmaceutical industry and translate pioneering science into therapies.

Prior to joining the Milner Institute, Kathryn was Head of Innovation and Translation at the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs). There she spent 10 years working with over 40 pharmaceutical companies in the US and Europe to improve scientific and business processes in drug development.

More recently, Kathryn founded and directed a new challenge-led open innovation platform, to increase cross-discipline and cross-sector industry/academic partnerships in applied research. Kathryn has a PhD is in the genetics of osteoarthritis and she has previously carried out biomedical research at the University of Manchester, Harvard Medical School, Welcome Trust Sanger Institute and GlaxoSmithKline. Kathryn has 50+ research publications and has been on a wide-range of national and international review panels (e.g. Innovate UK, Innovative Medicines Initiative and BBSRC).

Professor Phil Smith CBEphil smith

Chairman IOE & Former Chairman of Innovate UK

Phil is a Chairman and Director as well as an advisor mentor and speaker. As former Chief Executive and Chairman of Cisco UK and Ireland, Phil is passionate about innovation, skills, technology, digitisation and leadership. Phil is Chairman of IQE PLC, a leading advanced materials solutions company, headquartered in Cardiff, focused on the Compound Semiconductor market. Phil is also a non-executive director of Streeva a Fintech based growing company using blockchain based solutions to enhance payments.

In the broader innovation and skills space, Phil is also former chair of Innovate UK, the Government’s innovation agency as well as Chair of the Tech Partnership Degrees which is an employer led organisation championing digital skills. In his industry and government roles he also co-Chair of the Digital Skills Partnership and is on the board of the Digital Economy Council, is a member of the UKRI E-Infrastructure Advisory Board (EAB).

Additionally, Phil also sits on a number of advisory boards in organisations as diverse as Lloyds Register and the National Theatre.

Phil championed and is passionate about, innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity whilst at Cisco and continues now in many of his roles. He is founder member of the Productivity Leadership Group and a commercial trustee of Be the Business. He is additionally a Board Mentor for Critical Eye.

He has been recognised with several industry accolades and awards from mentorship for women to CSR, company culture, employee engagement and leadership as well as change and digitalisation. Those include Orange Business Leader of the year, a member of Wired 100 and listed in the inaugural 50 Kindest Leaders in 2018.

Phil’s contribution to industry has been recognised with Honorary Doctorates from Birmingham City, Warwick and Glasgow Universities and an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff.

Phil is the founder of a group of CEOs and leaders who, since 2012 have raised close to £1m for Sport Relief participating with their teams in Triathlon based events.

Phil is a keen Triathlete and cyclist and has qualified in Triathlon for Team GB in 2014, 2015 and 2017, competing in Canada and the Netherlands.

Professor Philippa Snare Professor Philippa Snare 

Senior Vice President for EMEA - The Trade Desk Ltd.

Philippa has spent her entire career online. She began by helping to grow Scoot into a £100m classified ads business before it was taken over by Yell. By leading key partnerships for MSN with Virgin, Sky, VNU, Semantec, Times online, Philippa helped build UK MSN team culture and operation from 40 people to 130, and from $17M to $130M in advertising revenue over four years.

Several other high profile services and companies have benefitted from her expertise, including Hotmail, Messenger, Saas, Windows 10, Surface, Office 365, Xbox One and MS Cloud Services. While at Microsoft, Philippa spent over a decade building a modern marketing organisation before moving on to Facebook. Philippa spent 5 years building a new way to market with Facebook, Instagram, Whats App and Oculus - leading the new social media adoption and delivering targeted, measurable and customer driven marketing. Since her success The Trade Desk attracted her to continue this journey to showing how transparent and useful digital advertising can be to society and the global economy.

Winner of the Sunday Times Top Women under 35 in Business Award, Philippa also won the Microsoft Chairman’s award, She has been one of Ad Age's Women to Watch in Europe and is a founding alumni of The Market Academy.

Philippa became a board member and advisor to Coventry University in 2015, the same year she scooped an award from the Leadership Trust for Inspirational Leadership.

Professor Elizabeth Kucinich

Professor Elizabeth Kucinich

Independent Consultant

Drawing from her extensive experience inside the U.S. political system and work experience in five continents, Professor Kucinich works to strengthen the institutional capacity of organisations who work to bring social, economic, energy, health, agricultural and ecological systems into balance. Elizabeth employs a combination of systems thinking and strengths-based appreciative inquiry bringing to the table approaches that underscore the primacy of eco-logical design and human vision.

In recent years she has taken a leading position in strengthening a network of initiatives working with digital asset technology to design monetary systems based upon bioregional regeneration. She has led international dialogues and keynoted conferences helping to reframe paradigms and facilitate transformational thinking in fields of human and ecological security and systems of abundance.

In 2018, Elizabeth was appointed by the European Commission to the Sino-EU Panel on Land and Soil. She is an appointee to the Culinary Institute of America’s Liberal Arts Advisory Council, America’s highest ranked culinary school, and served as a board director for notable organizations including, Board Policy Chair for the Rodale Institute, the oldest organic research institute in America (2012-2018) and founding board member of J/P HRO, Sean Penn's Haitian Relief Organization (2010-2015).

Elizabeth is an advisor to DCEFF, the world’s largest environmental film festival and has produced several award-winning documentaries including GMO-OMG and Hot Water, about radioactive contamination of groundwater across the United States from the uranium industry.

Elizabeth was a Congressional liaison for the 63rd President of the UN General Assembly focusing on international monetary systems reform; Director of Government Affairs for PCRM, focusing on US legislative and regulatory agency promotion of the prevention and reversal of disease through plant-based diets, and the human-centered research modeling and casualty training (2009-2013); and Director of policy at the Center for Food Safety, with a focus on agriculture, biotech and health, in Washington, DC (2013-2015).

Laura ShoafPortrait of Laura Shoaf

Chief Executive of West Midlands Combined Authority

Laura Shoaf CBE was appointed Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority in November 2021. Having previously led Transport for West Midlands, Laura has expanded her focus to include driving inclusive economic growth; increasing skills provision; regenerating land and housing; enhancing the environment and improving transport connectivity across the region.

A recognised expert who has advised on national policy, Laura secured and oversaw the delivery of a £4 billion transport investment package for the region. She was the first female Chair of the Urban Transit Group and during her term supported the transport industry on its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Laura was appointed by the Department for Transport as one of the UK’s first Violence Against Women and Girls Transport Champions, and is tasked with working with passenger groups to identify areas for improvement across the country.

Laura has a demonstrated track record of success in delivering change, most recently highlighted in securing the region’s Trailblazer Deeper Devolution Deal which will see a seismic shift in power and influence from Westminster to the West Midlands.

Professor Mark Radford CBEProfessor Mark Radford

National Director for Intensive Support, NHSE & Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, England

Professor Mark Radford is currently National Director of Intensive Support, and Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England and was formerly the Chief Nurse of Health Education England. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mark led the national NHS vaccine workforce program ensuring the success in phase 1 delivery of 15m vaccinations. The program recruited and trained over 250k people including 90k clinicians and 70k volunteers in a few months to launch one of the world’s fastest programs. He also led the deployment of Student nurses in the pandemic response waves 1 and 2, with 71 Universities in England.

As Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England, Mark supports the Chief Nursing Officer in ensuring the NHS workforce is fit for the future. This includes recruitment and retention, skills development, maintaining the quality of management and leadership, tackling inequality and breaking down barriers, ensuring places of work are rewarding, positive and filled with opportunity, and enabling more volunteers to support front-line staff.

Throughout his clinical career, Mark has maintained his academic interests. He has been involved in multiple research projects looking at the roles of nursing in advanced practice, gender disparity and pay, as well as big data analysis of nursing and retention, among others. He has also published five books on emergency and perioperative surgery throughout his career. He is also a Professor of Nursing at Birmingham City University and Coventry University, with research covering emergency care models, advanced practice, staffing, risk modelling, clinical decision-making, expertise and sociological issues in healthcare.

Mark was honoured with a CBE in The Queen’s New Year Honours 2022 list.

Professor Ian Campbell OBEIan Campbell

Interim Executive Chair for Innovate UK

Dr Ian Campbell was appointed Interim Executive Chair of Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, in May 2018, having joined as Director for Health and Life Sciences in 2016. Ian is an experienced executive in life sciences and the diagnostics sector. He served as Chief Executive of Arquer Diagnostics, a company developing and commercialising immunoassay tests for cancers of the urinogenitary tract.

Previously he served as Chief Executive of Imperial College spin-out company Molecular Vision, developing a disposable, quantitative point-of-care diagnostic platform, before being acquired by Abingdon Health in 2012. Ian has also served as Commercial Director with Bespak Europe. Ian has a strong scientific background, gaining his PhD at the University of Glasgow.

Professor Philippe VanriePhilippe Vanrie

Head of Eureka

For almost 20 years (1999-2017), Philippe Vanrie was CEO of EBN, the leading pan-European Network bringing together 200+ Business & Innovation Centers (BICs), Innovation-based Incubators, Accelerators, Clusters, Innovation Agencies and Entrepreneurship Centers across Europe and beyond. A community gathering hundreds of business & innovation support organizations, thousands of smart innovators and high-potential entrepreneurs.

For four years (2017-2020), Philippe took over the mandate of Heading EUREKA, a Brussels-based inter-governmental organization supporting and funding innovators, knowledge actors, SMEs and industry leaders, across 40 countries (EU Countries but also UK, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea, South Africa, Chile, and Argentina).

