Meet the Governors





The new Chair of the Corporation is Dr Trevor Watkins who, until December 2016 was the Director of Education at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, responsible for the qualification process and was previously Deputy Vice chancellor at south Bank University in London. He is an economist by training with a PhD in Industrial Economics from Manchester University. He has worked at a number of Universities including Nottingham and Oxford Brookes, and was a Fellow of, and Chief Examiner for, the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He was Consultant Editor of the International Journal of Bank Marketing and on the Editorial Board of a number of journals in the UK and US. He is a Fellow of, and was a member, of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

He has extensive teaching and examining experience at the MBA and executive education level in the UK and overseas including Trinidad, Jamaica, Denmark, Oman, Dubai, Ghana, Peru, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Trevor was previously the Vice Chair of the Corporation and is also the Chair of the Governance & Search committee and the link governor for Business and Tourism (including Law, Economics and Politics).





Mohammed Khaliel has served as a Governor on the Boards of five Secondary schools and one Primary School. He successfully completed the National Colleges Chair's Leadership Development Programme. Mohammed is a member of the USA State Dept. International Leadership Programme (IVLP) and has been a guest speaker at various Institutions including Arizona State University. Mohammed serves on the Scotland Yard Strategic IAG and advises the Police on Community and Muslim issues. He has served as a non-executive Board director of a local Housing Association with over 12,000 properties and is currently a Director of a Property Management Company. He is on the QPR football club Trust Board.

Mohammed is the Chair of the Quality & Standards Committee and the specialist PREVENT and GDPR governor and the link governor for Humanities and Social Sciences and Pathways.



Professor Gavin Brooks

Independent Member

Professor Gavin Brooks has been Pro-Vice-Chancellor at University of Reading with particular oversight of Teaching and Learning since January 2012. He graduated with a first class honours degree in Pharmacy (1984) and obtained a PhD in the areas of organic chemistry and pharmacology (1988) from The School of Pharmacy, University of London. He registered as a Pharmacist with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 1985 and has remained an active member since that date. In 1988, he joined the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London as a post-doctoral research fellow before being recruited (1992) as a Group Leader to the 5*-rated Department of Cardiovascular Research, The Rayne Institute, St. Thomas’ Hospital, London where he began focusing on the mechanisms that control physiological and pathophysiological cardiovascular cell growth. In 1997, he joined Prolifix Ltd. as head of their cardiovascular programme and in 1999 returned to academia as a Lecturer at the University of Reading, becoming Professor of Cardiovascular Research in 2002. In 2001, he was elected a Fellow of the American Heart Association and in January 2004, he became founding Head of the new Reading School of Pharmacy. In 2008, he was a founding member of the highly successful Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR) that is based at the University and from August 2008 – July 2010 he served as Head of the School of Biological Sciences. He was elected Dean of Science in August 2010 and was awarded Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) in 2015. Amongst a number of external appointments, he is a Director of the Reading Real Estate Foundation (RREF), Chair of the RREF Board of Trustees, co-chair of the Higher Education Academy’s Deputy Vice-Chancellors/Pro-Vice-Chancellors Network and Chair of the HEA Working Group on the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). He is also an academic member of both the Government’s BIS Expert Group and HEFCE’s Project Board for the TEF.

Gavin is the specialist governor for Careers.





Catharine Darnton is Head teacher of Gillotts School, Henley-on Thames, a mixed 11-16 years old comprehensive school with capacity for 900 students.  Gillotts, with the other 11-16 schools in SE Oxfordshire, works in partnership with The Henley College, its sixth form provider. In the Department for Education Performance Tables published In January 2017, Gillotts School was ranked 3rd in the whole of Oxfordshire and achieved a progress score of 0.4.  The progress made by the most able students at Gillotts puts the school in the top 10% of schools in the country.

Catharine has a degree in mathematics from the University of Oxford and a background as a mathematics teacher.  Prior to her current role, she was Assistant Head teacher at Wycombe High School. She has also worked as an assessment expert within the Civil Service.

