Staff list and responsibilities
CEO: Gordon McKenzie
As CEO, Gordon is responsible for leading and developing GuildHE as a key representative and advocacy body in the higher education sector. Gordon advises the Chair, Executive and Council Members on developing and implementing GuildHE policies and strategy and leads on communicating with government and other stakeholders on higher education issues.
In his spare time, Gordon likes cooking, wine, theatre, box sets and playing (beginner’s) guitar.
Deputy CEO: Alex Bols
Alex Bols works closely with the CEO in developing and managing all aspects of the organisation’s mission and strategy. His key responsibilities involve the effective dissemination of policies and advocacy on behalf of members and students.
Alex is Chair of Governors at Vittoria Primary School, on the Board of the British School of Osteopathy, a Trustee at Cambridge University Students’ Union and is studying for his Doctor of Education at UCL’s Institute of Education.
In his spare time, Alex is a keen theatregoer and traveller. He has recently completed his ninth marathon.
Senior Policy Advisor: Kate Wicklow
Kate leads on areas relating to: HE funding, regulation and student finance, widening access, admissions and recruitment, student support and graduate employability. She co-ordinates GuildHE’s networks for these policy areas, advocates for members on these issues to the wider sector, and undertakes research to support GuildHE projects and policy work.
Outside of work she enjoys ten pin bowling, rock music and walking her dog in the Hertfordshire countryside.
Policy Officer: Cat Turhan
Cat works closely with Kate on both long-term and arising policy matters. She attends sector meetings, writes briefings and consultations, and works on strategic policy planning for GuildHE members. Alongside this, she also co-ordinates the international and SU network, and sits on the Copyright Working Group.
In her spare time, she enjoys writing and performing poetry, skiing and playing the banjolele (badly).
Senior Policy Advisor (Research & Innovation): Rachel Persad
Rachel leads on policy areas relating to research and supports Matthew on innovation policy. She manages CREST (the Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training), GuildHE’s collaborative research network of over 25 smaller and specialist institutions.
In her spare time, Rachel enjoys walking in her new home town of Tunbridge Wells, gardening, and taking her baby daughter swimming.
Senior Policy Advisor: Matthew Guest
Matthew leads on policy areas relating to knowledge development and exchange. In particular he focuses on Industrial Strategy; innovation policy and Brexit. He coordinates the associated networks and works closely with Rachel to support CREST (the Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training).
Outside of work, Matthew is Honorary Treasurer at Community Southwark and serves on the PCC for Battersea Parish Church.
In his spare time, Matthew enjoys cooking, coffee and badminton.
Operations Manager (Maternity): Vikkie Chapman
Vikkie is responsible for overseeing GuildHE operations across Finance, Contracts, HR and Pensions, the coordination of GuildHE networks including the Alumni & Fundraising, Marketing & Comms and HR networks, and the organisation of the GuildHE Executive, Council and Media Training events.
Outside of the office, Vikkie enjoys gymnastics, yoga and travelling.
Project Officer: Jack Fleming
Jack supports GuildHE staff across policy projects and external communications, as well as providing general office and administrative assistance across the range of GuildHE activities.
Outside work, Jack is an enthusiastic singer, and enjoys writing and photography.