MEET THE TEAM
A team of polymaths

Our team is a unique combination of leading academics and professionals. LIS is a product of these powerful collaborations.

We're hiring!
Learn more
The Team
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Alisha Kilich

She/Her

Head of Student Support
Student Experience
Team

Alisha qualified as a Mental Health Nurse in 2014 and has since worked in multiple universities across the UK. She is passionate about working with students in Higher Education and enjoys being part of the student journey, supporting their health, wellbeing and personal development.

Anastasia Barnes

She/Her

Student Outreach Lead
Team

Anastasia holds a BSc (hons) in French and Mathematics from the University of Leeds. Whilst at Leeds, she was course representative, active in ensuring inclusivity, accessibility, and wellbeing support for students. Anastasia has worked in several care and pastoral roles over the years and in autumn 2022, she completed a master’s degree in Psychology, achieving a distinction.

Andrew Mullinger

Board member
Leadership

Andrew helped grow Funding Circle, a UK Fintech unicorn, and is now a trustee at Big Education MAT and AskIf. He previously focused on risk management and led the company's operations.

Andy Redford

He/Him

Head of Quality
Team

Andy studied archaeology at the University of Exeter before doing his MA and then PhD in Archaeology at the University of Bradford. Andy's career has included working in a number of universities in the UK, working on projects including the Research Excellence Framework as well as Institutional Review. Andy is a Quality Assurance Agency Reviewer and focuses on quality assurance and governance.

Anjelica Minas

She/Her

Schools Engagement Officer
Team

Anjelica studied English Literature and Drama at the University of Birmingham and went on to complete a postgraduate degree in English, Drama and Media Education. Most recently, Anjelica worked as a specialist A Level teacher at an inner-London secondary school. Anjelica is passionate about closing gaps and disparities for young people who are underrepresented in Higher Education.

Chris Persson

Chair
Leadership

Chris is a co-founder of several digital start-ups, including Bookatable, and an Advisory Board Member at youth charity Big Change. He has also worked for the executive education consultancy group BTS.

Dr Amelia Peterson

She/Her

Faculty, Head of Learning and Teaching
Faculty

Amelia is a social scientist with a background in policy and consulting. She studies how education systems adapt to societal and economic change. Prior to LIS, Amelia taught in the Social Policy department at LSE. She received her PhD from Harvard and her BA from Oxford.

Dr Anson Cheung

Faculty, Quantitative Methods Lead, Pastoral Lead
Faculty

Anson is a theoretical physicist with a background in building models in condensed matter theory. He specialises in complex systems with many-body interactions. He received his undergraduate degree and PhD from Cambridge University where he was a research fellow and remains an affiliated lecturer. Keenly interested in the pedagogical development of problem-solving skills at the secondary-tertiary interface, he is a trustee of the British Physics Olympiad, and he has also served in middle management in secondary schools.

Dr Ash Brockwell

He/They

Faculty, Lead on problem-based Learning
Faculty

Ash is an interdisciplinary educator, writer, and consultant. He holds an MBiochem degree in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from the University of Oxford, an MSc in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Kent, and a PhD in Education for Sustainability from Wageningen University and Research Centre in The Netherlands.

Dr Bronwyn Tarr

Faculty
Faculty

Bronwyn is a human behavioural scientist interested in the evolution of social behaviours, particularly music and dance. She completed her DPhil (PhD) at the University of Oxford and has continued her research in evolutionary anthropology and psychology there.

Dr Catalina Pesce

She/Her

Faculty
Faculty

Catalina started her academic journey studying Engineering Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Chile, where she also obtained a MSc in Applied Mathematics. She holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Oxford and her current research focuses on nonlinear partial differential equations and their applications. She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is keen on helping students develop mathematical thinking skills through active learning.

Dr James Carney

Faculty
Faculty

James is a computational linguist who uses artificial intelligence to understand the relationship between cognition and culture. He is especially interested in the intersection between interpretive, computational, and experimental methods of inquiry. His research has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, the European Commission, and Innovate UK. Previous to coming to LIS, James worked in Brunel University London, Lancaster University, and the University of Oxford (where he held a Junior Research Fellowship). He is also founding director of Texture AI, a data science company that has had the BBC, Google, ITV, Reach PLC, the UK Cabinet Office and other leading organisations as clients.

