The Alumni Advisory Board

The Alumni Advisory Board

What is the Alumni Advisory Board?

The Board represents the views of Cambridge alumni and advises the University's Alumni Engagement team on how to best engage with the global alumni network of Cambridge.

Established in 2009, the Alumni Advisory Board is chaired by Martin MacConnol.

Two working groups and a Steering Committee support the Advisory Board. The Communications Working Group specifically advises on alumni, supporter and donor communications. The Networks and Volunteers Working Group offers guidance on how the University supports Alumni Groups and volunteers.

Apply to the Board

If you would like to join the AAB, please complete the online application form.

Successful applicants will be contacted before the next meeting in March 2024. 

If you have any questions, please email

Introducing the Alumni Advisory Board

Board members

Martin MacConnol

Martin MacConnol

Magdalene 1987, History

  • Chair, Alumni Advisory Board
  • CEO of content marketing agency Wardour, 1996 to present
  • Non-exec chair of the Association of Publishing Agencies, 2008–2010
  • Non-exec director of the Professional Publishers Association, 2008-2010
  • Financial Times journalist, 1994-1996
  • Daily Express journalist, 1993-1994
  • Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts
  • At Wardour, Martin oversees marketing and communications programmes for organisations as diverse as the Royal Society for Arts, Deutsche Bank, Informa and the Church of England.
Catherine Arnold

Catherine Arnold OBE

Trinity, 1997, Theology and Religious Studies

  • Deputy Chair (Collegiate), Alumni Advisory Board
  • Chair, Nominations Committee
  • Master, St Edmund’s College
  • MA in Religious Conflict from the University of Nottingham
  • Attended the Higher Command & Staff Course at the UK Defence Academy
  • Distinguished international career in the diplomatic service
  • Ambassador to Mongolia until February 2018, where she championed stronger economic, political, cultural and educational links with the UK
Margaret L Campbell

Margaret L Campbell

Newnham 1966, Modern and Medieval Languages

  • Emerita Chair, Alumni Advisory Board
  • Joined 2016
  • Former banker with JPMorgan and Senior Advisor HSBC in London and New York
  • Honorary Associate, Newnham College
  • Chair-US Committee for Newnham Alumnae
  • Formerly, banker with JP Morgan in London and New York (1971-2013) responsible for business with corporate clients, financial institutions and, latterly, central banks, sovereign wealth funds and multilateral institutions
  • MBA-Manchester Business School, 1971
  • Fluent in French, German and Spanish
  • Living in New York, US. Married with two children
Tony Banton

Tony Banton

Trinity 1975, Law

  • Chair, Networks and Volunteers Working Group
  • Joined January 2018
  • Chartered Accountant with KPMG from 1978 – 2017, in Paris from 1982
  • Partner in charge of KPMG International’s Quality and Compliance Program 2006 – 2010
  • President of France’s Cricket Association 2009 – 2013
  • Webmaster of the British Community Committee of France
  • Has held the positions of President, Hon. Secretary and currently Treasurer of the Cambridge Society of Paris
  • Also a founder member and Treasurer of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of the Netherlands 2006 – 2009
Minal Shah

Minal Shah

St John's College 1995, Economics

  • Chair, Communications Working Group
  • Joined September 2023
  • Interim Chief Marketing Officer and Advisor to Tech start-ups and scale-ups, focused on digitally-led growth
  • Leadership role at Essence, a digital marketing agency now owned by WPP
  • Various roles at eBay, Google and in strategy consultancy
  • Trustee Board Member at Plan International (UK) and Veganuary
  • Lives in London with two children
  • Fun fact: Minal is a fast developing her multi-tasking and compartmentalisation skills, working with three charities as a Trustee/ Ambassador, pursuing her career as a Marketing advisor, being a mother to two children (which includes being a cook, driver, and taskmaster, among other things she feels unqualified for), and trying to pursue her hobbies of tennis and hiking! 
Yuh Yng Chook

Yuh Yng Chook

Trinity Hall, 1993, Electrical and Information Sciences

  • Joined October 2021
  • Currently the Chief Growth Officer – Careers & Connect Platform of SEEK Asia . SEEK Asia is an extension of SEEK Ltd, and combines the two giants in job portal brands, jobsDB and JobStreet, under one roof.
  • In her new Chief Growth Officer role, Yuh Yng is broadening the scope of SEEK Asia to build a new Careers and Connect Platform that will grow digital communities at scale
  • Previously, Yuh Yng was the Country Manager for JobStreet Malaysia and Singapore. She grew the P & L by more than 3x during her tenure.
  • Past President of The Oxford and Cambridge Society of Malaysia from 2016 – 2019. She still sits on the Exco and is passionate about contributing back to the Alumni and the Malaysia society at large
  • Yuh Yng lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has two daughters aged 7 and 10
Michelle Cooper

