Our Governors

Our Governors
Alastair Da Costa
Partner & Executive Director, HGF Group

Alastair has over 25 years of international board and executive level leadership experience. He is currently Chair of Capital City College Group, which through mergers in 2016 and 2017 became one of the largest further education college groups in the UK. He is a board director/Council member of The London School of Economics and Chair of the digital education business, 01 Founders Limited, which provides innovative coding and software development training leading to employment for a diverse cohort of learners. Alastair previously served as a Council member of the University of Sussex and from August 2022 will take up the role as Chair and Pro-Chancellor of The University of Leeds.

Between 2018-21 Alastair served as a Commissioner to the UK Government’s Social Mobility Commission where he was lead commissioner for further education and adult skills. The Commission’s 2021 State of the Nation report provided a comprehensive, evidence-led post pandemic recovery programme.

Alastair has also served as executive director of a leadership development company, as Executive Chair of a boutique executive search business and was the first CEO of an international youth charity.

Our Governors
Asfa Sohail
Principal and Chief Learning Officer LSEC

Asfa has more than 23 years’ experience of working in the further education and skills sector. She has experience in leading and managing a broad range of cross college remits including English and maths, additional learning support, higher education, and further education programmes. Asfa’s subject specialism is in mathematics, business management, information technology and computing programmes. She is an experienced and active education and training practitioner, a qualified teacher and holds a Masters in Business Administration.

Asfa has a wealth of experience in working with employers, stakeholders and communities.  She brings strategic and operational experience to the board.

Our Governors
Amelia Sussman
Independent Consultant

Amelia was most recently the Director of Strategy at Social and Sustainable Capital Investment. Prior to that she was a Director at Impetus Private Equity Foundation, a venture philanthropy funder, which she joined in 2005.  Before this, she was the Chief Operating Officer at Common Purpose, a social enterprise running leadership programmes internationally.  Having trained as a solicitor, and qualifying in England and Israel, Amelia worked in central and local government and then as an in-house lawyer in the IT sector.  Amelia has deep knowledge of the education, youth and reducing re-offending sectors in the UK, having worked closely with 15 organisations from these sectors, whilst at Impetus PEF.

Our Governors
Chris Hyams
Board Advisor

Chris is currently the non-executive Chair of Wilson Partners a chartered accountancy firm based in Maidenhead. During his remunerated career, he was a Big 4 private equity partner, board advisor and divestment & acquisition specialist, expert in challenging and implementing complex financial and business strategies for major PE and PE-owned organisations. He was an accounting firm partner for over 15 years and advised private equity houses for over 20 years as they buy, optimise and sell companies. In recent years, alongside his extensive business acquisition and disposal experience, Chris has held multiple private equity leadership roles at UK, international and global level. He is a chartered accountant and has a modern languages degree from Durham University; he has lived and worked in both New York and Paris.

Our Governors
Desmond Corlis
Curriculum Leader, School of Enterprise, City and Islington College

Desmond is a former City-based solicitor and senior partner in boutique general law practice. He is an experienced project manager, with excellent organisational, administrative and communication skills, underpinned by a commitment to succeed. He currently works as Curriculum Leader for School of Enterprise at City and Islington College, one of the three colleges in Capital City College Group.

Our Governors
Lord David Triesman
Executive Director, Salamanca Group and Member of the House of Lords

David has extensive commercial and political experience at senior levels in business and government. By training an economist, he holds visiting fellowships at Warwick, the LSE and Cambridge Universities and is a Doctor of Laws. He is on the Governing Council of the University of Northamptonshire. Currently he is an Executive Director at Salamanca Merchant Bank and Chairman of Funding Affordable Homes and Mandela Concerts, and a Non-Exec Director of Havin Bank and Salamanca Topaz (real estate).

He formerly chaired The Football Association and Templewood Merchant Bank and was on the Board of Wembley National Stadium and Advisory Board of UBS. In political life, after serving as General Secretary of the Association of University Teachers, David assumed responsibility for the Prime Minister’s political organisation (2001-2004) and has served as Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and subsequently in the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills. He held Ministerial roles in Energy, Business, Higher Education and Europe. He is a Lord in Waiting to HM the Queen; and plays rock and blues guitar.”

Our Governors
Sanna Jordansson
Director of People and Engagement, Broadway Malyan

Sanna leads the global People and Engagement strategy for Architecture, Urban Planning and Design firm Broadway Malyan where she is also an equity partner. Prior to moving into the creative sector was leading HR functions in private banking and fund management at the Swedish global bank Handelsbanken. Her Board engagements include her work as a Trustee at the social mobility organisation Making the Leap and UK Social Mobility Awards. Additionally she is an Executive Coach and leadership & change consultant.

Our Governors
Dr Angela Herbert
Violent Crime Prevention Board, Chair

Dr Angela Herbert MBE has been engaged in various aspect of the Criminal Justice System for over 38 years. Angela Chair’s the Violent Crime Prevention Board and has a keen interest in equality, diversity, and the provision of opportunities for all, in particular marginalised groups who historically experience poorer outcomes. She believes that leadership is important to ensure that staff and learners enjoy positive teaching and learning, achieved through the implementation of policies and procedures.

