The Board

The LocatED Board consists of five non-executive directors (NEDs) appointed by the Secretary of State, including the Chairman and three Executive Directors. On 27 October 2016, Michael Strong’s appointment as Board Chairman was approved by the Prime Minister.

The role of the Board is to provide leadership, strategic direction and specialist expertise and to provide independent scrutiny to ensure that effective arrangements are in place for assurance on risk management, governance and internal control.

Lara Newman MBE

Chief Executive

Lara has over 20 years' property experience and has operated at the heart of the free schools policy since its inception prior to the 2010 election. Previously a Board Director at Cleanslate Ltd, a development and property consulting company, Lara worked with many of the UK’s biggest landowners, agents and developers; prior to that, as Managing Director at Navigant Consulting, Lara specialised in property deals and complex capital investment projects for government education capital programmes.

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Michael Strong

Board Chairman

15 years as Chairman of CBRE, previously CEO of CBRE. Non-executive Director: NHS Property Services Ltd, The Osborne Group and Waterman Group.

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Caroline Tolhurst

Non-executive Board Member

Executive career as a Chartered Surveyor, Compliance Officer and Chartered Secretary. Operated at board level for 20 years including 10 years as Company Secretary to Grosvenor and 6 years as Board member then Chair at Women’s Pioneer Housing Limited. Current, Board and Development & Property Panel member and Chair of Governance & Remuneration Committee at A2Dominion Housing Group and non-executive director at Wynnstay Properties PLC.

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Jayne Maclennan

Non-executive Board Member

Group Director of Property FirstGroup plc. Non-executive Board member and Chair of Remuneration Committee for Glasgow Prestwick Airport. Non-executive Director Aberdeen Harbour Board.

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Julian Rudd-Jones

Non-executive Board Member

Managing Director of Kajima Partnerships and Kajima Properties, the two principal UK operating businesses of Kajima Corporation, with extensive experience in commercial property development and the funding, delivery and management of social infrastructure.

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Phil Ellis

Non-executive Board Member

Previously Client Portfolio Director at Aviva Investors, 33 years institutional property investment management, investor relations and business development experience through all business cycles.

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Alyson Gerner

Finance Director

Alyson is a Public Financial Accountant and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. Most of her career has been in commercial roles in the public sector and include, Director of NHS Commercial Development, Head of Procurement for the Department for Education, Deputy Director for Risk Analysis for the Education Funding Agency and latterly Director of Financial Accounting, Operations and Procurement for the Funding Agency Shared Services team, part of the Education Funding Agency.

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Michael Wu

Legal Counsel

Michael has over 17 years’ commercial property experience and has been involved in the free schools programme from the beginning, managing a team of 12 in-house lawyers as well as external lawyers to successfully acquire a large variety of free school sites within tight timescales. Previously, Michael worked on the Building Schools for the Future programme overseeing the delivery of several high value complex projects. Prior to that, Michael was a commercial property lawyer at Trowers & Hamlins LLP acting for many large landowners and developers.

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