Chair of Council - end of office 2025
Eileen Milner grew up in Cornwall and was the first person in her family to go to university, studying English literature at Aberystwyth University. She has worked in the public, private and voluntary sectors, and is passionate about higher education.
The former chief executive and accounting officer of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) from 2017-2021, Eileen was responsible for a budget of some £63bn and supported the education and skills landscape in England. In 2021, she was appointed by the Government as interim CEO of the Combined Authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, a role she stood down from to focus on a small number of non-executive roles about which she cares deeply.
As the University’s governing body, The Council is responsible for ensuring that our overall mission and strategy are delivered through an effective governance framework.
Eileen will lead the Council in undertaking these functions and is Chair of the following: Governance and Nominations, Remunerations, Ethics Committee, Investment Committee; and a member of Honorary Degrees Committee.
EA: Julie Clarke
Ex-Officio, Pro-Chancellor & Treasurer - end of office 2024
Terry Hartwell is a Chartered Surveyor with over 35 years experience in commercial property. He graduated from Bristol Polytechnic (now UWE) with a BSc. in Valuation and Estate Management, becoming a Fellow of the RICS in 1993.
Terry has recently been a member of the management board of Wm. Morrison Supermarkets, as Group Property Director, advising on all property related matters and was responsible for the roll-out of Morrison's store formats throughout the country. Prior to this he was International Property Director for Kingfisher plc responsible for the property activities of the retail brands of B&Q, Castorama, Screwfix and Brico Depot, here in the UK, in Europe and the Far East.
Whilst at Kingfisher, Terry also had a spell in front line operations running one of their new trading divisions for 18 months and he also sat on the Pensions Trustee Board for nearly ten years. He was previously a member of the Property Advisory Group of the British Retail Consortium and a Council member of OTRA (the out of town retailers association). Terry is Pro Chancellor of the University of Bradford and is Chair of the University Finance Committee.
Pro-Chancellor - end of office 2023
Karl Bates has had a varied Civil Service career spanning nearly 40 years. Over that time he has worked in operational, functional and support environments including finance, debt management, project & programme management, information technology, publishing, design, training and, for the most part, internal audit.
He currently works for the Government Internal Audit Agency which is part of HM Treasury.
Karl is a Chartered Member (CMIIA) of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (UK & Ireland) and has previously served as Deputy Chair and Regional Treasurer on their North East District Committee and as an elected Director on the Institute’s Council at National level.
A Bradford resident for the past 50 plus years, Karl has always seen the University of Bradford playing a vital - and very visible - role in helping to support and develop the city's rich and diverse heritage. Karl is Pro Chancellor of the University of Bradford and a member of the University Audit Committee.
Lay Member - end of office 2023
Carl is a chartered accountant and barrister and, after working in both fields, has had a career in the financial services sector and in industry.
He worked in private equity and investment banking with 3i, NatWest Markets, HSBC and Coutts before entering industry. He has been involved in businesses covering a range of sectors, including engineering, telecoms, utility services and energy and was the Chief Financial Officer and Group Corporate Development Director with Leeds based FTSE company Spice plc.
He has held a number of non-executive positions and is currently Chairman of Harrogate based gas supplier CNG and a non-executive director of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, where he chairs the Finance & Performance Committee.
Lay Member - end of office 2024
Kersten took up post as Chief Executive of Bradford Council in August 2015. Bradford has one of the youngest populations of any City in the UK and an ethnically diverse and entrepreneurial population. The District is enjoying a period of economic growth; growth of indigenous companies and inward investment, major capital schemes and opening of the regions 3rd largest retail centre. Her key challenges are to ensure that growth in the Bradford economy is sustained and that there is a significant uplift in levels of educational attainment within the District.
This takes place against a backdrop of dramatic reductions in central government funding for local government, devolution to City Regions and huge pressures in the delivery of social care and health.
Prior to taking up post in Bradford, Kersten was Chief Executive of York for six years. In this time the city, recovering after recession, experienced strong growth, with ‘functional full employment’ and high levels of business start up. Key highlights of the six years included the introduction of the living wage by many employers in the city, development of the first ‘gigabit city infrastructure’, designation of the city as a UNESCO ‘City of Media Arts’ and hosting of a stage start of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2014.
Kersten is the lead Chief Executive for innovation and growth in the Leeds City Region, a trustee of Nesta (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), a member of the Council of the University of Bradford and of the National Media Museum’s Advisory Board.
Kersten's career has included work in the voluntary sector, higher education, central government as well as 21 years in local government. She is passionate about community capacity building, diversity and equality, supporting civic leadership and sustainable urban growth.
