Council & Council Committee Structure

The Academic Year runs from 1st August - 31st July 

Council Members and other trusteeships held by them:


Chair - Baroness Young of Old Scone MA FRSGS AHM FRSE

RVC Council (Chairman) The Baroness Young of Old Scone
The Baroness Young of Old Scone

Barbara, Baroness Young of Old Scone

Barbara Young was appointed as a Member and Chair of the RVC Council from 1st August 2019.

She has had wide experience as chief executive or chairman in leading large complex public sector, charitable and educational organisations in environment, media, education and health.

Her chief executive positions have included leading NHS healthcare groups in Scotland and London, and as Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Environment Agency and the charity, Diabetes UK. She has also been Chairman of English Nature and the Care Quality Commission, Vice-Chairman of the BBC and is currently Chairman of the Woodland Trust, which is growing in its role of protecting, promoting, restoring and increasing woodland cover in the UK.   For ten years she was Chancellor and member of the Council of Cranfield University, during which it grew further in reputation and funding with a substantial academic, research and campus development programme.

Internationally she helped found Birdlife International, the global species and habitat conservation partnership and is still Vice-President. She is President of the South Georgia Heritage Trust which has completed a ten year programme to eradicate rats from South Georgia in the South Atlantic to protect the unique assemblage of albatrosses and other birds.

She has honorary degrees from a range of universities and is an Honorary Fellow of Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

A Labour life Peer since 1997, Baroness Young sits on the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee and is an officer of the Agroecology, Game and Wildlife and Water All Party Groups.

She lives in rural Bedfordshire and competes unsuccessfully at dressage. Her aged Irish Sports Horse has a close relationship with his equine vet practice!

Other Interests Held Position
Cranfield University Chancellor
Cranfield University Member of Council
Woodland Trust Chairman
RSPB Birdlife International Vice President
South Georgia Heritage Trust President
St Mary's Hospital Development Charity Trustee

Vice Chair and Hon Treasurer - Mr R M F Bright CB MA

RVC Council (Independent Member) Mr Roger Bright
Mr Roger Bright

Roger Bright was appointed to the RVC Council in 2013. He was appointed Honorary Treasurer from 1st August 2016 and is the Chair of the F&GP Committee and the Major Strategic Projects Oversight Sub-Committee (MSPOSC). In 2019, Roger was appointed as Vice Chair of RVC Council.

Roger's career spans some 40 years at the public/private sector interface, with a particular focus on the property sector. He began his career as a Whitehall civil servant in the Department of the Environment, where he held a number of senior positions, before becoming Deputy Chief Executive at the Housing Corporation in 1991. After a stint in financial services regulation at the Financial Services Authority, he was appointed Chief Executive and Board member of The Crown Estate in 2001, a position he held until his retirement in 2011. Roger was awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2009.

Between 2012 and January 2019, Roger was the Chairman of the Advisory Board at public affairs specialist Curtin & Co. He continues in a number of non-executive roles including Chairman of Private Rented Sector Operations Ltd and Chairman of the West and North West Cambridge Development Project.

Other Interests HeldPosition
Private Rented Sector Operations Ltd. Chairman

West & North West Cambridge Estates Development Board

(Subsidiary of the University of Cambridge)


 St John's Winchester

Chairman of Trustees

Independent Member - Ms J Alexander

RVC Council (Independent Member) Ms Jane Alexander
Ms Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander was appointed to Council in 2017 and also joined the Finance & General Purposes Committee.  

Jane has over 20 years’ experience as a corporate finance lawyer with Norton Rose and then 3i, a FTSE 100 investment business, where she was responsible for legal strategy, deal risk management and legal outsourcing across its European investment business.  

In 2011 Jane joined The Royal College of Art, the world’s leading postgraduate art and design university, as Pro-Rector (Operations) with responsibility for strategic planning, financial and estate issues, governance and risk management. She was Chair of the RCA’s Equality & Diversity Committee and a member of the Advisory Board of InnovationRCA, the student business incubator.  

Between 2010 and 2014 Jane was a trustee of The National Association of Youth Theatres, the sector development agency for youth theatre in England.  

She is currently a Governor and the Vice Chair of the Board of the Contemporary Dance Trust (The Place), home to the London Contemporary Dance School, a founding affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance & Drama.

