Executive Recruitment

Board and committees

Our board is responsible for setting our strategy and making sure we deliver it.

The board normally meets four times a year. The board papers can be found here when they are available.

Sir Michael Barber, Chair

Sir Michael Barber is the chair of the board. Sir Michael is one of the leading education and government experts of the last 20 years. He served as chief adviser to the Secretary of State for Education from 1997, before setting up the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in 2001, which worked to ensure the successful implementation of the prime minister’s priority programmes, including those in education, health, transport, policing, criminal justice and immigration.

Sir Michael is the author of several books, including ‘How to Run a Government’. Having worked as Head of McKinsey’s Global Education Practice and as Pearson’s Chief Education Adviser, Michael now runs his own company, Delivery Associates and took up his post as chair of the Office for Students in March 2017.

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive Officer

Nicola Dandridge is chief executive of the Office for Students. Nicola was appointed as the first chief executive of the Office for Students in 2017, taking up her role in September 2017.

Prior to joining the Office for Students, Nicola was chief executive of Universities UK, the representative organisation for the UK’s universities. Before that she was chief executive of the Equality Challenge Unit, the higher education agency which promotes equality and diversity for staff and students. Nicola started her career as a qualified lawyer working in private practice. She is a trustee of the Council for At Risk Academics.

Martin Coleman, Deputy Chair

Martin Coleman is deputy chair of the board. He is also a member of the Competition and Markets Authority board and the Council of the University of Kent, and a trustee of Police Now. He has held board or similar level positions at the Economic and Social Research Council and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.  

David Palfreyman OBE

David Palfreyman OBE is the bursar and a fellow of New College, University of Oxford. He is also the director of the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies. He is a council member and trustee as honorary treasurer of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE). He is the author of several publications on higher education.

Monisha Shah

Monisha Shah is chair of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. She is also a serving trustee of ArtFund, an independent fundraising charity for art. In December 2015, Monisha was invited by the Prime Minister to join the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

Professor Steven West CBE

Professor Steve West CBE has been vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England, Bristol, since 2008. He trained as a podiatrist and podiatric surgeon. He has worked as a clinician and clinical tutor in the NHS and in universities, and undertaken research and consultancy in industry and the retail healthcare sectors. He holds a number of regional, national and international advisory appointments in higher education and in healthcare policy and practice.  

Elizabeth Fagan

Elizabeth is Senior Vice-President and Non-Executive Chair at Boots UK and Republic of Ireland. She is President of ISBA (Incorporated Society of British Advertising) and is a member and past President of the Women in Advertising and Communications Club. She was also a member of the ASA Council for six years. In August 2013, she became a Fellow of the Marketing Society and, in the same year, was awarded a Cosmetic Executive Women UK, Achiever Award.

In June 2018, Elizabeth was appointed Non-Executive Director of pooling solutions company, Brambles Limited, and, in August 2018, appointed Chair at the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, which works with businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers and community and voluntary sector organisations, to grow the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire economy.

Katja Hall

Katja is Corporate Affairs Director at Capita, responsible for all internal and external communications, including employee engagement and public affairs.  Previously, she was Group Head of External Affairs and Sustainability at HSBC where she was responsible for external communications, public affairs and sustainability.

Prior to joining HSBC, Katja was Deputy Director-General at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and led CBI’s policy development and advocacy work in the UK and internationally.

At the start of her career Katja worked in HR at the BBC and, most recently, she was a partner at Chairman Mentors International, a board-level mentoring organisation.

Verity Hancock

Verity has been Principal and Chief Executive of Leicester College since 2013. Prior to that she worked at the Skills Funding Agency in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

She currently chairs the Student Loans Company’s Advanced Learning Loans Stakeholder Group, the Leicester and Leicestershire Principals’ Group and is Chair of the Members of a Multi-Academy Trust in the City.

She is also a Board member of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership and a trustee of the Skills and Education Group and of the National Space Centre.

Kathryn King

Kathryn is a full-time PhD doctoral research student in the Faculty of Music at the University of Oxford. She also tutors at Magdalen College Oxford and Merton College Oxford. In addition, she holds roles at the General Optical Council as a lay tribunal panel member and as a disciplinary panel member at the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service and Council of the Inns of Court.

She was previously Chief Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales.

Gurpreet Dehal

Gurpreet Dehal is a trustee of the multi-school academy trust, E-ACT. He also holds non-executive positions with the Valuation Office Agency, the Ministry of Defence and an NHS clinical commissioning group. He worked for many years in a variety of roles within major investment banks.

Kate Lander

Kate is Chief Executive Officer of Ivy House London, a company that delivers life-changing professional and personal development to exceptional young talent, empowering them to become the leaders of the future.

Kate started her career as an accountant before moving into financial education, she then spent over a decade working in senior banking roles before moving back into the education and development sector.

Simon Levine

Simon Levine is the managing partner and co-global chief executive officer of the global law firm DLA Piper. He is a visiting professor and lecturer at Imperial College Business School.

Martha Longdon

Martha is a current MSc Neuropharmacology student at Nottingham Trent University and was student union president there in 2017-18. She previously studied Psychology at University of West London, graduating in 2015.

She was the Deputy Chair of the Natural Sciences panel in the 2017-18 TEF Subject Pilot, and is a member of the WhatUni Student Advisory Board.

Chris Millward

Chris is director for fair access and participation at the OfS. He was previously director of policy at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), leading work on education, widening participation and skills policy. Prior to this, he managed HEFCE’s relationships with universities and colleges in the north and east of England.

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