Our Governors provide support and guidance. They come from a variety of backgrounds and, through their expertise, assist the School in delivering our vision for a 21st century education.

CPatricia Alexanderhair
Patricia Alexander
Managing Director, Shared Interest

I have been Managing Director of Shared Interest Society, an ethical lending organisation since 2006. Prior to this, I was MD of Saint-Gobain Quartz Group having held various roles within the manufacturing sector over my career. I am passionate about fair trade and am a Trustee and Treasurer for the Fairtrade Foundation.

I am a member of the UK Fair Trade Leaders’ Forum, a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and sit on the Newcastle Business School Advisory Board. I am treasurer of my Parish Council and have been involved with several local charities having also served on the CBI Regional Council and the Industrial Development Board at One North East. I am a qualified accountant with an MBA from Durham Business School. I am working to widen links between the School and other organisations world-wide and to share my passion for fair trade with the girls.

n-blagburnNatalia Blagburn
Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Northumbria University

I am a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University where I have designed and now run several courses in Entrepreneurship. I am also a business coach to a team of student entrepreneurs on the University’s first undergraduate programme in applied entrepreneurship. Outside work, I support the Finance Committee of Northern Stage, the largest theatre producing company in the North East, mentor several founders of technology startups helping them raise Venture Capital funding, work on my allotment and run. Over the past couple of years I have supported Young Enterprise North East as a judge.

Prior to academia, I managed Venture Capital investments into early stage companies at the national £100m Angel CoFund and the regional £7.5m North East Angel Fund. I am a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and as investor-observer, I was on the board of directors of six startup companies. My background also includes supporting hundreds of early stage technology entrepreneurs with business mentoring and investor readiness training, which I ran in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia. My early career was spent as a technology consultant at Accenture PLC, a leading global consultancy firm.

Born and raised in Russia, I have a joint Russian-British degree in International Business Management from Northumbria University and the State University of Management at Moscow. I also hold a Masters in European Union Politics from Newcastle University and I am currently working on my doctorate in startup corporate governance.

Having supported hundreds of startup founders, I am very much interested in and enjoy working with first time entrepreneurs. As a new Governor, I am delighted to bring to the school my international experience, insights and my passion for cultivating entrepreneurial skills in young people.

Tim Bowman
CEO Star Partners

I have been a CFO in design, advertising and research businesses for the last twenty years. Following ten years working within the WPP Group of companies for clients such as Unilever, Mars, SABMiller, Vodafone and Diageo, I have worked with independent, owner-managed, businesses. My main focus has been on professionalising those businesses to provide operational efficiency and drive shareholder value. I now provide consulting CFO services to a number of design and advertising companies within the marketing services sector.

More recently, through my consulting business, I have been appointed as a non-executive director of a number of companies and have a passion for supporting entrepreneurs to start, scale-up and sell their businesses.

A former pupil of the RGS, I have returned to Newcastle after thirty-four years living and working in London. I am passionate about education, and guiding young people as they develop as individuals, so I have been delighted to be appointed as a governor at NHSG.

Gillian Hall
Gillian Hall Consulting

I was educated at Central Newcastle High School (one of the founding schools of Newcastle High School for Girls) and Newnham College, Cambridge, where I achieved a first class degree in Law. I was awarded a BA Hons in Law and subsequently an MA (Cantab) and then trained as a corporate lawyer at Lovell White & King (now Hogan Lovells) in the City of London, returning to the North East on qualification. I joined Watson Burton in 1985, and became its first female Senior Partner in 2010, having led the firm’s national Corporate Group for many years. Retiring from the partnership in 2014, I now have a variety of business interests. I work as an investor, advisor and mentor with a number of local companies – mainly through my consulting business, Gillian Hall Consulting. I am non-executive chair of Mediaworks Holdings Limited, a high growth digital marketing business, and hold a number of other non-executive board positions including the Port of Blyth and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, where I chair the Innovation Board and am vice chair of the North East Investment Fund Board. I am also vice chair of the North East Combined Authority’s Economic Development and Regeneration Advisory Board.

