Our Board

Professor Julian Beer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University

Julian is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Enterprise) at Birmingham City University (BCU).


Read more about Julian Beer

Julian is Professor of Knowledge Transfer at BCU and an Emeritus Professor at Plymouth University and a Visiting Professor at BML Munjal University, India and a Visiting professor at LP University in India.

He received the Amity University India Excellence Award for his contribution to international academia in 2020. He is a founding Member of the Institute of Knowledge Transfer and a Fellow of the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange as well as, a longstanding member of the British Sociological Association.

He has an extensive track record in designing, developing and leading flagship programmes, projects and partnerships to unlock capital and revenue and connect innovation and talent, and engage Higher Education as a catalyst for change and growth positioning universities as “anchor” institutions internationally, nationally and in regional economies. 

Julian Beer

Professor Richard Black

College of Social Sciences, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of the College of Social Sciences

Richard is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences.  Richard Black joined the University of Birmingham in April 2018 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences. 

Read more about Richard Black

Richard was previously Pro-Director (Research & Enterprise) at SOAS University of London from 2013, and founding Head of the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex from 2009.  He received his PhD in 1990, and worked as a Lecturer at King’s College London from 1989 before moving to Sussex in 1995. 

Over recent years his specialist area of research has been the relationship between migration, poverty, and climate change.  He is part of the Royal Geographical Society’s “Migrants on the Margins” field research project which has explored the vulnerability of migrants to four cities in the Global South – Colombo, Dhaka, Hargeisa and Harare.  Together with colleagues at SOAS and the London International Development Centre, he is also part of the AHRC-ESRC Migration Leadership Team, which is drawing together UK research council work on migration. 

Richard has published over fifty journal articles and nine books and edited collections on a wide range of topics relating to migration, refugees and development, based on field research across various sites in Africa and southern Europe.  In 2011, he was lead author of a “Foresight” report for the Government Office for Science on Migration and Global Environmental Change”.  He has worked for numerous UN and international agencies, including UNHCR, the World Bank and the OECD.


Henrietta Brealey

CEO, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

Henrietta is CEO of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. The GBCC is a not for profit business membership and support organisation that exists to Connect, Support & Grow local businesses. At age 30, she is the youngest CEO in the organisation’s 208 year history.

Read more about Henrietta Brealey

Prior to becoming CEO in 2021, Henrietta was Director of Policy & Strategic Relationships leading the GBCC’s research, policy, stakeholder engagement and campaigns activity as well as management of the GBCC’s top tier of membership: the Patronage group. Henrietta was appointed to the role in 2015. In 2018, she was appointed to the GBCC Board as an executive director. In 2019 she was named as one of Birmingham Live’s Brum 30 Under 30. Outside of work, she is a Trustee of the University of Birmingham’s Guild of Students and a graduate and supporter of the UpRising Leadership Programme. 

Find out more about the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce.

Julia Goldsworthy

Director of Strategy for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)

Julia Goldsworthy is Director of Strategy for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), working to unlock the region’s full economic potential, for the benefit of everyone that lives there.

Read more about Julia Goldsworthy

A former MP and Treasury Special Adviser in the coalition government, Julia has more than a decade of experience in developing and implementing policy across a wide range of departments and subject areas. Operating at senior levels in Government and the UK Parliament.

Before joining the WMCA, she spent three years at PwC as a senior adviser. This included developing their market approach to the devolution agenda through her understanding of the processes and spending control frameworks behind policy. This in turn supported local and Combined Authorities as they developed their delivery strategies.

Julia also chairs the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s Brexit Advisory Commission for Public Services, a group established to convene a sector-wide response to Brexit. She is also an associate of the Institute for Government, and is a trustee of homeless charity Crisis. 

Julia Goldworthy 230

Steve Hicks

Partner, KPMG

Steve is a Partner at KPMG and leads the Private Enterprise practice in the Midlands, working with family owned, private equity backed and entrepreneur-led companies across KPMG’s service lines. Steve personally leads KPMG’s relationship with a number of the region’s leading businesses. 

