The Board

The LocatED Board consists of four 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 23 years' experience in property and development. Having worked with many of the UK’s biggest landowners, agents and developers, Lara has held a number of strategic leadership and board positions.

Her experience of property deals and complex capital investment projects for government education capital programmes underpinned her determination to bring commercial insight and rigour the DfE’s free schools development programme.

Lara’s vision for LocatED has brought together a team of experts able to bring both experience and pace to the delivery of new schools.

Under Lara’s leadership, LocatED has acquired more than 150 sites for schools, facilitated over 75,000 new school places, and in doing so, has driven saving of many millions of pounds for the public purse.

Building on proven capacity and success, Lara is now expanding the scope of LocatED to provide development expertise further across the education estate, and other areas of the public sector.

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Michael Strong

Board Chair

Michael Strong served as Executive Chairman for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at CBRE Group, Inc. from 2001 until January 2016, and Chief Executive Officer and President of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) from 2005 until 2012. At CBRE, Michael oversaw the transformation of the world’s largest commercial real estate business by service proposition, revenues, market share and geographic reach - leading the expansion of the business across the EMEA region to more than 140 offices in 40+ EMEA countries, and leading more than 20,000 people. Michael also holds the following appointments:
Non-Executive Director of The Osborne Group
Chair of RE5Q: A company created to transform how the real estate industry applies data
Chair of Grainger Reis: International executive search firm within the real estate, infrastructure and industrial sectors.

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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 over 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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Julian Rudd-Jones

Non-executive Board Member

Managing Director of Kajima Partnerships and Director of 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 Head of Institutional Property Funds and Client Portfolio Director at Aviva Investors. Phil is a Chartered Surveyor and began his career at Legal & General. He has more than 37 years of institutional property investment management, investor relations and business development experience, through all business cycles. Phil also works in social housing.

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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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