Other Interests HeldPosition
 Contemporary Dance Trust (The Place) Governor and Vice-Chair
Contemporary Dance Trust LimitedDirector

Independent Member - Mr R Hargreaves BVSc MRCVS

RVC Council (Independent Member) Mr Robin Hargreaves
Mr Robin Hargreaves

Robin Hargreaves was appointed as an Independent Member of RVC Council in August 2017

Robin was born and grew up on a Yorkshire Dales hill farm and following graduation from Liverpool university school of veterinary medicine he entered mixed, predominantly farm animal practice. A switch to exclusively companion animals came in 1987. Robin was a partner director of a large mixed practice in Lancashire for 32 years where he does some part time work having retired from full time practice in Autumn 2022.

Robin is a past President of the Lancashire Veterinary Association and was President of the British Veterinary Association in 2013-14.

Robin has chaired the Liverpool University Veterinary School alumni association.

Alongside part time clinical practice, Robin works as a consultant to a pet insurance company and is deputy head vet for the UK operation of Agriavetguide, a 24/7 on line advice line for pet owners.

Other Interests Held Position
Stanley House Veterinary Group Director
RVC Veterinary Practices Ltd Director
Liverpool University Veterinary Alumni Association Chairman
Agri Pet Insurance Veterinary Consultant and Veterinary Panel Lead

Independent Member - Mr J Heawood BSc MSc

John Heawood was appointed as a Member of the RVC Council from the 1st August 2019 and, having served as a Co-Optee to the Finance & General Purposes Committee for the past six years, was also elected as a Member of this Committee from the 1st August 2019.

He has very broad experience of the real estate sector in a career as a Chartered Surveyor of over 40 years. For the first twenty years  he undertook a variety of advisory and consultancy roles until he joined SEGRO plc in 1996 as a main board director where he was responsible for the U.K. business until 2008 and then ran the Ashtenne Industrial Fund for Aviva Investors until 2013.

John has since 2001 been a trustee of Marshalls Charity, a Church of England charity established in 1631.

He is also a non executive director of Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income plc which was launched in November 2017 and which invests in warehouse and logistics real estate across Continental Europe.

Other Interests Held Position
Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income PLC  Non Executive Director
4 Corners Industrial Asset Management Limited  Non executive Director
Marshalls (New River House) Limited  Director
Marshalls Charity  Trustee
John Heawood Consulting Limited  Director

Independent Member - Mrs A Pearce Higgins MA (Oxon)

RVC Council Independent Member) Mrs Amanda Pearce Higgins
Mrs Amanda Pearce Higgins

Amanda Pearce Higgins was appointed to the RVC Council and as a Member of the Audit Committee from 1st August 2019. She was appointed Chair of Audit Committee from August 2020.

Amanda is a Chartered Accountant by training and has had a long and successful career with professional services firm PwC. In recent years, her primary focus has been advising organisations on risk management and Internal Audit. Her experience at PwC has provided her with a strong independent voice and the ability to deal with difficult issues at a senior level.

Since retiring from PwC in 2015, Amanda has held a number of Trustee and Non-Executive Director roles. She has also worked with RVC in an advisory capacity on a variety of distinct projects, including a governance review and the gender equality (Athena Swan) award


Other Interests Held Position
Active Oxfordshire (CIO)  Trustee
Active Partnerships National Board  Trustee
Chinnor Rugby Football Club Limited  Non Executive Director

Independent Member - Dr Z Latif PhD MBA MRPharmS

RVC Council (Independent Member) Dr Zahid Latif
Dr Zahid Latif

Zahid Latif PhD MBA MRPharmS

Zahid initially qualified as a pharmacist and after pre-registration training at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, he went on to study for a PhD in natural product chemistry aimed at the discovery and identification of insecticidal compounds from tropical plants.

After graduating Zahid worked for Xenova Discovery and MNLPharma focused on drug discovery and then for Integrin in Oban, one of the first marine biotech companies in the UK, heading up operations.

Zahid joined the Technology Strategy Board (later renamed Innovate UK) in 2007 becoming Head of Healthcare in 2010. Here he established key funding schemes and programmes which have had a significant impact on the UK life sciences sector. This included the award-winning Biomedical Catalyst programme and establishing world leading research and technology organisations, the Cell and Gene Therapy and Medicines Discovery Catapults.

