Board of Trustees
What is the Board of Trustees?
The Guild became a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity in 2010, like other charities it is governed by a group of trustees who have the overall responsibility for everything the Guild does.
The Board has twelve trustees and must have a majority student representation. The four elected officers are trustees in addition to their roles as Student Representative Officers. There are four Student Trustees and four external Trustees. The external trustees are independent professionals appointed for their skills, experience and knowledge. You can find out more about the current Board below.
The Board provides guidance and oversight and they have specific responsibility for the governance, financial and strategic management of the Guild.
The full Board meets at least four times per year and also has a number of subcommittees to provide additional scrutiny.
What do they do?
Make sure students are at the heart of everything we do
We are a registered charity with clear aims and objectives, and our activities must be for the benefit of students at the University of Liverpool. The Board of Trustees makes sure we achieve this, by approving and monitoring our strategic plan, and monitoring and evaluating the performance of our services and activities in line with our charitable objectives.
Safeguard our reputation and manage risk
The Board of Trustees do not get involved in the day-to-day business of the Guild but they have a duty to make sure we don’t break any of the laws or regulations we must follow as part of our work and act in line with our governing documents.
Make sure we remain financially solvent
The Board of Trustees manage all of our finances, approving all our expenditure and our annual budget. They look after the long-term stability of the Guild, making sure that we continue to have money available to provide services which benefit our students.
This means that they may occasionally take legal or commercial decisions which cannot be overruled by students.
The day-to-day operations of the Guild are delegated to the Chief Executive and the staff team.
Who are they?
Liverpool Guild of Students has twelve trustees who act collectively to make decisions and all have an equal responsibility to ensure the Guild is properly run. The four Student and four external trustees are volunteers and the four Sabbatical Trustees are your elected officers.
We have our four Sabbatical Trustees. They are elected by all students in a cross-campus election every year, they hold their posts for one year and cannot be elected more than twice. As Student Officers they lead the Guild and you can find out more about what they do here.
2nd Term: 2023 - 24
1st Term: 2022-23
Chair of the Board of Trustees
We have four Student Trustees. They are appointed by the Governance & Appointments Committee for two years and may be appointed for one further term of two years. They must be registered students at the University of Liverpool throughout their time as Student Trustees. The current Student Trustees are:
Trustee terms - 2023-2025
Ammar Zafar assumes the role of Student Trustee at the Guild Student Union, bringing with him a distinguished background and a steadfast commitment to enhancing the student experience. Currently in his second year of doctoral studies (PhD) at the University of Liverpool, School of Law, Ammar's academic pursuits revolve around Economic Law and Technology Law. Notably, Ammar has earned a Scholar fellowship at the University of Georgia, USA, and a Scholarship for the doctoral summer school at the University of Grenoble, France, demonstrating his dedication to scholarly excellence.
Ammar's academic journey is characterized by remarkable achievements, including the attainment of dual undergraduate degrees in Law and Business Economics, along with dual postgraduate degrees in Banking Finance and Intellectual Property Law.
Beyond traditional academia, Ammar's quest for knowledge extends into the realms of postgraduate certifications from prestigious institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. His expertise spans diverse domains, encompassing Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain Technology, Computer Science and Law, and Fintech.
In tandem with his academic pursuits, Ammar has accrued valuab le practical experience. His roles as a legal trainee and judicial law clerk have enriched his legal acumen. Furthermore, his involvement in the corporate sector as a financial analyst for a sustainable business firm has broadened his perspective.
In his capacity as a Student Trustee, Ammar Zafar is wholeheartedly devoted to advocating for the multifaceted interests and needs of Guild Student Union members. His substantial academic and legal financial experience equips him with a distinctive viewpoint that is well-poised to nurture a dynamic and inclusive campus community. Collaboration is integral to his approach, as Ammar is resolutely committed to working harmoniously alongside fellow trustees, faculty, and staff to effect positive change. His primary objective is to champion initiatives that empower students both academically and personally, cultivating an environment conducive to the success of all students.
