UCEA Staff

UCEA's work is carried out by a small team of staff led by the Chief Executive, Raj Jethwa.

Raj Jethwa

Chief Executive


Raj Jethwa was appointed Chief Executive of UCEA (the Universities and Colleges Employers Association) in February 2020, where he leads the association’s work representing the UK higher education sector in all employment matters and in the collective negotiations on pay and related issues.

Raj was previously the Director of Policy at the BMA (British Medical Association) where he led its professional activities, policy development and collective bargaining functions. Raj has also worked as Head of Research for the Police Federation of England and Wales and as a policy advisor at the TUC (Trades Union Congress). He is a graduate of the London School of Economics, where he was a member of the Court of Governors. Raj is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a Visiting Fellow at Kingston University and a member of the Council of the British Science Association. He also sits on the Board of the Spirit of 2012, the legacy funder of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Roshan Israni

Deputy Chief Executive


Roshan has been UCEA’s Deputy Chief Executive since August 2017. In her role she engages with members and various stakeholders on a range of employment matters alongside being responsible for UCEA’s organisational effectiveness, business operations and governance. She currently sits on the UUK Advisory Groups on Tackling Racial Harassment, Addressing Staff-to-Student Sexual Misconduct, Mental Health in Higher Education and Mind’s Mentally Healthy Universities Advisory Group. Roshan’s previous experience in the areas of employee relations, HR and organisation development was gained through work in the not for profit and private sectors, local government, the NHS and Probation Services. She has undertaken extensive consultations and negotiations including in Higher Education as part of UCEA’s National Negotiating Team, and has led on successful employee engagement, cultural transformation and restructuring programmes. Roshan is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and possesses a Master's degree in Management Studies and a first degree in Chemistry.

Andy Fryer

Head of Communications & Membership


Andy is responsible for membership satisfaction as well as developing and delivering an effective external relations strategy for UCEA and its members. Andy provides communications advice and support to members and plays a key role in managing UCEA's public profile and its membership development. He previously held senior posts at a number of further and higher education institutions and his qualifications include a Masters in Communications Management. 

Nicola Carter

Head of Employment Policy & Advice


Nicola is responsible for oversight of UCEA's HR employment advisory services to members. This includes guidance on employee relations and industrial action; employee engagement; developments in employment practice in HE; and changes in employment law. The advisory team is also responsible for UCEA's work on clinical academics and health and safety in HE. She is part of the UCEA team that works on the New JNCHES multi-employer pay bargaining rounds and is Secretary to New JNCHES.

Alison McGrand

Senior Employment Policy Adviser


Alison joined the team in 2018 and works with Nicola and Emma on the delivery of UCEA's HR advisory services to members. This includes guidance on employee relations and industrial action; immigration;  employee engagement; developments in employment practice in HE; changes in employment law and joint work with the sector trade unions on the gender pay gap.

Emma Suzuki

Senior Employment Policy Adviser


Emma joined the team in 2019 on a part-time basis and works with Nicola and Alison on the delivery of UCEA’s HR advisory services to members. After graduating from Kings College London University in 2000, Emma went on to study law. She has practiced as an employment solicitor in private practice and in-house, as well as being an experienced HR practitioner within the education sector.

Emelda Nicholroy

Head of Pensions Policy


Emelda oversees UCEA's work on pensions, guiding and representing higher education institutions as employers in relation to all pensions matters. She represents higher education on the public sector schemes offered within HE institutions. Emelda brings to the role wide ranging experience from both in-house pensions arrangements and consultancy, and has a background in providing technical pensions expertise to employers and Trustees of large DB, DC and hybrid pensions arrangements.

Richard Paul

Senior Pensions Technical Adviser


Richard is responsible for providing UCEA members with technical support on the issues that affect pension provision within the HE sector, as well as engaging with schemes in relation to policy and operational issues. Richard's previous experience includes project managing pension schemes through the Pension Protection Fund assessment period and providing secretarial and governance consulting services to Trustee Boards of FTSE250 company DB and DC pension schemes.

