Brian Silk

Brian studied medicine at University College and University College Hospital Medical School.

General Practice was Brian’s first career choice and his next two jobs were in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Burton-on-Trent, and Paediatrics at Stockport. He is most proud of his part in developing the Kettering Paediatric Community Nursing Service that provided support and expertise to parents and children in their homes, keeping many out of hospital. Brian served inter alia as Medical Advisor to Northamptonshire NSPCC, Medical Advisor for Northamptonshire Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust, Oxford Regional Advisor in Paediatrics and Chair of Kettering General Hospital Medical Advisory Committee.

George Gyte

Former Chief Inspector of Schools, Northamptonshire. Education has been George Gyte’s life from early days as a teacher, then deputy head and then head of a school in the North East before becoming involved in the Centre for Study of Comprehensive Schools, a charitable trust affiliated to Leicester University, which seeks high quality state education for all.

He then joined Northamptonshire as Chief Inspector of Schools before being asked to lead the Government’s drive on headship qualifications for the then Teacher Training Agency. After this he became Director of Education in Greenwich in the late 1990s, a post he retained until 2002.

An adviser at the DfES and an Associate of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, which works in the four areas of health, education, transport and the home office, he has been directly involved with the children’s services agenda and 14-19 policy at the DfES. He works with Tim Brighouse on the London Challenge, which seeks to raise the aspirations, opportunities and attainment for young people as well as establish London as a world class city for education and is supporting the Manchester Challenge.

Ross Brawn

Technical Director for Brawn/Virgin Grand Prix Racing. In the world of Motor Racing, Ross is widely recognised as the kingmaker of Formula One because of his incredible success and outstanding achievements with various racing teams.

Ross worked for Ferrari in December 1996 as Technical Director and played an important role in building what was labeled by many as the “dream team”, the team that powered Schumacher to five consecutive drivers’ titles, from 2000 to 2004.

Ross went on to win the 2009 FIA Formula One Driver’s and Constructor’s championship at Interlagos in Brazil, making him one of the sport’s most successful personalities of all time. In February 2010, he was presented with the Sir Malcolm Campbell Memorial Trophy in honour of the Brawn GP team’s achievements in the 2009 Formula One World Championship.

In March 2010, Ross, now the Mercedes GP Team Principal made the unique journey to Buckingham Palace in order to be awarded by the Queen with his Order of the British Empire (OBE) award in recognition for his contributions to the motorsport industry.

Ann Tate

Former Vice Chancellor, the University of Northampton. Ann Tate has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Sociology and Sociology applied to Medicine from the University of London.

Ann was Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton (and Rector of University College Northampton) from 2002-2010.  During this time, she led the University through a very successful period and brought the University to the position in which it finds itself today.

Nick Blakey

Nick is a Chartered Waste Manager and is Head of the Waste Research Team, Sustainable Consumption and Production and Waste Evidence at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) where he has helped drive forward the research agenda in waste and resource management in the UK.

In 1999, Nick helped establish the Environmental Services Association Research Trust, managing a four year, £3m research programme into sustainable waste management funded through the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme and then took up his current role in DEFRA in October 2003.

Professor Gary Mesibov

Professor of Psychology. Professor Mesibov has made notable service to the education of children and adults on the autism spectrum, locally (across the East Midlands), nationally and internationally.
Professor Mesibov became involved with Northamptonshire Local Authority as a result of an inter-agency working group’s recommendations in relation to the development of education and services for people with autism. The TEACCH approach, founded in North Carolina in the ’60s, was introduced to the UK in Northamptonshire in 1990, led by Professor Mesibov as Director of Division TEACCH.

Professor Mesibov has continued to deliver training twice each year in Northamptonshire resulting in thousands of professionals being trained in the TEACCH approach to autism.

Michael Binyon

Michael is a Leader Writer and former Diplomatic Editor of The Times. After a year teaching in Minsk for the British Council, he joined the Times Educational Supplement in 1968, moving to the BBC Arabic Service two years later. He joined The Times in 1972, covered the 1973 Middle East war and became a foreign correspondent in 1975. He reopened the Times bureau in Moscow in 1977, moved to Bonn in 1982, to Washington as bureau chief in 1985 and then to Brussels in 1989. In 1991 he became the paper’s diplomatic editor, attending most international summits.

Michael’s term as Master of the Leathersellers’ Company in 2008/9 coincided with the University’s Centenary of Leather Education and he supported the Centenary celebrations throughout the year. Towards the end of his term as Master, Michael received the University’s Centenary of Leather Education Award for Philanthropy, on behalf of the Leathersellers’ Company. He continues to support the University and was keynote speaker at the University Livery Company event at Sunley Management Centre in October 2010.