Non-Executive Members

Kelvin Blake
Kelvin Blake

Kelvin is an experienced non-executive director and board level leader. Up until very recently he led some of the largest and complex programmes for BT and their customers and also sat as a board member on BT’s South West regional board. He has experience in the NHS having spent six years on the board of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

Kelvin is also currently a Non-Executive Director of BrisDoc and of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce & Initiative (BCCI). He is also a charity trustee of WECIL and Second Step.

Kelly Macfarlane
Kelly Macfarlane

Kelly is Managing Director of HWM Global, a UK company specialising in the design and manufacture of monitoring and telemetry equipment for utility networks. Kelly has extensive experience in customer operations, strategy, business transformation and commercial leadership in senior executive roles within the Water and Telecommunications industries including Thames Water and Openreach. 

Sarah Purdy
Professor Sarah Purdy

Sarah is Vice-Chair of the board at NBT and is a GP and clinical academic by background. Until 2022 Sarah was Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience at the University of Bristol and previously she led Bristol Medical School.  Sarah has held leadership positions including as a non-executive director and trustee in a number of organisations including the wider NHS, charities and a multi-academy trust. She is a member of the Barts Charity Grant Committee. 

Sarah practiced as a GP from 1991 to 2022 and was awarded an OBE for services to general practice in the 2022 Queen's Birthday Honours. 

Richard Gaunt
Richard Gaunt

Richard is an experienced Board Member and Audit & Risk Committee Chair (most recently with Alliance Homes), with other appointments including Chair of the Business Services and Remuneration Committees and Board Vice-Chair at City of Bristol College and a governor at Colston's Girls' School..

He brings a broad range of skills including significant strength in finance, strategy and treasury. Prior to his retirement in 2009, Richard was an Audit Partner at KPMG, and he remains a Fellow of the Society of Chartered Accountants England and Wales.

Dr Jane Khawaja
Dr Jane Khawaja

Jane is Bristol Innovations Programme Director at the University of Bristol.  

At the University, she is a member of the Board of Trustees and University Court and she chairs the University’s Anti-Racism Working Group.

Jane is a member of the Bristol City Funds Investment Advisory Committee, a Director on the Bristol Future Talent Partnership Board and a Director on the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation Board. She is also a commissioner on Bristol City Council’s Commission on Race Equality.

Jane has a degree in Physics and PhD in Plasma Physics. She started her career working for Applied Materials, a global leader in the semiconductor industry. She then worked for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences, before joining the University of Bristol.

Jane has a very keen interest in equity, diversity and inclusion and is passionate about addressing the root cause of racial inequity and ensuring race equity is embedded into policies and processes.

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Shawn Smith

Shawn is an experienced board member having served on boards in the UK, Poland and India. Having gained a degree in Economics, Shawn qualified as an accountant and is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants with over thirty years’ experience.

Shawn has held senior finance roles across different industries for over 25 years, most recently within the aerospace sector where he was Chief Financial Officer of European Operations with additional responsibility for the company’s Indian operations. Shawn helped lead the company’s growth in the UK, Europe and in particular India. This included acquisitions and the development of a large-scale manufacturing facility in Bangalore.

Shawn is a governor at City of Bristol college, also serving on the Business Services Committee, a trustee with Bristol based charity Frank Water and an Audit and Risk Committee member with Elim Housing Association.

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Darren Roach

Darren is a new Associate Non-Executive Director, who was appointed to bring his professional expertise and lived experience with multiple disabilities to what is already a diverse and inclusive board membership.

Darren has sixteen years’ experience delivering programmes in both the private and public sectors, across multiple areas including government estates,  corporate services, defence procurement and education.

Darren is also a Non-Executive Director for Seable, through which he is able to pursue his passion for increasing independence to the Visually Impaired community as they engage with leisure trips and holidays to complement their busy lives.

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Omar Mashjari

Omar is a lawyer and academic. He is the Associate Head of Department at the Bristol Law School, UWE Bristol, having previously served as the Director of Global Engagement at the University of Westminster. He holds a PhD in Law from the University of Leeds, and a BA and Masters in Law from the University of Liverpool. He is also a qualified solicitor, having trained at an international law firm, as well as an Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator.

Omar is a Chartered Manager and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Omar serves on the Board of Trustees of a large international humanitarian charity and is dedicated to advancing equality, diversity, and inclusion. Omar was recently appointed to the Development Board of the UK's first ethnic minority investment bank, in which he advised the Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region.