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Council comprises 13 independent members who are recruited from inside and outside higher education, and nine internal members who are senior academic staff, elected staff (academic and professional), and representatives from St George’s Students’ Union.

Full biographies of the Chair and all members of Council are published here.

A portrait of our members of council. Our members of Council.


Meet the members of Council

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Independent members

St George’s Council includes the following independent Council members, none of whom are staff or students at the university.

A photo of Michael Draper. Michael Draper

Michael Draper is Chair of Council, and has over 25 years of wide-ranging experience as a corporate/commercial solicitor with major London law firms.

He was a partner for 20 years, including 15 years with CMS Cameron McKenna, where he established a reputation as a leading adviser to companies in the life-sciences and healthcare sectors. Whilst at that firm, he also had responsibilities for the training and recruitment of lawyers. 

Michael joined St George’s in 2009 and has chaired the Audit Committee and the Remuneration Committee. He was appointed Chair of Council in May 2017.

Michael was a trustee of the William Harvey Research Foundation from 2012-2017, and is a graduate of Cambridge University.

A photo of David Carter. David Carter

A chartered accountant, David Carter worked for ICI PLC for almost 30 years, latterly as Global Head of its Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) team. David was an Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of ICI’s public company in India, and his non-executive duties included acting as Non-executive Director of ICI’s three public companies in Pakistan and India, chairmanship of the audit committees and membership of the remuneration committees.

Since 2008 David has developed a range of voluntary unpaid interests, principally in the arts and education sectors. His non-executive roles have included board memberships of the Almeida Theatre Company, Kingston University, the BRIT School for Performing Arts and The English Speaking Union. 

In addition he has been an independent external member of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Audit and Risk Committee, and of Arts Council England’s Finance and Performance Committee. He is a trained mentor and is a trustee of Priority School Lewes Memorial Chapel Trust.

A photo of Sian Harding Professor Sian Harding

Professor Sian Harding is Professor of Cardiac Pharmacology at NHLI, Imperial College London; Head of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences and Director of the Imperial British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine Centre. Her work has centered on the myocardium in heart failure, especially beta-adrenergic mechanisms. 

She was principal investigator on the first UK gene therapy trial in LVAD patients, aimed at improving cardiac contractility. She is now studying the pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte, both for disease modelling and cardiac repair.

Professor Harding is former President of the European Section of the International Society for Heart Research and member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. She has been elected fellow of both the American Heart Association and the European Society of Cardiology, and is on the board of the British Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. 

A photo of Josh Joshi. M ‘Josh’ Joshi

M ‘Josh’ Joshi has over 20 years’ experience as a finance director for international technology and telecommunications businesses. Most recently Josh was chief financial officer of Interxion Holding NV, a pan-European datacentre business, publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in the Netherlands.

Before joining Interxion, Josh worked as group finance director for Leisure and Gaming plc and Telecity Group plc, both publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange. He was also one of the founders of the private equity-backed alternative network Storm Telecommunications. Early in his career Josh worked in professional practice, latterly with Arthur Andersen & Co.

Josh holds a degree in Civil Engineering from Imperial College, London and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

A photo of Dr Rima Makarem. Dr Rima Makarem

Dr Rima Makarem has extensive experience in healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry. She currently runs her own consultancy business and holds a portfolio of non-executive positions. These include: Non-Executive Director and Chair at University College London Hospitals; Chair of the National Travel Health Network and Centre; Trustee of UCLH Charity and Trustee of Anchor Trust. 

Rima has served as the Audit Chair at NHS London and at NHS Haringey before that. She was also a board member of Health Education South London. Previously, Rima was Director of Competitive Excellence at GlasxoSmithKline and prior to that, a management consultant. 

Rima is a graduate of Cambridge University and holds a PhD in Biochemistry and an MBA from INSEAD Business School.

A photo of Gillian Norton. Gillian Norton

Gillian Norton took up the role of Chair of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in April 2017, having joined as a non-executive Director in June 2016. Gillian was Chief Executive of Richmond Council from 1999 to 2017.