Steve Urwin
Principle Director, Technology Architecture, Accenture

I’ve been a technology consultant at Accenture (a multinational professional services company) since leaving Newcastle University in 1998 with a Joint Honours in Computer Science and Accounting.  I’ve been lucky enough to experience a wide range of technology focused roles from software developer to cloud architect.  Since joining Accenture I have worked with clients across many industries including government, travel, resources and financial services.  My roles have taken me all over the world including Europe, America, India and Australia.  I’m currently focused on supporting complex technology transformations and technology innovation.

I’m a firm believer that, no matter what your background and interests, everyone can and should develop their technology skills as it has the potential to transform all aspects of how we live.

To this end, I aim to support NHSG as it moves forward with its technology strategy to improve performance at all levels.  I also want to encourage more young women to consider a career in IT – the potential benefits are incredible for both the individual and the industry as a whole.

yousaf_khalid_crop_rgbYousaf Khalid
Group Managing Director, Everything Different

A marketeer who’s always looking to challenge the status quo and has brought this purpose to life for brands like Benfield Motor Group, Balance drink cessation campaign, Redrow Homes, Land Securities shopping centres.  Graduated in media and communication, Yousaf is an all rounder from strategy development to client servicing.  Yousaf’s other roles as Group MD are talent development, he is on the IPA’s (the  industry advertising body) talent leadership group, business strategy and managing a busy agency group day to day.


Lesley Moody MBE
Managing Director, AES Digital Solutions Ltd, Chair, NEECC

I am President of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, one of the country’s largest Chambers of Commerce. I chair the Chamber Council and am a member of the Chamber Board. I am also Managing Director of AES Digital Solutions Ltd, designers and developers of on-line systems, apps and software, which I founded with my business partner in 1992. My company’s customer base has included blue chip companies, local authorities and international corporations. This has led to me working closely with the Department for International Trade and I am currently a government Export Champion and member of their SME DIT Advisory Group. In 2015, I was humbled to be awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours for services to Business, International Trade and Education. Before setting up my company I worked in education, initially as a teacher then Head of Department in a high school from which I joined the Education Advisory Services initially in Northumberland and then in Cleveland. Born, brought up and educated in the North East, I live with my husband, a retired Pharmacist in Northumberland, I have two children and four small grandchildren. I am passionate about education and have almost 30 years of experience / involvement as a member of governing boards having been a Governor, Chair and Trustee in a number of schools in the region. I’m delighted to have been asked to join the board of Governors at Newcastle High School for Girls and hope that I can bring some of my experience that I have gained over the years to my role here.

Ruth Plummer
Clinical Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine, Newcastle University

I am Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine, Newcastle University and an honorary consultant medical oncologist in Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I direct the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre within the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, which is a dedicated early phase clinical trials unit based within the regional cancer centre. I also lead the Newcastle Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and also the CRUK Newcastle Cancer Centre. SI attended Central Newcastle High School before going to train at Cambridge and Oxford Universities, obtaining both a medical degree and scientific PhD before moving back home to Newcastle and settling with my family in Northumberland.

Nationally I sit on a number of grant funding committees, for CRUK, MRC and NIHR, and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2018 for my working developing new cancer treatments for patients. As a Governor I hope to be able to bring my passion for STEM to the School and support the girls in making this choice of career.

 Hena Zaman

My school years were spent at Mt Hermon School, Darjeeling, an American boarding school in the foothills of the Himalayas. I obtained my medical degree from Manipal University in India following which I completed my medical internship in both rural and hospital settings before moving to the UK. After two years in London and Cardiff I moved once more with my family to Manhattan, New York for a further two years before finally settling down in Newcastle.

I’m a mother of four. Of my three daughters, Zara and Zoya are NHSG alumnae and Zeah is currently in Year 5.

One of the pleasures of having spent 15 years with the School is the interaction with the whole School community – staff, pupils and parents. My family now has a special relationship with the School which I hope will continue long after Zeah finishes Sixth Form.

I am already involved in School life and have a good working knowledge of the School. I would love to help NHSG continue to build on its successes and bring ever evolving ideas to the School.


The Trustees of the school are the Trustees of the GDST, details of whom can be found on this page of the GDST website. The Chairman of the Trustees, Juliet Humphries can be contacted via Alison Smith at the GDST office – a.smith@wes.gdst.net