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Our team and boards

Editorial   Back to Top

Stephen Khan


Stephen Khan is The Conversation’s Editor in the UK. He was until very recently a news editor at The Guardian and previously Deputy Foreign Editor of The Independent, Scotland Editor of The Observer and also worked for The Sunday Herald in Scotland.

Megan Clement

Deputy Editor

Megan Clement was a foundation editor in Australia, she has covered Energy + Environment, Science + Technology and Politics + Society for the site. Her work on asylum seekers with Professor Sharon Pickering was recognised with an Australian Human Rights Award in 2012.

Jonathan Este

Deputy Editor (Politics + Society)

Jonathan Este spent 20 years as a reporter, columnist and editor on The Independent as well as The Australian. He joins The Conversation from the Media Alliance in Australia where he specialised in media law and policy and the digital revolution in journalism.

Jo Adetunji

Commissioning Editor (Health + Medicine)

Before joining The Conversation UK, Jo Adetunji worked as a reporter and editor at the Guardian, covering stories from UK knife crime to the Arab Spring. She previously edited the Guardian's health and social care networks and has also written for The Times, The Independent and Telegraph newspapers.

Annabel Bligh

Commissioning Editor

Annabel joins The Conversation as Assistant Section Editor from a background in broadcast journalism. She was previously a radio news show producer at digital station Monocle 24 covering a wide array of international issues.

Joel Dimmock

Senior Commissioning Editor

Joel Dimmock spent 15 years as a journalist and editor at Reuters and AFP covering the banking and fund management industries. Most recently he was writing and publishing Reuters' investment strategy news and analysis. He has also worked on the Daily Mirror news desk.

Will de Freitas

Commissioning Editor (Business + Economy)

Will de Freitas helped to establish The Conversation in the UK. Previously, he worked on data projects for the Guardian's Global Development website, and for three years worked in ministerial offices on Whitehall.

Laura Hood

Commissioning Editor (Technology)

Laura worked for more than five years as a reporter and news editor for Research Fortnight, a specialist publication focusing on science, technology and higher education policy. She also worked as a reporter for Research Europe, covering French higher education policy and European policy in areas including space and innovation.

Josephine Lethbridge

Commissioning Editor (Arts + Culture)

Having graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MA in English Literature, Josephine is back at The Conversation after a successful internship last summer. She is also a trustee of the Queille Trust, which organises a biennial arts festival and aims to support the careers of emerging performers.

Andrew Naughtie

Assistant Commissioning Editor

Andrew comes from a social science background, and studied and worked in the US. Before joining The Conversation, he worked on projects spanning behavioural economics, ethnography for public policy, and commercial qualitative research.

Michael Parker

Commissioning Editor (Environment + Energy)

A journalist and photographer, Michael has covered everything from crime to culture for British newspapers and magazines, and was formerly associate editor at The Big Issue in London before leaving to write North American travel guides. He founded an IT company specialising in Linux and open source software before entering journalism.

Akshat Rathi

Commissioning Editor (Science + Data)

Akshat has a PhD in organic chemistry from Oxford University as well as a Bachelor of Technology in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai. After leaving the lab, he moved into journalism and has written for The Economist, The Hindu and Ars Technica, among others.

Gemma Ware

Commissioning Editor (Education)

Before joining The Conversation, Gemma worked for over five years as assistant editor at the Paris-based The Africa Report magazine where she focused on business, technology and education. She previously wrote about fundraising and UK charity policy at Civil Society Media.

Steven Vass

Scotland Editor

Steven Vass joined The Conversation in February 2014 after nearly 10 years at the Sunday Herald, first as media correspondent and then as deputy business editor, where he wrote about most aspects of business but particularly energy, the economy and the financial crisis. He previously spent several years as a VSO volunteer in Zambia and several more as a media analyst in London.

Leadership team   Back to Top

Andrew Jaspan

Editor-in-Chief and UK Trustee

Andrew co-founded The Conversation in Australia. He previously edited The Age, The Observer (London), The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday. He was Editor-in-Chief of The Big Issue (London), and he founded and edited the Sunday Herald in Scotland. He is the Asia-Pacific Director for Innovation Media.

Jonathan Hyams

Executive Advisor

Jonathan Hyams helped to found The Conversation in the UK. He works in project management across the creative industries. Working with the Comedia consultancy, where he co-authored The Creative City Index with Charles Landry, he is also Director and Chairman of Artlook Software.

Max Landry

Chief Executive

Max helped to found The Conversation in the UK. He has a strong track record in business and internet innovation, having spent the last few years founding and running Paperstone, a leading office supplies website. If you would like to partner with or support The Conversation UK, please get in touch with him.

Support team   Back to Top

Khalil Cassimally

Community Coordinator

Khalil has worked on science blogging networks for Nature Publishing Group. He has a keen interest in science and African policies, and has regularly blogged for Scientific American, and others.

Louise King

Executive Assistant

Louise King has a legal background. She practiced as a solicitor in Scotland for two years before joining the Conversation in October 2013.

Board of Trustees   Back to Top

Andrew Jaspan

Andrew co-founded The Conversation and is Editor and Executive Director of The Conversation Media Group based in Australia. He previously edited The Age, The Observer (London), The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday. He was Editor-in-Chief of The Big Issue (London), and he founded and edited the Sunday Herald in Scotland. He is the Asia-Pacific Director for Innovation Media.

