About us


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.

Please contact the Clerk to the Governors, Katrina O'Sullivan, for any governance related queries: katrina.o'sullivan@citylit.ac.uk 


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

Penny Allen


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. 

Course choice would be: creative poetry writing.


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 choice would be: Portuguese Level 4.


Tim Bolderson



Jane Cooper

Deputy Chair of Governors

Jane is currently juggling communications consultancy assignments, Non-Exec activity and further research into early Italian Renaissance art.  She is a former Director of Communications and Brand at UNICEF, having left Whitehall at the end of 2010 where she spent five, very enjoyable years as Director of Communications in two government departments. 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 and then as a lobbyist for Amnesty International. Jane is currently a trustee of BRAC UK, an international charity that tackles poverty, and ShareAction, a campaigning organisation for responsible investment. Most importantly, Jane is an avid learner and has spent many happy years as a student at City Lit on courses ranging from Stage Management to Marxism.

Course choice would be: Reading Medieval Latin.


Jon Gamble MBE


Area of Expertise: Adult Learning Policy

As Director of Adult Learning at the former Skills Funding Agency, Jon led and advised on the design, development and implementation of many high profile, national adult learning funding policies.

He has written numerous policy papers for the relevant government departments including a government commission to produce a suite of learning and funding policy proposals entitled ‘What Should Government Support?’ Many of the recommendations were subsequently adopted into national funding policy.  He made regular speaking appearances at national conferences, on radio and TV and contributed to other debates on different aspects of public funding policy for adult learning in England.

He was awarded the MBE in 2008 for services to further education. He retired in 2014 having spent 42 years working in the further education sector. 

My course choice would be: Focus on: the art of the poster – print, pop and propaganda.


Dame Moira Gibb DBE

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.

As well as chairing City Lit, Moira is chair of Skills for Care the workforce development agency for adult social care and of the National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee. She is a member of NESTA’s Health Advisory Committee.

She was a non-executive director of NHS England for six years and of the UK Statistics Authority for nine years as well as being a member of Council of the University of Reading until 2016. 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.


Eric Hadley

Student Governor

Eric had a long career as a teacher of English and Drama in Secondary schools and in the Primary sector. He went on to train teachers in the Department of Education, University of Cambridge, the Education Department, University of Cardiff and Faculty of Education, Cardiff Metropolitan University where he ran the in-service programmes for teachers and developed a part-time MA for Primary Teachers. He has written extensively on Children’s Literature and the development of Literacy, including two collections of stories for children and two collections of plays. When he retired he became Chair of Governors at Albany Primary School, the largest multi-ethnic primary school in Cardiff, he was a story teller in schools and he acted and directed with the Everyman Theatre Cardiff. He moved to London six years ago with his wife, the novelist Tessa Hadley and is just completing an MA in Renaissance Studies.

Courses: He has pursued a number of poetry, drama and choir courses at City Lit. He has just finished a course on Cabaret – highly demanding and highly 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: 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.


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. 


Keith Moffitt


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 is now in his third year of Classical Greek studies at City Lit, which he is enjoying enormously.


Raj Parkash 


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 was Head of Legal and Compliance at the Charity Comic Relief, and Vice chair of the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith for 6 years. I am now a trustee of the Bedford Park Society and Chair of its Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

Course of choice would be Introduction to Art History.


Michael Simmonds


Michael is the Chief Executive of Populus Group, a strategic research, brand and business consulting group. 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 how brand and reputation management can power business performance.

My course choices would be photography or, if I was feeling really brave, learning to sing with confidence.


Paula Smith


Jill Westerman CBE


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: Classics, Literature and Spanish.


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