Lay Member - end of office 2024
Karen McMahon graduated from the University of York in 1980 with a BA in Economics.
After qualifying as a CIMA accountant with British Gas she worked as an Internal Auditor and Divisional Project Accountant with the Northern Foods Group before joining the consultancy arm of Deloittes in 1988. Whilst there she completed an assignment to manage the merger of the six further education colleges in Sheffield, in preparation for the incorporation of The Sheffield College in 1993. Following this she held the positions of Finance Director at Joseph Priestley College, (Leeds) and Craven College, (Skipton) and of Deputy Chief Executive at Leeds College of Music.
Prior to joining the Council in August 2018, Karen served as a lay member of the University Audit Committee from November 2012 and is now chair of the Committee.
Lay Member - end of office 2023
Sally Neocosmos has over 35 years experience in higher education administration and management. During her full-time career she worked in pre and post 1992 universities, most recently as Registrar and Secretary at the University of York.
Since taking early retirement in 2008 she has undertaken a number of interim management and consultancy assignments related to higher education.
She has wide-ranging experience of national policy development as a UK civil servant, as a technical adviser to the South African National Commission on Higher Education, and as a member of numerous policy committees and task groups.
She also has direct experience of governance in higher and further education and schools. She was awarded the OBE for services to higher education in 2010.
Sally is Chair of the University People Committee.
Lay Member - end of office 2024
Sanjay is a graduate of Imperial College, London where he qualified as a Chemical Engineer and after 8 years with ICI in North Yorkshire, has acquired over 25 year's of Industry experience across retail, aerospace and defence and Consumer Products. He is currently Group CIO at Tate & Lyle, a global provider of distinctive, high quality ingredients and solutions to the food, beverage and other industrieis and whose Purpose of Improving Lives for Generations is realized by adding taste, texture, nutrition and increased functionality, like fibre to products that millions of people around the world use or consume every day.
Sanjay has a passion for learning and transformational change and is a member of several CIO forums where he has been requested to present and write papers on the future of technology, automation and the role of CIO in the Future. He leads a people champions and an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion community within the IT function and has extensive experience in recruitment, mentoring and coaching.
Sanjay lives in Richmond, Surrey with his wife Sayjel who teaches healthy cooking and their two teenage children. Sanjay has travelled extensively and has lived and worked in Switzerland and The Netherlands with Nestle, Unilever and PepsiCo.
Lay member - end of office 2024
Ibrahim graduated from International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan in 2005 with a Master's degree in Economics and Finance. In 2010 Ibrahim completed his Chartered Management Accountant's degree from Chartered Institute of Management Accounts UK.
Ibrahim has 20 years of international experience, working in finance and commercial roles across large organisations. Currently he is working as Commercial Director Finance for Atos, managing Public Sector & Defence market segment covering UK&I and Northern Europe Regions.
Court Representative - end of office 2024
John built his career in the home shopping retail sector, leading mature/ legacy companies through "seismic-evolution" from catalogue to online.
He was Chief Executive of Freemans Grattan Holdings Ltd (and its subsidiaries Grattan plc and Freemans plc) the Bradford based online and catalogue retailer from 2012 to 2020. His brief was to lead a turnaround, and revenues grew from £160 to £260M.
Prior to FGH, John was Marketing Director of FTSE 250 online/ catalogue/ financial services company N Brown Group plc. Between 2003 and 2012, revenues grew from £410 to £750m and profit grew from £40 to nearly £100m.
He started his career in 1983 with Damart and first worked at Grattan plc/ Freemans plc from 1994 to 2003 reaching the board in 2000.
John is a Bradford University graduate (BA (hons) Social Studies (1990) and Management (MBA, 1994)).
He is currently a Director and Trustee of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society, a heritage railway based in Haworth.
Lay member - end of office 2025
Karen completed her degree in Management Studies and French at Bradford University 1988-1992 with one year at Strasbourg Ecole de Commerce. She is now Chair of early stage businesses, principally in tech and innovation, including health, media, adtech, IoT and digital infrastructure. She describes herself as a lover of clever tech and fascinated by the human brain.
She very much enjoys supporting teams with energy, passion and transparency and is mentor to CEOs, founders and Women in Tech. In her spare time, she is an enthusiastic amateur of all things neuroscience and neurotech.
In her career, Karen has been exec and non-exec director of multiple growing businesses. Her career was originally with large multi-nationals such as Ernst & Young, General Motors, EDS and WorldCom. She then moved to fast-growing scale-up businesses and to date has completed 6 IPOs, 4 exit processes (including a $500m sale) and over 25 acquisitions/mergers.
Lay member - end of office 2025
Zoe Burns-Shore graduated from the Newcastle University with a BA in History and Politics.
With a real passion for values-led leadership, Zoe has gone on to work in both the creative and commercial worlds. With a broad career encompassing brand development, marketing, strategy development, customer and people experience, operational delivery and digital transformation, Zoe now works as Director of Customer Experience at Yorkshire Water.
Born and bred in Yorkshire, Zoe is committee to helping the region flourish and creating opportunities for all. She champions Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within Yorkshire Water and beyond, offering coaching and mentoring to a wide range of people. Always committed to learning Zoe has recently completed the IOD Chartered Directorship.
Zoe lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two teenage children and loves to cook, read and listen to music.
Non-academic Staff Member - end of office 2024
Tori McKay is Policy and Development Officer within the Directorate of Learning, Teaching and Quality Enhancement (LTQE) at the University of Bradford.
Tori’s role is to lead on the development and implementation of institutional academic strategy, policy, regulation and guidance in order to safeguard the quality and standards of the University and drive improvements in the student and staff experience.
Tori joined the University in March 2018 and prior to this, worked as part of the quality assurance and educational development function within a private international higher education pathway institution. She has 10 years of experience working in quality assurance and enhancement roles in the higher education sector and also has experience and qualifications in teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Tori holds a BA in Modern Languages from the University of Durham and an MA in Publishing from the University of Central Lancashire. Tori’s work within LTQE involves working with multiple areas, teams and individuals across the institution and, since joining the University in 2018, she has been involved in many strategic and operational improvement projects/activities.
Ahmed Sher Malik
Member, UBU Sabbatical Officer - end of office 2023
Ahmed Sher Malik is the Student Affairs Sabbatical Officer at the University of Bradford Students Union. He did his undergraduate degree in software engineering. When he moved to England from Islamabad Pakistan, he had no idea that one day he would be on the University Council. Goes to show how opportunities come in so many different ways.
Ahmed has been working with the Working Acadamy which is a software company within the University working on various projects from clients such as Bradford Council, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Airedale Hospital and more.
He has a passion for any type of sports ranging from cricket and football to archery and equestrian and has represented the University of Bradford for both cricket and archery. His personal values align very well with the University of Bradford values which are making the world a safe space of inclusiveness and equality for people from every corner of the world.
UBU Sabbatical Officer - end of office 2023
Iqra Tabassum is the elected Education Officer for the year 2022/23. Iqra has been at the University of Bradford since 2018 and graduated in the summer of 2022 with a first-class honours in Civil & Structural Engineering. Iqra is the recipient of the Civil Engineering Department Project Oral Prize and the Bradford Soroptimist Leadership Prize Award. Iqra also held the position of Vice-President & Secratry at the Civil & Structural Engineering Society (CivSoc) at the University of Bradford Student Union where she was part of a team that organised social and educational events for students.
With previous experience as a mathematics tutor in an external company and a student representative within the university Iqra understands the intricacies of the education system and has taken on the role to be a representative of the student's needs. She takes a keen interest in the development of the student representative system and methods of incorporating the students voice and needs into the teaching methods within the University.
Iqra was born and raised in Bradford and is proud of the diversity within the city, she looks forwards to contributing towards the University to make it a better place for students and staff.
Senate member - end of office 2025
Faiz Ilyas is the Student Feedback Coordinator for the University's Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences, working on increasing student engagement and student experience across the Faculty. He also works on the Faculty's alumni and social media engagement as well as supporting accreditation activity.
Faiz is a licensed private hire driver and has extensive experience in the private hire and hackney carriage trade, currently a director at Fiacre Charter Ltd, formerly Ilyas Cars. He also helped establish, La Reign, a women's make-up, hair and beauty studio.
Faiz originally joined the University of Bradford's Faculty of Engineering & Informatics in 2015, as a student where he pursued a degree in Civil & Structural Engineering, graduating with a BEng, first class honours. during these formative years at the University, Faiz was actively involved in the Students' Union, taking on several voluntary roles in student societies and the UBU Council until he was elected to run the Union as the lad sabbatical officer and Chair of the Union's Board of Trustees. Throughout this time, Faiz proactively worked with the University on various projects, ensuring the student voice was at the forefront of University decision making. Projects included the Emm Lane campus relocation, sponsoring and securing the Graduate Workforce Bradford (GWB) Project, and the 2019 Vice-Chancellor recruitment.
Faiz is also extensively involved in the local community, through his involvement in his local parish council as well as having taken part in many initiatives such as campaigning on firework abuse, supporting Shearbridge Residents Association, Covid-19 Vaccine campaigns, amongst others.