• Ajit Abraham
    Principal, Staff College

    Mr Ajit ABRAHAM MBBS, MS, MA (Medical Ethics & Law), FRCS, FRCS (General Surgery) was born in Kumasi, Ghana, schooled in Manchester, and trained as a general surgeon in Pune, India. He returned to the UK in 1993 and trained in hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgery and liver transplantation in London, mainly at the Royal Free and the Royal London Hospitals.

    He has been Consultant HPB, Trauma & General Surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS since 2005. He is also an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Queen Mary University London. He is an active clinical surgeon whose specialist HPB interests include surgical management of benign and malignant disease of the liver, gall bladder and bile duct, and pancreas, complex gallstone disease, and acute and chronic pancreatitis; with expertise in related open, laparoscopic and robotic surgical approaches. He also has over two decades of experience of elective and emergency general surgery including open and minimally invasive approaches to a variety of general surgical conditions such as groin and incisional hernias, and the acute surgical abdomen. He has expertise in the management of chest, abdomen and pelvic trauma as a trauma surgeon at the Royal London, the first dedicated major trauma center (MTC) in the UK.

    He has an MA in Medical Ethics & Law from Keele University, UK, 2004.

    His other areas of interest are clinical leadership, quality improvement and patient safety and he was Health Foundation QI Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Harvard from 2011-12.

    At Barts Health, he was the Clinical Director for Surgery 2010-11, Associate Medical Director for Improvement, Innovation, 2013-14, Executive Group Director for the Surgery & Cancer Clinical Academic Group, 2014-2016. Chair of the Boards of Surgery & Cancer 2017-18, and Barts Health Deputy Chief Medical Officer 2016 -18.

    On surgical sabbatical 2018-19, he re-established and led the HPB surgical service at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore delivering open and minimally invasive hepato-biliary and pancreatic surgical care to the local population.

    He is the Principal of Staff College for Leadership in Healthcare.

    He has published widely in peer- reviewed journals in the fields of HPB & general surgery and contributed to chapters in major medical and surgical textbooks. He is involved in teaching and training at all levels including for the MBBS, the intercollegiate FRCS, and RCS courses.

    He is married to Natalie, and has three children Kasper (13), Anjolie (10) and Bodhi (3).
    Ajit enjoys the piano, cooking, and cryptic crosswords and also plays golf badly. He has a longstanding ‘Hatha Vinyasa’ Yoga and ‘Vipassana’ meditation practice.

  • Dr Yogen Amin

    Yogi is a Consultant Neuroanaesthetist and Neurointensivist, and Head of Department at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Neurology, UCL. He is also the Senior Organisational Development Lead for Leadership and Engagement at UCLH. He is a member of the core programme design team and facilitator for the Staff College.  Yogi has had experience with high fidelity platform simulation, with an interest in behaviours and human factors for over 10 years. His other roles include School Governor and Executive Coach.   

  • Charlie Brown

    Charlie has led the charity through its formative two years as Chief Operating Officer before taking up the role of Chief Executive in 2018. She works closely with the Charity’s Trustees and Faculty to ensure the Charity continues to deliver programmes of the highest quality for the healthcare leaders it serves. 

    Charlie brings many years of NHS experience in clinical services, education and has supported the NHS Staff College since its inception. She is a passionate advocate of the importance of leadership and Staff College’s unique approach.

    Charlie started her career as an apprentice luthier (guitar repairer), gradually working her way up to running the largest independent guitar repairs workshop in Europe and working for musicians and bands from all over the world.

  • Dr Gordon Coutts

    Dr. Gordon Coutts has a medical degree from London University and a business education from Harvard Business School. He has senior leadership experience across three continents, in large businesses in the private, public and private equity sectors. He has held P&L responsibility for £350m+ organisations and leadership experience of headcounts exceeding 4000. He has held Chief Executive roles for over 12 years including as CEO of an NHS Foundation Trust. High levels of employee engagement resulted in citations in the Top 50 Best Places to Work on four occasions.

    He has worked as an advisory board member and non-executive for a variety of organisations as well as co-chaired international business associations for the past 15 years.

  • Brigadier Ian Huntley OBE

    Ian Huntley was commissioned into the Royal Marines on a university cadetship. His operational experience, mainly with 3 Commando Brigade, included tours in Northern Ireland, Northern Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was the Deputy Task Force Commander. He has held a number of command and staff appointments dealing with Counter Terrorism, Nuclear Security, and Targeting. He has also worked on policy and strategy in the Ministry of Defence and the Cabinet Office. For the last four years of his service, Ian was head of the MOD’s leadership centre, which was set up to improve the capacity of senior military officers and civil servants for strategic leadership.

    Ian left the Royal Marines in 2016 and now works as an independent leadership, defence and security consultant, and an executive coach. He primarily helps to develop the leadership skills of individuals and organisations, and is currently working with the NHS, police, MOD and industry. He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and an Honorary Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford. He enjoys most legal outdoor activities, as long as it’s not raining.

  • Captain David Lilley Royal Navy

    David Lilley served in the Royal Navy for 29 years; a career which included command at sea, in the air and on land-based operations in Iraq. Subsequent roles included Aviation Policy and Strategic Planning in the Ministry of Defence and leading major Tri-Service Change Programmes. His broader experience also includes: Officer selection; Junior Officer leadership training and, as a Staff College Faculty Member, teaching at the Defence Academy. He was appointed a Gentleman Usher to HM The Queen in 2017.

    Since 2011 he has worked as an Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant, working across a wide spectrum of Public and Commercial organisations. His clients have included Central and Local Government Departments, Start-up and Third-Sector Companies. NHS experience includes working with NHS Commissioning Groups, Foundation Trusts, Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement and a GP Community Interest Company. He is a visiting lecturer in Medical Leadership at City, University of London and in Defence Leadership at the Civil Service College, also based in London. He is a Member of the Association of Project Management (MAPM) and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI).

  • John MackMersh

    John is a member of the core faculty, designing and delivering leadership development programmes and Lead DS (Directing Staff) for the Senior Leadership Course – Leading Self. John has run his own leadership development business since 2002. Prior to this he held service improvement and leadership development roles in the railway sector and local government.

    John has a reputation as a provocative, highly experiential facilitator with a firm grasp of theory which, nonetheless, does not stop him marvelling at how little we all know about how human beings do and don’t work well together! John also works at an individual level with Senior Clinicians and Managers within the NHS as an Executive Coach giving him a deep insight into the very real problems NHS leaders need to engage with.