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Our Governors

Members of the Board of Governors at Plymouth Marjon University

Graham Raikes MBE

Graham Raikes MBE

Chair of the Board and Directly Appointed Independent Governor 

Graham served for over 26 years in the Army, originally commissioning as a Royal Welch Fusilier officer and later qualifying as a management accountant and chartered secretary. In his last Army appointment, he was responsible for the Army’s military management accountants world-wide and supporting major defence-wide reviews and initiatives. 

In 2003, Graham become Director of Corporate Finance at the University of Plymouth and was soon promoted to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Resources). In 2009, he became Director of Resources at the Arts and Humanities Research Council.  In 2013, he took on the additional role of creating and leading the Professional Support Unit for AHRC, EPSRC and ESRC. 

Graham is Chair of the Board, Chair of Governance & Nominations Committee and a member of the following: Finance & Resources Committee; Remuneration Committee; People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee; Estates Project Group; Healthcare Education Strategic Advisory Group. 


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Emma van Der Lugt

Emma van der Lugt

Directly Appointed Independent Governor

Emma was brought up in Plymouth and has more than 20 years' management experience across the NHS. Emma is currently the Business Partner at Church View Surgery in Plymstock.

Emma is (joint) Deputy Chair of the Board, Chair of Audit Committee, Deputy Chair of Remuneration Committee, Governance & Nominations Committee and People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee. Emma is a member of the Healthcare Education Strategic Advisory Group. 


  • Church View Surgery, Plymstock – Business Partner
  • Mewstone Primary Care Network - Surgery Partner 
John Searson

John Searson

Church Nominated Independent Governor

John has worked in education for over 30 years including headship in a County Primary school. In 2004 he joined Plymouth City Council and over time became Head of Education and Learning. John has trained as an Ofsted inspector (not current framework) and been an accredited School Improvement Partner. Until 2020, John was the Exeter Diocesan Director of Education.

John is Joint Deputy Chair of the Board, Chair of Estates Project Group and member of Governance & Nominations Committee.


  • Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts Manufactures and Commerce - Fellow
Michelle Jones

Prof Michelle Jones

Vice-Chancellor (Ex-Officio Governor)

Michelle is currently interim Vice-Chancellor at Plymouth Marjon University. In her substantive role Michelle leads on research and knowledge exchange, campus development and equality, diversity and inclusion.  Michelle has held posts at Solent University, York St John University, Edge Hill and the University of Liverpool. Michelle remains research active interest in young people’s well-being; she studied human movement science at the University of Liverpool and then completed a PhD at Liverpool John Moores University.

Michelle is a member of Finance & Resources Committee, Estates Project Group, P&OD Sub-Committee, Governance & Nominations Committee, Healthcare Education Strategic Advisory Group. Michelle attends meetings of Remuneration Committee by invitation but is not present for any discussion/decision regarding her own performance or remuneration.


  • Employee - Plymouth Marjon University 
Guy Bolt

Guy Bolt


Guy is a co-opted member of the Board of Governors.

Further information to follow. 


  • Bailey Partnership - Senior Associate
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - Member
  • South West Association of Mediators - Member

Dr Greg Borne

Academic Staff Governor - Senate

Dr Gregory Borne is a Senior Lecturer at Marjon, an interdisciplinary social scientist with an emphasis on sustainability. He has worked for international organisations such as the United Nations as well as organisations in the government, education and third sectors. He is the author of numerous journal articles and four books on different components of sustainability.

Greg is the programme lead for the innovative BA (Hons) Social Sciences and  the MRes in Social Sciences.  Greg is also: Postgraduate research coordinator; member of the research degree scrutiny panel; member of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee.

Greg is a member of Estates Project Group.


  • Proprietor - Sustain Surveying
  • Member - Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • Member - Institution of Environmental Sciences 
  • Employee - Plymouth Marjon University
Stephen Criddle OBE

Stephen Criddle OBE

Directly Appointed Independent Governor

Stephen has held a number of key roles in Further Education, latterly as Principal & CEO of South Devon College in Torbay.  Now retired, he retains a passion for high quality education and its role in raising life chances and promoting inclusivity and diversity.

