We are delighted to announce three new external members of our University Council.

The University of Essex Council is our governing body comprising 25 members, the majority of whom are external. Council is responsible for the overall strategic leadership of the University.

Danny Lopez

Danny Lopez, Chief Executive Officer, Glasswall Solutions

An Essex graduate, Danny has enjoyed a successful international career in banking, marketing, diplomacy and technology. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Glasswall Solutions, an award-winning cyber security firm. Before moving to Glasswall, he was the Chief Operations Officer at Blippar, a UK-based technology company specialising in augmented reality. Between 2011 and 2016, Danny was the British Consul General to New York and Director General for trade and investment across North America. He is a Non-Executive Director at Innovate Finance – the UK industry body championing global FinTech – and a special advisor to New York-based venture capital firm, FinTech Collective.

Pravina Ladva

Pravina Ladva, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, Swiss RE

Pravina joined Swiss RE in 2017 as their Chief Technology and Operations Officer. Before joining Swiss RE she worked in a variety of roles at Barclaycard, including Chief Operations Officer, Digital Marketplace and Chief Information Officer, Barclaycard Business Solutions. In these roles, she has established a successful track record in the financial technology sector, taking on complex roles with responsibility for strategy, delivery and results.

Obum Ekeke

Obum Ekeke, Global Lead for University Relations and Educational Partnerships, DeepMind

Obum currently leads educational programmes and partnerships at DeepMind, aimed at building a stronger, diverse and more inclusive Artificial Intelligence community. Before joining DeepMind, he spent 12 years at Google, where he led international educational and technical skills development programmes in partnership with universities, NGOs and governments. Obum is a trustee of UK Youth – a leading national charity committed to ensuring all young people are empowered to build bright futures, regardless of their background or circumstances. He’s also a trustee of MetamorphoseAfrica – a charity that works to provide tech skills and opportunities to reduce unemployment among African youths.

As well as these new external members, the following internal members have been elected to Council:

Jane Hamilton, Chair of Council, said:

"All of our new Council appointments will bring an excellent new dimension to our University at a time when new ideas and ways of thinking will be essential in securing our future. Council plays an absolutely vital role in ensuring the University of Essex is well governed and their experience and talents will offer us invaluable insight and direction."