Muriel Bankhead

Head of Research


Muriel is responsible for leading our research and survey services to ensure that we provide timely and high-quality research, analysis and information on reward and employment issues. She joined UCEA in April 2020 and will oversee the research programme, including our remuneration surveys and the biennial Workforce Report.
Previous research roles include Which?, Head of Research at NHG Housing Association overseeing employee research with salary benchmarking and equal pay and Head of Research for the Sector Skills Council for Sport and Active Leisure (SkillsActive) producing workforce reports, analysis of FE and HE sector education statistics, and membership research for the Register of Exercise Professionals. Muriel holds a BA in Comparative Literature and French from UEA, both the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Communications, Advertising and Marketing (CAM) Diplomas and is a Certified Member of the Market Research Society.

George Starling

Research Analyst


George is responsible for UCEA's pay and workforce benchmarking, including the Senior Staff Remuneration Survey, and provides research and analysis on HE reward and employment issues. Previously, George was a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS, University of London and provides expertise in quantitative research and insights into practices within the academic workforce. He holds a PhD in Linguistics & English Language from the University of Edinburgh.

Rebecca Gregg

Research Analyst


Rebecca (Becky) works on a wide range of benchmarking and research products and services. She is the lead for UCEA’s sickness absence survey and workforce survey and provides labour market and economic analysis to support UCEA in representing its members in national pay negotiations. Prior to joining UCEA, Becky was a market researcher for education research agency Shift Learning and an Associate Analyst at Korn Ferry, supporting its higher education pay services. She holds a BSc in Political Economy from King’s College London as well as a Market Research Society certificate in market and social research. 

Sharron Powley

Head of Events


Sharron carries overall responsibility for UCEA's learning and development programme for members plus other events. She develops and oversees delivery of UCEA's annual programme comprising conferences, seminars, master classes and workshops. Sharron has a background working in HR in the HE sector and also in membership services. Sharron is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and holds an MA in Strategic Human Resource Management.

Marc Whittaker

Communications and Events Manager


Marc's role is split between our communications and events functions. He monitors and responds to media coverage of industrial relations and pay and pensions in the sector, supports members with their communications messaging and manages the production of UCEA publications. He also works on development and delivery of the UCEA programme of conferences and other members' events. He has previously held marketing, communications and events focused posts in HE, FE and the private sector. He is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Lucy Thompson

Business Administrator (Events)


Lucy is the administrator for UCEA's programme of conferences, seminars, workshops and other events. She manages delegate bookings and liaises with speakers and venues.

Matt Lloyd

Head of Business Support


Matt is responsible for ensuring the operational effectiveness of UCEA, including its financial, administrative and IT management and delivering some of our member services. He has overseen the upgrade and transformation of UCEA’s technological infrastructure in order to help us deliver an even better service to members in the digital age, and to work remotely, both effectively and securely, during the coronavirus pandemic. Matt began his career in the IT industry before spending 14 years working at membership organisations in the health and care sector in a variety of communications, membership and senior operational roles. He holds a BSc in Environmental Studies.

Victoria Gillespie

Business Administrator (Research and JNCHES)


Victoria is responsible for providing administrative support to the JNCHES secretary and Research team. Victoria also assists with in-house design and publication production. 

Graeme Drury

Finance and Business Support officer


Graeme is the Finance and Business Support officer and is responsible for membership and organisational finance administration. Graeme supports UCEA officers across the team and assists with enquiries. He provides the team with IT management and support and has recently completed his Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Advanced qualification.


Lisa Cunningham 

Head of Strategy


Lisa's role is to develop and implement UCEA’s new strategic plan and portfolio of work as well as improve operational planning. Lisa is experienced across strategy development and implementation, engagement, strategic communications, public affairs and mass and internal communication disciplines. Her project management and policy skills have delivered change programmes across a range of organisations. Lisa’s qualifications include a Masters in Politics and Communication and she is a governor of two schools.