Zahid joined Cancer Research UK in 2016 as Director for Population and Early Detection Research and then in 2017 established his own consultancy providing support to clients such as the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and the Department for International Trade where he was Innovation Specialist for life sciences helping UK companies explore overseas markets and overseas companies to invest in the UK. In August 2021, Zahid joined Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi as their Vice President for Global Innovation.

Key interests

Organisation Role
Shionogi VP Global Innovation
Selfless Trustee
Modify Medical Services Ltd Director
NIHR i4i Programme Member of Committee ‘A’
NC3Rs CRACK IT Advisory Panel member

Independent Member - Ms A Cooper

Alia Cooper started her career with British Airways in technology and went on to work for a number of Blue Chip organisations in a variety of transformation roles. Since 2013 she has worked for HSBC in various Financial Crime Risk management roles and is currently the Global Head of Client Due Diligence for the bank’s corporate and institutional businesses. She has recently started to work on plans to embed HSBC’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. Alia recently qualified as an accredited workplace mediator and enjoys the non-judgemental process of facilitating conflicted parties into mutually agreed resolutions.  

Alia is a passionate and pro-active ally of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is chair of the steering committee for an HSBC partnership project with the East London Business Alliance; Enable, which is focused on improving employability skills within the local community. She is co-chair of HSBC’s global employee network ‘Ability’ which represents and supports colleagues with disabilities, physical or sensory impairments, mental health and neurodiverse conditions; as well as carers. She is also an Ambassador for PurpleSpace, a social enterprise which supports disability employee networks globally. Whilst not formally diagnosed Alia has recently come to identify as neurodiverse. Having experienced severe depression and anxiety since she was a teenager this revelation has been life affirming and she is determined to challenge and change the perceptions that many people have of those with experiences of mental ill health and neurodiversity.  

Outside of work Alia is a keen amateur dressage rider, whose horses seem determined to develop conditions that baffle the finest equine veterinary minds.

Independent Member - Professor S Virdee

Sonia Virdee was appointed a Co-Optee Member of the RVC Audit Committee from the 1st August 2019. From the 1st August 2020, Sonia was appointed as a Independent Member of RVC Council and became, at this time, an Independent Member of the Audit Committee.

Sonia was award her PhD in Evolutionary Genetics by the University of East Anglia 1991. Since then she has gained wide experience of the HE sector, working firstly as an academic until 1999 and thereafter holding senior Strategy and Planning roles in a number of UK universities. 

Since 2005, as a Co-director of Okra Consulting, Sonia has also been providing consulting advice and support (regarding knowledge transfer /  enterprise / strategic planning etc.) to high profile clients in the national and international HE sector.

Other Interests Held Position
Strategic Planning Integration, University of London  Director
Orka Consulting  Co-Director

Independent Member - Professor L Nasir BSc MSc PhD

RVC Council (Independent Member) Prof Lubna Nasir
Prof Lubna Nasir

Lubna Nasir was appointed to Council in March 2023.  

Lubna gained her PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Liverpool in 1991. Since then, she has engaged in research in the field of comparative oncology at the University of Glasgow, School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine, focusing on the role of viruses in the pathogenesis of animal cancers. Following many years of a successful research career with a demonstrated track record of grant acquisition, publications, and PhD supervision, her focus and interests moved towards learning and teaching and she has been heavily engaged in course design, development and evaluation in the disciplines of veterinary medicine and biosciences. For over a decade, Lubna has also been intimately engaged in Equity Inclusion and Diversity (EDI) work within Higher Education to help foster inclusive and supportive communities for both staff and students. Her passion and drive for equity is at the forefront of her numerous EDI roles and her day-to-day practice.

Other Interests HeldPosition
None held

Independent Member - Mr A Scott MA FCA

RVC Council (Independent Member) Mr Andrew Scott
Mr Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott was appointed to Council in August 2023.  