Angela is the Founder Director of IOTC-Solutions Coaching, and an executive and life coach, teacher, facilitator, and public speaker. Having spent her career invested in male service users, Angela founded Made on Purpose in 2021, as a philanthropic initiative giving 100% of profits to organisations delivering services to girls and women.

Our Governors
Nicole Morgan
Director of Strategy and Impact at the Royal Society of Chemistry

Nicole works with the executive team of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) to develop and implement the organisation-wide strategy. Nicole is also responsible for internal governance, oversight of strategic risks and the portfolio management office. She is a Fellow of both the Chartered Management Institute and the RSC, with extensive experience in a broad range of leadership, management and governance roles.Previously Nicole served on the Education Board of City and Islington College, and was a Chair of Governors at an outstanding first school in Hertfordshire. As well as this, she was a  PSRB specialist on the TEF Natural Sciences and Engineering Pilot Panels for the Office for Students.

Our Governors
Maarten Zuurmond
Chief Investment Officer, Elton Capital

Maarten serves as the Chief Investment Officer of a single-family investment firm. In addition to his full-time responsibilities, Maarten retains a number of non-executive and charitable board positions. Maarten holds an Executive MBA from Columbia Business School & London Business School, and a Masters in Economics from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

Our Governors
Professor Anthony Smith
Vice Provost, University College London (UCL)

Anthony Smith was appointed Vice Provost (Education and Student Affairs) at University College London (UCL) in 2012 where he takes the strategic lead for all matters related to education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  Prior to his appointment at UCL, he was Principal and Dean for six years at the School of Pharmacy, University of London.  The School merged with UCL in January 2012.  He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.  He is Chair of Trustees at Pharmacy Research-UK, a Trustee of Villiers Park Education Trust and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Our Governors
Sharon Saxton
Executive Coach

Sharon is a highly experienced HR Director who has worked with trustees and on boards for over 25 years, transforming businesses to ensure they are sustainable and can deliver on their core purpose and strategy. Her experience is in complex and highly regulated sectors, such as education, aviation, professional services, environmental health and media. She has held senior positions in high profile businesses including Walt Disney, Virgin Atlantic and the City & Guilds Group. She works with multiple stakeholders and is skilled at combining the culture and assets of organisations to achieve their goals.

Sharon is a qualified Executive Coach. She works with boards and individual executives on their leadership development. Her passion for coaching and developing people to achieve their full potential has also led to her taking up other roles, such as coaching young entrepreneurs as well as becoming a Commissioner for the Princess Royal Training awards, which recognise the best standards of corporate training nationally.

Our Governors
Toyin Odutayo
Vice President, Business Line Anti-Financial Crime Advisory

In his current role, Toyin liaises with global transaction banking and corporate finance business lines. He provides advice and support on financial crime, manages high-risk cross-regional client relationships, and supports the development of protocols for business engagement. He has extensive expertise in conducting anti-money laundering and enhanced due diligence efforts on behalf of the banking industry.

Toyin was a Senior Consultant for Exiger’s where he supported the court-appointed and world’s largest corporate compliance monitor, overseeing a global financial institution’s implementation of the US Department of Justice deferred prosecution agreement.

Our Governors
Weiye Kou
Financial Analyst

Weiye is an experienced financial analyst and risk management specialist. For five years she has worked in the economic consulting sector, with positions held in major financial advisory firms including KPMG. Weiye has worked with high profile businesses in multiple sectors, such as retail, banking, real estate and asset management, to offer advice on international business structuring and the impact of the economy on their businesses.

In her current role, she serves as a macroeconomic risk specialist at an international investment bank, providing management advice and support with respect to business, regulatory and audit requirements for risk analysis. Weiye has actively volunteered with multiple education organisations on international education and international student issues.

Our Governors
Vincent
Assistant Manager

Vincent qualified as an accountant in 2021 and is currently working as an Assistant Manager on Grant Thornton UK LLP’s Strategic Leadership Team. Vincent is passionate about diversity and inclusion leading to him co-found his firm’s Ethnicity Network, aiming to increase representation at the top level and reduce his firm’s ethnicity pay gap.

Alongside this, Vincent is the co-founder of The Open Private School, a charity which seeks to provide state school educated students with the opportunity to learn from the best talent in their chosen career path and the former Director of the non-profit organisation, the Chartered Accountants Student Society for London, charged with the stewardship of 5000+ ICAEW students.

Our Governors
Jen
Student Governor

Jen is an adult student who is studying a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at the College of North East London in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University. As part of this course, she is carrying out teacher training at City and Islington College where she teaches English.

After working many years as a hairdresser Jen decided to change career and become a teacher and is passionate about the power of education to change people’s lives.

Our Governors
Sinem
Student Governor

Sinem is in her second year of a level 3 BTEC extended diploma in Engineering at Westminster Kingsway college. She is the class representative for her course and is hoping to progress to University to study Engineering.

She is passionate about environmental and sustainability issues and hopes to pursue a career which will help to reduce the use of carbon in this world.