Michelle Cooper

Darwin 2015, MPhil Conservation Leadership

  • Joined July 2019
  • Currently the Threatened Species Policy Manager for Victorian Government, based in Melbourne. Michelle leads a team that manages IUCN assessments for species, communities and threatening processes and develops action plans to support conservation outcomes.
  • Co-founding member of the University of Cambridge Conservation Leadership Alumni Network (UCCLAN) Council and Emerita Chair. Michelle continues to work with alumni from the MPhil Conservation Leadership to support the implementation of their strategy.
  • Secretary, Cambridge Society Australia (Victoria) based in Melbourne.
  • Michelle has worked across the intersection of wildlife conservation and animal welfare in not-for -profit and the public sector, including at Zoos Victoria – a world-leading zoo-based conservation organisation fighting extinction through wildlife and community-based conservation initiatives.
Katerina Gould

Katerina Gould

St Catharine’s 1983, Law

  • Joined January 2019
  • Founding Director of two start-up businesses, Thinking Potential, an executive coaching practice focused on boards and executive teams and those aspiring to lead and Women Returners, a consulting, coaching and networking organisation, enabling hundreds of professional women to return to their careers after an extended break
  • Prior international career with Lloyds Merchant Bank, Baxter Healthcare and Reuters, specialising in marketing and strategy
  • MBA – Harvard Business School (1990)
  • Chair of Nominations, safeguarding lead and trustee of World Jewish Relief, the British Jewish Community’s humanitarian agency
  • Former trustee and treasurer of Re-Vision, a counselling and psychotherapy training organisation
  • Shortlisted for Working Mums Champion award, 2015, for extensive advocacy and practical support provided to working mothers
  • Contributor to CWN40, the year of celebration of 40 years of women at St Catharine’s
  • Mentor for Women on Boards
Ellen Hallsworth

Ellen Hallsworth

Fitzwilliam College 2001, Social and Political Sciences (Politics)

  • Joined September 2023
  • LinkedIn
  • Director of Bradley REACH, a telehealth programme for adolescent mental health, based in Providence, Rhode Island, US
  • Previously worked at the Peterson Center on Healthcare in New York, US, and the Health Foundation and Institute for Government in the UK
  • Early career in academic publishing
  • MA in Hispanic Language, Culture & History, UCL (2014). Fluent in Spanish
  • Previously a Board Member for the National Neonatal Audit Program, one of the UK’s National Clinical Audits
  • Volunteered with several Brooklyn-based charities, helping older adults access healthcare and improving childhood literacy
  • Married with one daughter, aged 9. Lives in New York, US
  • Fun fact: One Ellen's proudest achievements is winning the holiday pie-baking contest at her daughter’s school in Brooklyn! 
Simha Kumar

Simha Kumar

Magdalene College 1996, MPhil International Relations

  • Joined September 2023
  • Co-Founder/President of Entellus Industries – a Silicon Valley VC-backed advanced materials manufacturing company focused on the EV/climate supply chain with operations in India
  • 25+ years of operating experience at leading companies such as Amazon, JPMorgan, McKinsey, Deutsche Bank, and COO of a small-cap e-commerce public company (FTD)
  • Independent advisor and board member to several venture-funded startups on strategy, operations, fundraising, hiring, scaling, and growth
  • MBA – Wharton – University of Pennsylvania (Interviewer for Admissions)
  • Grew up in the UK and has lived in the US for 20+ years
  • Two daughters aged 10 and 6
  • Fun fact: Spotted Uma Thurman regularly for several years in New York!
Richard Morrogh

