Our People

The Students’ Union is operated by three groups of people: the elected Officer team, full-time staff, and the Board of Trustees.

In practice, your elected Officers are responsible for the overall direction and activities of the Union during their year in post. The full-time staff team help support these Officers in what they set out to achieve and also provide specialist help to students or ensure the day-to-day smooth running of the SU. The Board of Trustees takes ultimate responsibility for the Union’s strategy and work as a charity.


Sabbatical Officers

Sabbatical Officers (‘Sabbs’) are elected by students at Surrey to represent all students at the University. The five Sabbs are responsible for the daily running of the Students’ Union, and work alongside a dedicated team of permanent staff to make sure that your student experience is the best it can be.

Megan Simmons – VP Voice
James Barlow – VP Activity
Ajay Ajimobi – President
Leri Francis – VP Support
Nathaniel Nelson-Williams – VP Community

Supporting the Sabbs are 21 part-time Officers:

The student officers are students who take a specific interest in a particular issue or section of the student population. Most importantly, they are part of a team of representatives and they are here to make sure the Union keeps a high profile around campus, communicates properly with students and takes everyone’s interests into account.

Fulltime Staff

The Union is also staffed by a dedicated team of permanent employees. The staff may help by providing specialist advice (particularly in the Support Zone), managing events or venues such as Rubix, and by ensuring the smooth running of day-to-day operations.

Alan Sutherland, CEO

Alan can help with campaigning advice and the Union Byelaws.

Debra Rideout, Deputy CEO

Debra can help with own funds including control, usage & fundraising. 

Caroline Royle, HR & Staff Development Manager

Caroline can help students who already work for the Union on how to progress, and how to better your chances of getting jobs outside the Union. 

Zoe Wilkes, Student Support Manager

Zoe can help with academic advice, housing advice, reporting misconduct to the University and all things peer support.

Jade Johnson, Community Manager

Jade can help with anything that brings students together to meet and socialise. Including, ticket enquires and how to book a Union venue or hold an event.   

Lisa Lynch, Communications Manager

Lisa can help with how to publicise your event, activity or group. Press release writing and Club and Society logo approvals.

James Lackovic, Venue Manager

James can help with questions about Union venues such as Hari’s Bar, Rubix and The Basement.

Jodie Barnes, Student Activity Manager

Jodie can help with anything to do with sports clubs and societies.

Zach Zarantonello

Zach can help with queries about digital signage and anything to do with video content.

Rosalie Enriquez, Finance

Rosalie can help with any Club and Society finance questions.

Alex Harden, Digital Experience Manager

Alex can help you make the most of digital resources at Surrey.

Hannah Jones, Course Rep & Student Insight Coordinator

Hannah can help with anything relating to Course Reps and how we act on your feedback.

Ian Handy, Community & Events Coordinator

Ian can help with community-based events on and off campus, Online Ticket Sales, Bar Crawls and Guest List/VIP, and Volunteering.

Natalie Bancroft, Finance Manager

Natalie can help with anything relating to club/society finance and reviewing contracts or legal agreements

Gemma Paine, Support Coordinator

Gemma can help with casework including: Extenuating circumstances, academic integrity, disciplinary issues, complaints / appeals, fitness to study and fitness to practice. 

Charlotte Mills, Support Coordinator

Charlotte can help with casework including: Extenuating circumstances, academic integrity, disciplinary issues, complaints / appeals, fitness to study and fitness to practice. 

Kath Phillips, Student Voice Manager

Kath can help with all things related to student voice, democracy and campaigning at Surrey.

Board of Trustees

The Students’ Union is a registered charity and so we’re required to have a group of people that take responsibility for the smooth running of the Union’s operations: the Board of Trustees. 

The Board of Trustees is led by your elected President, plus all 4 Vice-Presidents, the Union Chair, one trustee from the University, and several external trustees.

The Board’s Chairpeople And External Trustees

Union President, Chair of the Board

The Students’ Union President is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the Students’ Union whilst they are in office. The President is elected by students at Surrey and is always the election with the highest turnout, and so they run meetings of the Board of Trustees.

Jeremy Pattison - External Trustee

Jeremy Pattison, External Trustee/Deputy Chair

I have lived in Guildford since 2007 but only began to appreciate the connection between the university and the rest of the town after talking to a Surrey student midwife assisting the delivery of one of my children. The university and its students contribute a great deal to Guildford, and I’m excited to see how the work of the Union is building stronger relationships.

