David Laws is Executive Chairman of the Education Policy Institute, a think tank that focuses on education research. Previously he was Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Schools Minister and Cabinet Office Minister in the 2010-2015 Coalition Government. As Schools Minister from 2012 to 2015 he was responsible for policy areas including all capital and revenue funding, the Pupil Premium, accountability and policy on teachers and leadership.
As Lib Dem Education Spokesman from 2007 to 2010, he led the work in developing a Pupil Premium. Mr Laws graduated from King’s College, Cambridge, with a double first class honours degree in economics and went to work at J.P. Morgan and Barclays de Zoete Wedd. He left the city to work in politics and was elected MP for Yeovil in 2001 and served in this capacity until 2015.
He has also worked as the Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Manchester and is currently the Treasurer for Universities UK.
Sir David received a Knighthood for services to higher education in the 2014 Birthday Honours list.
Lucy Heller became the Chief Executive of Ark in 2012, a children’s charity that runs education and health programmes in the UK, Africa and India. She joined Ark in 2004 from TSL Education, which published TES magazine, where she was joint Managing Director.
Her previous roles include General Manager of The Observer and Executive Chairman at Verso, a trade and academic publisher.
Nick Hillman has been the Director of HEPI since January 2014. Previously he worked for the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, the then Minister for Universities and Science, as Chief of Staff from 2007 until the end of 2013 and also as Special Adviser in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
His recent writings include an article on the fifty-year history of student loans for Contemporary British History and a paper comparing access to selective secondary schools and selective universities for the Higher Education Review.
She was also Editor of Public Policy Research (now known as Juncture), the leading policy and politics journal published by Wiley-Blackwell.
Emran Mian joined the Social Market Foundation as Director in 2013 from a senior position in the Cabinet Office. His previous roles include Director of Strategy at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Secretary to the Browne Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance.
Mr. Mian is also a published author of two books, Send in the Idiots and The Banker’s Daughter.
Mr. O’Leary is a member of the Higher Education Commission and has been writing about higher education for more than 30 years. In 2011 he won the Ted Wragg Award for Sustained Contribution to Education Journalism.
Professor Edward Peck joined Nottingham Trent University as Vice-Chancellor in August 2014. Prior to this he held a number of positions at the University of Birmingham, initially as Director of the Health Services Management Centre and then as Head of the School of Public Policy. Latterly he was Head of the College of Social Sciences.
Professor Peck is currently Treasurer of University Alliance and sits on the Creative Quarter Board in Nottingham and the Board of UCEA.
Jonathan Simons is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Varkey Foundation, a charity that seeks to address global teaching capacity and seed excellence in the next generation of educators. He was previously Head of the Education Unit at Policy Exchange, directing research on all aspects of education. Before that he was Head of Open Public Services in the Cabinet Office and Head of Education in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the administrations of both Gordon Brown and David Cameron.
Mr. Simons is the Chair of Governors and Co-Founder of Greenwich Free School, and a Trustee of REAch4 Multi Academy Trust.
Professor Mark E. Smith became Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University in 2012 having previously served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Warwick University. He is the current Chair of the Graduate Prospects and HECSU boards, as well as being a member of the HESA Board, the Universities UK Research Policy, Funding Policy and Long Term Strategy Network groups.
In June 2015, Professor Smith became Chair of the Financial Sustainability Strategy Group for Higher Education
Sir Steve joined the University of Exeter as Vice-Chancellor in 2002. He was previously Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) and Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, as well as Head of the Department of International Politics and Director of the Centre for Public Choice Studies at the University of East Anglia.
He has written or edited 17 books, published well over 100 academic papers and is currently Chair of the UCAS Board and a Board Member of the Russell Group
Wes Streeting is the Labour MP for Ilford North, having been elected at the 2015 General Election. He has worked outside politics as a senior manager and chief executive for a number of voluntary and private sector organisations working to improve access to education: from an anti-bullying campaign working with over 10,000 schools across Britain to running a national charity that supports people from under-privileged backgrounds to gain entrance to university.
Professor Mary Stuart joined the University of Lincoln as Vice-Chancellor in November 2009. Professor Stuart is a Board Member for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), a member of HEFCE’s Leadership and Management Strategic Committee and the Higher Education Public Information Steering Group. She is also Chair of Action on Access Advisory Committee, Deputy Chair of the University Alliance and a member of the Equality Challenge Unit.
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