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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.

The Board operates a board structure with committees as follows: Audit & Risk Committee; Finance & Commercial Committee; Governance & People Committee; Quality Committee; and Remuneration Committee. 

Please contact the Clerk to the Governors, Katrina O'Sullivan, who will be happy to help with all governance enqueries: katrina.o' 


Please read our City Lit Governors Code of Conduct which is a guide to indicate the standards of conduct and accountability which are expected of Governors. 


Governor biographies


Lucy Arnold-Courtney


Lucy has worked in higher and further education for nearly 20 years. She started as a Politics lecturer for an East Midlands university before shifting her focus to strategically facilitating access to Higher Education and championing Further Education. Lucy is active in governance and support of schools and colleges including being the Chair of Governors for a large single academy trust in Essex and the Trustee of an Awarding Organisation focussed on adult education. Lucy is currently the Director of a newly established University Centre in East London following her previous role as Director of Continuing Education for university in London. 

Lucy’s love of further education and its role in society has defined her work within Higher Education and her own personal development as a lifelong learner. 

Course of choice: Ceramics

Donna Birkett Baida


As Vice President Marketing, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company EMEA, Donna is responsible for helping adults and children discover and fall in love with Disney television content of all genres, from Crime to Comedy, Drama to Factual. Prior to Disney, Donna held a range of roles at Coca-Cola including leading the business’ digital transformation programme in Europe, guiding Coke’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sponsorship programme, as well as heading multiple Company acquisitions. Donna started her career agency side, having held various strategic planning positions at Leo Burnett.

Course of choice would be: Garden Design


Edward Breen

Staff Governor

Edward teaches music history and music theory at City lit where he is Head of Programme for Advanced Studies in the School of Performing Arts. His specialism is early music (medieval, renaissance and baroque periods) and he holds a PhD at King's College London (2013) on the performance of medieval music. Previously Edward has taught music at Morley College and English for Itaú bank in São Paulo, Brazil. Outside of teaching, Edward is a regular contributor to Gramophone magazine and has also worked for the BBC Proms. His most recent essays are published in: The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Historical Performance in Music, and The Oxford Handbook of Music and Medievalism.

Course of choice would be: Portuguese Level 4.

Clancy Gebler Davies

Student Governor

Clancy is an artist and writer. Her work has been exhibited at the Photographers' Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts and the East Wing of the Courtauld Institute. She began her career as a journalist and wrote for several national newspapers. Attracted by City Lit's reputation for teaching literary skills, Clancy's first course was Ways into Creative Writing in 2012. "I have learned so much and had so much encouragement from City Lit tutors," she says. "So many of them are experts in their fields who generously share decades of knowledge. The photography department gave me the technical skills and confidence to concentrate on my work as an artist. I would never have shown at the Photographers' Gallery without their support and encouragement.”

Course of choice would be: Introduction to basketry
I did a taster course in basket-making just for fun and I could see straight away why people come to City Lit from all over the UK and Europe to learn this skill here. It was very satisfying.


Colin Jones


Colin Jones was Finance Director of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, where he worked in leadership roles for 22 years before retiring in June 2018.  During his time at Euromoney, Colin’s responsibilities included oversight of the group’s public training activities across sectors including banking and finance, legal, audit and information security; buying, selling and investing in training businesses; management of the group’s internal training programme, and even writing and delivering training courses himself.  Prior to joining Euromoney, Colin was a Director at Price Waterhouse, where he qualified as a chartered accountant.  Colin is also a non-executive director of Centaur Media Plc.

Course of choice would be: starting next year, I plan to learn German, and where better than City Lit.  Before that I will try a course in linguistics, and might even dabble in Welsh.


Simon Judge


Simon has spent over 30 years in the civil service, working on a wide range of issues across Government (including education). He qualified later in life as an accountant, and subsequently held Finance Director posts in a number of departments. Since retiring he has built a portfolio of Trustee positions in a variety of educational institutions. He has a passion for learning and teaching at work, and for helping organisations to learn from each other.

Choice of course would be: history, philosophy, and maybe building a better website.


Christine Kinnear


Christine is the Founder & CEO of With Insight Education C.I.C., a not-for-profit organisation that she set up in 2018 to increase the number of black-heritage pupils progressing to top ranked universities as a gateway to a more prosperous future.  Her background is as a social marketing practitioner with 18 years’ experience of strategic marketing, programme management and driving organisational change in not-for-profit organisations.

Previously Chair of Governors of a primary school, Christine now sits on several other educational and diversity boards including Causeway Education and the AccessHE BAME forum.

Course of choice would be: debating. 