I wanted to become a trustee of USSU to build on my experience as a governor at George Abbot school in Burpham, and to support the student community of Guildford. Now in my second term as a trustee, I have been elected as deputy chair of the Board of Trustees – a role covering chairing the board in the absence of the President and to provide year-to-year continuity in the CEO’s annual review. I also sit on Democracy committee.

Having spent most of my career in commercial roles for grocery companies, I now work for AQA where I look after the customer & market insight, performance reporting and governance teams. Working on campus means I can spend time with sabbs and staff, and I’m a regular customer of the Thursday food market.

Martine Carter, University Trustee

Martine became a Trustee in October 2019.  As the University Trustee she was nominated by the Chair of the University Council, having worked for the University in a number of roles since 2011.  Martine’s current role in the University involves facilitating the annual and strategic planning processes – working with the Board on how it distributes its resources against the many competing priorities.  She is also responsible for overseeing risk, monitoring performance, and providing high quality data and information to support decision making, including what students say in surveys and in MEQs.  In 2017 Martine completed an MBA part time in the Surrey Business School so has first hand experience of being a student here too.  Before joining Surrey she worked at the Universities of Bristol and Southampton and in the voluntary sector. 

Amanda Massie, Bsc Hons, FCIS, External Trustee

Amanda joined the Trustee Board in May 2016 and was appointed as an independent external Trustee on 1st September 2018.  She was previously both Group Company Secretary and a member of the Group Executive Management Boards of Mouchel Group plc, WS Atkins plc, Hyperion Insurance Group Ltd and Indemnity Management Services Ltd.  She is an experienced commercial Company Secretary and director, with a strategic and listed company background.

Amanda has spent over 24 years advising directors, particularly the Chairman and independent directors, on governance and board matters, and advising Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees, as well as holding executive roles on management boards and leadership teams, and managing various support areas.

Amanda is a Charted Secretary and Chartered Governance Professional and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Matthew Dutton, External Trustee

Matt has lived in and around the Guildford area for 20 years, having finished his A-Levels in Farnborough 6th Form in 1993.  Matt has spent the last 10 years doing a degree in Computing, IT and Business and achieved a 2:1 in 2018.  Matt works in Information Technology and is currently a Senior Manager with Accenture, specialising in Cloud Computing and IT Operations.  Matt has worked in a number of industries, but primarily in Insurance and Government where he currently works with a major government department in a senior technology strategy role.  While attempting to gain a degree with the Open university, he has had to balance work and study as both a remote and a part-time student.  Matt is committed to professional development within Information Technology and is experienced in supporting early entrants into the IT profession.  Matt is a member of the British Computer Society and a Chartered IT Professional.  Outside of work Matt enjoys Sailing with his young family and is an instructor in the Scouts, an organisation he has supported for over 20 years.

Rt. Hon. Anne Milton

Anne was the MP for Guildford from 2005 – 2019, and was Minister of State at the Department for Education from 12 June 2017 to 23 July 2019. Anne was appointed to the Health Select Committee, serving until December 2006, following her appointment as Shadow Minister for Tourism. In summer 2007 David Cameron appointed her Shadow Minister for Health. Between 2010 and 2012 she served as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Public Health), Department of Health and was appointed to the government as a whip with responsibility for HM Treasury and HM Household. Anne trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and worked for the NHS for 25 years, as a district nurse and for people requiring palliative care.

Elected Members

In addition to the Union President who is Chair of the Board, all four Vice-Presidents and the Union Chair are trustees for the Union:

Staff in Attendance

The Board also includes three full-time staff who are employed by the Union. These staff are ‘in attendance,’ meaning that they do not vote, but may join the discussion if permitted by the Chair. 

Alan Sutherland, CEO

Alan is the Union’s Chief Operating Officer. This role is responsible for the overall day-to-day running of the Union as an organisation, as directed by the sabbatical team and Trustees. The CEO reports to the Board of Trustees.

Debra Rideout, Deputy CEO

Debra is the Union’s Deputy CEO and oversees, in particular, the financial running of the organisation. The Deputy CEO attends Board of Trustee meetings in order to provide information on the financial position of the organisation and any other aspects within their portfolio.

Caroline Royle, Human Resources & Staff Development Manager

Caroline is the HR & Staff Development Manager. In Boards of Trustee meetings, this member of staff is the Secretary (responsible for administering meetings and maintaining records) and also provides information relating to HR or relevant legislation.