Andrew is a Chartered Accountant and has over 35 years commercial experience in a wide variety of industries. He was most recently Chief Financial Officer of Meininger Hotels and has held senior finance positions in companies such as Travelex, Ladbrokes, De La Rue, The Resort Group, Grand Metropolitan and Arthur Andersen. His involvement has covered public, private and joint ventures companies, including significant international experience and regulated industries.  He later focused on fast-growing private companies which required careful management through challenging commercial and ownership situations. He is particularly proud of having developed some outstanding finance leaders.

Between 2015 and 2022 Andrew served as a Lay Member of the Finance Committee of Kings College London, latterly as the senior independent member.  He is also a Trustee of the Tunnell Trust for Young Musicians, established to support young classical musicians at the onset of their careers. He has an Honours Degree in Geography from the University of Aberdeen. Andrew holds other volunteering roles and lives in the Chilterns with his family and three cats. 

Other Interests HeldPosition
Tunnell Trust for Young Musicians Trustee
Damon Singers Trustee and Treasurer

Ex-Officio - President of the Students' Union 2023 - 2024 - Ms E Prideaux

Ezrie Prideaux is the elected RVC Students' Union President for 2023-2024. 

Academic Board of the College - Professor J E Maddison BVSc DipVetClinStud PhD FACVSc MRCVS SFHEA

RVC Council (Academic Board of the College)  Professor Jill Maddison
Professor Jill Maddison

Professor Jill Maddison was elected in June 2016 by members of the Academic Board to represent the Board on Council. Her term of office as an Academic Board Member of Council will be from 1st August 2016 until 31st July 2020.

Jill is a graduate of the University of Sydney. She completed an internship at the University of Sydney, spent 18 months in full time private practice in Sydney then completed a residency in small animal medicine at the University of Guelph, Canada. She returned to Australia and completed a PhD entitled Neurochemistry of Hepatic Encephalopathy at The University of Sydney. She was a senior tutor and clinician in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the University of Sydney from 1987 and from 1990-2000 was a senior lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology. During this time, she also worked in general and specialist veterinary practice and was a consultant for a veterinary clinical pathology lab. In 2000 she became the Director of the Veterinary Science Foundation at the University of Sydney.

Jill moved to the UK with her family in April 2001. From 2002 she was a veterinary clinician and lecturer at the 澳门王中王, based at the college’s first opinion practice and was appointed a Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge where she tutored in pharmacology. She is currently Professor of General Practice, Director of Professional Development and Director of Extramural Studies at the 澳门王中王. She is actively involved in undergraduate teaching and CPD at the RVC in the areas of small animal medicine, clinical problem-solving and clinical pharmacology.

Other Interests HeldPosition
None Held

Academic Board of the College - Professor A A Pitsillides BSc(Hons) PhD

RVC Council (Academic Board of the College) Professor Andrew Pitsillides
Professor Andrew Pitsillides

Andrew Pitsillides was elected to his first term on RVC Council in 2015 as representative of RVC’s Academic Board.

His international scientist/researcher career has spanned 34 years and he is a recognized teacher with Higher Education Academy Fellowship status for 20 years. He gained an Applied Biology BSc degree (1984) and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Assistantship for his PhD studies, conducted jointly at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology and National Institute for Medical Research (London, 1988).

He successfully secured Arthritis Research-UK Post-doctoral Research Fellow and Research Associate positions, joining University College London Medical School (1990), a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funded Post-Doctoral Research Scientist position (1993) and then Lectureship at the 澳门王中王 (1994). His research is currently funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust and Arthritis Research UK. He previously acted as a consultant for Smith & Nephew, for Hopsteiner (S.S. Steiner, Research and Development) and for CellAct Pharma. Andrew is currently a consultant for Haoma Medica (venture capital backed biotech company).

Andrew has sat on British Society for Matrix Biology (BSMB) and Bone Research Society (BRS) Executive Committees. He has been elected Member of the Biosciences Federation and with Life Membership to the International Society for Hyaluronan Sciences and, most recently, elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB, 2014) and Fellow of the Anatomical Society (FAS, 2016).

Prof Pitsillides is currently an external appointee on the William Harvey Research Foundation Grants Review Committee. He is also an Independent expert for Science & Technology proposals to the Ministry of Education, Greek Governmental Agency, and Recognized Expert Reviewer for the National Fund for Scientific Research Belgium (FNRS), Platform SEMAPHORE Fund for National Research (France) and for European Commission Research Framework Program and ERC Starting Grants.