He championed the transformation of EBN and EUREKA into high-caliber innovation networks, interacting between policy makers, promising innovative entrepreneurs and ecosystems enablers. Philippe became a reputed international expert in innovation, incubation/acceleration, entrepreneurship, economic development, public/private partnerships, and of course European funding & affairs. Philippe has indeed a long collaboration experience with the European Commission (EC) and other European institutions (EIB, EIT), as well as the European Space Agency (ESA), and a series of national & regional governmental agencies. He initiated and conducted a wide series of EC-funded collaborative projects in various fields:, regional innovation ecosystems (S3), digital entrepreneurship, clusters management and inter-clusters collaboration, satellite applications, open innovation (SAP, JP Morgan Chase, Oracle, Procter & Gamble), social innovation, internationalization of SMEs, and university/business cooperation.

He founded EcoSystemiX in 2020, a consultancy specialized in innovation Ecosystems, and worked 18 months (2021 & 2022) for Thesame Innovation, a regional innovation agency located in Annecy, in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Region, with the mission to renew its strategy & develop its partnerships. In 2022, after a 6-months assignment to structure the Secretariat of the D4DHub (Digital4 Development) initiative (DG-INTPA), he started a mission as Head of European Affairs at both the Walloon Agri-Food Cluster (Belgium) and later of the University of Vaasa (Finland), while conducting several missions & studies for the EC (DG-RTD), the EIC (European Innovation Council), the EIT (European Institute for Innovation & Technology), EY and Deloitte, in various fields such as bioeconomy, blue economy, circular economy, deep-tech scale-ups, Food-Tech and Ag-Tech.

He started 2023 by being nominated as Chair of an EU-Experts Group on R&I Knowledge Valorisation for the EC (DG RTD) within the framework of a Mutual Learning Exercise (Policy & Practices) across the EU. Engineer by education (M.Sc.), graduated from the Gembloux (B) Agronomic Engineering University (Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech/Liège University), and from the University of Louvain (B) in Innovation Management, Philippe started his career as a statistician at the University of Brussels (ULB).

Ambassador Thomas ReillyThomas Reilly

Senior Advisor and Head of UK Public Policy at Covington & Burling LLP

Ambassador Thomas Reilly, Covington’s Head of UK Public Policy and a key member of the firm’s Global Problem Solving Group and Brexit Task Force, draws on over 20 years of diplomatic and commercial roles to advise clients on their strategic business objectives.

Ambassador Reilly was most recently British Ambassador to Morocco between 2017 and 2020, and prior to this, the Senior Advisor on International Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs and Head of Government Relations at Royal Dutch Shell between 2012 and 2017. His former roles with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office included British Ambassador Morocco & Mauritania (2017-2018), Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Egypt (2010-2012), Deputy Head of the Climate Change & Energy Department (2007-2009), and Deputy Head of the Counter Terrorism Department (2005-2007). He has lived or worked in a number of countries including Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Argentina.

At Covington, Ambassador Reilly works closely with our global team of lawyers and investigators as well as over 100 former diplomats and senior government officials, with significant depth of experience in dealing with the types of complex problems that involve both legal and governmental institutions.

Ambassador Reilly started his career as a solicitor specialising in EU and commercial law but no longer practices as a solicitor.

Peter LoftusPeter Loftus

Deputy Director UK Research Centre in Nondestructive Evaluation

Pete had a 38year career in Instrumentation and Measurement at Rolls-Royce where he developed a passion for the subject of measurement and a love of helping others to grow. As the company head of Measurement Engineering, with accountability for ensuring the creation, maintenance, and improvement of all forms of measurement capability for the company world-wide, he travelled and engaged widely across the company’s global footprint and key stakeholders in the field. He has also been active with numerous engineering professional bodies and youth interventions locally, nationally, and internationally.

Since leaving Rolls-Royce in 2018, Pete has developed a portfolio career to enable him to indulge his interests. He is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh; Chair of the Sensing Innovation Leadership Council; Deputy Director of the Research Centre in NDE; an assessor and monitoring officer for Innovate UK and a District Commissioner in Scouting.

He holds a Bachelors Degree in Applied Physics and a Masters in Gas Turbine Engineering.

He is a Past President of the European Virtual Institute for Gas Turbine Engineering; past chair off the ASME International Gas Turbine Institute Controls, Diagnostics, and instrumentation Committee; former member of the UK National Measurement Board; has held numerous roles with the IET, BINDT, and NCSLI as well as a CIM Conference organiser and Guest Editor of the International Journal of Turbomachinery Propulsion and Power. He reviews for Innovate UK, EPSRC, Euramet and ASME. He also has his own consultancy business: Evalu8ion Ltd. and is an Engineering Ambassador.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023