Host and Speakers




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Simon Fanshawe OBE
Co-founder and Partner
Diversity by Design

Simon is a Co-founder and Partner of Diversity by Design; a ground-breaking consultancy that works with organisations to develop diversity solutions to strategic questions, in order to build greater performance:

Diversity by Design’s current clients include; Sheffield, Cardiff, Kingston and Hertfordshire Universities, FirstGroup, Costa, Virgin Media, the Co-op, GCHQ, NSPCC, The College of Policing and the British Army.

From 2007 – 2013 Simon was chairman of the University of Sussex Governing Council. He is currently on the Boards of Brighton Dome and Festival, Housing and Care 21 and is a Trustee of The Museum of London.

Simon was a co-founder of one of the most successful lobby and campaign groups in recent times; the lesbian and gay equality organisation Stonewall. He is now a co-founder of the Kaleidoscope Trust, supporting LGBTI activists abroad.

Simon is also a broadcaster, writer and pundit. He was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours list 2013 for services to Higher Education, and was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Sussex for services to diversity and human rights in 2013.


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Professor Janet Beer
Vice - Chancellor
University of Liverpool

Professor Janet Beer took up post as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool in February 2015, having formerly been Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.

Professor Beer is Chair of the Board of the Equality Challenge Unit. She is currently Vice-President of UUK, England and Northern Ireland and has recently been elected President with effect from August 2017. She is also a Board member of UCAS and a Trustee of the British Council.

Professor Beer chairs the Liverpool Knowledge Quarter Board and is a member of the Liverpool City Region Innovation Board and the Liverpool Science Park Board.

Professor Beer has an established record of research and scholarship in late nineteenth and early twentieth century American literature and culture and most recently completed a study of the late writing of Edith Wharton.

Alexandra den Heijer
Associate Professor, Real Estate Management
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Alexandra den Heijer, MSc PhD is associate professor (chair Real Estate Management) at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). She has a background in Architecture (BSc) and Management (MSc). Her specialisation is planning, design and management of university campuses and buildings. She focuses on generating management information for real estate decisions. In the past decade she has developed models and theories that help universities to design and implement their campus strategies and that contribute to creating knowledge cities. All Dutch universities have supported her research from the start. Apart from the Dutch situation she has explored international references and has written many reports, articles and papers on the university and campus of the future, trends and changing concepts and campus strategies. After the fire that destroyed the building of the Faculty of Architecture in 2008 – including Alexandra’s workplace – she could put her theories to the test as member of the team that created a new home (“BK city”) for students and staff in a cultural heritage building, in an extremely tight time frame. Alexandra operates in an extensive network of national and international campus management experts – both in academia and in practice.

Her current research project explores (management of) the European campus – in an academic network – to support European decision makers. Focus is the presumed relation between the quality of the physical setting (workplace, ‘univer-city’) and the success of the knowledge economy (attracting and retaining Europe’s knowledge capital).

Harvey Dowdy
Director of Estates
University of Lincoln

Harvey Dowdy is a Chartered Surveyor and Director of Estates at the University of Lincoln.  Originally trained as an archaeologist, she has subsequently gained 30 years’ experience of commercial property management and place-making in historic towns and cities. 

Harvey has worked in the private, public and charitable sectors for organisations as diverse as the Vigers, City of York Council, Yorkshire Forward, ONE NorthEast, and the North of England Civic Trust.  She also spent 5 years as a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader at Northumbria University. Immediately prior to joining the University of Lincoln, she worked at Durham University as Deputy Director - responsible for the development of the University’s Estate Strategy and Masterplan.

Whilst at Durham, Harvey was an RICS Regional Board Member, served on the judging panel for the RICS Renaissance Awards and as a Lay Member of the Chapter of Durham Cathedral where she held the portfolio for all matters relating to the Cathedral fabric.  