Other Interests/affiliations that may conflict with The Conversation UK: None

Professor Martin Hall

Martin Hall is a historical archaeologist and strategic leader. He joined the University of Salford in April 2009 as VC Designate, before taking up his role as VC on 1 August, 2009. He is a Trustee of the International Society, Chair of JISC, Council Member of the University of Salford, and a Board Member of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

Other Interests/affiliations that may conflict with The Conversation UK: None

Professor Paul Curran


A former NASA research scientist Paul has been Vice-Chancellor of City University London since 2010. Prior to this he was Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton.

Other Interests/affiliations that may conflict with The Conversation UK: None

Michael Burke

Michael is an award winning documentary film maker and television producer with extensive experience working at a senior level for all the major UK broadcasters.

Other Interests/affiliations that may conflict with The Conversation UK: None

Editorial board   Back to Top

Claire Wallace

Claire is Vice Principal for Research & Knowledge Exchange at the University of Aberdeen. Her two main fields of expertise and research are Quality of Life and Digital Economy. She was formerly President of the European Sociological Association and editor of the international journal 'European Societies'.

John Heath

John Heath is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Estates and Infrastructure at the University of Birmingham. His portfolio includes oversight of infrastructure, information and sustainability. He works with the Directors of Estates and IT across the academy to support the development and delivery of the University Strategic Framework.

Nick Lieven

Nick Lieven is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Aircraft Dynamics at the University of Bristol where he also served as Dean of Engineering.

Elizabeth Treasure

Professor Elizabeth Treasure is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, as well as an active researcher, teacher and clinician. She was Dean and Head of the School of Dentistry and Divisional Director of the Dental Division of Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.

George Brock

George Brock is professor and Head of Journalism at City University. He is a member of the executive board of the International Press Institute and chairs the IPI's British committee. He is also a board member of the World Editors Forum. Prior to this Professor Brock had a long and successful career with The Times.

Pamela Gillies

Pamela has been Principal and Vice-Chancellor of GCU since 2006. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the British Council and has researched and written widely on HIV/AIDS, health development, and inequalities in health focussing on the potential of social action for health. Pamela was awarded the honour of CBE for services to education and public health in December 2012.

David Hogg

David Hogg is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation and Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Leeds University and is responsible for developing the University’s research and innovation agenda. He is Co-Director of the N8 High Performance Computing Facility, Chair of the WUN Global Challenge on Responding to Climate Change, a director of Medilink, and a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team for ICT.

Dinah Birch

Dinah Birch is an academic and literary critic. She is Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool, and currently serves as the university’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange.

David Price

David Price is Vice-Provost (Research) at UCL and Professor of Mineral Physics. He is chair of the REF2014 sub-Panel for Earth and Environmental Sciences; Chair of Governors of the UCL Academy School; a Council Member of the STFC; and a non-executive Director of the North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust.

Vince Emery

Vincent Emery is Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Relations) and Professor of Translational Virology at the University of Surrey and holds an Honorary Professorship of Virology at UCL.

David Randles

David is BA Journalism Programme Leader at the University of Salford where he lectures in online and sports journalism. After starting his career online with Trinity Mirror Digital, David has worked as a staff writer for Liverpool Football Club and a multi-media sports reporter at the Liverpool Echo, while also freelancing for various national publications.

Mark Taylor

Mark Taylor is the Dean of Warwick Business School. He has outstanding credentials both in academia and in business. Mark was previously Managing Director at BlackRock and Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund. He is also one of the most highly cited researchers in the world.

Barry Winn

Professor Barry Winn is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Development) at the University of Bradford. He has previously held positions there as Professor of Optometry, Head of Department and inaugural Dean of Life Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a former educational advisor to the General Optical Council.

Tom McLeish

Professor Tom McLeish is Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Durham University. He has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society and Vice-President of Science at the Institute of Physics (IoP). He has won several awards both in Europe (Weissenberg Medal) and the USA (Bingham Medal) for his work on molecular rheology of polymers, and has published over 180 scientific papers and reviews. He has also written on science policy and the theology/science relation.

Andrew Atherton

Professor Andrew Atherton is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University and a Professor of Entrepreneurship. He has published extensively on entrepreneurship and in particular business start-up and government enterprise policy, and has advised and worked with policymakers and practitioners in the UK and internationally. A Mandarin Chinese speaker, Andrew has worked on and researched entrepreneurship in China since the mid 1990s.

Tony Gallagher

Tony Gallagher is a Professor of Education and Pro Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for planning, staffing and external affairs at Queen’s University Belfast. His main research area relates to the role of education in divided societies and he currently leads a programme of research promoting collaborative networks of schools to support school improvement and social cohesion. In his PVC role he is leading work in Queen’s on Public Engagement.

Saul Tendler

Professor Saul Tendler, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Nottingham. An academic pharmacist, his research is directed towards biophysical investigation of bio-molecular systems and their interactions, primarily utilising atomic force microscopy. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Jane Powell

Jane is the Deputy Warden and Pro Warden for Academic Development and Internationalisation at Goldsmith, University of London. Before joining Goldsmiths in 1994, Jane trained and worked as a clinical psychologist, specialising in addiction and brain injury rehabilitation services. She has researched in both those areas extensively over the subsequent two decades.

Kevin Hetherington

Kevin Hetherington has held a Chair in Geography at The Open University since January 2005. He is currently Dean and Director of Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences. He has published extensively with recent research focussing on a number of areas including museum studies, the material remains of the past within the present and its relevance to heritage issues, and consumption and disposal.

Patrons   Back to Top

Professor Sir Eric Thomas

Professor Sir Eric Thomas is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, a position he has held since September 2001. He was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2013 for services to Higher Education.

Headshots by AM London