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. She 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 Special Adviser to Cambridge& and Founder Director of the consultancy Harriet Fear Associates Ltd.

Rob Carter, Director, R G Carter and Chair of the Cambridge Ahead Young Advisory Committee

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.


Professor Roderick Watkins was appointed Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University in February 2019. He first joined ARU in 2014, as Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, before being appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) in 2015. Prior to joining ARU, he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University, where he was appointed Professor of Composition and Contemporary Music in 2005.

He is a composer with a particular interest in digital sound synthesis and the combination of acoustic and synthetic timbres, and his compositions have been performed and broadcast across Europe and the UK. He was a member of the Advisory Group for Lord Stern’s Review of the REF (2015-16), and the Research England/Universities UK Working Group developing the Knowledge Exchange Concordat (2018).

Christopher Walkinshaw, Group Director of External Relations and Communications, Marshall of Cambridge

Christopher is Group Director of External Relations and Communications at Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Ltd. He joined Marshall in 1983 and has worked in all of its operating businesses. Christopher is a Non-Executive Director of Marshall Motor Holdings plc. He is a Trustee of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, and a board member of Anglian Learning. He is also a Board member of the East Anglian Reserve Forces and Cadets Association and chairs the Regional Employer Engagement Group. He is a member of the Joint Assembly of the Greater Cambridge Partnership. Christopher is Chairman of No.104 (City of Cambridge) Squadron of the RAF Air Cadets and a Vice President of the Air League Trust. He is a Vice President of the Automotive Fellowship International and a Fellow of both the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institute of the Motor Industry.

Dr Richard Anthony, Bursar, Jesus College Cambridge

Richard is Bursar and Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge, a position he has held since April 2017, where he is responsible for financial, operational and legal matters. This includes managing the College’s endowment, a significant proportion of which is invested in property in and around Cambridge. Prior to this, he was Bursar, Development Director and Fellow of St Edmund’s College Cambridge. Richard is also actively involved with the University of Cambridge, where he is currently a member of the Finance Committee, and recently served as an elected member of the University Council.

Richard trained as a chartered accountant in the City and previously worked in project and corporate finance in infrastructure and utilities, and in wealth management and private banking. He was brought up in Cambridge and is director of a family-owned construction business based in Ely. 


Kirsty is Chief People Officer at Arm and member of the Arm Executive Committee. Arm’s technologies continuously evolve to ensure that its intelligence is at the core of a secure and connected digital world. Arm’s global headquarters are in Cambridge and over a third of its employees are based in Cambridge. She joined Arm in 2002 and has led the People Group since 2017.

Kirsty’s ambition is to create the blueprint for the future of work; that is truly human, diverse and inclusive allowing everyone to thrive and contribute to their full potential. Kirsty is known for her work on developing programs that deliver high performance, high engagement and progressive organisations and workspaces. Kirsty is recognised for her passion for Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths; becoming involved with global initiatives to raise the profile of STEM as educational and career choices available to all.

Kirsty graduated from Cambridge University and she and her family live, work and study in Cambridge. She is delighted to progress from Member to Board Director of Cambridge Ahead and further contribute to the success of this city. 

Dr Julia Wilson Associate Director, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Julia is responsible for strategy development, and partnerships at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Her office works to drive broader academic and industry engagement needed to support the work of the Sanger Institute and the wider Wellcome Genome Campus. 

Julia oversees organisational research strategy, research policy, faculty planning and organisational impact. Her team work to increase awareness of the impact and reach of Sanger Institute science to position the Sanger Institute as a source of translational opportunities and raises awareness of the importance and impact of genomics research with government and policy makers.

Julia leads the organisational partnership agenda to enhance genomic research activity through the development and delivery of new partnerships and approaches that bring together stakeholders from academia, industry, funding agencies and government. Julia ensures that the Institute’s Associate Research Programme portfolio consists of high-quality, high-impact research covering the breadth of organisational interests and enhances the profile of the Institute and Faculty across the national and international scientific community.

Julia is a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences FLIER Programme, the BioIndustry Association Genomics Advisory Committee, Chair of the Open Targets Governance Board, President of the Rising Network, member of the Global Gene Corp Scientific Advisory Board and Earth BioGenome Project International Steering Committee.

Previously Julia was Assistant Director of Research at Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Science Programme Manager at the World Cancer Research Fund. As a scientist she was a post-doc at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden and then worked as a researcher at Cancer Research UK and Queen Mary University of London.

Andy Brown, Group Corporate Affairs Director, MAG Stansted Airport

Andy joined Manchester Airports Group in January 2020 as Group Corporate Affairs Director and leads communications, media and public affairs across the UK’s largest group of airports - before the pandemic, MAG saw over 60 million people flying through Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports every year.

Before joining MAG he spent ten years working for Transport for London, including managing corporate affairs on some of London’s most complex and politically-challenging infrastructure projects. Andy is also a Chartered Engineer and is passionate about transport investment as a tool for sustainable growth in all parts of the UK.

Dr Andy Williams

After 30 years within the biopharmaceutical industry, Andy recently established his own consultancy business advising clients such as AstraZeneca and CBC Ltd in the areas of strategy, policy development and engagement.

In his previous role at AstraZeneca, Andy oversaw the move and integration of the organization into the Cambridge area ahead of their move onto the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. As part of that role, he was an active contributor to evolving Cambridge’s thinking in areas like transport, skill development, community amenity, housing and digital.

Andy remains active in the business community.  He sits on the board of Cambridge Network, the CPCA business board, is the business representative on the Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive board, a Councillor of the CBI Regional Council and Thriving Nations National Committee.

Hans Pung, President, RAND Europe

Hans Pung is president of RAND Europe, a not-for-profit public policy research organisation that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. With offices in Cambridge (UK), Rotterdam (NL), and Brussels (BE), RAND Europe's staff undertakes empirical studies for public, private, and third sector clients on a diverse range of policy issues including innovation, science, health, social policy, defence, home affairs, and infrastructure.

Pung joined RAND as a policy analyst in 2002 and continues to lead and deliver research projects, particularly around industrial economics and national security policy. He has held a range of senior leadership positions in RAND Europe, including directing RAND's European defence and security research portfolio as well as heading RAND Europe's efforts to grow and diversify into new research areas, such as employment and education.

Prior to RAND, Pung served as an engineer officer in the United States Army with responsibility for logistics, personnel, and operations and overseas service in the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Germany. He also led the emergency power response team at the Pentagon in the aftermath of 9/11.

A mathematics graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he commanded the United States Corps of Cadets as a senior, Pung also holds advanced degrees in mathematical modelling and modern history from Oxford University, which he attended as a (George C.) Marshall Scholar.

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Sarah Brereton, Director, Limewash
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