Paul Finch OBE
Programme Director/ Editorial Director
World Architecture Festival/ The Architectural Review/Architects’ Journal

Paul Finch is programme director of the World Architecture Festival and editorial director of the Architectural Review and Architects’ Journal. After taking a history degree at Selwyn College, Cambridge he joined a specialist publishing company, and subsequently was deputy editor of Estates Times (now Property Week), 1976-1983; editor, Building Design, 1983-94; editor, Architects’ Journal, 1994-1999; editor, The Architectural Review 2005-2009; co-editor, Planning in London since 1992. He was a founding commissioner then deputy chair at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), 1999-2005, and later chair, 2009 – 2014. He was a trustee and deputy chair at the Design Council, 2011 – 2014, where he also chaired Design Council Cabe. He chaired the London Olympics design review panel from 2005 to 2012. Honorary FRIBA in 1994; honorary doctorate, University of Westminster, 2004; honorary fellowship, University College London, 2006. Honorary membership, Architectural Association, 2014. Paul was also awarded an OBE for services to architecture in 2002.

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Stephen R Hodder MBE
Founding Partner
Hodder + Partners

Stephen Hodder was educated at the School of Architecture, University of Manchester, where he gained a Distinction in the Bachelor of Architecture degree. Following University he joined Building Design Partnership in 1981 and became a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1982.

In 1996 Hodder Associates (formed 1992) received the most important award in British Architecture for a single building, the inaugural Stirling Prize for Architecture for the Centenary Building, University of Salford. The Practice, now Hodder+Partners, has won over forty major awards. The practice has realised significant projects in the leisure, cultural, residential, and commercial sectors, together with the further and higher education sector.

Professionally, Stephen has been President of the Manchester Society of Architects, RIBA North West Region Chairman, and a member of the RIBA Awards committee. He is a past member of the Education Committee and Conservation Register Steering Group and was RIBA President 2013-15, having previously been Vice President Membership, Nations and Regions.

Stephen has written and lectured widely, has been a visiting examiner at a number of schools of architecture and between 2002 and 2005 was visiting professor at the Birmingham School of Architecture. Up until 2017 he was visiting Professor at the Belfast School of Architecture and is currently the visiting Professor at the University of Salford, School of the Built Environment. He regularly acts as an assessor for architectural competitions and awards. He sits on the Design Review Panel for Places Matter! and formerly for CABE.

He was awarded an MBE for services to architecture in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, 1998.

Stephen received an Honorary Doctorate in 2006 from the Manchester Metropolitan University for his regional, national and international contribution to architecture and won the Roses Design Award of ‘Architect of the Year’ in the same year. Stephen received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire in 2013 for his contribution to architecture.

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Alison Johns
Chief Executive
Leadership Foundation for Higher Education

Alison is Chief Executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education which provides high quality higher education leadership development programmes for universities and higher education colleges in and for higher education wherever it exists. The Leadership Foundation also offers consultancy and tailored in-house development programmes providing expert advice and support - meeting the needs of individuals, teams, the executive, and the whole institution.

Alison has worked in higher education for over 20 years and she has held a number of senior positions.  Prior to her current role she was head of Policy for Leadership, Governance and Management (LGM) and also had responsibility for the internal HR and oganisational development function at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce).   

As head of LGM, Alison oversaw the efficiency brief, working in shared services, procurement and efficiency strategy and engaged in work on KPIs for governing bodies.  She has particular experience in productivity through HR management and has spoken regularly at efficiency events.

Alison is the immediate past president of the Association of University Administrators (AUA) and is the UK representative on the Association of Commonwealth Universities HRM Network.  She advised the Australian government on the establishment of the Office for Learning and Teaching to enhance teaching quality across the Australian HE sector and speaks regularly, both nationally and internationally on all aspects of university LGM at national and international.

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David Malcolm
Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Policy and External Affairs
Equality Challenge Unit

David Malcolm is Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Policy and External Affairs at the Equality Challenge Unit, responsible for its work influencing the HE sector and the wider world through policy, research, training and communications, and its engagement with sector partners, institutions and decision-makers. He is on a year-long secondment to ECU from the National Union of Students, where he is Head of Programmes.

He has worked in higher education for 16 years, mostly in the student movement, with a strong focus on student finance, student welfare and widening participation policy during this time. He is a member of the OFFA Advisory Group and a trustee of DSA-QAG, a charity which quality assures the Disabled Students’ Allowance. 

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Mark Evans
Broadway Malyan