Richard Morrogh

Christ's College 1976, Land Economy

  • Joined September 2023
  • Secretariat of London Stock Exchange’s International Advisory Groups (2017-23)
  • MNTD of Citibank’s UK Pension Funds (AUM = £2.5 billion)
  • Founder and Liaison Officer of Citibank’s EMEA alumni network (2012-17). Ongoing adviser (pro bono) to Enterprise Alumni
  • Managing Director, Citi’s Corporate and Investment Bank (1990-2017). Directly reported to three subsequent CEOs and ran global “Voice of Client” initiative
  • Chief of Staff to former Dutch Minister of Finance and Director-General of World Trade Organisation (1997-2007)
  • Previously, VP at Republic Bank Dallas and Lloyds International (1982-90)
  • Lived or worked in Dallas, New York (twice), Brussels and Zurich. Travelled extensively in Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • Fellow of Royal Geographical Society and father to two teenage daughters
  • Fun fact: Richard's three all-time sporting highlights (where he was in attendance) have included Maradona’s Hand of God (Mexico - 1986), Brian Lara’s 375 (Antigua - 1994) and David Cone’s perfect MLB game (NY - 1999). The first two weren’t ones he was rooting for...
Samuel Mosonyi

Samuel Mosonyi

Darwin 2014, MPhil in Criminology

  • Joined January 2019
  • Commercial and civil litigator; Associate at Robins Appleby LLP.
  • Formerly Judicial Law Clerk at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, where he assisted judges with legal research, writing, and editing of judgments.
  • Graduated from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law, and prior to this completed the MPhil in Criminology at Cambridge as a Gates Scholar.
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Toronto.
  • While at Cambridge, Samuel was the graduate representative on the Council of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and played on Darwin College's badminton team.
Image of Vareesh Pratap

Vareesh Pratap

Lucy Cavendish College 2022, MPhil in Energy Technologies

  • Joined September 2023
  • President (PG), Cambridge SU
  • LinkedIn
  • Before assuming the SU office as a full-time sabbatical officer, Vareesh Pratap enjoyed enriching students’ experiences as Treasurer of Lucy Cavendish MCR and as the Engineering PG (Taught) Representative.
  • Academically, he is pursuing MPhil in Energy Technologies at the Engineering Department and has deep interests in decarbonizing transport and heating systems.
  • Effectively tackling the issue of students’ cost-of-living crisis and enhancing their Cambridge experience are amongst his top two priorities that he is keen to address during his tenure as the President (PG) of Cambridge Students Union.
  • Vareesh had his primary education in a remote Indian village before securing a position at a free meal residential public school that was founded under the Prime Ministership of Late Rajiv Gandhi - an alumnus of Cambridge University.
  • He earned a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with Distinction before immersing himself in a diversified corporate experience, for about five years, in a Fortune 500 company where he effectively led a team of more than 125 motivated individuals to grow a business having an annual turnover of more than £10 million.
  • Despite his formal background in Engineering, he has also been championing labour rights, including successfully advocating as a litigant-in-person in Indian Labour Courts.
  • Vareesh Pratap is most passionate about a sustainable and all-inclusive future.
Matt Rhodes

Matt Rhodes

Queens' College 1998, Modern and Medieval Languages

  • Joined September 2023
  • Chief Strategy Officer at advertising agency, House 337.
  • Specialise in behaviour change through communications - from recruiting more underrepresented and female young people to the RAF; to leading work for the English Cricket Board to launch The Hundred to new audiences and helping My Little Pony appeal to dads and boys as much as it does to mums and girls.
  • Previously founded and ran one of the first specialist social media agencies in Europe. An early pioneer in digital and social media in advertising he now focuses on the way AI will impact the industry and the way communications works.
  • Champion equality and diversity in the advertising industry - from creating award-winning campaigns for Pride in London to being featured as a senior LGBTQ+ leader in advertising.
  • Previously trustee of The Running Charity, using sport to support young people experiencing homelessness across the UK.
  • Fun fact: Matt used to run one of the largest Facebook pages in the UK - where dog owners talked to other dog owners as their dogs.
Phil Riddle

Philip Riddle

Trinity Hall 1970, History

  • Joined September 2023
  • Founder and co-ordinator of CAMScot, an on-line support service for Cambridge applicants.
  • Scottish alumni regional representative for Trinity Hall and committee member, Cambridge Society of Edinburgh.
  • Chairman, Edinburgh New Club Debating Society.
  • Fun fact: On his first day visiting Kyrgyzstan as an advisor to the Government, Phil was invited to a large and lavish wedding and asked to do a short speech in praise of the bride and groom. Facing over 100 guests and a bridal party he had never met before and devoid of good Kyrgyz anecdotes – and of the language itself – Phil somehow managed to convey his admiration for the couple and his hopes for their future. 


