The Conservatoire’s Board of Governors, which meets formally at least three times a year, comprises lay and academic persons appointed in accordance with the Conservatoire’s Articles of Association. Staff and students are also represented on the Board.
The Board approves the Conservatoire’s long-term objectives and strategies and provides overall financial and organisational control. The Board has a number of committees including a Finance Committee, an Audit Committee, a Nominations Committee and other ad hoc committees as required from time to time.
To read more about the responsibilities of the Board of Governors, you can view or download the following PDFs. The Conservatoire adheres to CUC guidance as set out in the HE Code of Governance (2014, rev. 2018).
To view previous financial statements, please visit our Governance Policies page.
James Smith CBE
James is chair of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama and chair of the advisory board of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change at Imperial College and LSE. He co-chairs the CCUS Council (Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage) with the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth. He is a former President of the Energy Institute and a former chair of the Carbon Trust. He chairs the advisory board of the Association for Black Engineers in the UK. Before retiring he was on the advisory boards of Opportunity Now and Race for Opportunity, the employer groups for gender and racial diversity.
James retired from Shell in 2011 after 7 years as Chair of Shell UK. He joined Shell in 1983. He and his family lived for a period in Malaysia and Brunei. He worked on Shell business in a number of Middle Eastern countries and in the US. He was head of technology in Shell Chemicals.
James was brought up in the far north of Scotland. He has a degree in physics from Aberdeen and is a chartered accountant. He worked for Accenture before joining Shell.
David took up the post of Chief Executive Officer at the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama in October 2018. Until April 2018 he was Chief Executive of Equality Challenge Unit, a policy and research agency funded to advance equality & diversity in universities in the UK and colleges in Scotland (until it merged with LHFE and HEA to form Advance HE). David practiced as a solicitor for 21 years; latterly as Director of Legal Policy at the Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain and before that as a Partner at and founder of the department of Education, Equality and Disability Law at Levenes Solicitors. David has been the Equality Adviser to the English FA Premier League, a Trustee of ADD (Action on Disability and Development), a member of the Rights & Justice Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Advisory Board of the Wellcome Trust and a Fellow of the British American Project.
Brian is currently CEO of Freedom Finance having held senior positions in a range of financial services businesses during his career. Prior to Freedom Brian was Sales & Marketing Director for Virgin Money and was one of the executive team which floated the business in 2014. Prior to that Brian was CEO of HML Ltd which was and still is the largest Mortgage Servicer in the UK. Brian has a real passion for leading digital and operational transformations to deliver great outcomes for customers. His passion for dance stems from his three daughters who have been dancing since childhood. Brian strongly believes that dance, in all its genres, has enabled his daughters to successfully navigate many of their life challenges. Brian was as a Trustee of the Royal Academy of Dance for 8 years before joining the Northern School of Contemporary Dance as its Chairman this year.
Dr Michelle Castelletti
Dr Michelle Castelletti has recently been appointed Director of Oxford Festival of the Arts from her post as Artistic Director of the Malta International Arts Festival, where she was appointed by Arts Council Malta with a remit to lead the festival towards European Capital of Culture. Previously Artistic Director of the Royal Northern College of Music, Michelle is a conductor, composer and curator with a passion for cross-Art and site-specific curation. She is also a Soprano and loves lyrical dramatic roles. Michelle has created and developed significant national and international partnerships and has also been on several jury panels, including the British Composer Awards, European Capital of Culture (Valletta2018) and Venice Biennale. Her projects, curations and festivals have received 5* reviews and awards, one of the most prestigious being winner of the Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts 2015. Michelle has been privileged to work with some exceptional artists in her life. Michelle is also on the Board of Directors of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, Trustee of the ISM Trust and of ORA Singers and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is published by Universal Edition Vienna and recorded by BIS RECORDS.
Dr Roderick Clayton
Richard Cooper is the Nominated Governor and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. He was educated at Clifton College, Bristol and The Taft School, Connecticut, and read Law at Trinity College, Cambridge. Richard worked with Slaughter and May, Solicitors, from 1965 to 2004. He opened their Paris office in 1973, became a Partner in 1975 and was Senior Partner, Hong Kong, from 1986 to 1990. In addition to his position at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Richard is a Governor of Clifton College, Bristol. He was a trustee of The British School at Rome from 2003 to 2013, latterly as Deputy Chairman.
Janice French is the Saïd Business School’s Director of Faculty Services and Governance at the University of Oxford, where she is also a Fellow by Special Election at St Edmund Hall. After an early career in dance administration at the Royal Academy of Dance, she has focused on higher education management holding positions at Imperial College, University College London and Cambridge University before joining Oxford University in 2009. Her experience has spanned faculty and research management, governance, accreditations, resource and strategic planning, and start-up projects. Janice holds an MA in Arts Administration and an MBA in Higher Education Management.
Prof Martin Halliwell
Martin Halliwell is the Head of the School of Arts and Professor of American Studies at the University of Leicester. He is a specialist in twentieth-century American culture, literature and history, and he has also published widely on the health humanities. Martin works broadly in the UK and internationally as an advocate for the arts and humanities. He is currently President of the English Association, Co-Chair of the Arts and Humanities Alliance, and an Ambassador for Early Career Researchers for the European Association for American Studies.
Prof David Halton
Professor David Halton, BA, PGCE, MSc, EdD, is the Chairman of Trustees at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the School’s nominated governor on the CDD Board. He retired as Vice-Chancellor of Glamorgan University in 2010, (now University of South Wales) and has been Chairman of BOVTS for 6 years. He is an expert in Strategic Management and has researched into the impact of direct action in Widening Access. He is an honorary Professor of five Chinese Universities and an Emeritus Professor of two UK Universities. He has led and supported teams successfully to achieve TDAPs and RDAPs at the University of Northampton and in his 30 years working in H.E. has been responsible for the instigation and delivery of around £350m of building work. He led the successful recent fund-raising campaign to increase the rehearsal space and reception area at BOVTS. He is a fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has Honorary Doctorates from Glamorgan and Roehampton Universities.
