Mark moved to the United States in 1980 and after a brief career as an antique dealer and an aborted attempt as a DJ and rock band manager, he began his career in the financial services industry in 1982 with a major Wall Street firm. In 1998, Mark co-founded Pacific Wealth Management, an investment management consulting firm. A graduate of the College for Financial Planning in Denver, he has been an active member of the investment community for many years, serving as a board member of the San Diego Financial Planning Association, treasurer of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and president of the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego. Mark is a nationally-recognized speaker on the financial aspects of divorce and a regional director of the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts, as well as a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. His hobbies include skiing, both listening to and playing music, running and following the NFL (go Chargers!) and the EPL (play up Pompey!). Mark is married with a son and stepdaughter and in 2008 began a new career as a grandfather.
Neil Smith graduated from Keele University in physics and economics in 1980. Neil was president of the Students' Union in 1979, president of the Athletic Union in 1978 and speaker of the Union in 1980. He won full colors in rugby, football and cricket and ran the popular five-a-side leagues. Neil joined the graduate journalism program of Thomson Regional Newspapers and went on to write for the Sunday Times.
In 1982 he won a Knox Scholarship to take an MBA at the Harvard Business School, from where he graduated with honors in 1984.
Neil spent five years with McKinsey and Company, working in New York and London, and helped to build McKinsey's practices in Brazil and Indonesia. He went on to found two highly successful specialist consulting businesses and has more than 20 years experience as a consultant leading large-scale revenue generation and performance improvement projects; before he was the chairman of a manufacturing company. Over the last few years, a number of the companies Neil has worked with have been rated among the best in their industry, including: healthcare, banking, food manufacturing, distribution and insurance. In 2009, Neil left EHS Partners to form Promontory Growth and Innovation, growing the company to revenues in excess of $100 million in just three years.
In 2012, Neil wrote his New York Times bestseller, How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things.
Neil has served on the International Advisory Board of British American Business, Inc. (the British American Chamber of Commerce). He is a member of a Harvard Business School alumni committee. He is the founding president of the Keele in the USA Foundation, Inc., in which role he served from 2001 to 2016. Neil Smith was honored as Doctor of the University by Keele in 2015.
Prof. Shane O'Neill, professor of political theory at Keele University, also serves as pro vice-chancellor for Advancement and Global Engagement and executive dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He arrived at Keele in September 2016 having completed an extended term as dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast. As an undergraduate, he studied in his native city for a joint honors degree in history and politics at University College Dublin, Ireland. He remained as a postgraduate scholar at UCD to undertake a master's in moral and political philosophy, before moving to Scotland for doctoral studies at Glasgow University.
Prof. O'Neill's first academic post was as a lecturer in the Department of Government of Manchester University before joining Queen’s University Belfast in 1994. At Queen’s he became professor of political theory in 2002 and was a head of school from 2001 to 2009. Twice in those years he was asked to lead colleagues in creating newly expanded, multidisciplinary schools. During his years as dean of Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen’s (2009-2015), he also undertook a range of formal leadership roles including university envoy to the Americas. He was Fulbright senior scholar at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004-2005 and has held visiting professorships at Hong Kong University, Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.
Stephanie Austin was inspired to join the board by the great experience she had as an international student from the U.S. studying at Keele in 2009. Stephanie works as a marketing manager at First Technology Federal Credit Union, a $10 billion dollar financial institution that serves members from the world’s most progressive and innovative companies such as Microsoft, Nike and Amazon. She recently completed First Tech’s six-month Emerging Leader program where she had the opportunity to shadow top leaders, develop leadership skills, and gain a deeper understanding of her company and the financial world. She’s currently enjoying her new role as a mentor in the program for new participants. Outside of work, Stephanie is in the University of Portland’s MBA program with completion expected in early 2019. She is also on the board of local non-profit Women’s Plaza, an organization that enables working mothers to stay connected to their families through day care opportunities and personal development initiatives. She also manages her own networking-event company, Circle Up Networking. Based in Portland, Oregon, she enjoys visiting family in California and England, plus exploring new parts of the world whenever she can.
Adam Konowe was elected as the second president of Keele in the USA in 2016. He is vice president of client strategy at TMP Government, where he specializes in business-to-business and business-to-government communications, primarily for aerospace and defense companies. Since 1999, he has represented some of the industry's most recognizable brands while working for two firms, TMP and Sullivan Higdon & Sink. Earlier, he spent more than six years in broadcasting with C-SPAN, BizNet and PBS The Business Channel. Adam earned a BA from the University of Rochester, double majoring in history and political science, and spent his junior year abroad at Keele University. He also holds an MA in communication from American University, where he served as a graduate fellow and currently teaches PR as an adjunct professor. His professional affiliations include the Aero Club of Washington, National Press Club, Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS, elected fellow in 2014) and the Wings Club of New York.
Morgan received her BA in Africana studies from San Francisco State University where she was a collegiate football player. Morgan graduated from Keele in 2011 with an MA in human rights, globalization and Justice and was the first recipient of the NAFKU Scholarship. After Keele, Morgan served as a community health Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia. She spent nearly two years working on gender issues across Ethiopia and creating awareness and sustainable development programs in coordination with the U.S. Embassy, Nike and Coca-Cola. She is currently working as external engagement adviser on the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign. The Blue Campaign is the unified voice for the department’s efforts to combat human trafficking. At DHS, she works with a range of stakeholders and partners including government agencies and private and public sectors to raise awareness and educate the public about modern-day slavery. Morgan has also worked for the United States African Development Foundation focusing on marginalized communities throughout Africa, and later with the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in San Francisco. In her free time, she loves to watch and play sports, hike, run and travel internationally.
William Bangert went to Keele for the Foundation Year. Having done science A-levels at school, he was attracted by the breadth of the curriculum and the eclectic opportunities it could lead to; he graduated in international relations in 1984. During his period at Keele, he played for the 1st and 2nd XV rugby teams, and was an active in the International Forum (which he chaired 1982–83), and the Keele Dining Society. After a period in which he considered several options, including a career in the army, he joined Unilever’s company management development scheme in 1985, where he qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant. After a brief move to Courtaulds, he decided that business was definitely "his thing," but not the finance side. So in 1988 he joined General Electric as a sales consultant with their information services business. From there he quickly progressed to a start-up, Equant (now Orange Business Services), who sent him to Atlanta, from where he built out the U.S., Canadian and Latin American sales footprint, and along the way acquired the network and operations of Sabre travel services from American Airlines. That deal caught the attention of a competitor, AT&T, who recruited him to their enterprise outsourcing services arm in New Jersey, where he rose to be head of global sales. He then joined Gartner to lead their sourcing advisory practice. Two years later, as senior vice president for business development and marketing, he went to Bell Canada’s Enterprise Business Division in Toronto. He returned to the States with his family in the midst of the great recession, and since the beginning of 2011 has been with Computer Science Corporation where he is the general manager of their business with a major global client.