  • PhD in Strategic Management, University of Edinburgh. University lecturer and teacher.
  • Honorary Professor, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
  • Voluntary Service Overseas consultant to the governments of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
  • OBE for services to Scottish tourism.
  • Chief Executive of VisitScotland (the Scottish national tourism agency) for 9 years and Chief Executive of EventScotland (major events co-ordinator).
  • Business Angel; steering start-ups, e.g.Optos.
  • Honorary Consul for the Netherlands in Namibia.
  • 23 years with Shell International Petroleum in UK, Brunei. Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, France etc. Roles included senior general management, organisational change, project development, trading, marketing etc.
  • MSc Management Studies, University of Edinburgh.
Kaidi Ru

Kaidi Ru

Hughes Hall 2017, Management

  • Joined September 2023
  • LinkedIn
  • EnterpriseTECH STAR Mentor
  • PHBS-CJBS Global Pitch Competition Semi-Final Judge
  • YOUNGO Observer to the UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee
  • Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts
  • Elected Associate of King's College London
  • Fun fact: So far this year, Kaidi has put in 400 hours of volunteer work supporting various youth-led initiatives!
Priya Shah

Priya Shah

Pembroke 2013, Business Administration

  • Joined September 2023
  • Founder and General Partner of Theia Ventures which is a climate tech-focused venture capital fund based in India. Theia Ventures invests in high impact, early-stage technology-enabled companies operating across energy efficiency, electric mobility, renewable energy infrastructure, biomaterials, carbon markets, battery tech and circular economy.
  • Director on Sustainability Mafia, one of India’s largest climate founder coalitions, and is actively involved as a mentor, advisor and thought leader with several think tanks, university labs, accelerator programs and foundations on climate tech innovation.
  • Priya has spent 16 years working across the finance, policy and venture sectors in the US, UK and Indian markets. Before Theia Ventures, she built as part of the founding team, the Indian Fund arm of Yunus Social Business (YSB), a global impact venture debt fund founded by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. Prior to YSB, Priya spearheaded strategy, capital raising and special projects at a clean-tech, venture-backed, growth-stage company, Simpa Networks. Priya started her career at Bloomberg LP in New York and later at Asia House in London, and has led several independent consulting projects at impact start-ups and advisory firms, such as Acumen and British International Investment.
  • She holds an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School and a BA in History from Brown University, where she is closely affiliated with alumni initiatives on gender diversity, international scholarships and climate-focused entrepreneurship. 
Rosalind Skillen

Rosalind Skillen

Girton College 2016, Modern and Medieval Languages

  • Joined September 2023
  • Marine Policy and Advocacy Officer at BirdWatch Ireland
  • Active campaigner and advocate for climate action and nature recovery for several years
  • Held multiple roles across the environment sector in Northern Ireland and has represented the views of young people as a youth delegate at climate change conferences, including COP26 and COP27
  • MSc in Environmental Policy from University College Dublin and BA in French and Spanish from the University of Cambridge. As a linguist, Rosalind is interested in the role that communication and creativity can play in the environmental movement, and she writes a weekly column called 'Nature Matters' for the Belfast Telegraph
  • Fun fact: Rosalind enjoys sea swimming - even in the cold Irish sea!
Dr Carina Tyrrell

Dr Carina Tyrrell

Murray Edwards College 2009, Clinical Medicine

  • Joined September 2023
  • LinkedIn
  • Partner at Sana Capital - healthcare and technology venture capital investor, founder, and NED/advisor to companies.
  • Featured on the front page of The Times for helping to deliver the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Previously, investor and Chief of Staff to the ex-President of Samsung, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, and a background as a physician scientist.
  • Governor for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust and President’s Fellow of Murray Edwards College.
  • Fun fact: Carina represented the United Kingdom at Miss World.
Owen Williams

Dr Owen Williams

St John's College 1974, History

  • Joined September 2023
  • Lived in 14 US states and 6 countries outside the US
  • Attended Dartmouth College (AB), Yale University (PhD) Yale Law School (MSL) as well as St John’s College Cambridge
  • Received fellowships from Harvard Law School, NYU School of Law, Yale Law School, and the Huntington Library in California
  • Spent 24 years in investment banking (Salomon Brothers, Goldman Sachs, and First Union)
  • Served as a college president (Transylvania University) and president of a college consortium (Associated Colleges of the South)
  • Currently on four non-profit boards (Morehouse College, Amelia Island, Constitution Foundation, EverScholar)
  • Fun fact: Owen produced and helped film a documentary called The Secret War, about Russia’s war in Afghanistan, which involved him traveling with a group of Mujahideen for over two months in 1984.