Stephen has held board positions with a range of local educational institutions and national agencies, as well as with regional and local economic development organisations.  

Stephen was awarded an OBE for Services to Education in 2018, and proudly holds an Honorary MA in Education from Marjon.

When the opportunity arises, Stephen enjoys playing tennis and walking the South West coast path.

Stephen is Deputy Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of Remuneration Committee.


  • Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
  • Fellow of South Devon College
  • Treasurer - Margaret Jackson Trust


Rt Rev'd Dr Tim Dakin smiling at the camera

Rt Rev'd Dr Tim Dakin


Tim is a co-opted Board member and a former Marjon student.  He was born in Tanzania and grew up and later worked in Kenya.  His tertiary education took place in the UK (BA, MTh, PhD), focussing on Theology & Sociology and Mission Spirituality.  His interests include World Christianity and international studies. 

As Bishop of Winchester, Tim’s national portfolio was Further & Higher Education.  He oversaw the Church of England’s new thinking on the contribution of FE & HE to the common good within a pluralist and post-secular world. 

Tim was previously on the Board of Winchester University (another Cathedrals Group University).  

Tim is now an active retiree, and lives in Plymouth with his wife Sally.


  • Anglican Missioners of Africa Development and Education Trust (AMADET) - Chair
Kate Doodson - A Governor at Marjon University

Kate Doodson

Directly Appointed Independent Governor  

Kate is the Joint Chief Executive of Cosmic, one of the leading social enterprises in the South West.  Kate has spent over two decades in the IT industry, many of which running a wholly female owned IT software business.

Kate specialises in Digital Futures and the strategic use of Digital to transform business processes.  Her previous career in Civil Engineering enabled her to work extensively in both the UK and overseas.

Kate has been shortlisted for the Women in IT awards, as IT Advocate of the Year, and received awards from Tech4Good, Social Enterprise UK and Venus awards.

Kate is a member of the Finance & Resources Committee and Deputy Chair of Estates Project Group. 


  • South Devon College - Non Exec Director
  • South West Cyber Security Cluster- Steering Group Member
  • ICE SW Infrastructure Panel - Steering Group Member


Matt Evans

Matt Evans

Directly Appointed Independent Governor

Matt's career has centred on promoting community sport and active lifestyles. He has held leadership roles with Somerset County Cricket Club, The England and Wales Cricket Board and Active Devon, where he has been the Chief Executive since 2011. He has extensive expertise across the grassroots participation agenda, public policy and investment strategies and is a passionate advocate for partnership and collaborative approaches.

Away from professional life Matt practises what he preaches, being a keen everyday walker and cyclist.  He is a passionate rugby fan and a keen but frustratingly worse than par golfer!

Matt is a member of the Governance & Nominations Committee.


  • Active Devon (Devon County Council) - Chief Executive
  • Cedar Court (Rockbeare) Management Company Limited – Director


Katherine George - A Governor at Marjon University

Katherine George


Katherine is a co-opted member of the Finance & Resources Committee.  

Katherine George is the founder of the multi-award winning, international social media agency Oh So Social, which provides comprehensive social media management and training services, and online training platform Oh So Savvy. As one of just eight Meta Certified Lead Trainers in Europe and one of 24 Facebook and Instagram accredited #SheMeansBusiness mentors in the UK, Katherine has a wealth of expert social media knowledge and experience.  

Both Katherine and Oh So Social have won a string of awards, including being named by Enterprise Nation as one of their Top Marketing Advisers three years running, and celebrated in Cornwall's 30 Under 30 list four times.


  • Oh So Social - Director
  • Oh So Savvy - Director
Rt Rev'd James Grier

Rt Rev'd James Grier


Bishop James is a co-opted member of the Board of Governors. 

