Board of Governors


Louise Evans

Louise Evans is a retired (2018) executive and former member of the leadership team at Grant Thornton UK LLP. Louise was a Tax Partner in the Cardiff and Bristol Offices of Grant Thornton and worked there from 2000, firstly as Tax Partner, then as Managing Partner of Bristol and Cardiff Offices from 2006.

In 2010 Louise became one of the three members of the Region’s Managing Board. In 2015 she was invited to be a member of Grant Thornton’s national leadership team, and as Business Unit Leader for the South Region, she had overall responsibility for 5 offices and almost 700 employees.

Louise became a lay governor on the Board of USW in August 2017, becoming Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee. She was appointed Chair of the Board from 1 August 2019.

Louise is also a non-executive director of No Fit State Circus and Chair (and a Trustee) for Kidney Wales. Louise is a former international field hockey umpire, an international assessor of umpires and a former board member of the Welsh National Hockey Union.

Lay Governors

John Derrick

Chair of the RWCMD Board of Directors:  An experienced leader in investment and private banking, including senior roles at Barclays, Lombard Odier and Goldman Sachs. Chair of the RWCMD London advisory group and Pimlico Opera and trustee of Orion Orchestra. Lives in London.

Graham Edwards, Chief Executive of Wales & West Utilities 

Member of Remuneration Committee: Chief Executive of Wales & West Utilities, Non-Executive Director of Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, former Chair of CBI Wales and Business in the Community Wales. A Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and the Institute of Directors, Graham has held senior positions across a wide variety of business disciplines - including Engineering, Production and Human Resources - prior to his latter roles at business leader level. 

Chris Freegard OBE, former Managing Director of Newport City Council 

Deputy Chair of the Board and Chair of the Remuneration Committee, Senior Staff Pay Committee and Audit Committee: Chair of Audit Committee: Chris holds a degree in economics and is a qualified town planner. He has had a high profile career in local government leading on regeneration in Sheffield, Nottingham and Plymouth before coming to Newport in 2001, where he was Newport City Council’s Managing Director until his retirement in 2009. He is the former Chair of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives in Wales and received the OBE in 2008 for services to Local Government. Chris was, until the formation of the University of South Wales, the Deputy Chairman of the University of Wales Newport and was a governor of Coleg Gwent. Chris is also Chairman of Kaleidoscope the largest substance misuse charity in Wales.  He is also a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Gwent.

Debbie Jones, HR consultant

USW Independent Governor and Chair (elect) HR Committee. Debbie is an Executive board level HR professional experienced in the international environment of a FTSE 100/250 plc having transitioned it from IGO status to private, private equity to plc and most recently, integrating 4 subsidiaries. An accredited member of the European Mentoring & Coaching Council. IPD Graduate, ONC Public Admin. NLP Coach. IIP Advisor. Chair British Medical Association Living our Values Panel; currently Chief People Officer Inmarsat plc 2000 – 2017 (Satellite communications FTSE plc inc. 11 geo-stationery satellites $1bn+ revenue. 1900 staff across 63 global locations, 50+ nationalities.)  Previously Non-Executive Director, Capital Law LLP, HR Consultant – Eversheds LLP and Head of HR Companies House.

Hélène Mansfield OBE, former Headteacher of Croesyceiliog School, Cwmbran 

Deputy Chair of the Board, member of the Finance and Resources Committee and Chair of the Merthyr Tydfil College Board of Directors;  Former Headteacher, Croesyceiliog School, Cwmbran (retired August 2009); Panel Member and Chair of EWC Suitability and Fitness to Practise Hearings; lives in Whitchurch, Cardiff.

Alison Philips, Chief Executive of the Public Services Staff Commission

Chair of the Audit Committee: A Qualified Accountant with a commercial background from PwC and also NHS finance. Alison is the Chief Executive of the Public Services Staff Commission and immediately prior to this was Deputy Older People's Commissioner for Wales. 

Michael (Mo) Stevens, former Group CEO Shearwater Group plc

Member of Finance and Resources Committee: Michael Stevens was previously Group CEO of Shearwater Group, former Head of International Markets & Board member Airbus Defence & Space UK, former CEO of Cassidian UK. Michael joined Airbus Group from BAE Systems in April 2012, leaving Airbus to join Shearwater in September 2016. With a background in Electrical/Electronic Engineering and an MSc in Information Systems Management, Michael has held various senior & board level roles in Design & Development, Manufacturing, Project/Programme Management, Strategy, Business Development and Business Management over the last 30 years in the areas of leading edge technology, complex systems, solutions & services primarily within the Security, Defence, Cyber & Information sectors.

Chris Sutton, Managing Director of Sutton Consulting  

Member of Finance & Resources Committee and Director of the Board of Directors, Merthyr Tydfil College; previously Regional Director Jones Lang LaSalle and immediate past Chair of CBI Wales. Chris is a chartered surveyor and has reported to the Welsh Government on various matters including property strategy, devolved taxes and the use of assets in the public sector. Chris is Chair of the Welsh Government’s advisory board for the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone and was a member of the board for the Cardiff Capital Region. Chris graduated from the Polytechnic of Wales (the Treforest campus) in 1988. 

Jemma Terry, Managing Partner, Odgers Berndtson Wales 

RWCMD Board of Directors: Managing Partner and founder of the Wales Odgers office based in Cardiff.  Jemma has 20 years’ search experience delivering Executive &Non-Executive assignments across all functions. Member of the Prince’s Trust Cymru Council; Director of the Cardiff Business Club; Member of the CBI Council for Wales and an Ambassador for Pembrokeshire.  Jemma's early career was spent with Marks and Spencer.  Jemma has a BSc Honours in Management Science and French with subsidiary Maths and Spanish. She is a graduate of one of France’s 'Grandes Ecoles',  L' Ecole Superieure de Commerce.

Co-opted member (Educational experience)

Professor Michael Gunn, former Vice Chancellor of Staffordshire University

Chair of the Nominations Committee and governor nominee on the Higher Academic Awards Committee: Michael is the former Vice Chancellor of Staffordshire University. 

Before that he had a long career in Universities, having been a pro-vice chancellor at Derby University, Dean of Nottingham Law School at Nottingham Trent University, a research professor in mental health law at De Montfort University, Leicester, Head of the Law School at University of Westminster and a lecturer and senior lecturer in law at University of Nottingham. 

Representative of Academic Board

Dr Louise Bright

Dr Louise Bright, Director of Research and Business Engagement at USW, has undertaken secondments to Welsh Government and The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (now Advance HE). Louise continues to be an influential colleague in various fora and continues to influence policy and practice in higher education by virtue of membership on boards and committees of external (and influential) organisations. These include being a peer reviewer for the HR Excellence in Research Award; USW representative on the Welsh Crucible programme; lead for the Strategic Investment Programme interface with HEFCW; and was a key member of the Chief Science Advisor for Wales Task and Finish Group which wrote a report considering women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Medical research in Wales.


Professor Julie Lydon OBE

Julie Lydon OBE took up the position of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan in April 2010. She was previously the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Development) at the University which she joined in 2006. 

From 2003 to 2006, she was Assistant Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol with oversight for academic quality, student services, academic secretariat and timetabling. Previously she was Associate Dean of the Business School at the University of Wolverhampton. 

With a strong personal interest in standards and quality in higher education, she was previously an auditor for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and is currently a member of the QAA Advisory Panel for Wales. 

Her representational roles include board membership of UCEA, HECSU, University Alliance, Higher Education Wales, HEFCW Student Experience, Teaching & Quality Committee and she is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education. When time allows, her research interests include organisational change and collaboration within higher education.

Student Governors

Mishan Wickremasinghe

President of the University of South Wales Students’ Union

Elected Staff Governor

Angela Lewis

Co-opted Members of the Board’s Committees

Hugh Jones 

Co-opted member of the Human Resources Committee: Hugh works as a management consultant supporting the UK higher education sector, following over twenty years’ experience in professional service roles in UK universities, including executive level roles at Cardiff University and Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Hugh is based in Cardiff; is a Fellow of the Association of University Administrators (AUA) and holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the Institute of Education, University of London.