Catharine is the specialist governor for Safeguarding and the link governor for Maths and Science.



SATWANT DEOL                            


Satwant Deol has recently the College joined as its new Principal from Highbury College in Portsmouth.  She is an innovative senior education professional with extensive experience of internal and external strategic relationship building in both the Further and Higher Education sectors. Her professional career began in software development and she went on to become both the first woman to lead an all-male development team and the youngest Head of Department at Coventry University. From Higher Education, she moved to the FE sector in London where she developed a reputation for effective change management and for her inclusive, collaborative approach to leadership.

Whilst at Highbury College, Satwant pioneered new approaches to teaching and learning, involved employers closely in the design, development and delivery of curriculum and created opportunities for students to be closely involved in developments through a newly formed Student Forum and most recently set up the new Solent Marine Academy.





A retired senior operational military commander and fast jet pilot, Steve Forward has extensive experience of multi-national high tempo problem solving, planning, leadership and consensus-building and a track record of cross discipline team building. Steve led complex large major change programmes while developing associated structures, strategy, processes and training requirements and currently leads a team that investigates all aircraft near-miss incidents for the UK CAA. Steve brings a broad range of leadership, strategy and analytical planning skills to the Henley College.





Ruth Hubbard spent the first ten years of her career as a solicitor, specialising in Family Law, where she built up a busy and well-regarded practice. She particularly enjoyed undertaking Legal Aid work and representing vulnerable clients, for whom she felt she made the most difference.

Having had children who have and still attend the College, she then took on various voluntary roles including a business manager for the local pre-school, setting-up an organic gardening and cooking playgroup, working as a volunteer at an outdoor centre and a leader with the local Scouts.

In 2011 Ruth set-up her own outdoor education business, Bear Dog Outdoor which offers survival and bushcraft coaching to older children in addition to providing fun and slightly eccentric bespoke woodland adventures for younger children and local schools.

Ruth would say that because of her varied career, she has many years of experience in business management, budgeting and marketing and compliance, but that probably her most useful attributes are dogged determination, creative flare and an ardent admiration for Henley College.






Eva Rickett is proudly Swedish and moved to England in 1987 where she worked as an engineer in the Telecommunications Industry. While being a mum for 3 children in the 90s she worked in a primary school with Special Educational Needs and qualified as a High Level Teaching Assistant. In 2007 Eva and her husband started a Project Management business. Eva has been involved over the past 25 years in many organisations in a voluntary role, mainly with working with children and young adults and creative activities. Moving to Henley in 2015 and she fell in love with the town. Started as a parent governor while her youngest son attended. Early 2018 she started a second business which does Scanning services. Eva has an interest in the education of young adults with special needs and believes in an education system which equips every young person with confidence and the tools to continue into adult life within education or into the work place. 

Eva is the specialist governor for Special Educational Needs (SEN) and the link governor for Creative Media, Art and Film.





David Welch spent the first 14 years of his career working in IT. For the following 26 years he was a management consultant, starting with a focus on IT-related business issues but then broadening into general management consulting.

Having co-founded Challenge Consulting Ltd., he sold his stake in the business in 2010 but continues to work for the company as a Consulting Director. He sees the key skills of a good management consultant as being the ability to quickly analyse the underlying issues within an organisation, to formulate the steps necessary to address these issues and to put in place the plan of action to achieve the desired results. During 2016 David started training as a Gateway Assessor at Citizens Advice and in parallel with carrying out this role continued training to become a ‘full’ adviser.

David is the Chair of the Audit committee and the specialist governor for information, cyber security, IT and MIS and Health & Safety, he is also on the Risk Management Group and the link governor for Foundation, IT, Engineering and Apprenticeships.