Read more about Steve Hicks

Steve is an experienced Board advisor and, prior to his current role, he worked on over 100 transactions in the UK and overseas across public and private debt and equity markets. Steve has experience across a range of sectors including real estate, TMT, healthcare, consumer, manufacturing and business services. 

Steve has authored thought leadership for KPMG including The Road to Exit, a guide for entrepreneurs and management teams on how to plan for and maximise the value from a transaction; and Going Global, a guide for companies on how to pursue overseas expansion and optimise their international footprint.

Find out more about KPMG.

Dr David Jarvis

Deputy Director, Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University

Dr David Jarvis is Deputy Director of the Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) at Coventry University. He has twenty years’ post-PhD experience as a professional researcher and research leader in both commercial and higher education settings. 

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During this period, David has delivered successfully more than 70 research, consultancy and evaluation assignments for clients across the public, private and charitable sectors. These have included multi-national corporate clients, the European Union, UK central government, local and regional government, non-departmental public agencies and voluntary and community sector organisations. David’s priority is applied impactful research which makes meaningful connections between academe, policy and practice. His persistent focus on various dimensions of local and regional economic change is wrought of personal experience of deindustrialisation and includes a particular interest in both the automotive industry – its renaissance, transformation and low-carbon transition – and transport, especially the ways in which mobility shapes places, economies and communities.

Find out more about Centre for Business in Society.

Maria P Machancoses

Midlands Connect Programme Director

With a degree in Law and an MSc in International Transport, Maria has spent the last 20 years working in the UK. 

Read more about Maria P Machancoses

Maria is currently Director for Midlands Connect, one of the largest and most successful partnership programmes in the country bringing together 23 Local Authorities and 9 Local Enterprise Partnerships across the Midlands from the Marches to the Wash.

In March 2017 the partnership published a 25 year pan-Midlands transport strategy for the region, therefore increasing economic activity and helping to power the Midlands Engine. Since its formation the partnership has secured over £17m support from government to accelerate the delivery of its transport priorities from 2020 and beyond.

More recently Maria has been working as Interim Director of the Midlands Engine, a partnership which aims to generate a step change in productivity, economic growth in the Midlands and help drive Britain’s post-Brexit growth.

As part of her previous role, Maria managed the WM Integrated Transport Authority’s input into the HS2 Hybrid Bill and was actively involved in master-planning activities around proposed HS2 Stations in the West Midlands.


Silke Machold

Dean of Research and Professor of Corporate Governance, University of Wolverhampton

Silke is a Fellow of the European Academy of Management, where she previously served as Vice-President for Governance. She was a Visiting Professor at D’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy, and the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon. 

Read more about Silke Machold

Silke's research interests are in board processes, behaviours and feminist perspectives on corporate governance, and she has published widely on these topics. She was the principal supervisor for a H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship on governance in SMEs (2017-2019) and PI of an EU Justice Department funded project on women in leadership in the Balkan countries. She is the former Editor of the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, and serves on the editorial board of the Cambridge Elements in Corporate Governance series by Cambridge University Press. She teaches and consults on governance and boards in the UK and overseas.

Silke leads on the University of Wolverhampton’s research and innovation strategy. She heads the central research directorate which includes research services and the University’s Doctoral College. She managed the REF2014 submission for Business and Management and led the institutional REF submission in 2021.

Silke Machold

Simon Marks

City Executive Birmingham, Arcadis

Simon Marks is the City Executive for Arcadis responsible for over 350 staff in the Birmingham office. 

Read more about Simon Marks

With 30 years construction and property experience Simon helps clients make the best of their built and natural assets in relation to achieving their vision, strategy and key priorities. He has led and delivered a range of projects across the public, private and infrastructure sectors and has a deep understanding of the housing and regeneration arena. Simon is a Board member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the Executive Board of the City Centre Enterprise Zone.