Dr James Everest

He/Him

Faculty, Lead on Qualitative Methods
Faculty

James studied languages at Cambridge, then worked for three years in public sector communications, before completing a Masters in English Literature at Queen Mary, University of London, and a PhD in the history of science at UCL. He has taught on the Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences degree programme at the University of Birmingham and the Arts and Sciences programme at UCL.

Dr Matthew Brett

Faculty
Faculty

Matthew trained and practised as a doctor before specializing in neuroscience. He is an open-source software developer and has worked on the basic packages for data analysis in Python, among other projects. His main passion is thinking about new, accessible and revealing ways of doing and teaching data analysis.

Dr Mattia Gallotti

Faculty, Head of Research and Development
Faculty

Mattia is a social philosopher with a background in economics and a keen interest in academic governance and innovation. His work is conceptual and the subject is social ontology. Over the years, he has sought to connect and integrate concepts of social philosophy across a range of intellectual discourses and styles, from cognitive science to theology. Before joining LIS as an Associate Professor, Mattia lectured on the philosophy of the social sciences at LSE and he managed a multidisciplinary program on the human mind in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. As a postdoc, he held fellowships at Columbia University and the Jean Nicod Institute in Paris.

Dr Michael Englard

He/Him

Registrar
Leadership

Michael is the Registrar at LIS. In this role, Michael led the team in securing new Degree Awarding Powers. This milestone ensured that LIS was the first Higher Education Institution to begin with the ability to award its own degrees for over fifty years. Michael has set up and run two charities: Causeway Education (focused on supporting access to higher education and the professions) and the LIS Foundation (LIS’s sister charity). Michael sits on the Board of LIS, is a Trustee of Causeway Education, a parent governor of STEP Academy, and holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Michael teaches elective modules focused on the narratives of wicked problems.

Ed Fidoe

He/Him

Chief Executive
Leadership

Ed Fidoe is the founder and CEO at LIS. Previously, Ed co-founded a 4-18 school in Stratford called School 21 and the UK’s leading oracy education charity called Voice 21. He also consulted at McKinsey & Co., ran a theatre production company, and played in 80s hit TV show Woof! Ed holds degrees from Imperial and LSE, and has advised institutions including Cambridge, Teach First and Eton.

Ella Lee-Reynolds

She/Her

Head of Schools and Student Outreach
Team

Ella studied Geography at the University of Exeter, before doing her MA in Education and Leadership at UCL. After graduating, Ella completed the Teach First Graduate Programme. She then moved to New York City where she was Head of Humanities at the British International School. Ella is passionate about tackling institutionalised social inequality and engaging disadvantaged students.

Emily King

She/Her

Community Manager
Team

Emily graduated from the University of Sussex with a history degree, and enjoyed branching out to study modules in forestry, art history, astronomy, and sculpture. She has experience working in international education, widening participation and residential life. Previously, Emily worked for an interdisciplinary dual-degree program in the US.

Emma Ahmed-Rengers

She/Her

Faculty
Faculty

Emma was a Lecturer in Law and Data Science at the University of Birmingham before joining LIS. She also previously taught legal theory, political theory, international law, and philosophy of science at the University of Amsterdam. She holds a Master of Law (LLM) from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) from the University of Amsterdam. Emma is currently completing a PhD in Law at the University of Birmingham, focusing on algorithmic regulation.

Gillian Wilson

She/Her

No items found.

Gillian Wilson is the CMO at LIS. Before joining LIS she worked at a number of tech start-ups – mostly Fintechs and Proptechs. Before entering the start-up world, Gillian worked in advertising, developing campaigns for brands such as the BBC, Guinness and John Lewis. Gillian studied at Cambridge and spent a sabbatical year as their Student Union President.

Gordon Macrae

Principal Product Manager
Team

Gordon graduated from Goldsmiths University with a BA in History and Anthropology before working as a journalist. He then spent ten years designing learning products for coding boot camps and apprentice providers in London and New York. He has worked on programmes for Google, Facebook, Vodafone and the Civil Service. He also once ran a phenomenally unsuccessful record label.

Gráinne Sharkey

She/Her

Content Marketing Manager
Team

Gráinne studied Journalism through Irish at Dublin City University, beginning her career as a content writer and creator for a student-focused publication before pursuing social media management for an Irish Minister. She has spent the last 3 years designing online courses, MOOCs and micro-credentials for DCU, with a strong focus on Fáilte ar Líne, an Irish Language and Culture MOOC with over 100,000 learners worldwide.

