Council Members

The Council is the governing body of the Royal College of Art. The current membership of 28 is made up principally of lay (non-College) members and includes a number of staff and students. For more information, see College Governance. Click here for biographies of Lay Members

Ex Officio

The Provost 
Sir James Dyson OM CBE (to 31 July 2020) 

The Chair and Pro-Provost
Baroness Rebuck DBE (to 28 February 2019) 

The Rector and Vice-Provost
Dr Paul Thompson

The Treasurer
Caragh Merrick (to 31 December 2018)

The Pro-Rector 
Professor Naren Barfield

Co-President of the Students' Union (Architecture and Design)
Hannah Evans (to 31 July 2017)

Members Appointed by the Court (twelve persons being neither members of staff of the College nor students)

Professor Richard Burdett CBE (to 30 September 2018)

Robert Careless (to 31 March 2019)

Jennifer Duvalier (to 30 April 2019)

Mike Forster (to 29 February 2020)

Professor Magdalene Odundo OBE (to 31 March 2017)

Catherine Parry (to 30 April 2020)

Lady Ritblat (to 31 March 2017)

Dame Marjorie Scardino (to 30 November 2018)

Tom Van Oss (to 31 October 2019)

Saffron Aldridge (to 31 March 2020)

Members Appointed by the Senate (seven members of the staff of the College appointed in the manner prescribed by Ordinance)

Professor Paul Anderson (31 October 2018)

Zowie Broach (31 October 2018)

Professor Neville Brody (31 October 2018)

Dr Melanie Jordan (31 October 2018)

Dr Adrian Lahoud (31 October 2017)

Professor Jane Pavitt (31 October 2017)

Dr Emma Wakelin (31 October 2017)

One Student Elected by the Student Body:
Francesca Tamse, Co-President of the Students' Union (Fine Art and Material) (to 31 July 2017)

Co-opted Members (such other persons, being neither members of the staff of the College nor students and not exceeding eight in all as may be co-opted by the Council)

Professor Rachel Cooper OBE (to 31 March 2019)

Professor Alice Gast (to 31 August 2017)

Dr Tristram Hunt (to 29 February 2020)

Alan Leibowitz (to 30 November 2018)

Patrick Plant (to 30 April 2019)

John Studzinski CBE (to 31 March 2017)

Ed Williams (to 31 January 2019)


Chief Operating Officer, Richard Benson

In Attendance

Director of Finance, Amanda White 

PA to the Director of Academic Development, Lucy Quarry


One-third of the total actual membership of the Council (or the nearest whole number thereto) provided that at least one-third of those present at any time shall be neither Members of the Staff of the College nor Students.

Number of Meetings Per Year


Sir James Dyson
Sir James Dyson