City Lit's governing body has up to 21 members, with skills and expertise in a wide range of professions. Governors are responsible for determining the educational character and mission of City Lit and for monitoring quality and performance. They oversee the college's activities, including the effective and efficient use of resources, and ensure the safeguarding of its assets. Governors also act as trustees and company directors.
Areas of expertise: Quality and Standards in post 16 Education
Penny is a teacher by profession. She began her career teaching English to refugees and asylum seekers in the Further Education Sector. She moved into inspection in the late 1990’s, working for the Training Standards Council, mainly inspecting organisations providing apprenticeships, entry to employment programmes and courses in literacy, numeracy and for people with learning difficulties and disabilities. She progressed to inspect learning and skills across the prison estate for the Adult Learning Inspectorate and Ofsted. After leaving Ofsted she worked in the London Learning and Skills Council as Quality Director. She has recently left the Department for Education where she was responsible for contracts with Independent Specialist Colleges and the providers of education at HMP Youth Offending Institutions in London and the South East. She has been a Trustee on the pact (Prisoner Advice and Care Trust) Board since 2001. Currently, she is a consultant in the post-16 education sector supporting colleges in continuous quality improvement.
My course choice would be: creative poetry writing.
Deputy Chair of Governors
Areas of expertise: Corporate communications, public affairs, HR.
Annita was one of the founding partners of Taylor Bennett, an independent search firm that has specialised in corporate communications assignments for over 30 years. Her early career was spent at Unilever in both recruitment and corporate communications teams. She became HR director of the global advertising agency SSC&B Lintas before establishing Taylor Bennett in 1982. A Fellow of the RSA, a trustee of Independent Opera and the Shakespeare Schools Festival, she continues to be an active professional mentor. Having spent most of her first month's salary on an Olympus SLR camera, she learnt how to use it at City Lit and has been an avid supporter of adult education ever since.
My course choices would be: Basketry, Modern Greek and Salsa.
Director of Communications and Brand
Jane is currently a Director of Communications and Brand at a well known international children's development charity. She left Whitehall at the end of 2010 where she spent five, very enjoyable years as Director of Communications in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Before government, Jane worked in PR and Public Affairs consulting in the private sector with clients such as Nissan, Roche and the Bar Council. Her first job was in Parliament. Jane is also a trustee of an international charity which protects the rights of people around the world faced with a death penalty. She is a member of the WomeninWhitehall TEDx network and she has been a mentor for a number of women over the years. Also an avid adult learner, Jane has spent many happy years as a student at City Lit on courses ranging from Stage Management to Marxism.
Area of Specialism: Commercial and Organisational leadership
Jonathan has a portfolio of consultancy, strategic advisory and non-executive roles. Jobs he has held during his career include Commercial Development Director of NatWest Card Services, Deputy Chief Executive of Bedfordshire County Council, and Local Government Market Director for Capita plc. His qualifications are in Mathematics, Operational Research, Business Administration and Art History and he remembers fondly that City Liy succeeded where his schooling failed and showed him that he could actually draw after all. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, the Operational Research Society, the institute of Directors and the RSA.
My course choice would be: Exploring Classical Music.
Dame Moira Gibb
Chair of Governors
Moira was Chief Executive of the London Borough of Camden (which includes Keeley Street), for eight years until 2012. Prior to that she managed housing and social services in another London borough and worked in a number of local authority social services departments. She has also been a lecturer in social work and a teacher.
She now also chairs Skills for Care, and is a non executive director of NHS England and of the UK Statistics Authority as well as being a member of Council of the University of Reading. She was a Civil Service Commissioner from 2012-15 and a Director of the London Marathon from 2005-11.
She is a graduate of Glasgow University, was made a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute in 2011, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law by the University of East Anglia in 2012 and an Honorary Doctorate of Science by Kingston University in 2013.
Fiona worked for over 35 years in adult, further and higher education in Strathclyde, London and the Midlands. For 16 of these years, before she retired in 2014, she was Principal of Fircroft, a residential college of adult education in Birmingham with a very strong social justice mission. She was also a part-time Adult Learning inspector, specialising in Leadership and Management and Community Learning. In 2009 she was awarded an OBE for services to adult education.
My course choices would be Fashion, Sewing and Clothes Making.
Principal and Governor
Mark joined City Lit as Principal having been Director of Executive Education at London Business School. Previously, he was President of the New York Institute of Finance, part of Pearson plc, the world's largest education publishing company.
Area of expertise: Local government, audit and computing
Tim has been a Westminster City councillor since 1998 and represents St James's ward which includes Covent Garden. He currently chairs the Council's Audit and Performance Committee. He also chairs a Licensing Sub Committee and sits on various council committees including Planning. He is a board member of a number of local community organisations including Covent Garden's community gym at Jubilee Hall and a community primary school. He is an IT consultant and has recently completed a bachelors degree with the Open University.
Keith was Leader of Camden Council from 2006 to 2010, and Leader of the Opposition from 2010 to 2014. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and was its Chair from 2012 to 2016; he is also a trustee of the IoL Educational Trust. He works as a language consultant and translator specialising in EU affairs and speaks fluent French, German and Portuguese, combined with some rusty Russian and Italian. He previously worked for 20 years in the energy industry in international and corporate affairs, during which time he was for several years chair of a United Nations energy trade working party.
Keith has hugely enjoyed taking courses in Arabic and yoga at City Lit.
Raj Parkash was a solicitor with City law firm Clifford Chance for 30 years, 21 of them as a partner. He headed their Commercial Business Group, and established their Frankfurt office. After retiring from Clifford Chance, Raj enjoyed a number of classes at City Lit, which inspired him to seek to join the Board. He has recently finished a period as Head of Legal at the charity Comic Relief. He is also Vice Chair of the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith.
My course of choice would be the course on Mahler and the Viennese school
Sandy is Group Finance Director at the Institution of Civil Engineers, and has worked in the not for profit sector since 2008. Prior to this, Sandy had a long career in the city, having held senior finance positions in two FTSE100 companies - London Stock Exchange Group plc, and Reuters Group plc. He is a qualified chartered accountant and MBA, with over 35 years experience in financial management and reporting, governance, treasury and risk management.
My course choice would be Languages: Dutch
Area of Expertise: Direct Marketing and Publishing, business strategy, team building, change management.
Joanna is the Founder and MD of ReynoldsBusby Lee, a business consultancy specialising in advice on change management, publishing and pan-Euro direct marketing. Her previous roles include the CEO Europe for IMP (International Masters Publishing) MD Europe for Time Life International, Marketing Director of the Consumers’ Association, and Vice President Europe for HCI Direct, a direct marketing company. She is a trustee of the One World Trust.
Michael is the Chief Executive of Populus, a research and strategy consultancy. A graduate of the University of Leeds, Michael had a background in politics (as a special adviser to three cabinet ministers and in various senior roles for the Conservative Party and at the BBC’s Political Research Unit) before co-founding Populus in 2003 to help organisations, businesses and brands gain a detailed understanding of their markets and to put research at the heart of their business strategy. His passion and interests have moved away from politics to how businesses run and what drives their reputation.
My course choices would be photography or, if I was feeling really brave, learning to sing with confidence.