The Operational Board

Find out more about the individuals that make up our Operational Board below.

Harriet Fear MBE, Chair, Cambridge Ahead

Harriet was a career Diplomat for over 20 years with the Foreign Office, serving in 17 countries in various roles and also in the commercial field, including as Head of the national Life Sciences and Healthcare Trade Team for UK Trade & Investment.

Harriet has worked at the heart of the Cambridge business ecosystem since 2003 and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List 2016. She was Chief Executive of One Nucleus from 2009 to 2017, which became the largest life science and healthcare membership body in Europe under her leadership. Harriet served as the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador for Life Sciences for five years, undertaking a range of high-profile duties, and is currently a Director of Deyton Bell Ltd. and Founder of Harriet Fear Associates Ltd.  

Jane Paterson-Todd, CEO, Cambridge Ahead

Prior to her appointment at Cambridge Ahead, Jane’s career spanned both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors, including roles as CEO of a London-based theatre, the Group Commercial Director of Emap Conferences, Head of Development at the Barbican Art Centre, and over 11 years in national media advertising including The Telegraph, The Times and women’s consumer magazines, Elle and Elle Decoration.

Duncan McCunn, Corporate Director, Barclays

Duncan leads on growth in the Large Corporate team for Barclays in the Eastern Region. Barclays is proud to be Banker to some of the most important companies and institutions in the Region, including many of the members of Cambridge Ahead. Over the last 30 years in the Banking industry, Duncan has developed a personal specialism in Corporate Finance and wider Relationship Management. He lives in Cambridge and is fully committed to the further development of the area.

Andy Williams, Vice-President Cambridge Strategy and Operations, AstraZeneca

Andy works closely with Cambridge and national stakeholders to develop the local infrastructure, promoting the life sciences sector and inspiring the next generation of scientists through MedImmune and AstraZeneca extensive local community outreach activities. With the arrival of AstraZeneca’s global head office and new strategic R&D centre in Cambridge, Andy has been an active contributor to evolving Cambridge’s thinking in areas like transport, skill development, amenities for the community and affordable housing.

Dr David Cleevely, Chairman, Raspberry Pi

Dr David Cleevely CBE, FREng, FIET is an entrepreneur who has founded a series of companies including Abcam, Analysys, 3waynetworks and others. Dr Cleevely is the Chairman of Raspberry Pi, founding Chairman of the Cambridge Science Centre and the Founding Director of the Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge as well as acting as a government advisor. He also co-founded Cambridge Network, Cambridge Wireless, Cambridge Angels and the award-winning restaurant Bocca di Lupo.

Jeremy Newsum, Honorary Vice Chairman, Cambridge Ahead

Jeremy Newsum FRICS is an Honorary Vice Chairman of Cambridge Ahead and was inaugural Chairman for the first six months of our existence. He was Executive Trustee of the Grosvenor Estate, until he stepped down from this role at the end of 2016. He is also a director of Grupo Lar, a director of Wates Group, a trustee of the Evelyn Trust and a member of the Investment Committee of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Matthew Bullock, Master, St Edmund’s College, Cambridge (Chair of the Cambridge Ahead Growth Group)

In addition to being Master of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, and a Vice Chairman of Cambridge Ahead, Matthew was a founding financier of the Cambridge Phenomenon in the 1970s and 1980s. He became a Managing Director of BZW and then Barclays Capital, Chief Executive of the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Chairman of TAP Biosciences plc, International House Trust Ltd and The Transforming Pathology Partnership. He was also a Non-Executive Director of Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Chairman of its Audit Committee. Previously he was a member of the Audit Committee of Cambridge University and a founding Advisory Board member of the Cambridge Judge Business School.

Nicholas Bewes, CEO, Howard Ventures

Nicholas is the CEO of Howard Group, a family owned business which began in 1935 and is based in Cambridge.   He has been at Howard Group for the past 20 years leading the Group through a period of sustained growth and evolution.

Prior to the Howard Group, Nicholas worked at The BOC Group where he joined as a graduate. He held a variety of roles during his ten years at the Group, which included change management, marketing and communications, product development and global supply management.

Patrick McMahon, Senior Partner, Bidwells

Patrick has spent 30 years providing strategic advice to major investment and development clients across the UK real estate industry, developing Bidwells’ market-leading work in the high-growth science and technology sector.  He has been Senior Partner of Bidwells for 10 years.   

Patrick specialises in development consultancy, including advising on key aspects of master planning, devising and executing complex financial modelling, structuring Joint Ventures, arranging funding, planning and leasing services.  Bidwells manages more than £5.2 billion in property assets on behalf of its clients in its core markets of Cambridge, Oxford and London, markets that represent over 44% of all real estate activity in the UK.

Alex Plant, Regulation Director, Anglian Water

Alex became Regulation Director at Anglian Water in 2017, having spent two years leading on regulatory policy and market reform. Previously he worked as Director of Regulation at Royal Mail, Executive Director for Economy, Transport & Environment at Cambridgeshire County Council, and Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Horizons, driving forward the delivery of sustainable new communities in Cambridgeshire. Earlier in his career he worked at HM Treasury on productivity, competition and regulation policy, and at the Civil Aviation Authority as Head of Economic Policy & International Aviation.

Alex is also a Board Member for the independent urban policy think tank, the Centre for Cities.

Professor Andy Neely, Pro-Vice-Chancellor - Enterprise and Business Relations, University of Cambridge

Professor Andy Neely is a former Head of the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) and of the Manufacturing and Management Division of Cambridge University Engineering Department. He is a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College and Founding Director of the Cambridge Service Alliance. He is widely recognised for his work on the servitisation of manufacturing, as well as his work on performance measurement and management.

Previously, he has held appointments at Cambridge University, where he was a Fellow of Churchill College and Nottingham University, where he completed his PhD and British Aerospace. He was Deputy Director of AIM Research from 2003 until 2012 and was elected a Fellow of the European Operations Management Association in 2009.

Rob Carter, Director, R G Carter

Rob Carter is a Regional Director at RG Carter, a family owned business, established in 1921 and renowned for its diverse range of high-quality construction services. With specific board responsibility for various office operations across the Firm, including RG Carter Cambridge Limited, he has helped deliver many prestigious projects within Cambridge in sectors such as Life Sciences, Commercial, Historic Refurbishment and Education, specialising in complex ‘one off’ schemes.

Rob is keen to develop and help give young people opportunities in the work place and is a dedicated ambassador of the in-house training centre, Carter Academy. After fifty years of commitment to training, it is still central to the business, with over 40 young people starting construction management or craft apprenticeships every year.

07761 511 766


Sarah Brereton, Director, Limewash
01223 813 557

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