A large modern building on Lancaster University campus

Council Members

Rt Hon Alistair Burt (Pro-Chancellor)

Rt Hon Alistair Burt was appointed Pro-Chancellor of the University in October 2020. A law graduate, he qualified as a solicitor, before entering Parliament as MP for Bury North (1983-97). He served as MP for NE Bedfordshire (2001-19) and retired from the Commons in December 2019.

(Lay Member: current appointment to 30 September 2025)

He served in six ministerial posts from 1992-2019, including Minister for People with Disabilities, Minister of State for Health and Social Care, and Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa. He is now the UK Commissioner on the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP), a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a Council member of the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR), and on the Advisory Council of Chatham House. He chairs the Dept of Health and Social Care Global Workforce Advisory Committee. He remains associated with a number of charities and local organisations in Bedfordshire and social enterprises engaged in the Middle East.

Portrait of Alistair Burt

Professor Ella Ritchie (Deputy Pro-Chancellor)

Ella Ritchie OBE is an academic and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Newcastle University. She is a Lancaster alumna who studied Politics with French from 1967-70 before obtaining a PhD at the LSE.

(Lay Member: current appointment to 31 July 2025)

In addition to her senior management roles at Newcastle she has worked extensively across the sector advising universities on governance, values, widening access and internationalisation. She is a member of the European Higher Education Area Global Policy group and an ambassador for the Magna Charta Observatory.

Outside of academia Ella is on the Board of the National Centre for Children’s Books and Urban Green a charity running all parks and allotments in Newcastle. She is also an expert on mid-20th century British, Scandinavian and North American costume jewellery.

Ella has been a Council Member of Lancaster University since 2014 and in 2019 became Deputy Pro-Chancellor. She is currently Chair of the Strategic Health and Safety Committee and Estates Committee and is a member of the Nominations Committee.

Portrait of Ella Ritchie

Professor Andy J Schofield (Vice-Chancellor)

Professor Andy Schofield is Vice-Chancellor, Chief Academic and Administrative Officer of Lancaster University. He is a theoretical physicist researching into the quantum properties of interacting electrons and their manifestations in novel materials.

(Ex Officio Internal Member)

Andy studied at the University of Cambridge for his undergraduate degree and PhD and subsequently worked at Rutgers University (USA), the University of Cambridge and then, for more than twenty years, at the University of Birmingham. He assumed his present position in May 2020. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Portrait of Andy Schofield

Professor Rebecca Lingwood (Deputy Vice-Chancellor)

Professor Rebecca Lingwood is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University. She is a fluid dynamicist specialising in laminar-turbulent transition of complex flows.

Rebecca studied at the University of Cambridge for her undergraduate degree and PhD and subsequently worked at the École Polytechnique (France), the Royal Institute of Technology KTH (Sweden), the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Queen Mary University of London and Brunel University London.

She joined Lancaster in her present position in July 2024.

(Ex Officio Internal Member)

She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Royal Aeronautical Society, and is an Advance HE Principal Fellow.

Image of Rebecca Lingwood

Cerys Evans

Cerys Evans is the Lancaster University Students' Union President for 2024-25, her second year in the role. She studied BSc in Mathematics (Placement Year) at Lancaster where she worked as a student ambassador and academic representative throughout her degree. Her placement year was spent working on cancer data as an Analytical Support Officer with NHS England.

(Student Appointed Member: current appointment to 30 June 2025)

Cerys is passionate about accessibility in education and uses her experience as a disabled student to highlight and challenge systemic barriers. She is committed to empowering every student to reach their full potential by campaigning for equitable opportunities at every level.

Portrait of Cerys Evans

Tania Baumann

Tania Baumann is a senior executive with experience leading international, purpose-driven organisations.

Tania is the Chief Operating Officer at the World Energy Council, where she is responsible for its global operations covering people, finance, and governance, the Council’s relations with worldwide and sectoral member communities, and leadership convening practice.

(Lay Member: current appointment From 1 November 2023 to 31 October 2026)

She previously held senior roles at Nominet, the UK’s domain name registry, and the International Chamber of Commerce where she led the UK’s operations, its relations with governments, members and institutions. The formative stages of Tania’s career were in international trade and development in Australia where she grew up and gained her Bachelor's in International Business and a Master's in International Commercial Law.

Portrait of Tania Baumann

Rt. Hon. Hazel Blears

Hazel Blears is Chair of the Social Investment Business and a member of the Advisory Council of the Impact Investing Institute. She chaired Well Whitehaven, a regeneration project on the West Coast of Cumbria designed to help the community improve their health, education, and economic opportunities and outcomes.

(Lay Member: current appointment to 30 September 2027)

Hazel was the MP for Salford for almost 20 years and was Health Minister, Police and Counter Terrorism Minister and Secretary of State for communities.

She helped take the Social Value Act through Parliament and remains deeply involved in Social Value Policy and Practice. She is an adviser on Social value for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Hazel lives in Grange over Sands and is a trustee and champion for the campaign to Save Grange Lido. She is committed to supporting Arts and Culture to drive regeneration across Cumbria.

Portrait of Hazel Blears

Alun Branigan

Alun became a lay member of Council and the Finance and General Purposes Committee in 2022. Alun is a Lancaster graduate and a former President of the Students’ Union. Alun has had a 30-year career in international finance in particular in Asia.

(Lay Member: current appointment to 31 July 2025)

His previous roles include Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking Asia (ex Japan) for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, a Partner of Actis, the emerging markets private equity firm, and Managing Director and Head of Corporate Finance APAC for UBS Wealth Management. Alun has also been involved with Lancaster as a Philanthropy Ambassador, Philanthropy Chapter President and as part of the Entrepreneur in Residence programme.

Portrait of Alun Branigan

Hanah Burgess

Hanah Burgess became a lay member of the Council in 2020.

After reading Geography at Oxford University Hanah joined PwC in 1997 where she qualified as a chartered accountant. She then went on to work in the financial services sector before taking on a senior finance and business development role at ITV.

(Lay Member: current appointment to 31 July 2026)

Hanah has spent the last ten years working for large UK charities leading on finance, governance and strategy and has held a number of trustee roles. She is currently a trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee for Affinity Trust, a national charity that supports people with learning disabilities.

Portrait of Hanah Burgess

Anthony Carey

Anthony Carey is Senior Adviser, Board Practice and Public Policy at Forvis Mazars and was previously a Partner at Mazars, the accountancy firm, for many years.

Anthony is a chartered accountant and chartered director and has been actively involved in the higher education sector for a number of years.

(Lay Member: current appointment to 31 July 2026)

Prior to joining the Council of Lancaster University, Anthony was chair of the Audit Committee at Cranfield University and was also previously chair of the Finance Committee at the Higher Education Academy. Anthony’s other appointments include being a board member of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the Royal College of Radiologists.

Portrait of Anthony Carey

Adrian Jonas

Adrian Jonas joined Lancaster University Council as a lay member in 2022.

Adrian holds a Masters in Operational Research from Lancaster University and a Masters in Digital Health Leadership from Imperial College London. He is an expert on utilising data, analysis and artificial intelligence to address both organisational and societal problems.

Adrian is currently the Chief Analyst for the NW Region in the NHS and Senior Responsible Officer for the North West Regional Secure Data Environment.

(Lay Member: current appointment to 31 July 2025)

Adrian is also a Salzburg Global (Sciana) Health Leadership Fellow and a Non-Executive Director at a Multi Academy Trust in Greater Manchester.

Prior to joining NHS England, Adrian spent 3 years leading data and analytics at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [NICE], where he still acts as an advisor. Before this he held a variety of roles across central government, including being Principal Analyst for Home and Foreign Affairs (Prime Minister’s Implementation Unit) & Head of Profession for Operational Research within the Cabinet Office; and before that the Head of Analysis within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Portrait of Adrian Jonas

Marcia Reid Fotheringham, JP DL

Marcia was born in London and moved to New York, USA as a child; she was raised and educated there. Marcia attended Hofstra University, Long Island, NY, and graduated: BS Sociology 1976; MS Psychology 1978; and PD Family Therapy 1979.

Following university, Marcia moved to Massachusetts and worked at Emerson College, AtlantiCare Medical Center, Efficacy Research Institute and The State of Massachusetts. She held a variety of clinical and managerial leadership positions. Marcia also had a successful clinical private practice in Salem, Massachusetts.

(Lay Member: current appointment to 30 September 2026)

In 1997 Marcia moved to Cumbria, UK. Marcia (with her husband) was the Owner/Director of two dental practices managing all administrative and compliance requirements.

From 1997 to 2015, Marcia and her husband maintained two dental practices, as Directors. Marcia managed all administrative, compliance requirements. In 2015 to present, she and her husband sold one of the practices. Marcia continues to be Owner/Director of the dental practice in Alston, Cumbria.

Marcia also worked as a clinical psychologist/family therapist for NHS, Cumbria at Portland Square, working within CAMHS and Psychology. She initially agreed to work for a year for the NHS; she retired 10 years later.

From 2001 to 2021, Marcia was a Justice of the Peace. As a Magistrate, Marcia sat in the Adult Courts (crime) and Family Court Panels. Through the years, she participated on many panels; she was elected as Carlisle Bench’s Deputy Chair. Two years later, she was elected as Chair of North & West Cumbria Bench. Within that role, Marcia became the North West Regional Representative to the National Bench Chair Forum and National Representative to the Probation Sentencing Board.

From 2019 to 2020, Marcia took a year’s leave of absence while being The High Sheriff of Cumbria; and had a most successful year promoting Cumbria and Cumbrians.

In 2017, Marcia became a Board member of Tullie House Museum, Carlisle. In 2020, Marcia joined the Cumbria Victims Charity Trust Board, the Cumbria Community Foundation Board, the Multicultural Cumbria Board, the Cumbria Opera Company and the Grasmere Sports Board. She is the founder and co-chair of Cumbria Race Equality Network (2020 – 2024). And was the Patron for the British Energy Coast Business Cluster (2020 to 2023) and AWAZ (2020 to present).

In 2020, Marcia became a Deputy Lieutenant of Cumbria.

Portrait of Marcia Reid Fotheringham

Maureen Whilby

Maureen Whilby joined Lancaster University Council as a lay member in 2022.

Maureen is an organisational, culture and people change expert having led significant transformation programmes for many Public Sector, leading UK and Global organisations. Currently Head of People Change at DWP Digital supporting major people transformation, enabling DWP to deliver critical systems and services through its people.

(Lay Member: current appointment to 28 February 2025)

She is also a Non-Executive Director at a large Multi Academy Trust in Manchester and an associate charity Trustee at Groundwork Greater Manchester.

Maureen is a Lancaster alumna with a PgDl in Business Law from the University of Law in Chester.

Portrait of Maureen Whilby

Professor Claire Leitch

Professor Claire Leitch was elected as one of Senate’s representatives to University Council in 2021.

In May 2022, she was appointed Executive Dean of Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), with responsibility for leading the Faculty to align with Lancaster University’s strategy. She joined LUMS in 2012 and served as interim Executive Dean, Deputy Dean and Associate Dean in LUMS prior to that appointment.

(Senate Appointed Member: current appointment to 31 July 2027)

Before arriving in Lancaster, Professor Leitch held posts at Queen’s University Management School, Belfast and the University of Ulster. She has an international research reputation in gender, leadership and learning in entrepreneurial contexts, with a particular focus on leadership, leadership development and learning. Accordingly, her work straddles the interface between entrepreneurship and leadership and has significant theoretical, industrial and policy impact. Current work explores the underpinning reasons for practice-policy gaps which exist. She has a particular interest in gender and takes a critical feminist perspective to explore macro, meso and micro level influences on inequality among entrepreneurial leaders.

She is passionate about addressing gender inequity in HE and is a strategic advisor on a major EU project addressing gender inequality in management schools, thus placing the University at the heart of the European EDI agenda. Under her leadership the School was successful in obtaining the Athena Swan bronze award. Granted in May 2021, this award recognises the School’s commitment to enhancing gender equality in education and research. In addition, she has led the Faculty’s successful AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA re-accreditations ensuring that LUMS continues to hold the coveted ‘Triple Crown’ of business school accreditations putting it in the top 1% of business schools worldwide. She is Chair of the Advisory Board for Keele Business School and sits on the Advisory Board for Deakin Business School, Australia.

Portrait of Claire Leitch

Alison Mullan

Alison has over 30 years’ experience working in higher education across a range of universities and in a variety of roles. She has worked at Lancaster University since 2013 and, since 2023, has been the Interim Director of Students, Education and Academic Services.

(Senate Appointed Member: current appointment to 31 July 2027)

Alison holds 3 degrees, the most recent of which is an MBA in Higher Education Management from UCL. She is passionate about the transformational nature of education and is committed to supporting people from all backgrounds to reach their full potential.

Portrait of Alison Mullan

Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone

Distinguished Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone is a Senate elected member since 2021, and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medicine.

Prior to her appointment at Lancaster University Jo worked in a variety of university roles, including as a contract researcher, programme lead, Head of School, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact). She continues to be an active researcher.

(Senate Appointed Member: current appointment to 31 July 2027)

Funding for her research has come from a variety of sources including EU/FP7 Programme, National Institute for Health Research, Economic & Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and Australian Health and Medical Research Council. Jo was named as a highly cited researcher.

Jo also has considerable experience in research and policy contexts including as Director of the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme, member of the NIHR Strategy Board, Urgent Public Health oversight group member, and as Chair of the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) Implementation Strategy Group.

Jo is an emeritus Welsh Senior Research Leader and was also a REF2021 sub-panel member for Unit of Assessment 3 – Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy. Jo was awarded an OBE for services to health and care research in the Kings New Year’s Honours List in 2023.

Portrait of Jo Rycroft-Malone

Harrison Stewart

Harrison is the Education Officer at Lancaster University Students’ Union.

(Student Appointed Member: current appointment to 30 June 2025)

Secretary

Nicola C. Owen

Nicola Owen is the Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) and Secretary at Lancaster University. Together with the Director of Finance, she leads the Professional Services at Lancaster. She also has responsibility, working together with the Deans, via the Faculty Managers, for the effective operation of the administration across the faculties and academic departments.

As Secretary, she has responsibility for the operation of governance and support to Council as well as a number of other legal, governance and licensing roles.

Nicola has been elected to the position of Chair of the Association of Heads of University Administration.

Prior to moving to Lancaster University, Nicola was Deputy Registrar at the University of Warwick.