Ammar Zafar, your Student Trustee, eagerly looks forward to engaging with the Guild Student Union community. He actively encourages students to participate by sharing their ideas, concerns, and suggestions. Together, the collective efforts of students and Ammar aspire to leave an enduring and affirmative imprint on the Guild Student Union experience.
Trustee terms - 2023-2025
Omar is a second-year PhD student in Sociology & Social Policy at the University of Liverpool, having studied at this university since he was an undergraduate. He was fortunate enough to win a scholarship to fund his MRES in Social Research following his performance at undergraduate level, and was awarded a teaching scholarship to pursue a PhD at the university following another decent stint at Master's level. As part of this scholarship, Omar predominantly works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University on top of his studies and his role as a Student Trustee.
Although Omar is eternally grateful for the remarkable willingness of the Guild's finance team to subsidise travel costs to trustee meetings, there is more to Omar's desire to be a Student Trustee than the mere price of diesel.
Indeed, having been a beneficiary of the Guild's services and varied extracurricular provision, Omar is relishing the prospect of having the opportunity to give back to other students who would otherwise not access such opportunities in his maiden voyage as a trustee at the Liverpool Guild of Students.
Trustee terms - 2023-2025
Gabriel is currently a second-year Business Management student at the University of Liverpool, although his journey at the University started with achieving a 1:1 in Level 4 Biological Sciences, before he decided on following his other passion.
Gabriel’s involvement with the Guild started in 2022, during his first year of studies in the Management School. In that year, Gabriel was selected to be part of the Mini Spend It panel, where he and the panel collectively distributed grant funding to societies in the University of Liverpool.
Having seen the impact he could have through the opportunities available at the Guild, Gabriel took on the roles of Student Trustee and President of the Business Management Society for the 23-24 term.
In parallel to his studies, Gabriel played for the University’s Water Polo Men’s 2s Team for his first two years in Liverpool. He is also a gaming industry enthusiast and acts as operations manager at New Age, a gaming software developer start-up based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
We also have four external Trustees. They are not current University of Liverpool students; they are appointed for the professional skills and experiences they bring to the Trustee Board and provide an element of stability and continuity. They are appointed to their positions for four years and may be appointed to one further term of four years. The current external Trustees are:
Trustee term - 2021-2025
Rishi is Liverpool Football Club’s Senior Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, and is responsible for managing equality, diversity and inclusion internally and externally across the organisation; aiming to ensure that the club leads the way on and off the pitch.
He graduated from Liverpool John Moores University, with an Honours Degree in History and Sociology in 2010. Having worked in ED+I for over 15 years, he has an expert understanding of successfully integrating equality, diversity and inclusion into businesses and ensuring positive change. Rishi is responsible for the Liverpool FC’s Red Together activity that encompasses the clubs plans across all areas of business operations and ensuring that this is embedded throughout. Rishi is a driving force for change and successfully works with colleagues and business leaders to ensure progress.
In 2020, Rishi was named on the Global Diversity List as a Top 20 Diversity Professional. His previous work led to wide-ranging recognition at the European Diversity Awards 2019, North West Football Awards 2019 and Inclusive Companies Awards 2019 – in addition to being awarded the Premier League Equality Standard Advanced Level in the same year.
Prior to joining Liverpool Football Club, Rishi has held roles at Manchester United, Kick It Out and The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, where he has worked throughout his career to champion equality, diversity and inclusion and the power of football to make a positive impact across society.
Trustee term - 2022 - 2026
Gabriella is the Chief Operating Officer of Kings College London Student Union in London and has been serving as the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of YGAM since 2017, a multi award winning charity, that develops and deploys gaming and gambling harm prevention programmes for young people under the age of 25.