He has published ~115 scientific articles, recently received the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation Award (2012) and a Development award from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2013), regularly gives many plenary lectures at major International Research Conferences, has received the RVC’s Jim Bee Educator Award, been appointed as External examiner advising UCL, Imperial Collage and Queen Mary’s Colleges, London and has been Chairman of RVC’s Teaching Quality Committee (2007-2013).

Other Interests HeldPosition
Arthritis Research - UK  College of Experts Member
Arthritis Research - UK  Fellowship Funding Panel Member
Arthritis Research - UK  Strategy Setting in Biomechanics & Bioengineering  Member
William Harvey Research Foundation Grants Review Committee Member
Willberrys Research, Expert Scientific Panel Member
Haoma Medica Limited Consultant

Ex-Officio - Professor S W J Reid CBE BVMS PhD DVM DipECVPH FRSB FRSE FRCVS (President & Principal)

RVC Council (Ex-Officio) Professor Stuart Reid
Professor Stuart Reid

Stuart Reid 

Stuart Reid is Principal of the 澳门王中王, London.

With research interests in the application of quantitative epidemiological techniques to diseases of both animals and humans he has worked in Africa, Australia and the USA and has published over 130 papers and won over £15M in competitive grants. His most recent work, with others, on the One Health aspects of antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella appeared in Science and the Proceedings of the Royal Society and challenged some of the basic tenets of the origin and transmission of resistance.

He is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Recognised Specialist in veterinary epidemiology and a diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Public Health, of which he was the first elected president. He has served on numerous committees including the Scottish Science Advisory Committee and the Veterinary Products Committee.

He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh since 2001 and was a member of the RSE inquiries into Infectious Salmon Anaemia, Foot and Mouth Disease and Avian Influenza. He has been recognised by his peers with the award of the Petplan Charitable Trust Scientific Award (2010), the Wooldridge Memorial Lecture and Medal (BVA, 2010), the McCall Lecture (2012) and is the 2016 recipient of the Dalrymple-Champneys Cup and Medal for the advancement of veterinary science.

A veterinarian who has worked in both the private and public sector, Reid has served on the executive committees of the professional regulatory bodies in Europe and the UK; he currently chairs the European Committee on Veterinary Education and he served as President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2014-2015, the governing body for the veterinary profession in the United Kingdom.

Other Interests HeldPosition
LBIC [RVC Subsidiary] Director
RVC (Hong Kong) Ltd [RVC Subsidiary] Director
RVC Developments Ltd [RVC Subsidiary] Director
Animal Care Trust [RVC] Trustee - ex-officio
SEDRIC, Wellcome Trust Board Member
Soulsby Foundation for One Health Trustee
Veterinary Schools Council Chair
AAVMC Board of Directors Member
RCVS Education Committee Member
RCVS Mind Matters Group Member
University of London, Collegiate Council Member
University of London, Estates Committee Member
Institute of Zoology, Independent Scientific Advisory Board Member
Quadram Institute Bioscience, Science and Impact Advisory Committee Member
Quadram Institute Bioscience, Food Safety Innovation Board Member

Secretary to the Council - Mr I Darker

RVC Council (Secretary to the Council) Mr Ian Darker
Mr Ian Darker

Ian Darker - Secretary to Council and Chief Operating Officer

As Secretary to Council, Ian advises the Chairman and Principal on governance issues, helping to ensure the College remains compliant with relevant legal and professional frameworks. He also assists Council in setting the strategic objectives of the College.

Ian graduated from the University of Hull in 1986 and has a postgraduate diploma in HR Management from Sheffield Hallam University.

After a period in administration at the University of Hertfordshire, he began his career in HR in the retail sector before moving back into higher education in 1998. He worked at the London School of Economics before returning to the University of Hertfordshire in 2004. He joined the RVC as Director of HR and became COO in 2014.

As COO, Ian supports the Principal in the operational management of the College and works with the Vice-Principals to help deliver the strategic aims of the three Mission Groups: Learning & the Student Experience; Research & InnovationClinical Services. He provides leadership to the Professional Services Management Team and works closely with the Director of Finance.

Other Interests HeldPosition
None held  

Top of page