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Board of governors

Femi Abolade

Femi AboladePresident Welfare, Teesside University Students' Union. Femi is originally from Abeokuta in Nigeria and most recently studied a Master’s in Public Health here at Teesside University. He first became involved in the students' union due to his membership of The Nigerian Society, and he continues to provide advice to the current Executive Committee of the Society.


Dr Muhammad Safwan Akram

Dr Muhammad Safwan AkramPrincipal Lecturer in Biological & Process Engineering in the School of Health & Life Sciences. Safwan obtained his PhD in Analytical Biotechnology from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge where he also did his post-doc developing low cost diagnostics. Prior to that he completed his M.Phil in Bioscience Enterprise under the auspices of Cambridge/MIT Partnership. His work has been published in reputed journals like Nature Biotechnology, Lab on a Chip & Annual Reviews of Analytical Chemistry. He has been awarded Medimmune Award and CambridgeSens Innovative Idea award for research excellence. He provides consultancy to venture capital funds, biotech and pharma companies. In 2018, Safwan was voted by students to win a University Star Award for most outstanding teaching . Safwan is also an Associate Director of the University’s state of the art research and innovation facility, National Horizons Centre.


Suhail Aslam

Programme Manager, Academic Enterprise


Dean Benson

Dean BensonCEO, Visualsoft


Paul Booth CBE Acting Chair

Paul BoothFormer Chair of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership; former resident, SABIC-UK Petrochemicals; former Vice President of Huntsman Petrochemicals UK; ICI Teesside Sites Engineering Manager; Deputy chairman of NASPI (National skills academy for the process sector); Director of TTE (Apprentice and adult training college); Deputy chairman of NEPIC (north eastern process cluster); Board member of the CIA (chemical industry association); former chairman of Redcar and Cleveland college.


Ada Burns, Deputy Chair

Ada BurnsAda was Chief Executive of Darlington Borough Council until 2018 and prior to moving to the north east in 2005, occupied senior positions in London Councils. She has played leadership roles in the Tees Valley and in the North East, and has experience in governance of FE and Sixth form institutions. Ada is currently an Associate with the Local Government Association, and Vice Chair of public policy think tank, The New Local Government Network. Trusteeship: Witham Arts Centre Limited.


James Cross CDIR FInstD

James CrossJames has a proven track record for driving organisations forward with a succession of CEO roles under his belt, including Environment Bank, Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation, and Urban Green Newcastle. As a Chartered Director, Chartered Manager, Fellow of the Institute of Directors, and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, James leads with exemplary business expertise and leadership skills.


Professor Paul Croney OBE

Professor Paul Croney OBEVice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Teesside University.


Professor Chrisina Jayne

Professor Chrisina Jayne Professor Chrisina Jayne is the Dean of the School of Computing & Digital Technologies. She has more than 25 years’ experience in academia, teaching, designing and leading new programmes in the areas of computing, information systems and mathematics. Her research is the areas of developing and applying novel methods for artificial neural networks, machine learning and artificial intelligence. She authored over 80 peer reviewed papers in international journals and at leading conferences. She is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.


Nick Johnson

Nick JohnsonChief Strategy and Impact Officer with the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGTC)


Professor Philip Jones

Professor Philip JonesFormer Vice-Chancellor: Sheffield Hallam University


Yasmin Khan

Yasmin KhanDirector/trustee of the Teesside-based Halo Project charity; National Advisor to the Welsh Government on Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence; Alumna of Teesside University.


Sue Kiddle

Sue Kiddle, Consultant and Director of Advantage Business Coaching LtdConsultant and Director of Advantage Business Coaching Ltd. Performance coach, mentor and senior business leader in the service sector. Former Area Corporate Director at Barclays in the North East.


Fiona Macleod

Fiona MacleodManaging Director at Lynemouth Power Ltd. Formerly Managing Director at Billions Europe


Nigil Narayanan Thathron

Nigil Narayanan ThathronPresident Activities, Teesside University Students' Union. Nigil is originally from Kerala in India and most recently studied a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering with Advanced Practice here at Teesside University.


Alfredo Ramos

Alfredo RamosManaging Director, CPI Enterprises


Dermot Russell

Dermot RussellGroup Chief Financial Officer, PD Ports. Formerly: Northumbrian Water Group; Grainger Trust plc; Deloitte Haskins & Sells (later Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte)


Steve Tonks

Steve TonksFormer Group Executive and Board Director Hertel BV, Managing Director of Hertel UK and Board Director The Banks Group. Governor of Galley Hill primary trust.


Claire Vaughan

Claire VaughanSenior Corporate Counsel, Establishment Labs


Godfrey Worsdale OBE

Godfrey Worsdale OBEDirector, Henry Moore Foundation. Formerly: Director, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; Founding Director, MIMA, Middlesbrough; Director, Southampton City Art Gallery; Director, Cultural Instructions, London. Trusteeship: Northern Art Collection.