Our Board of Governors

The Royal Russell Board of Governors have oversight of strategic direction, maintenance of standards, legal and regulatory compliance and for ensuring the control of the School's finances.

We are fortunate to have the support of a well-qualified Governing Body, chaired by Mr Andrew Merriman, who each give their time, expertise and unique perspective to all matters regarding the effective running and development of the School.  Our Governors meet at least three times a year as a Board and in subcommittees.  

The Strategy, Appointments and Remuneration Committee oversee the recruitment of the Senior Management Team and consider the long term strategy of the School.  The Education and Welfare Committee and the Finance and Estates Committee oversee the implementation of policies and make recommendations in their respective areas of responsibility.

Parents can contact our Governors by email at: clerktogovernors@royalrussell.co.uk or by telephone on 020 8657 4433 x203.


Andrew Merriman

Chair of Governors

Joined our Board of Governors on 23/06/2005.

Studied at Tonbridge School and then read Economics at Exeter University.

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant and has since held the CFO role at Alfred Dunhill, Thomas Pink, Sweaty Betty and currently at Anya Hindmarch.

As a Governor aims to contribute particularly in finance, risk control and tax.


Professor Ali Ansari

Joined our Board of Governors April 2019

Professor and Director of the Institute of Iranian Studies, University of St Andrews

Ali Ansari is professor of Iranian history and founding director of the Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews, as well as senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and President of the British Institute of Persian Studies. He is the author of numerous books, including The Politics of Nationalism in Modern Iran.

Ali is an Old Russellian.

Mr Nicholas Cobill 

Joined our Board of Governors on 01/03/18.

Nicholas is a Barrister specialising in banking and financial legislation. His clients include banks, airlines, utility providers, insurers, manufacturers, franchises and UK and foreign government departments.


Dr Agnelo Fernandes

Member of the Education and Welfare Committee

Joined our Board of Governors on 09/10/2006.

Has been a local GP for 24 years. Also works is a GP Trainer, Supervisor and Appraiser and chairs a number of medical related Boards and Committees.

Awarded the MBE for services to medicine and healthcare in 2004.

Former Royal Russell parent.

Lisa Jessup

Member of the Finance and Estates Committee

Joined our Board of Govenors on 20/08/2012.

Head of Group Support Services for an international marine fuels reseller business, based in Dubai UAE.

General Manager experience in sales and marketing, project management, HR and performance management, IT and company secretarial.

Former Royal Russell parent.

Simon Kolesar

Vice-Chair of Governors and Chair of the Strategy, Appointments and Remuneration Committee and a Member of Education and Welfare and Finance and Estates Committees

Joined our Board of Governors 25/01/2002.

A Retired Chartered Surveyor. Past President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors.

Honorary Treasurer of the College of Estate Management. Chairman of the Mary Stephen’s Foundation – an educational charity.

James Lacey

Member of the Education and Welfare Committee and Finance and Estates Committee

Joined our Board of Governors on 20/03/2015.

James is the Head of Planning, Partner and LLP member at Vail Williams. Specialising in property Planning Consultancy and Real Estate, he is a Chartered Member of the Town Planning Institute with 16 years experience.

A former Royal Russell pupil, James remains actively involved with our Combined Cadet Force as Head of the Army Section.  He is married and lives in Guildford.

Andrew Lorie

Joined our Board of Governors on 01/09/2016. 

Andrew has been a barrister for 20 years and specialises in all aspects of family law.  His association with the school goes back to 1977 when he joined the school as a pupil and continues today as a former parent.

Anne Martin

Member of the Education and Welfare Committee

Joined our Board of Governors on 14/07/2009.

Anne Martin has 25 years experience in employment law, first as a Partner in a local solicitors practice and then working as a freelance solicitor and trainer for 14 years. Anne became a full time Employment Judge in 2009.

Anne is also a trustee of a charity aimed at early identification of teenage mental health issues.

Rohit Mathur

Member of the Finance and Estates Committee

Joined our Board of Governors June 2017

Rohit is an ex-Management Consultant with Ernst & Young where he advised global firms on their strategy, operations and digital agendas. 

He currently works in the Venture Capital team at Barclays and has previously been part of CEO's office, digital propositions and strategy.

He has an MBA from Manchester Business School (Director's List, AT Kearney Scholarship) and B.Eng (Honours) from India.

Rohit is a current Royal Russell parent.

Sir Philip Moor

Member of the Finance and Estates Committee, Member of the Strategy, Appointments and Remuneration Committee, Member of the Education and Welfare Committee 

Joined our Board of Governors on 13/07/2009.

A High Court Judge assigned for the Family Division; Family Division Liaison Judge for Wales, formerly a barrister and QC specialising in family law. Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford and Consulting Editor of the Butterworth’s Family Law Service.

Former Royal Russell parent.

James Penny

Chairman of the Finance and Estates Committee. Member of the Education and Welfare Committee. Member of the Strategy, Appointments and Renumeration Committee. 

Joined our Board of Governors on 12/11/2007.

Managing Director and Head of UK International at Barclays Private Bank. A Chartered Banker and a Fellow of the Securities Institute.

His association with Royal Russell goes back to 1999 when one of his children became a pupil here.