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Our board members represent a wide range of interests, within higher education as well as other areas. Some members are appointed for their experience of industry, commerce, finance or the practice of a profession and we have two student members. We also have members appointed by bodies representing UK higher education institutions and by the higher education funding councils.

The Board is responsible for developing and overseeing the strategic direction, policy development, finances, and performance of QAA. It operates according to a Code of Best Practice.

Code of Best Practice for QAA Board Members

Publication Date: 29 Jul 2019


Chair of the Board

Professor Simon Gaskell

Professor Simon Gaskell is Chair of the QAA Board. He holds degrees from the University of Bristol and has had an academic career (with multiple industrial connections), both in the UK and US.

Matthew Adie

Matt is currently a Corporate Analyst at JP Morgan Chase & Co. He was a student at University of Stirling until July 2019.

Dr Vanessa Davies

Dr Vanessa Davies is the Director General of the Bar Standards Board (BSB), the regulatory body for barristers in England and Wales.

Sara Drake

Sara is CEO designate at ICSA. Sara studied law at the University of Cambridge and has spent much of her career working in the media sector for both publishing and television companies and as a writers’ agent.

Linda Duncan

Linda Duncan is Vice-Chair to the QAA Board. She is an established Board Member and Advisor and an accomplished Finance and Audit professional working in the UK, Europe and the US. Throughout her successful career at PwC, KPMG and more recently as an international entrepreneur, she is a recognised expert in Corporate Governance and Risk Management

Professor Maria Hinfelaar

Professor Maria Hinfelaar is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, a role she has held since 1 April 2016.

Oliver Johnson

Oliver Johnson has wide experience in different sectors and types of organisation, including more than ten years as a CEO and as a Non-Executive Director.

Professor Craig Mahoney

Professor Craig Mahoney is Principal and Vice-Chancellor at the University of the West of Scotland. His previous roles have included CEO at the Higher Education Academy and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria University.

Professor Denise McAlister

Emerita Professor Denise McAlister was formerly Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning,Teaching, and Student Experience) at Ulster University from 2011-2017. Previous to this she held positions as Head of School, School of Public Policy, Economics and Law, and Dean of the Faculties of Business and Management and Social Sciences and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Quality Assurance and Enhancement).

Claire Sosienski Smith

Claire Sosienski Smith is the current Vice President of Higher Education for the National Union of Students. She believes in an education sector where all students are able to participate fully without financial or social barriers.

Professor Oliver Turnbull

Professor Oliver Turnbull is Pro Vice Chancellor (Teaching & Learning) at Bangor University, where he has held the post since 2012. He is especially interested in improving the quality of teaching.

Professor Andrew Wathey

Professor Andrew Wathey has been Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Northumbria University since September 2008. He is the University's fourth Vice-Chancellor.

Craig Watkins

Craig has been CEO and Managing Director of Kantar Public UK since February 2019

Professor Philip Wilson

Professor Philip Wilson is immediate past Chairman of Independent HE and working for Conde Nast College.

Professor Philip Winn

Professor Philip Winn (BA, PhD - Hull) is Research Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Strathclyde. He has been Head of the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and a Deputy Principal at Strathclyde, and was previously Dean of Science then Vice Principal (Learning and Teaching) at St Andrews.