Prior to venturing into the public sector, Gabriella spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the music industry; her roles included the VP Finance of the Artist Services division at Universal Music Group, where she was project managing the integration of a £110m asset after a major acquisition. Her remit also included the business development and management of mostly UK and US based companies managing well known performing artists. Prior to that Gabriella took a leading role in a change management program that aimed to improve the profitability of the recording division of Sanctuary Music Group (an AIM listed company). She also served 10 years at EMI International in senior roles sauch as The Finance Director of the European Commercial Operation division and the finance director of two European EMI subsidies.
Gabriella is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA) and holds a master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) from Cass (Bayes) University, London. Prior to moving to London in 1996, she completed her MS Finance degree in the Corvinus University Budapest, as well as, a BBA degree from the Budapest Business School.
As a formal national rowing champion, Gabriella has been a keen athlete and spends most of her free time with hiking and skiing.
Trustee term - 2023-2027
Alan’s professional background is in finance, and he has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) since 1977. He has spent his entire career in the public services, beginning with 16 years in a variety of finance roles in Local Authorities, before moving to the NHS in 1988.
He retired from the position of Chief Executive at an NHS Foundation Trust in Essex in 2013. His key skills and interests are in financial management, corporate governance, business strategy, board development and regulatory compliance
Alan has 23 years’ experience at Board level in NHS acute hospitals, 13 as Finance Director and 10 as CEO, and includes in his achievements, successful leadership of the application to become a first wave NHS Foundation Trust in 2004 and overseeing the delivery of statutory financial duties for 23 consecutive years. Alan has led on all aspects of NHS service developments including the establishment of the £60 million regional Essex Cardiothoracic Centre in 2007.
Alan has family roots in Liverpool and moved to Merseyside from Essex in 2015. He was appointed as Lay Member (Audit and Governance) for Wirral CCG in June 2015 and served for 7 years until the closedown of the organisation in June 2022. One of his 4 sons studied at Liverpool University, and 3 have worked within the NHS since leaving full-time education. Alan has maintained close links with Liverpool throughout his life, his father was born and raised on Merseyside. As a lifelong supporter of Liverpool FC, Alan enjoys watching the reds at every home game at Anfield.
Trustee term - 2021-2025
Rachel Gnagniko is a French-Togolese Senior Consultancy Lead at Inc Arts UK, the UK-wide collective that champions the creative, contractual and economic rights of the UK's African, Asian, Caribbean and ethnically diverse arts sector workforce.
Rachel works to make inclusive change in the arts and cultural sector. She conducts focus groups, policy writing, and workshops for arts organisations engaged in enhancing their creative case for diversity. In 2019, she presented her research work at the 7th Biennial Conference Network Afroeuropeans on the impact of Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum as well as literature and film based racial narratives on the advancement of more inclusive European societies.
Rachel studied labour and organisational sciences at the Conservatoire National Des Arts Et Métiers, has a Master’s in communication strategy from the European Communication School, and specialised in diversity management practices at the Chartered Management Institute. She is currently working with other equality leaders to develop more creative approaches to valuing people through diversity.
How can you influence the trustees?
Whilst the Trustees have to take a number of decisions that may not seem directly relevant to your student experience, it is vital that they understand the views of the members of the Students' Union.
As members of the Students' Union, you can influence the Trustees in a number of ways:
Contacting the Students' Union Officers
The Students' Union Officers are your elected representatives but they all act as trustees. Whilst they are obliged to think about the overall organisation when taking decisions as trustees, they still take into account the wishes of the student population.
Using Change It
All students can submit ideas to Change It which may simply be adopted if it is a straightforward matter or may be referred to Guild Summit for discussion.
Removal of a trustee
If you have reason to call for a trustee to be dismissed, there is a set procedure that you may follow. Before following the procedure, you may wish to contact the Trustee Board Chair as many problems can be resolved informally.
Members can remove a Sabbatical Officer, Student Trustee or external Trustee by calling an all student vote (referendum).
A referendum can be called by a petition on the Guild website agreed to by at least 3% of the Members of the Guild.
The trustee will be removed if there is a two-thirds majority in favour of removal and at least 3% of the Members of the Guild vote in favour of removal.
Details on how to submit a petition and referenda can be found here.