Gillian started her career as a graduate trainee at the Greater London Council moving to Woking Borough Council as a Chief Officer, and then in 1994 to Wokingham Borough Council as Chief Executive, taking it from a district to unitary authority.

In addition to her Richmond responsibilities, Gillian has led the self-improvement agenda on behalf of the Chief Executives of all 33 London boroughs for a number of years, as well as being lead Chief Executive for health issues in the South London Partnership, an organisation of the local authorities of South West London.

A photo of Damian Reid. Damian Reid

Damian Reid is an experienced finance and strategy professional and has been responsible for leading finance and strategy teams for over 15 years.

From January 2015 until December 2017, Damian was the Chief Financial Officer of Pro Bono Bio, a developer and marketer of innovative nanotechnology based healthcare products. From 2007 to 2014 he was a founder and Chief Financial Officer of Augere, a newly formed broadband services provider using wireless networks in emerging markets trading under the Qubee brand.

In the period from 1998 until 2007, Damian held the positions of Executive Vice President, Strategy and Planning at France Telecom, a pan-European telecoms service provider and Chief Strategy Officer at Marconi, a major UK listed technology business. From 1988 to 1998, Damian was an investment banker at SG Warburg (now part of Union Bank of Switzerland). He qualified as chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen in 1987.

A photo of Bina Rawal. Dr Bina Rawal

Dr Bina Rawal is interim Head of Strategic Partnerships at Cancer Research UK. She has held senior executive positions in the pharmaceutical industry, including Director of Research, Medical and Innovation at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) where she had responsibility for driving the agenda for Research and Development and Innovation in the UK on behalf of ABPI member companies.

She joined the ABPI in October 2012 from the Wellcome Trust, where she was Head of Clinical Development within the research charity’s Technology Transfer (Innovations) Division. Bina completed her undergraduate and postgraduate medical training in London and holds Fellowships of the Royal College of Pathologists and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine.

A photo of Sue Rimmer. Sue Rimmer OBE

Sue Rimmer has been Principal and CEO of South Thames College for over 14 years and has over 30 years experience in the further education and skills sector.

Sue is actively engaged in a range of local, regional and national groups and committees related to further education and skills. In particular, she is currently Chair of London Capital Colleges; Vice Chair of the Principal’s Professional Council; a trustee of the Helena Kennedy Foundation and a Commissioner and member of the Associate All Parliamentary Group for Skills. She was formally Chair of the Association of College’s, London Region and a Board member of the London Development Agency.

Sue has a BA (Hons) in Sociology and Psychology and a postgraduate Certificate in Education. She was awarded the OBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list for services to Further Education. 

A photo of Steven Spier. Professor Steven Spier

Professor Steven Spier was appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University in October 2016. Prior to this he was Dean of Kingston University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture for four years as well as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Culture and Civic Engagement). His early career saw him based in a number of European cities including Berlin, Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zürich) and Hamburg (as founding Principal of the HafenCity University). He was Head of the School of Architecture and Design in Belfast, and Head of the School of Architecture at Strathclyde University in Glasgow.

Professor Spier was a founding Director of Architecture and Design Scotland and was a long-serving board member of Scottish Ballet. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and of the German Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA), both for services to architecture education. He is currently a board member of the cutting-edge Glasgow-based production house Cryptic – much vaunted for its work fusing music, sonic art, theatre and multimedia.

He holds a degree in philosophy from Haverford College, Philadelphia and completed postgraduate studies at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He was born in Montreal, grew up in the USA and holds four passports.

A photo of Catherine Swarbrick. Catherine Swarbrick

Catherine Swarbrick has most recently been the Director of Administration and Secretary to the Board of Trustees at the University of London, which is a federation of 18 self-governing institutions.

Catherine’s career to date has been varied and rewarding. She began as a secondary school teacher before moving into the management of professional standard setting bodies – the British Computer Society and the Royal College of Practitioners. This was followed by a role in the not-for-profit sector as the Chief Executive of the National Childbirth Trust. Her most recent posts have been in the Higher Education sector including a number of years as the Director of Administration at St George’s Hospital Medical School, now St George’s University of London. Catherine is a member of the Board and the Audit Committee of Tower Hamlets College in East London.