Hannah Dalton

She/Her

Admissions Associate
No items found.

Hannah graduated from the University of Exeter in 2019 with a BA Hons in Politics with Middle East Studies. With curiosity as her guide, she went on to work in a multitude of fields from digital marketing to yoga instructing, script supervising for film and TV, and ticket ops for electric car racing. She has travelled and worked across 4 continents and plans to visit her 5th very soon! She still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up.

Hayley Dawson

She/Her

Head of Academic Services
Team

After graduating from the University of Kent, Hayley completed a MA in Human Rights and Global Ethics at the University of Leicester. Since then, Hayley has completed the AUA PgCert in HE Administration, Management and Leadership. Bringing almost a decades worth of HE experience to the team, Hayley brings a breadth of knowledge to LIS.

Helen Varley

Careers Manager
Student Experience
Team

Helen trained as a careers professional in 2015, following ten years working in the private and third sectors. She joined Explore Learning in its formative stages, later becoming a regional manager, and then led the volunteering programmes and strategy for two London charities and the national charity CLIC Sargent (now Young Lives vs Cancer). Helen supports LIS’s BASc and MASc students with their career development and future progression.

Isaiah Wellington-Lynn

Faculty, Lead on Coaching and Integration
Faculty

Isaiah is an anthropologist, product designer, and storyteller. He is reading for a PhD at the University of Oxford, holds a BSc in Anthropology from UCL, and was a visiting undergraduate at Harvard. Isaiah's interests include belonging, meritocracy, inclusive product design, sustainable fashion, and social mobility.

Jon Cheung

Video & Design Lead
No items found.

Jon studied Economics & Management at Oxford University, before doing an MA in Philosophy at UCL. Prior to joining LIS, he worked in the TV and advertising industry, wearing multiple hats including direction, design, and editing. He designed the TV bible which helped green light Sex Education for Netflix, and has written scripts for Prada campaigns. Jon is passionate about what his next meal will be.

Karen Tanner

Head of Finance and HR
Leadership

Karen qualified as a Chartered Accountant before completing her MBA with the Open University. She has worked in Broadcasting, Telecommunications and the Music industry as well as running her own accounting consultancy business, specialising in small start-ups. In more recent years she has moved into Education working across both Finance and HR in Primary and Secondary Schools before joining LIS.

Kathryn Hayward

She/Her

Student Experience Coordinator
Student Experience
Team

Kathryn graduated from Bournemouth University with a BASc in Sports Therapy and a MASc in Psychology. After graduating she moved to London and worked for over a year in safeguarding before coming to LIS. Kathryn is excited to work with students to shape and create an enriching experience throughout their time with LIS. 

Kestral Gaian

She/They

Head of Digital, Lecturer
Faculty
Team

Kestral has worked at the cross-section of technology and society for two decades within the technology, health, and wellbeing industries, and within academia. Her role at the London Interdisciplinary School includes teaching on technocultiralism, user experience design, and futures literacy. She also works as Head of Digital to set the organisation’s pace as an innovator in the use and development of teaching and learning technology.

Kiran Momi

Student Outreach Manager
Team

Kiran holds a BA in English Literature from Royal Holloway, University of London, and is currently doing an MA in Policy Studies in Education at UCL. During her time at RHUL, she worked with a number of social impact organisations including VSO and SolidariTee. Kiran has joined LIS with an interest in ensuring access to education for minorities and marginalised groups.

Lara Kinneir

Faculty
Faculty

Lara is a designer who trained in architecture and spatial design in Glasgow, Madrid and London. Lara has worked in academia, city regeneration, government policy, design studios, think tanks and global organisations that are focused on the bettering of people and planetary life. Her interests are in social and spatial justice, spatial design, multilateral partnerships and innovative governance.

Latika Pathela

She/Her

Head Of Marketing
Leadership
Team

Latika is an experienced marketeer with a strong digital-first approach and over 13 years of industry expertise. After studying English Literature, she further honed her skills by completing an MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai. Before LIS, with a passion for digital marketing, Latika established her own successful digital marketing firm, catering to clients across diverse regions such as Australia, India, Dubai, and the US. She is also a trained Jazz dancer and previously owned a Bollywood wedding choreography company.