Mark Lever OBE


Mark is Chief Executive of Helpforce, a charity focussed on accelerating the growth and impact of volunteering in health and care. He is a Chartered Accountant with a Cranfield MBA. The first 13 years of his career were spent training and practising as a Chartered Accountant, he then decided to leave the heady world of finance and take a bungee jump into the third sector - a decision he has not regretted for a single minute of his 27+ years in the sector. During this time he has been Chief Executive of the RVS and the National Autistic Society. He is now leading Helpforce to work in partnership with health and care organisations who want to accelerate the growth and impact of their volunteering.
In his spare time, he looks ridiculous in lycra cycling at the weekends, cultivates grey hair at an alarming rate, drinks wine with his wife Amanda and regularly negotiates behaviour related pay awards with his four sons.

Course of choice would be: Creative non-fiction writing


Gabriel MacGregor


Gabriel worked as a public sector lawyer for 30 years. She ended her career as Head of Corporate Law and Deputy Monitoring Officer for the London Borough of Croydon advising local politicians and senior officers on governance issues and strategic projects in relation to one of the most populous and ethnically diverse boroughs in London.  Since 2018 Gabriel has been a Lay Member of the University of Kent Council, is a Trustee for a Residential Care Home for the Elderly and a weekly volunteer at the Merton Homeless Drop In.

Course of choice would be: I’d do one of the London History Walks and Courses. I’ve lived in London all my life but there’s always more to learn about it. 


Mark Malcomson CBE

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. 

Course of choice would be: singing, to see if I am really as tone deaf as everyone tells me I am.


Lindsay Nicholson MBE

Chair of Governors

Lindsay Nicholson gained a BSc (Hons) in Astrophysics at UCL – but turned down a career, literally as a rocket scientist, after winning a place on Mirror Group Newspapers Training Scheme. After training as a reporter, she moved into magazines becoming editor initially of Prima, then for over 18 years as editor of of Good Housekeeping, which under her leadership became the biggest-selling monthly magazine in Britain. She was twice named Editor of the Year, honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Society of Magazine Editors and became the first Editorial Director of The National Magazine Company overseeing some of the most famous magazine brands in Britain including Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire.  As well as spear-heading campaigns for more family-friendly workplaces, she used her early experiences studying a STEM subject to campaign for Women In Science. In 2005 she published a memoir, Living On The Seabed, about the deaths of her first husband and eldest child from a rare form of leukaemia. In 2017, she gave up editing to concentrate on writing, coaching and campaigning. She was awarded the MBE in 2018, in recognition of services to journalism and equal opportunities.  

Course of choice would be: as an inveterate bookworm and would-be has to be Bookbinding For Beginners.


Alison Pike


Alison works as Director of Communities and Programmes at Mencap, an organisation she has loved being part of for the past 11 years. She is committed to tackling inequalities and social injustice, championing equity so people can live happy, healthy lives. Her current role includes delivering a range of education and training services to support people into the work place and asset based community development to promote strong, thriving communities that enable everyone to achieve their potential. She is also interested in organisational culture and transformation. Prior to Mencap she worked at Deloitte and is a qualified teacher having taught Religious Studies and Psychology for 3 years. City Lit is her first trustee appointment.

Course of choice would be: Arabic, so I can understand what my partner is talking to his family and friends about!


Jill Westerman CBE

Deputy Chair of Governors

Jill has worked in adult education for over 40 years, beginning her career as a literacy tutor with gypsy and travelling families in the Midlands, going on to teach in London and Yorkshire. She spent 25 years working at the Northern College in Barnsley, with 11 years as principal before she retired in 2018.  She worked for the Adult Learning Inspectorate and Ofsted as an additional inspector.
Jill is also Vice Chair of FETL, the Further Education Trust for Leadership.  She was awarded a CBE in 2010 for services to adult education and received the TES FE lifetime achievement award in 2018.   She is a fellow of the City and Guilds institute.
Choice of course would be: Classics, Literature and Spanish.

Hayley White


As the Assessment Director at Pearson, Hayley is responsible for the assessment of all Pearson Edexcel GCEs, GCSEs and International qualifications, which sees over 12,000 teacher examiners determine more than 5 million learner results each summer. Her remit extends from the strategic management and operational delivery of all assessment activities from the creation of question papers to the setting of grade boundaries. Hayley has a proven track record of excellent operational delivery; ensuring – without exception – 100% completion of delivery activities within a highly regulated environment. She has extensive experience of organisational development, change management, and maximising business development opportunities. Hayley is responsible for supporting teachers in their understanding of the assessment approach - ultimately ensuring confidence in student results.

Course of choice would be: Ceramics: throwing and decoration



Read the Governing Body Minutes

Find our more about the Governing Body Meeting Dates