Catherine has an in depth knowledge of corporate governance and led a small team in the radical restructuring of the complex governance arrangements of the University of London. She has worked extensively with boards on strategic planning and has led multi-professional teams in successful business change programmes.

A photo of Ewart Wooldridge. Ewart Wooldridge CBE

Ewart Wooldridge was the founding Chief Executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education from 2003-2013. He has continued with a portfolio of consultancy, advisory and governance roles in the HE sector. He is currently a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

Previously, he was Principal and Chief Executive of the Civil Service College, and a Chief Officer in Local Government. Before that he worked in HR and general management roles in the media, television, and the arts. He was Director of Operations at London’s South Bank Arts Centre in the mid-1990s. 

Ewart was awarded the CBE for services to leadership in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2004. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Cardiff University in 2012 and an honorary doctorate from the Open University in 2014.

A photo of Sally Worth. Dr Sally Worth

Sally Worth has over twenty years’ experience of management and leadership, gained from senior positions across many sectors: private, public, not-for-profit and higher education. 

Her particular areas of professional and academic interest are all within the broad span of Organisation Development and Human Resources, where business strategy aligns and integrates with the development of staff. She is particularly interested in cultural change, management and leadership development, executive coaching, talent management, diversity and wellbeing. 

Sally’s doctoral thesis explored coaching women towards authenticity in their careers and focused on female academics. She is particularly dedicated to supporting women in their careers and is a role model and mentor for the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Aurora programme, and a member of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering). She has significant experience in supporting higher education institutions with their applications for Athena SWAN awards and is a panel member, reviewing applications.
Internal members

All internal members of Council are staff or students at St George’s.

A photo of Jenny Higham Professor Jenny Higham

Professor Jenny Higham is Principal at St George’s, University of London. She previously had senior roles at Imperial College and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore.

In addition to managerial roles, she continues clinical practice. She has been named Mentor of the Year at the Women of the Future Awards, and has received a President and Rector’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence, as well as the Imperial College Medal for outstanding leadership.

A photo of Professor Deborah Bowman. Professor Deborah Bowman MBE

Deborah Bowman is Professor of Bioethics & Clinical Ethics and Deputy Principal (Institutional Affairs) at St George's, University of London. At the university, areas for which Deborah provides academic leadership include quality and partnerships, equality, diversity and inclusion, staff wellbeing, Athena SWAN and public engagement. She also continues to teach, research and broadcast in the field of medical ethics.

Deborah’s academic interests span the application of ethics to clinical practice, arts and health, emotion in ethical decision-making, moral distress, public involvement in ethical debate, theatre and medicine, and therapeutic relationships between professionals and those they serve. She is an experienced broadcaster who has worked with a wide range of production companies, media outlets and channels as a writer, presenter and programme consultant.

Prof Bowman has published extensively and has participated in many international projects in applied ethics and human responses to difficult situations. She is a Non-Executive Director of South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, a Council Member of the General Optical Council, Chair of the General Medical Council’s review of its Consent Guidance, and a member of the London Police Ethics Panel.

In 2016, Professor Bowman was awarded an MBE for Services to Medical Ethics.

A photo of Jon Friedland. Professor Jon Friedland

Professor Jon Friedland is Deputy Principal (Research and Enterprise) at St George’s, University of London, having been Hammersmith Campus Director and Head of Infectious Diseases and Immunity at Imperial College London. He is an honorary consultant in Infectious Diseases at St George’s Hospital University NHS Trust.

His major research interests are in development of host mediated therapies targeting innate immune responses in tuberculosis and in migrant health. He has published over 220 peer reviewed papers, invited editorials and reviews, and edited three books.

