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Barry Sheerman MP Chair of Policy Connect

Barry Sheerman MP

Chair and Co-Founder

Barry Sheerman MP is the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Huddersfield, and chairman and co-founder of Policy Connect.

Formerly Chairman of the House of Commons Select Committee for Children, Schools and Families from 2007 and the Education and Skills Committee from 2001-2007, he is co-chair or member of several of the groups within the Policy Connect network, including the APSRG, APMG, APDIG and Skills Commission.

An energetic social and political entrepreneur having initiated over 30 different social enterprises over the past 20 years, he is Chairman of the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety, Urban Mines (an environmental charity), The John Clare Trust and The Dominic Rogers Trust, all of which he helped to establish. He is also a Visiting Professor of Social Enterprise at the University of Huddersfield.

Jonathan Shaw

Jonathan Shaw

Chief Executive

Jonathan became Chief Executive of Policy Connect in May 2016. He worked as a farm worker, care assistant, social worker and local councillor before being elected to Parliament for three terms between 1997-2010.

During his time as an MP he was: a member of the Environmental Audit and Education Select Committees; Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Education; Government Whip; Minister for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs; Minister for Disabled People; and also Regional Minister for South East England. Before joining Policy Connect, Jonathan led a consultancy company, the Shaw Business Partnership, supporting a range of organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors. He co-founded the housing and employment consortium Give us a Chance, developed an award winning partnership to assist ex-offenders gain employment and established a leadership programme for the public sector.

Jonathan is chair of the Kent-based charity the Blackthorn Trust which assists with mental and physical rehabilitation and is based on the principles of Rudolf Steiner.

He enjoys running, country walks and cooking.

Claudia Jaksch COO Policy Connect

Claudia Jaksch, MBA

Chief Operating Officer & Head of Sustainability

As Chief Operating Officer, Claudia provides Policy Connect's Chief Executive with strategic and operational oversight of Policy Connect’s administrative, financial and HR capabilities and advises Policy Connect Board Members on key strategic issues. She is also Company Secretary.

As Head of the Sustainability department, Claudia oversees all of Policy Connect's sustainability-themed work on energy and climate change, the circular economy and sustainable resources, the built environment, natural capital and infrastructure. 

Claudia holds a Masters degree in International Political Economy from King's College London and a Bachelor's degree in European Studies from the University of Passau, Germany. More recently she also completed an Executive MBA with Warwick Business School, Warwick University.

Her past experiences include working for Stakeholder Forum, an international organisation dedicated to advancing sustainable development at a global level, as well as roles at the central bank in Germany and in the private sector in Spain.


020 7202 8584
Sir David Melville at Policy Connect

Sir David Melville, CBE

Chair, Pearson Education Ltd.

Sir David Melville has extensive experience of national higher and further education policy. He is a currently Chair of Pearson Education Ltd.

He is former Vice Chancellor of the University of Kent and the University of Middlesex, former Chief Executive of the Further Education Funding Council, and former Chair of the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the University Vocational Awards Council, Lifelong Learning UK, the Kent and Medway Learning and Skills Council, and the NHS Postgraduate Deanery and Health Education England, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

He was a member of the Tomlinson Review of 14-19 Curriculum and Qualifications, the Foundation Degree Task Force, the Foster Review of the Future of Further Education Colleges and chaired the UK Universities Race Equality Consultation Project and the HE in a Web 2.0 World review. He is a former Vice-Chair of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals (now Universities UK) and Chair of its LongerTerm Strategy Committee. He has chaired a number of UK Research council boards and been an advisor on further and higher education to successive government ministers.

He was appointed a CBE in 2001 and a Knight Bachelor in 2007 for services to further and higher education. Sir David was educated at Sheffield and Columbia Universities. He began his career as a lecturer in physics at Southampton University, and became Professor of Physics and Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy and subsequently Assistant Director and Vice-Rector of Lancashire Polytechnic.

Lord Robin Teverson

Lord Robin Teverson

Having been elected as a Member of the European Parliament for Cornwall and West Plymouth in 1994, he resided as Chief Whip of the European Liberal Democrats from 1997-1999. After this Robin was a Cornwall Councillor.