Derek Hicks is the Nominated Governor for London Contemporary Dance School.
Born in Plymouth, Devon, Robert studied dance locally before entering the Royal Ballet Upper School in West London. He graduated in to the Royal Ballet Company at Covent Garden in 1971 and performed with the Company in the UK and abroad.
After retiring as a soloist in 1990, he completed a Masters in Arts Management at City University. He was a freelance UK tour manager, working with dance companies such as the Bolshoi Ballet, Kirov (now Maryinski) Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Project. He went on to become Company Manager for the Royal Ballet Company , overseeing the move from their West London studios to the newly refurbished Opera House in 1999.
In 2004, Robert moved to Really Useful Theatres as Programming Manager, working with Nica Burns and Andre Ptaszynski on the running of its 13 playhouses and theatres including the London Palladium and Theatre Royal Drury Lane. He retired in 2016.
Mindy Kilby is the Director of Finance at the Royal Opera House. Qualifying in the US, she has extensive accounting and finance experience, predominantly in the charity sector. She joined the Royal Opera House in 2000, where she has been Director of Finance since September 2013. Mindy is also a trustee of Southbank Sinfonia and Tete a Tete Opera and sits on the audit committee for National Opera Studio.
Matthew Lloyd is the Nominated Governor for National Centre for Circus Arts. After graduating from Oxford, Matthew went on to study at Harvard and Columbia Universities on a Harkness Fellowship. Whilst Joint Artistic Director and Chief Executive at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester his productions included the award-winning An Experiment with an Air-Pump, and Waiting for Godot with Richard Wilson. As Associate Director at Hampstead Theatre his work included the multiaward-winning The Fastest Clock in the Universe by Philip Ridley, Slavs! by Tony Kushner, A Going Concern by Stephen Jeffreys and the Olivier Award-winning The Lucky Ones by Charlotte Eilenberg.
Freelance credits include the Olivier-nominated Duet for One with Juliet Stevenson, his frequently revived box office hit The Flint Street Nativity by Tim Firth, and productions at the Almeida, the Royal Court, the Bush, Soho Theatre, the Menier Theatre, most of Britain’s leading regional theatres, plus Off-Broadway and Parco Theatre, Tokyo.
Matthew runs the Theatre Directing MA course at East 15, sits on the Board of the National Centre of Circus Arts and is the Chair of the Primary Shakespeare Company. He was previously Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Actors Centre, where he produced the first British installation of the Museum of Broken Relationships and ran innovative training programmes in conjunction with the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, the RSC, the National Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe.
Alison was appointed as an independent governor in 2011 and has also chaired the Audit Committee since that date. She is a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers and leads external and internal audits in the financial services sector and also of a large charity. She is also a member of the executive team which leads the audit practice in PwC. In her professional life she regularly attends audit committees of listed companies.
Lesley has wide experience in the cultural sector, both as an employee and an independent consultant. She worked for many years in client-facing private sector businesses, and with several public sector organisations. As a consultant, she has provided project development and management, developed organisational strategies, and written and edited many policy documents, award applications and other corporate papers.
She has worked in commercial and subsidised theatre, dance, visual arts, urban regeneration, literature, theatre design, classical music, arts education, community regeneration and citizenship.
She was previously on the Board of the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, serving on the HR Committee and chairing the Risk and Audit Committee.
Julian is the Senior Independent Governor of CDD and a member of its Audit Committee.
His career as a lawyer was at two international law firms based in the City of London. He was a commercial litigator at Allen & Overy and an employment lawyer at Mayer Brown. As Partner and Head of the Employment Group at Mayer Brown, he regularly worked with senior management and boards of national and international businesses and was a member of its London Management Board.
He now runs his own business:
• Advising people on their appointments and roles;
• Coaching and mentoring people in the context of their work and careers;
• Providing an independent perspective as a Facilitator to address disagreements in organisations before they escalate into formal disputes: and
• Acting as a Mediator in disputes.
Matthew began dancing at the age of 17 whilst studying A-Level Performing Arts and went on to train at NSCD, graduating in 2005. He toured with VERVE before completing a postgraduate diploma at London Contemporary Dance School (LCDS), and toured internationally as a member of EDge to France, Denmark, Sweden and Portugal in work choreographed by Sue MacLennan, Trisha Brown and Siobhan Davies.
Upon graduating from LCDS Matthew joined Yael Flexer’s Bedlam Dance Company and toured as part of her production of ‘Doing, Done and Undone’ alongside working for Retina Dance Company in their graduate project ‘PAGE1’. He worked with Retina Dance Company extensively between 2006 and 2014 as a Dancer, Rehearsal Director and Education Manager, touring internationally to Belgium, Germany, Ireland and South Korea.
In 2010 Matthew joined the staff at NSCD as Education & Community Dance Worker (later Learning & Participation Officer) and since 2014 has been a Lecturer in Technique & Performance Practice (Contemporary), teaching contemporary technique, partner work, performance practice, choreography and repertory, alongside being a Year Liaison for year 3 students. In 2018 Matthew joined the CDD Board as a Staff Governor.
Tamas is a Partner at KPMG LLP working in the Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare practice. He focuses on central government and is KPMG’s lead Partner for several government departments. A chartered accountant, he is an experienced external audit, internal audit and risk management practitioner specialising in bespoke risk management and assurance services. Tamas was appointed to Central School of Ballet’s Board of Governors and as Chair of the Audit Committee in 2013 and is currently the school’s nominated governor on the Board of the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama.