International Advisory Board

International Advisory Board | Leeds University Business School | University of Leeds


Leeds University Business School receives external guidance and support from its International Advisory Board (IAB).

The experience and expertise of our IAB members reflect our international aspirations, our connectivity with private and public sector, and our desire to provide students with an inspiring and world class learning experience.

Board members volunteer their time to support Business School projects and initiatives.

The role of the International Advisory Board

  • Providing independent external advice, through its board meetings and engagement with projects and new initiatives.
  • Assisting in developing corporate and institutional relationships nationally and internationally.
  • Helping to increase contributions of practitioners into research and learning and teaching, including direct contact with our academic staff and students.

Board members

IAB members have experience across industry sectors, international markets and functional disciplines. They are all passionate about management education and Leeds. Find out more about each of our International Advisory Board members and the organisations they are involved with.

Paolo Boccardelli - Dean, Director of the Research Centre for Business Transformation and Professor of Management and Corporate Strategy at LUISS Business School in Rome, Italy

Paolo Boccardelli is the Dean, Director of the Research Centre for Business Transformation and Professor of Management and Corporate Strategy at LUISS Business School in Rome

Paolo is an expert on development and implementation of quality standards in planning and implementation of organisational changes, leadership and organisation in higher education, university adaptation and change, international and comparative higher education, globalisation of higher education systems, and knowledge management. During his tenure as Dean, LUISS Business School has achieved the EQUIS accreditation and is going through AACSB. Furthermore, the School is now responsible for the Italian Chapter of PRME (United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education).

Paolo sits on many advisory boards, steering groups and committees, both in Italy and further afield, including EFMD where he is a member of the EQUIS Committee and an Advisor of Quality Services and Processes to schools going through EQUIS accreditation for the first time.

Stephanie Burras - Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership, UK

Stephanie Burras is the Founder and Chief Executive of Ahead Partnership, a social enterprise that furthers social and economic wellbeing in Leeds and the surrounding region, by enabling the public, private and third sectors to work together in very practical ways.

A graduate in languages, Stephanie qualified as a commercial solicitor, starting out in the City before moving to Leeds and becoming a partner in the international law firm, Pinsent Masons. She dual-qualified as a lawyer in Germany in 2000 as well as a professional translator.

Stephanie left law in 2004 and set up Leeds Ahead as a new-start business and has since grown it to a team of 13. The team mobilises the voluntary resources of hundreds of different businesses and employers in the public and private sectors each year. Leeds Ahead acts as the vital link and catalyst to practical action, supporting business growth and new-starts, improving educational achievement, tackling the causes of economic inactivity and strengthening local neighbourhoods and communities.

Stephanie sits on the Leeds Initiative's Economy and Skills Partnership, the University of Leeds Enterprise Centre Board, the Board of Leeds Law Society and is a trustee at St George's Crypt, a Leeds-based charity that supports the homeless.

In 2011 Stephanie was appointed to the Board of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Stephanie is one of nine private sector representatives appointed to the Board.

Read more on the Ahead Partnership website

Jon Geldert – Director General of the Institute of Directors, UK

Jonathan was appointed Director General of the Institute of Directors in October 2019. Prior to this Jonathan spent 30 years working in the professional services sector, most recently at Grant Thornton International Ltd responsible for the organisation’s interest in China and previously as a global board member responsible for the brand. Jonathan has a long-standing connection with the IoD, as Chair of IoD Yorkshire and North East region prior to his appointment as Director General. He is the author of three books on China and in addition to being a Fellow of the IoD he is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He studied Geography and Archaeology at St. Andrews University specialising in underwater archaeology. Outside of work, his interests include hill walking and fell running. He was the navigator in a rally team for 20 years and following two years of training in extreme environments walked to the North Pole in 2016. He has completed other expeditions in Norway, the Canadian Arctic and the Everest region.

Mike Haigh – Former Executive Chair, Mott MacDonald, UK

Mike is the former Chief Executive of Mott MacDonald, a global engineering and management consultancy with over 18,000 employees worldwide. Distinguished for his outstanding technical expertise in water and environmental engineering, Michael Haigh has been responsible for the design, project management and delivery of a wide range of high-profile international engineering projects.

He is the former Chair of the World Economic Forum Infrastructure Industries Governors, member of the World Economic Forum’s Net Zero Carbon Cities Steering Board and member of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders.

Mike is a member of the FIDIC Global Leadership Forum Advisory Board. He is the former Chair of the UK Association for Consultancy and Engineering. Mike is an active climate and sustainability campaigner promoting a more sustainable, integrated infrastructure industry, underpinned by a diverse, inclusive, and digitally enabled workforce.

He has twice been voted by the Women’s Business Council and Management Today as one of 30 Agents of Change for his efforts in tackling gender inequality in the workplace.

Alison Haynes - Former Equity Tax Partner at Deloitte, UK

After 20 fantastic years with Deloitte I retired as an equity tax partner on 31st May 2015. I had a strong desire to do things differently at this this time in my career and to embrace new challenges and opportunities. I am now building a portfolio around "in house" tax positions and NED roles.

I am the Director of Tax for Everton Football Club, a varied and part time role which I am thoroughly enjoying. In addition I am a NED with Kids Allowed, an award winning nursery group based in the north west as well as being the Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee of Mid Cheshire College.

My professional and executive career was in providing strategic advice to businesses primarily regarding UK and international tax matters for their employees, investigations and transactions. I have led and grown dynamic teams and have extensive experience of dealing with diverse business challenges through disparate economic situations, and have gained extensive commercial perspective and insight.

Throughout my career I have worked extensively with inspirational and outstanding leaders, some of whom were colleagues and others clients, including entrepreneurs and FTSE 100 directors. My sector expertise includes, manufacturing, retail, pharmaceutical, telecoms, consumer, agriculture, education and healthcare.

In 2015 I was named by Cranfield School of Management as one of the "100 Women to Watch" and in 2016 participated in the Deloitte Women on Boards Programme.

I am the author of the book "Childcare Choices and Costs" which was published by Spiramus in May 2015.

David Jones – Independent Management and Marketing Services Consultant for the Malaysian Government, Malaysia

David currently provides independent management and marketing services consultancy services to various international enterprises and the Malaysian government. He has also been retained as an interim manager for multi-national companies as well as heading the Malaysian Aerospace Industry Association. For 8 years David was General Manager SE Asia for RUAG, a Swiss corporation, establishing and then leading their regional operations.

Prior to this he was Vice President Sales Asia Pacific for a large Swiss aerospace aftermarket service provider and before this ran an independent consultancy focused on joint ventures, business planning, market strategy and supply chain development, offering support to small and medium sized enterprises, government bodies and financial institutions.

David worked 10 years for Rolls-Royce, latterly as Regional Director Malaysia and prior to this was Business Development Director responsible for developing and implementing a new aftermarket portfolio and the successful development of their customer portal. For 19 years David worked with two airlines namely British Airways and Malaysia Airlines where he held various supervisory and management roles in both technical and commercial capacities.

David has lived in Malaysia for more than 32 years. He has been a Board member for various Malaysian companies and held a number of voluntary roles including being a director for 9 years at a government investment body. For 10 years David was a Board member of Eurocham, 7 of these as Chair. He was founder and past Chair of the Chartered Management Institute in Malaysia and has held a number of board roles in other chambers of commerce, universities, as well as various charitable organisations.

David holds an MBA from University of Nottingham, an honours degree in Aeronautical Engineering and is a Companion of the Chartered Institute of Management UK, a Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Management and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Sir Roger Marsh – Chair, NP11 group of Northern local enterprise partnerships and the Piece Hall Trust, and Commissioner, The Global Britain Commission, UK

Sir Roger Marsh is the former chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). As chair of the LEP, Sir Roger Marsh led the organisation through a period of significant transformation, securing the country’s largest Local Growth Deal settlement and bringing £1 billion of investment to the region. Sir Roger was also instrumental in agreeing the West Yorkshire devolution deal, and in bringing Channel 4’s new national HQ and news centre to Leeds.

In addition to his role at the LEP, Sir Roger Marsh was also a member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and a former senior partner at PwC in Leeds. He is currently chair of the NP11 group of Northern local enterprise partnerships and the Piece Hall Trust. He is also a Commissioner of The Global Britain Commission.
Sir Roger was awarded an OBE in 2015, and then knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2021 for services to business, economy, and the community across the North. He is also a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire.

Professor Joseph Pistrui - Professor of Entrepreneurial Management, IE Madrid, Spain

Joseph Pistrui is Professor of Entrepreneurial Management at IE Business School based in Madrid, Spain.  was previously the Dean for Executive Education. Joseph also serves as the Executive Director of International Custom Programs and was previously the Dean for Executive Education. 

Joseph holds academic positions across the globe, including a visiting fellowship at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences and membership of the Duke Corporate Education Global Learning Resource Network, where he acts as a subject-matter expert for custom executive education programmes. 

Joseph has advised on executive education to companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, Microsoft, AstraZeneca, Siemens and Bosch.

Before pursuing his successful academic career, Professor Pistrui had a 15 year career in sales and marketing management in the consumer products industry, mostly with Bristol-Myers Squibb in the US.

Anu Shah – Product Management at Meta, US

Anu Shah is a globally successful entrepreneur and a powerful advocate for gender parity through entrepreneurship and innovation. After starting out in a call centre in India she went on to work in M&A, Strategy Consulting, Private Equity across Singapore, Dubai, London, and New York. 

Anu is the founder of EFI Hub, Asia and Africa’s first virtual start-up accelerator, which was acquired by Acorn Capital in 2018. Since then she has built and sold startups in the HR Tech space in South East Asia and in the United States. 