In 2006, Robin was elected as a life Peer. He has since been working on topics including renewable energy and utilities, climate change, economic affairs and the European Union subcommittee, as well as our sustainability policy activities here at Policy Connect.

Robin joined the Policy Connect Board in May 2016.

Photo courtesy of the Liberal Democrats.

Chris Pickard

Chris Pickard

Managing Director of Pickard Consulting Ltd.

Chris Pickard is a consultant and independent advisor on negotiation and consensus building.  

He helps organisations to understand and navigate public policy problems and reach mutually beneficial agreements in complex, multi-stakeholder commercial negotiations. His aim is to help negotiating counterparties and their stakeholders to secure higher value agreements more quickly, and with relationships strengthened by the process.

Chris is Managing Director of Pickard Consulting Ltd, an Alliance Partner with Movius Consulting, the leading international negotiations and leadership consultancy, and a Board Member at Policy Connect.

Previously, he worked as a senior-level market access and public affairs professional in the life sciences industry, with various international leadership roles at Pfizer Inc. and Novo Nordisk. He began his career at the Associate Parliamentary Health Group, where he was involved in establishing the group.

Chris holds a first-class honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of York. He lives with his wife and daughter in London.

Lynn Tomkins

Chair, Skills 4.

Lynn is Chair of Skills4, the UK's leading provider of the accredited Career Advancement and Progression programme for women as well as other specialist programmes which deliver measurable business improvements for high performing companies by addressing gender and diversity balance within business. She is also one of Skills4's leading executive coaches and trainer. 

Lynn works with companies such as Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Atkins and Bombardier, delivering training and coaching to senior executives. Lynn is a Board member of the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF), of Policy Connect, and Hexham Race Course, she is also the Vice Chair of Northumberland College. Lynn was the first ever woman Vice President of the Ship Building, Ship Repair Association. 

Ken Gill at Policy Connect

Ken Gill

Chief Executive Officer for NCUK.

Ken is the Chief Executive of the Northern Consortium United Kingdom (NCUK). He is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Personnel Professional and holds a Master of Business Administration.

Ken has held a number of voluntary and non-executive director roles including appointment as a special measures Vice Chair of Governors of a London School by the then Secretary of State for Education, Founding Trustee of a Hospice/ Respite home, the first honorary treasurer and Trustee of a national HIV/AIDS charity in Scotland, Director of Future Leaders Charitable Trust (a social enterprise to attract leaders to challenging inner city schools), served as a member of the Court of Heriot Watt University and an Honorary Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham. Ken was also an elected Council member and Trustee of the Association of Accounting Technicians where he chaired of one of the four policy committees of Council (Regulation and Compliance).

Robert Hunt Policy Connect board

Robert Hunt

Former Chief Corporate Officer, Veolia UK.

Robert is the UK Chief Corporate Officer for Veolia and is responsible for key corporate services. He heads up their Shared Service Centre which also includes water and energy.

After studying law at Pembroke College, Oxford, Robert trained as a solicitor in the City of London. Specialising in projects and corporate law, he joined Veolia Environmental Services as General Counsel before moving to Veolia Transport in Paris as International Projects and Legal Director. He re-joined the company as Executive Director in April 2011.

Robert champions the idea of developing smarter ways of working that optimise resources and create a sustainable future. As designated sector champion for the environment he is leading in Defra’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’ which is focused on ensuring environmental regulations affecting business are fit for purpose.

Fiona Morris - Board Member

Fiona Morris

Director of Simply People HR Ltd

Fiona is a passionate and people focused Human Resources leader, change champion and qualified Accountant (ACMA), with a background in international Blue Chip FMCG companies including Cargill, Kraft (now Mondelez) and Motorola. She has worked a number of mergers and acquisitions most notably the Kraft acquisition of Cadbury and the joint venture between Cargill and Faccenda Foods. 

A trusted strategic partner and coach having worked with numerous MDs, boards and leadership teams across all functions in business during her career, she particularly enjoys change and transformation projects which deliver improved leadership, talent or business performance whether these be organisational or cultural.  Now operating as a independent consultant  she is working with a number of businesses and charities utilising her extensive experience in this field. Fiona is also Trustee for Gloucestershire Learning Alliance.