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UCEA Staff


Helen Fairfoul

Helen Fairfoul

Chief Executive

Helen has been UCEA Chief Executive since October 2012. She plays a lead role in representing the UK higher education sector in all employment matters, and in the collective negotiations with the sector trade unions in relation to pay and related matters. Helen also leads for UCEA at a European level where she sits on the HE Working Group of the European Social Dialogue in Education. Helen first joined UCEA in the role of Deputy Chief Executive in 2007. Previous roles have been as HR Director and Clerk to Council at the University of Roehampton and as a Director of Personnel within local government. She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Employment Studies and holds an MBA and a first degree in history.


Roshan Israni

Roshan Israni

Deputy Chief Executive

Roshan joined UCEA as Deputy Chief Executive in August 2017. Roshan is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD with extensive HR and Organisational Development experience - including over 10 years in senior management roles in HR and OD, gained through work in local government, the NHS, Probation Services, the not for profit sector and the private sector. Through these roles, Roshan has developed a strong combination of employee relations experience and a well-rounded and informed range of general HR management and OD experience. Roshan has undertaken extensive consultations and negotiations with various local, regional and national trade unions and has led on employee engagement, organisational cultural transformation and restructuring programmes. Roshan holds a Masters degree in Management Studies and a degree in Chemistry and Bio-Chemistry.


Andy Fryer

Andy Fryer

Head of Communications & Membership

Andy is UCEA's Head of Communications & Membership and is responsible for developing and delivering an effective external relations strategy for UCEA and its member institutions. Andy provides communications advice and support to members, oversees media enquiries and plays a key role in managing the UCEA profile and membership development. He previously held communications posts at a number of further and higher education institutions and is an Executive Committee member for HEERA (the Higher Education External Relations Association).


Nicola Carter

Nicola Carter

Head of HR Advice

Nicola is responsible for delivering UCEA's HR 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. Nicola is also responsible for UCEA's work on clinical academics and health and safety in HE. She is a member of the UCEA team in the New JNCHES multi-employer pay bargaining rounds and is secretary to New JNCHES.


Alison McGrand

Alison McGrand

Senior Employment Policy Adviser

Alison joined the team in April and works with Nicola to support the delivery of UCEA's HR advisory services to members. This includes guidance on employee relations and industrial action; 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.


Elaine Schegar

Elaine Schegar

HR Consultant

Elaine has returned to work at UCEA for a temporary period for one day per week (Fridays), having previously worked as a Senior Adviser at UCEA for several years. She is working as a HR Consultant with Nicola and Alison as part of the HR advisory team. Elaine holds a BSc (Econ) and MSc (Econ) from


Emelda Nicholroy

Emelda Nicholroy

Head of Pensions Policy

As Head of Pensions Policy, Emelda's role involves advising and supporting higher education institutions as employers in relation to pensions issues. She represents higher education employers on the schemes offered to their staff, most recently through her appointment as the education employer representative on the LGPS Scheme Advisory Board and the HE employer representative on the TPS Scheme Advisory Board. She also sits on the NEST Employers’ Panel. 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

Richard Paul

Senior Pensions Technical Adviser

Richard is UCEA's Pensions Technical Adviser and is responsible for providing the UCEA members with advice and guidance 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.


John Blissett

John Blissett

Pensions Adviser

John joined UCEA in November 2017 on a fixed-term contract and assists with providing members with support and guidance on pension matters affecting the HE sector. John possesses substantial occupational pensions experience, both DB and DC, gained through a background of working for large in-house and third party administrators. John also has a good appreciation of pension trends within the industry.


Laurence Hopkins

Laurence Hopkins

Head of Research

Laurence is UCEA's Head of Research and is responsible for leading our research and survey services to ensure that we provide timely and high-quality research and information for our members on reward and employment issues. Before joining UCEA he was a researcher at The Work Foundation and a senior analyst at the Change Institute. Laurence holds a MSc in Public Policy from UCL, is an Associate Member of the CIPD and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


Hayfa Mohdzaini

Hayfa Mohdzaini

Senior Researcher

Hayfa is responsible for UCEA's pay and workforce benchmarking, including the Senior Staff Remuneration Survey and the Salary Survey of Higher Education Staff, and provides research and analysis on HE reward and employment issues. Previously Hayfa worked as a researcher in the IDS Pay & Reward team, occasionally supporting IDS Research Services on bespoke pay benchmarking projects. She has also worked as a senior HR officer at a multinational company covering employee relations and organisational development. Hayfa holds a MA in Industrial Relations and Managing Human Resources from Warwick Business School and is an associate member of the CIPD.


Viola Salvestrini

Viola Salvestrini

Researcher

Viola leads on several of our benchmarking surveys and data projects including UCEA's Sickness Absence Survey and Senior Staff Remuneration Survey. She also provides research and analysis on HE reward and employment issues. Before joining UCEA, Viola worked as a project consultant for the World Bank and as a Teaching Assistant at the London School of Economic and Political Science. She holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Florence, a MSc in Economics from University of Bologna and a MRes in Economics from the LSE.


Daniela Perez Aguilar

Daniela Perez Aguilar

Research Assistant

Daniela joined UCEA in January 2017 on a fixed-term contract and provides research and analysis on several surveys and data projects. She also provides analysis on HE reward and employment issues. Before joining UCEA, Daniela worked as project manager for the National Council of Science in Chile and as a researcher for the Fundacion Chile. She holds a BSc in Sociology from the Catholic University of Chile and a MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics.


Sharron Powley

Sharron Powley

Head of Events

As Head of Events, Sharron carries overall responsibility for UCEA's learning and development programme for members plus other member events. She develops and oversees delivery of UCEA's annual programme comprising conferences, seminars, master classes, workshops and courses. This includes provision via 'open' courses and bespoke provision delivered on institutions' own premises. Sharron has a background in HR in the HE sector and also in membership services, having previously worked at Deputy HR Director level in a pre-92 HEI, including a remit for L&D, and formerly at the British Medical Association. Sharron is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and holds an MA in Strategic Human Resource Management.


Marc Whittaker

Marc Whittaker

Communications and Events Manager

Marc's role is split between 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. Additionally he develops and organises the delivery of the UCEA programme of training conferences and other members' events. He previously held marketing, communications and events focussed posts at a HEI and at the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing's HE Members Interest Group.


Lucy Thompson

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

Matt Lloyd

Head of Business Support

Matt is responsible for ensuring the operational effectiveness of UCEA, including its financial and IT management. Matt began his career in the IT industry before spending 14 years working at member-focussed organisations in the health and care sector where he held a variety of communications, membership and senior operational roles. He holds a BSc in Environmental Studies.


Graeme Drury

Graeme Drury

Finance/Business Support officer

Graeme is the Finance and Business Support officer and is responsible for processing finance administration and account queries and is currently completing his Association of Accounting Technician's (AAT) Advanced qualification. He also supports UCEA members with enquiries and delivers IT management and support


Kayleigh Lerwill

Kayleigh Lerwill

PA to the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive

Kayleigh joined UCEA in September 2017 and is the PA to our Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive. She supports the senior team with diary management, meetings and events as well as providing support and administrative assistance to our Board. As part of the Business Support team she is a key point of contact for enquiries from UCEA members. Kayleigh also assists with research and project work and has written a number of case studies for UCEA members which are available on the website. She holds a degree in English Literature and has previously worked as a PA in the Health and Beauty Industry.


Victoria Gillespie

Victoria Gillespie

Business Administrator (Research and JNCHES)

Victoria is responsible for providing administrative support to the JNCHES secretary and Research team.