Roger Mendonca

Chief Operating Officer, West Midlands Growth Company

Roger has been working in a Senior Executive role on the delivery frontline of the public sector for the last decade 

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Roger's previous roles include Director at the GBSLEP, Director of Studies at Civil Service College, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at West Northamptonshire Development Corporation, and Senior Policy Adviser at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Roger has been working in a Senior Executive role on the delivery frontline of the public sector for the last decade. He has led start-ups, closures and turnarounds and has wide-ranging experience of all operational matters, including setting strategic direction, business planning, policy development, change management, financial and resource management, stakeholder management, marketing, media relations, PR and public affairs, governance, information management, business analytics, and HR – including organisational design and the creation and maintenance of a culture of excellence.

He has studied at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, has an MBA from Henley Business School and is a certified Executive Coach.

Find out more about West Midlands Growth Company

Roger Mendonca

Sarah Middleton

Chief Executive, Black Country Consortium Ltd

Sarah is the Chief Executive of Black Country Consortium Limited (BCC) and has been since its incorporation in 2006. 

Read more about Sarah Middleton

Sarah joined the Consortium Partnership in October 1999 and has been central in developing the Black Country Sub-Regional partnership, its 30 year vision, Economic Strategy and Spatial Strategy, including joint approaches on Planning, Investment, Economic Intelligence and the Black Country Education and Skills Strategy. She has also supported the West Midlands Combined Authority on the development of the Combined Authority Strategic Economic Plan.

Sarah qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and previous roles include Deputy Chief Executive for East Mercia Chamber of Commerce (including responsibilities as General Manager for Business Link Walsall) and Chief Executive of Walsall City Challenge. 


Tim Pile

Chair, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership

Tim, Chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, holds a number of non-executive responsibilities, following on from his executive career in retail, banking, professional services and marketing.

Read more about Tim Pile

In addition to his role as Chair of GBSLEP, Tim is a Non-Executive Director of Marshalls Plc and Deputy Chairman of The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital. He also serves on the Board (and is a past president) of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and is on the CBSO development Board.

His most recent executive role was CEO and Executive Chairman of Cogent Elliott, the leading Midlands based Marketing Agency, supporting a large number of iconic brands and businesses.

Between 2001 and 2006, Tim was CEO of Sainsbury’s Bank and a member of Sainsbury’s Operating Board. 

Prior to Sainsbury’s, Tim led the Retail Function of the Alliance and Leicester Group as Marketing, Strategy and Sales Director from 1996 to 2001. Before this he served at LloydsTSB as Marketing Director.

He has held a number of non-executive roles including being a trustee of the Library of Birmingham, a governor at Bromsgrove School, Honorary Senior Fellow at Birmingham Business School and on the Board of Cancer Research UK.

Tim has four children and lives locally.  His interests include cycling, walking (with the dog), skiing, theatre, music, sailing, and various sports (vicariously).


Nigel Robinson

Partner, PA Consulting Group

PA Consulting has deep industry knowledge, coupled with skills in management consulting, technology and innovation, which allows them to challenge conventional thinking and deliver exceptional results for their clients.

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Nigel leads PA’s Advanced Analytics and Data Science Practice and, during his 20-year career in the analytics, business intelligence and data management domains, has developed and led technology consulting/services practices and overseen complex consulting projects in the UK and internationally.

His client work covers a broad spectrum and includes digital and data solutions for Justice, Law Enforcement and Central Government. Before joining PA, Nigel was a Director at KPMG, which followed spells at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Capgemini. In addition to Central Government, Nigel has also worked with clients in the retail, automotive, energy and banking sectors where they have been rapid in their recognition of the value of analytics.

Nigel Robinson

Mark Smith

Executive Director of Business, Aston University

Mark Smith is Aston University's first-ever Executive Director of Business Engagement. 

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Mark takes strategic responsibility for all business engagement activities at the University and showcases the commercial benefits of working with Aston to business, professional and public sector organisations. This includes Aston’s business growth programmes, student placements, knowledge transfer partnerships (KTPs), and other initiatives.