Marielle van der Meer

Executive Director of Student Experience, Careers and Partnerships
Leadership
Student Experience

Marielle has over 15 years of experience in international HE across sectors and continents and a relentless passion for transforming education. Prior to joining LIS, Marielle helped launch and grow Minerva Schools at KGI (USA) and the African Leadership University (Mauritius & Rwanda).

Mary Curnock-Cook

She/her

Board member
Leadership

From 2010-2017, Mary was Chief Executive of UCAS. Earlier in her career, Mary held executive and non-executive positions in the education, hospitality, food and biotech sectors.

María Angélica Madero

She/Her

Faculty, Lead on Prep Culture and Content Creation
Faculty

María Angélica is an artist, who has exhibited her work in cities such as Los Angeles, London, and Cali. She is a founding faculty member at the LIS, where she leads in Prep Culture and Content Creation. Additionally, she is an Honorary Professor at El Bosque University in Colombia, where she was Head of Art from 2015 to 2020. She holds an MA in Art from the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, and an additional MA in Philosophy and Critical Theory from Kingston University.

Matt Walton

He/Him

Chief Product Officer
Leadership

Matt is an experienced product leader and coach who loves to inspire and empower teams to build learning products with purpose. He's responsible for growing the portfolio of LIS' courses and ensuring we deliver a brilliant and innovative learning and teaching experience by making the most of technology. He was one of the founding team and CPO at FutureLearn and built digital products at the BBC.

Michael Igbins

Growth Marketer
Team

Mike holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Warwick. Since graduating, Mike has held several marketing positions at leading higher education institutions, including Imperial College Business School, University of the Arts London, and City University of London.

Mollie Charge

She/Her

Admissions Manager
Team

Mollie studied History with Philosophy at the New College of the Humanities (NCH). Since graduation, she has worked primarily in admissions whilst contributing to academic work in historical and philosophical research. She is keen to continue her work on making university admissions more accessible and enjoyable for students.

Prof Carl Gombrich

Faculty, Academic Lead and Director of Teaching & Learning
Leadership
Faculty

Carl is the Lead Academic at LIS and oversees curriculum design, teaching, and learning. He was previously a Professorial Teaching Fellow of Interdisciplinary Education at UCL and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Richard Ball

They/Them

Systems Administrator
Team

Richard Ball studied chemistry at Imperial College and Journalism at City Polytechnic before a 30-year career in transport and logistics, which spanned day-to-day operations, management and IT. After a parenting break, they joined LIS as sysadmin, and can be found outside of working hours either fishing hairbands out of the washing machine, or walking through London with a seven-year-old on his shoulders. With a healthy level of interest in detective fiction, playing the guitar quietly so no one can hear, or wondering how things work he keeps busy.

Rosita Bannert

Faculty
Faculty

Rosita is a UCL BASc graduate living the polymath life with more than one career. She is a self-taught web engineer who loves building with code as well as traditional materials.

Siffrein Diana

He/Him

Chief of Staff
Team

Siffrein studied social sciences at Sciences Po Paris and Princeton University, and management at London Business School and Shanghai’s Fudan University. Prior to joining LIS, he worked on special projects at climate platform Terra.do, international growth at founder community On Deck, fund and portfolio operations at startup accelerator Entrepreneur First, and e-bike adoption at Uber.

Toni Schroeder

She/Her

Associate Product Manager
Team

Toni was a part of the second graduating class at Minerva where she studied Economics and Cognition. She also worked for the Student Experience team at Minerva for several years. Since then, Toni has completed a Master’s in Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics. Toni is interested in applying the science behind behaviour to the design of educational experiences.

Waqās Ahmed

Faculty
Faculty

Waqās is founder of the DaVinci Network, author of The Polymath (Wiley 2019) and creator of the Polymath Festival. His research interests center around human diversity and performance. He holds a BSc in Economics (SOAS) and postgraduate degrees in International History (LSE) and Neuroscience (King's College London). His main professional careers have been in diplomatic journalism and visual art.

Like how we see the world? Join us.

Interested in building a new, world-class university? Apply today!

We’re hiring

Keep in the know

Don't miss out on important updates including course information, new announcements, Open Day dates and the latest LIS news.

Thank you!
You’re signing up!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.