Jon Friedland was awarded the Royal College of Physicians Weber-Parkes Prize Medal for research in tuberculosis in 2005 and was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2008. He was elected President of the British Infection Society (2007-09). He was made FRCPI in 2010. In 2017, he was awarded an inaugural Fellowship of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. He is currently a Commissioner on the Commission for Human Medicines and Chair of the MHRA Expert Advisory Group on Infection. He has previously served on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and The Chief Medical Officers National Expert Panel on New and Emerging Infections as well as on many grants committees including for the Medical Research Council (UK) and The Wellcome Trust.

A photo of John Hammond. John Hammond

John Hammond is currently Head of Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London. He has held various roles such as Associate Dean (Widening Participation), Associate Dean (Education), Chair of St George’s Equality and Diversity Committee, and he has served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Educators in Practice. 

John is an active member of the St George’s LGBT Staff Network. John’s research centres on pedagogic practices and issues of social justice, such as gender, widening participation and reflective practice. Similarly John’s teaching interests centre on issues of social justice, specifically diversity, gender, reflective practice and interprofessional working. John is the elected member of academic staff on Council, elected by members of academic staff at St George’s.

A photo of Muhammad (Omar) Hijazi. Muhammad Omar Hijazi 

Muhammad Omar Hijazi is elected Students’ Union President for 2018-2019 and a Biomedical Sciences graduate. He has previously worked with the Students’ Union as a Campaigns Officer, promoting campaigns such as Black History Month, Anti Islamophobia Awareness, and Mental Wellness Week.

Omar has a passion for representing fellow students and building bridges of communication between students, staff and teachers. His involvement in the Students’ Union in previous years, including engagement within societies and sports teams such as Tennis and Rowing, has exposed him to the challenges that students face from day-to-day. Omar aims to expand opportunities for the student voice to be heard in relation to both areas of concern and good practice at St George’s.

A photo of Sam Khavandi. Sam Khavandi

Sam Khavandi was the elected President of St George’s Students’ Union for 2017-2018. He graduated in Biomedical Sciences in 2017. Sam has worked to ensure that our students’ voices are heard and listened to with the aim to provide a memorable experience for them here at St George’s.

A photo of Ken Morrison. Ken Morrison

Originally from South Africa, Ken Morrison qualified there as an Attorney and Notary in 2002 before emigrating to the United Kingdom and re-qualifying as a solicitor in 2004. He was in private practice in London and Singapore before joining Kingston University and St George’s, University of London as a jointly employed Legal Advisor in 2011. He was promoted to Director of Legal Services for St George’s in 2016, and to General Counsel in 2019.

Ken is the elected member of support staff on Council, elected by and from members of staff who are not academic staff.

A photo of Aileen OBrien. Dr Aileen O’Brien 

Dr Aileen O’Brien is a Reader at St George’s University of London, and was appointed Dean of Students in 2015-2016. 

Roles she has filled at St George’s include Admissions Tutor, MBBS4 Personal Tutor Lead, and Athena Swan Lead. She is the Psychiatry Undergraduate Teaching Lead. Dr O’Brien is an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust. 

She is the Training Lead for the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units, and on the editorial board of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

A photo of Jane Saffell. Professor Jane Saffell

Professor Jane Saffell is Deputy Principal (Education) and leads the University’s Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education. She is Professor of Cellular Neurobiology and Bioscience Education.

She joined St George’s, University in London in 2016 from a senior strategic education leadership role at Imperial College London. Originally from Kenya, her background is in molecular and cellular biology research in cell adhesion and motility, and research-based bioscience educational innovation.

Professor Saffell has a PhD in Molecular Neurobiology (King’s), MEd in University Learning and Teaching (Imperial) and BSc in Biochemistry (Imperial). She is a member of a BBSRC Grant Committee (Molecules, Cells and Industrial Biotechnology) and the Royal Society of Biology Curriculum Committee. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and in 2015 won a HEA National Teaching Fellowship.

Awarded two President’s Medals by Imperial College, for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation in Education (2011) and for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence (2015), Professor Saffell is proudest of her Imperial Students’ Union awards for Best Innovation (2013) and Best Feedback (2014).


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