Mark also oversees the development of degree apprenticeship programmes, where students work and study over the course of their degree gaining the exact skills their employer needs. Aston has been a trailblazer for this growing trend in higher education, and was the first university in the UK to produce degree apprenticeship graduates.Mark joined Aston from Birmingham City University where he was Director of Enterprise and Employability. His career has involved working across government, regeneration and online education taking on big projects including establishing new airports and fostering enterprise in inner-city areas.

Mark Smith

Jonathan Tew

Assistant Chief Executive, Birmingham City Council

An experienced public servant, Jonathan is the Assistant Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, leading on policy development, partnership working and improvement across the complex range of services provided to over a million of Birmingham’s residents.

Read more about Jonathan Tew

Prior to that, Jonathan was an Associate Director at KPMG LLP’s public sector and health consulting practice, advising senior politicians, chief executives and statutory directors across the UK public sector. He has performed a range of policy, performance, community development and programme management roles in local authorities in County Durham, Lancashire and Stoke-on-Trent. He also has extensive experience of working closely with Government departments and supporting Home Office and CLG national programmes with an emphasis on social cohesion and public service reform.

Jonathan Tew

Councillor Lisa Trickett

Birmingham City Council

Lisa has held leadership positions in the sphere of public policy in both a political and professional context for over two decades. Lisa is known for her strategic thinking and collaborative leadership practice and has worked within the public, private and higher educational sectors.

Read more about Lisa Trickett

Lisa has represented local government on a range of regional and national boards including acting as Urban Advisor to the Regional Housing Board, developing for the Homes and Communities Agency its national Leadership of Place programme and whilst at PwC pioneered an area investment planning approach - more recently she has been a board member of Innovation Birmingham and Birmingham Retail BID. Whilst at the University of Birmingham she drew on her knowledge of regional and local context and work on place - shaping to serve as the policy lead on the Bishop of Birmingham’s Social Inclusion Process, providing the frame for the adoption of approaches to inclusive growth and active wellbeing within the City. She has engaged and published work on Leadership of Place and led projects nationally and internationally on the place shaping agenda and a range of sustainability topics. 

Having being elected as a Labour Councillor in Birmingham in 2012 - Lisa served as a  Cabinet Member from 2014-2018 providing  the strategic lead on environmental and sustainability policy and its implementation to address issues including climate change, carbon reduction, flood management, clean air zones, energy security and fuel poverty. She also had the strategic lead for the city’s parks and green spaces. As Chair of Birmingham’s Green Commission she was the driving force in the development of “Energy Capital” and in the delivery of subsequent projects including the development of the FBC for Birmingham Energy Supply Company and the City’s Air Quality Strategy – work she continues to take forward professionally through UK100 and her engagement with Energy Capital and related collaborations.

Lisa Trickett

Dr Helen Turner

Director, Midlands Innovation

Dr Helen Turner is Director of the Midlands Innovation university partnership, which includes the universities of Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick.  

Read more about Helen Turner

Midlands Innovation is a world-class research and innovation partnership, combining the collective excellence of leading universities in the heart of the UK. We unite the power of university research with the unique strengths of Midlands industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development. 

Helen is a collaboration professional having spent seven years as Director of the Midlands Energy Consortium, where she played a key role in the successful £60m bid to establish the Midlands Energy Research Accelerator.  Helen has played a strong role in the Midlands Engine for Growth where she currently sits on both its Operations Board and its Innovation and Enterprise Group.


Patrick White

Director, Metro – Dynamics

Patrick is an expert in the development and delivery of successful growth and investment strategies. 

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He gets things done across complex networks and partnerships, leading our work with developer and public sector clients to develop and execute projects that have a real and lasting impact.

Current and recent assignments include leading industrial strategy for the West Midlands Mayor and country’s largest Combined Authority, creating the investment strategy for a major regional developer and leading our work with Liverpool City Region on the single investment fund.

Patrick was previously a Director in the UK civil service, working in the Cabinet Office and what is now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.