In 2020, Anu joined as a Venture Partner at San Francisco-based OpenBook Ventures, a $100mn Venture Partner fund started by the founder and CEO of GitLab. She is passionate about giving back to society and has donated 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of her start-ups to philanthropic causes. Anu has been recognised with numerous awards, including the Woman Icon Asia Award in 2018, and India Business Legend, Forbes India.

Rakesh Sinha – International C-Suite Business Leader and Chief Financial Officer of Jack Link’s, Netherlands

Rakesh Sinha is a C-suite executive with 25+ years of experience leading international business development for consumer companies in both developed and emerging markets.

His career includes a proven track record of developing and orchestrating strategies that build footprint and leadership positions, outgrow competition and enable value creation.

He has lived and worked in seven countries and has been responsible for multiple regions across the world. He uses his knowledge gained from his vast international experiences to create high-performing teams to deliver on organisational goals. He is a collaborative leader focused on developing talent and mentoring relationships with teams to promote top performance. He has extensively worked with cross-functional and remote teams, successfully understanding different cultures and mobilising all staff to a common goal.

Rakesh is currently based in the Netherlands and is the Chief Financial Officer of Jack Link’s, a Protein Snacking company. In addition, he is a qualified professional ICF coach.

Previously, Rakesh was based in Chicago as Group Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director of PureCircle, the world’s leading producer and innovator of natural stevia, a FTSE London Stock Exchange listed public company before being acquired by a US conglomerate.

Prior to that, Rakesh had a 17-year tenure with Unilever PLC, the global consumer goods company, during which he managed financial strategy and development in various positions worldwide. From 2012-2016, as CFO of the Foods Solutions business for Latin America and Europe he facilitated the company’s double-digit growth for four consecutive years through his hands-on business partnering approach and immersing himself in understanding local markets. During 2004-2009, Rakesh was based in Sydney where he was the Finance Director of Unilever’s Ice-Cream business for Australasia, after which he spent three years as country CFO to reinvent Unilever’s strategy within Taiwan, successfully designing and executing a 3-year plan to turnaround the business delivering on growth targets ahead of schedule.

Prior to Unilever, Rakesh worked for BHP, the world’s leading mining company and TIME Magazine.

In 2017, Rakesh was nominated and shortlisted for Grant Thornton’s Quoted Company Finance Director of the year.

Rakesh’s professional history is complemented by a Global Executive MBA from Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University, The Netherlands. He is a Chartered Accountant and holds a BEng (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Leeds, UK. Rakesh is a certified Co-Active Coach (CTI) and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD).

Metka Tekavcic - Dean of the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Professor Metka Tekavčič was named Dean of the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana (FELU) in 2013. From 2001 to 2007 Professor Tekavčič was Vice-Dean at the FELU. From 1999 to 2001 she was also the Head of the Academic Unit of Management and Organization.

Her research interest lies in the fields of cost and performance management, as well as non-profit and especially education management. Professor Tekavčič has attended many international conferences, where she has presented papers from her research areas. She has published several research articles in Slovene, other European, and US peer-reviewed journals. She is a member of editorial boards in several prominent journals from her research field.

Professor Tekavčič is president of the FELU’s Senate and the Head of the Institute for Management and Organization. In 2014 she was awarded the Artemida award for Women's Excellence in Management.

From 1992 till 2013 she was a member of the City Council of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She has long been and remains a member of the supervisory boards of many important Slovenian companies and other institutions.

In 2016, the Dean Tekavčič was appointed as a member of the EQUIS Accreditation Board, run by European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), the leading international network for management development.

Since 2017, Professor Tekavčič has also served as a member of the AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Initial Accreditation Committee and a member the and European Advisory Council (EAC).

In addition to her work, she is a vice-dean of Challenge:Future, a global youth a global think-DO-tank.

Monica Wang – Head of Business Agility Solutions at Roche Pharmaceuticals, China

Monica Wang is currently the Head of Business Agility Solutions at Roche Pharmaceuticals based in Shanghai. Prior to this, she was with the consulting practice at PwC. Monica majored in Accounting and Finance at Leeds LUBS, and pursued her postgraduate degree at the University of Bath.

After spending some fantastic years in the UK, she returned to her home country China, and started her professional career as a consultant, providing strategic and management advice to multinational and domestic companies across different sectors in the areas of Performance Improvement, Mergers & Acquisition, Post-deal Integration etc. Since leaving the advisory business to join the corporate, Monica has been with the life science industry for more than a decade.

During her tenure at Roche, she has served different leadership roles in various functions covering Market Access, Commercial Excellence, Corporate & Portfolio Strategy, Organizational Change Management etc., leading and managing country, regional and global level initiatives. With a track record of benefiting the cultural and business integration between China and the West, Monica aspires to effectively utilize her management skills and multicultural experience to amplify the impact to the academic and education arena.