James became Bishop of Plymouth in September 2022.  He was born and brought up in Plymouth and returned to Devon 15 years ago.  He has been ordained since 1998 and worked in Oxford, Birmingham and Exeter.  Whilst in Devon, he has been the Mission Enabler for Exeter Diocese, encouraging and helping churches to live out their faith in their communities across Devon.  Prior to that, he began a multi-generational church working with young people with little or no interest in faith, particularly those studying at Exeter College. 
Throughout his ministry, James has worked in university cities and in churches with a significant commitment to working with students. 
James is married to Liz. They have two sons, Josh and Toby.


  • Exeter Diocesan Board of Finance - Director
  • Plymouth College - Governor
Victoria Hatton

Vicky Hatton

National Society Nominated Independent Governor

Vicky is a Senior Associate at Browne Jacobson LLP, specialising in education law.  She has extensive experience and knowledge of the education sector and advises schools and academy trusts across the South West and nationally on legal and governance matters.  Vicky has been a volunteer in school governance since 2010, holding a range of roles including chair of governors.  She is currently a Member of a special school multi-academy trust and a Trustee of Askel Veur, the Diocese of Truro’s Umbrella Company Ltd. 

Vicky lives in Cornwall with her husband and two young children.

Vicky is a member of the Audit Committee.


  • Special Partnership Trust - Member
  • Askel Veur (Diocese of Truro Umbrella Company Ltd) - Director
  • Browne Jacobson LLP - Solicitor
Alex Hawtin

Alex Hawtin

National Society Nominated Independent Governor

Alex is a Chartered Accountant with over 10 years' experience in various finance roles covering engineering, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and the motor industry. Alex studied Accounting and Finance and graduated from Plymouth University in 2009. He currently works as Head of Pricing and Insight within the Babcock International Group.

Alex is Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee.


  • Babcock DST - Head of Pricing and Insight 
  • Association of Certified Chartered Accountants – Fellow


Prof Patricia Hind

Prof Patricia Hind

Directly Appointed Independent Governor

Patricia began her career at Leeds University as a lecturer, before moving to a research position in the House of Commons. She joined the financial services sector as a business psychologist, then moved to City University as a Senior Lecturer.  Since joining Ashridge Business School, Patricia held the post of MBA Director for 12 years and now is Director of the Ashridge Centre for Research in Executive Education.

A magistrate, and former Chairman of the Bench in the Family Courts, Patricia has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London.

Patricia is a member of the Finance & Resources Committee and Chairs both Remuneration Committee and People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee.  


  • B2B Insights Ltd – Executive Director
  • Ashridge Executive Education – Professor
  • University of Portsmouth - Governor
Rev Nick McKinnel

Rt. Rev'd Nick McKinnel


Nick is the University's Chancellor and a former Bishop of Plymouth. Prior to ordination he studied Law and worked for an overseas development charity. Nick served as a curate in London, a university chaplain in Liverpool and as vicar to parishes in rural Devon and Plymouth city centre. 

He was consecrated as Bishop of Crediton in 2012, moving back to Plymouth in 2015. 

Bishop Nick served as a Diocesan Nominated Governor on Marjon's Board of Governors from 2015 to 2021. He was appointed the University's inaugural Chancellor at the opening Graduation Ceremony in October 2021.


  • Trustee - North Devon UNESCO Biosphere
Will Mintram smiling at the camera

Will Mintram

Student Union Elected Governor 

MSU President for 2022/23, Will is also the Chair of the MSU Board of Trustees. He was MSU Deputy President during 2021/22 and prior to this studied Osteopathic Medicine at Marjon.

Will is an avid sportsman, particularly swimming. He enjoys supporting Marjon’s teams and competitive sport more widely.

Will is excited to be part of the Board of Governors. He delivers updates to the Board on his activities and campaigns, notably around student health and wellbeing. Will is honoured to be able to share his experiences as a student and be a representative of the student body at Marjon.

Will attends meetings of the Finance & Resources Committee, People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee and is a member of Estates Project Group.


