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. He observes the QAA and AdvanceHE Boards and sits on the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment and UUKi International Strategic Advisory Board.
Alex is a Board member at the University College of Osteopathy and is studying for his Doctor of Education at UCL’s Institute of Education. He has recently been appointed to HEFCW’s Quality Assessment Committee.
Alex is an experienced school governor. He is currently a member of the Governing Body of a Federation of two secondary schools, two primary schools and a Teaching School Alliance, and chairs one of the secondary schools.
Head of Resources: Dee Easter
Dee is responsible for overseeing GuildHE operations; coordination of GuildHE networks including the Marketing & Communications and HR networks and HE policy areas relating to communications and resources.
Outside of the office, Dee regularly competes in her local tennis leagues and enjoys walking her pet Labradoodle.
Policy Manager: 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 Manager (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.
Policy Manager (Knowledge Exchange & Industrial Strategy): 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.
Project Officer: Jack Fleming
Jack leads on a number of key areas for GuildHE, including the Annual Conference and the delivery of policy projects. He is responsible for GuildHE’s external communications, such as the newsletter and twitter, and supports colleagues across a range of policy areas, with a particular focus on data analysis. Jack also provides general office and administrative assistance across the full range of GuildHE activities.
Outside work, Jack is an enthusiastic singer, regularly performing with several London-based choirs. He also enjoys writing and photography.