Three decades of experience in higher education data, systems and regulation; working for funding councils, sector bodies and HE providers.

Two decades as a member of the Executive team at HESA leading on data specifications, systems development and external engagement; joined the HESA Board following the merger with Jisc.

Experience as a CIO, CDO and Data Protection Officer; Cyber Essentials Plus; running ISO9001 and ISO27001 management systems; building data and systems capabilities.

Extensive consultancy and project experience working with HE providers, systems suppliers and government bodies across the world.

National-level experience including:

  • The independent review of 2020 qualification grades that was commissioned by the Welsh Government
  • A review of HE student statistics across the UK for the Office of National Statistics
  • The DfE HE Data Taskforce, looking at issues of data burden and duplication across HE
  • The DfE Information Standards Board
  • Various data standards initiatives

An accomplished speaker and writer on HE and data issues.

Career history

Member of the Jisc Data Collections and Statistics Oversight Board (2023 to 2024)

The Board provides oversight of the activities of the Data Collection and Statistics directorate (aka HESA) and provides assurance to the Jisc Board.

Executive Director – Digital and Regulation, University College of Estate Management (2023 to 2024)

Responsible for all aspects of information technology, business systems and learning technology; Data Protection Officer; FoI compliance; data governance; data analysis and external reporting; regulatory compliance.

Executive Director – Regulation, University College of Estate Management (2021 to 2022)

Responsible for delivering institutional compliance with regulation, including the Office for Students, Data Protection and Freedom of Information. Developed data governance, data analysis and external reporting capabilities.

Independent review of the issues surrounding exam grades (Welsh Government, 2020)

Member of the review which considered the causes and impact of the fiasco around exam grades in 2020 and made recommendations to the Minister for Education about the 2021 exam series and beyond.

Judging panel member – Guardian Universities Awards (2018, 2019 and 2020)

The panel reviewed submissions across a range of categories as well as the prestigious University of the Year award.

Freelance speaker, writer and consultant (2018 to 2021)

Worked with HE providers and other organisations with data and information issues. This work included:

  • Reviews of systems, processes and data controls
  • Supporting system developments and implementation
  • Supporting all aspects of external (regulatory) data reporting
  • Developing data strategy and governance frameworks
  • Understanding and improving data quality assurance
  • Advising on the use of data in regulation, published statistics and league tables

Director of Data Policy and Governance, Higher Education Statistics Agency (2016 to 2018)

Lead the delivery of HESA’s core data collection business, including data governance and specifications, data standards, stakeholder liaison and provider support. This work involved extensive engagement with government departments, funders and regulators and the range of professional groups and bodies that exist across the sector.

Member of the Department for Education Information Standards Board and the Health Education England Workforce Information Strategy Group.

Director, Higher Education Data & Information Improvement Programme (2013 to 2016)

The Higher Education Data & Information Improvement Programme (HEDIIP) was established following the call in the 2011 HE White Paper to redesign the HE information landscape to meet the needs of a wider group of users, reduce duplication in data collections and improve the timeliness and relevance of data and information about higher education.

The role of Director included securing funding from the four UK higher education funding bodies and putting in place a full programme structure including a board of senior leaders from across the sector and a programme office.

HEDIIP delivered a number of changes across the HE data landscape and handed over a BAU model of data architecture and governance to HESA.

Director of Standards and Development, Higher Education Statistics Agency (2010 to 2013)

This role focused on managing HESA data specifications and improving the HESA data management capability including the metadata to support all aspects of HESA operations. The work involved extensive engagement with statutory customers and HE providers to ensure that HE policy and funding requirements were met through HESA records. This role also included working on broader issues around data standards across, and beyond, HE.

Director of Quality and Development, Higher Education Statistics Agency (1998 to 2010)

This role included overall responsibility for software development, data processing and quality management throughout HESA. The software development team were responsible for the development and maintenance of HESA’s core data collection systems. In 2006 the team developed the HEIDI on-line analysis system for HE institutions.

This role also included leading on ISO9001 accreditation and supporting the Information Security Management Group which oversaw the ISO27001 information security system.

During this time a number of consultancy assignments for government departments in Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia and Oman were successfully delivered as well as a UN statistics project based in Jordan that worked with Universities from across the middle-east region.

Data Quality Manager, Higher Education Statistics Agency (1996 to 1998)

Development of the HESA Data Quality Assurance strategy and Data Quality Model which led to the implementation of a multi-layered approach to data quality assurance in HESA data collections which remains the basis of HESA collections to this day. This role also involved extensive engagement with HE institutions and HESA customers to raise the awareness and understanding of data quality concepts.

Data Manager, Higher Education Funding Council for England (1993 to 1996)

This role led on the HEFCE-HESES data collection which included writing the operational documentation, providing support to HE intuitions and managing the data collection and checking processes. It also involved in development of the early HEFCE funding models. In 1994 the role was expanded to lead on HEFCE liaison with HESA and the development of the first HESES/HESA reconciliation process.

Assistant Statistician, Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council (1991 to 1992)

This role was involved in running a number of PCFC data collections and providing analysis of data to support funding and policy work. PCFC merged with the Universities Funding Council to become HEFCE in April 1993.

Product Support Officer, Rolls-Royce plc (1987 to 1991)

This role involved the production of regular and ad-hoc business statistics on spares planning and provisioning for the RB199 (Tornado), Pegasus (Harrier) and Olympus 593 (Concorde) jet engines.


  • University of Oxford, Said Business School, High Performance Leadership Programme
  • Open University, Masters in Business Administration (MBA)
  • National Computer Centre, Certificate in Systems Analysis and Design