Jeni Wood former Mayor of Henley, Town and District Councillor; Town Councillor (2007-15) during which time she sat on all the major committees and chaired many (she introduced the idea of the Neighbourhood plan to the Council); District Councillor (2011-15) where her main focus was on planning. Jeni has been a professional bookkeeper with her own business for over 30 years within which time she also managed rental properties for a local Estate Agent and for a Country Estate. She sits on many Committees in the Henley Community including Friends of Townlands Hospital, Henley Drama Festival, is a Trustee of Henley Municipal Charities and a Rotarian.

Jeni is the link governor for English, Modern Foreign Languages and Performing Arts.



Carole Wright 

Parent Governor

Carole Wright has spent her career within IT as an independent consultant – specifically as a Senior Business Analyst and Project Manager in finance sectors across the UK and Europe and more recently in the Utilities sector here in the UK. Originally from New Zealand Carole has been living and working here since 1982 with regular visits back to New Zealand. Her son has recently joined the College.

Carole is the Welfare Officer of Egham Cricket Club in Surrey, working closely with Surrey Cricket Foundation to set up and then manage the Surrey Welfare Officer Forum. Leisure time is spent studying Ancient History and Art History & Architecture with Oxford Continuing  Education.






Martin Unsworth joined the College as a sports lecturer in 2005 later becoming the enrichment and elite sports co-ordinator. He is an enthusiastic participant in additional activities for students, often seeking new ways in which to promote the College, its students’ courses and programmes, introducing the AASE qualification for elite athletes. He brought sports academies to College linking it with world profile brands in rowing and rugby. This link has grown over the years giving the students an opportunity to play in International rugby tournaments and compete at Henley Royal Regatta.




Robyn Vitty is a former student of the College, going on to graduate with a BA(Hons) in English with American Studies from the University of Winchester. Having worked in the private healthcare and telecommunications sectors, Robyn later joined the College in 2003 initially as the VLE and Website Manager, then as the Marketing and Communications Manager before taking on her current role as Head of Marketing and Business Development.



GRACE NOBLE                          






Keith Heron gained his MBA at Henley after 17 years of commercial and start-up experience. He is Programme Director for the MSc Entrepreneurship Programme at Henley Business School, UK. Keith has integrated his business and academic knowledge to create and deliver entrepreneurial development programmes for the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland (HE), the Peter Jones National Enterprise Academy (FE/16-19)-UK, Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship (HE), Cotrugli Business School – Croatia (Executive Education). Keith's areas of expertise are educational strategic design and curriculum planning, programme direction involving chair of internal quality committees, cross cultural facilitation, consultancy, and initiation and project management of new ventures.




Charles Wiggin is a highly experienced chartered accountant and business adviser. He qualified with KPMG and worked in a variety of audit and financial management assignments before moving to Europe with Price Waterhouse Coopers where he was responsible for due diligence and M&A work across a number of industries and territories. After working in industry for 10 years he set up his own practice and now specialises in providing financial solutions to growing and challenged businesses including cash, profitability and financing issues. In 2003 he developed the award winning Accounting Services Online especially for the SME market. Charles' passion is to help businesses achieve their targets - he is a former rowing Olympic Medallist.





A graduate Chartered Accountant with a BA in Economics from the University of Newcastle, Tony has had a very varied career in the accountancy profession to include working at the Path Group plc, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Volta Delta Europe Ltd. His broad financial and general management experience are highly relevant to most medium sized businesses with ambition.  He set up his own company in 2012 as a consultant accountant working for a diverse range of clients including the Education and Employers Taskforce. Tony had had an affiliation with the College for well over a decade having been a part time lecturer in Accounting and Business Studies, before later serving as both an independent member of the Board and the Chair of the Finance committee. Tony is a co-opted member on the Audit committee.





Simon White is an English-qualified solicitor with a wide-range of legal and compliance experience who has worked on many mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and other corporate projects in both the public and private sector. Simon currently works for an international IT company (turnover of in excess of 10 billion GBP) leading on global governance and compliance, privacy, government affairs and corporate law; he speaks regularly around the world on privacy and establishing good governance and compliance programmes. Simon was previously Vice Chair of the Corporation but stood down due to the pressure of work commitments.