  • Employee - Plymouth Marjon University 


Ruth Mounstephen - One of our Governors at Marjon University

Ruth Mounstephen

Church Nominated Independent Governor

Ruth grew up in Oxford and graduated from Durham University. Ruth’s working life has been almost exclusively in the not-for-profit sector: the Health Service, three different charities, local government and more latterly an international student charity. Her main interest is in strategy development, organisational change and development and performance monitoring.

Ruth is motivated by seeing people flourish, develop and reach their potential – not just in their jobs, but in their lives. She loves to see people grow in their skills and knowledge, and to be able to pass those on to others. Ruth moved to Cornwall in 2018, where her husband Philip is Bishop of Truro.

Ruth is a member of People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee and Estates Project Group.


  • Bosence Farm Community Ltd - Trustee
  • Church Commissioners' Bishoprics and Cathedrals Committee - Member
Fiona Nicholls

Fiona Nicholls

Academic Staff Governor

Fiona is a Senior Lecturer in the Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning Team and believes in creating the best environments for experiential and alternative ways of learning. She is also passionate about making change for the best and sustainability.

Fiona has experience in leadership and management, including budget management within Devon and Plymouth City Council over 20 years in Youth and Community.

Currently a part-time PhD student in the field of education asking; what is the value of 'leaving the comfort zone'? A critical examination of fear induced learning.

When not with our students or being a PhD student herself, Fiona can almost always be found outdoors on the sea or in the mountains with friends.


  • Committee Member – Plymouth Youth Sailing
  • Employee - Plymouth Marjon University
Prof John Scott

Prof John Scott CBE


John is a co-opted member of the Board of Governors.

John’s career has been in Higher Education, where he has worked at the universities of Strathclyde, Leicester, Essex, and Plymouth.  He is a sociologist who has published more than 40 books on the subject and has served on numerous national committees and bodies concerned with the A-level teaching, curriculum development, and research assessment.  John has undertaken research visits to overseas universities in Europe and Asia, including visiting positions in Japan, Norway, and Hong Kong.  He has Honorary Doctorates from Essex University and Edinburgh University.

An active member of his local community, he has been involved in committees concerned with transport development, heritage buildings, High street rejuvenation, and neighbourhood planning.


  • British Academy - Fellow; Member of Governing Council
  • British Sociological Association - Member;  Honorary Vice-President
  • Academy of Social Sciences - Fellow
  • Tremorvah Court Management Company - Non-Executive Director
  • Lostwithiel Town Team - Member
  • Lostwithiel Heritage Buildings Committee (Lostwithiel Town Council) - Lay Member
  • Lostwithiel Business Group (incorporating Lostwithiel Town Forum) - Member
Esther Tonna-Morgan

Esther Tonna-Morgan

Professional Services Staff Governor 

I am Marjon’s Welcome Team Manager.  I have a background in customer service as well as NHS healthcare and am also a former student of Marjon myself.

I enjoy meeting people and sharing experiences as well as best practice. I delight in searching for alternative ways of working and was honoured to win the Marjon Staff Award for Curiosity in 2021. When an opportunity equally excites and scares me, I’m inclined to pursue it and step out of my comfort zone so that’s why I wanted to become a Governor.  I’ve got quite a diverse career history including two different shoe shops, an ice rink and most recently as a Cancer Support Worker in the NHS.  Staff Profile 

Esther attends meetings of the People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee.


  • Employee - Plymouth Marjon University 
Jackie Westerman

Jackie Westerman

Directly Appointed Independent Governor

An experienced organisational psychologist, senior HR professional and executive coach working with Boards across a range of organisations in the UK and US.  Specialist in culture, change and transformation projects, leadership development and performance management.  Has worked across a range of industries to design workplaces that are high performing, healthy and inclusive.  Currently studying for a professional doctorate in how evidence-based decision making can be used to improve organisational outcomes. 

Jackie is a member of the Remuneration Committee and People & Organisational Development Sub-Committee. 


  • BBC Content – Head of Leadership Development 
  • YJW Business Consulting - Executive Director
  • University of Plymouth – Guest Lecturer