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Governors of St Clare’s, Oxford

As an independent charity, we are overseen by a Board of Governors from a varied range of backgrounds. They are responsible for taking and validating strategic and financial decisions and are all intensely committed to the school’s continuing success.

Jens Tholstrup (Chairman)

Jens is Managing Director of Oxford Investment Opportunity Network, Development Director for SQW Group and Senior Advisor at Oxford Economics. He was previously Managing Director UK of Oxford Economics, Executive Director of Oxford Analytica and an Executive Director at UBS. He holds an MA in PPE and an MSc in Economic History, both from the University of Oxford. He is also a Visiting Business Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University and an external member of the Audit, Risk and Remuneration Committee of St Peter’s College, Oxford. He is a member of the Society of Business Economists.

Jim Woodhill

Jim is Director of Systemic Link Consulting, an Honorary Associate of the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University, and Senior Consultant at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford. The red thread of Jim’s professional work is engaging individuals and organisations in dialogue and learning to create a more sustainable and equitable world. He grew up in Australia and has a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Sydney and a PhD in Political Economics from the Australian National University. He works on global sustainability issues related to agriculture and food, is an experienced facilitator of strategic planning, dialogue and foresight processes, and has worked in numerous countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Jim has held senior positions in management, research, policy, consulting, teaching and advocacy. Former positions include Principal Sector Specialist for Food Security and Rural Development with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Director of the Centre for Development Innovation, at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Jim has a deep interest in holistic approaches to education having worked with the Australian Outward Bound School and with an innovative university faculty that focused on problem based learning. He lives in Oxford, loves being in the outdoors and sea kayaking on the English coast. Jim has two daughters, one has graduated from St Clare’s and the other is currently a student at the school.

Jim is a member of the Education Committee where his professional background and wealth of experience are invaluable.

Bart Ashton 

(Chair of the Finance, Personnel & General Purposes Committee)

Bart graduated from Birmingham University. Since 2003 he has been the Bursar at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, where he is a Fellow. His areas of expertise are people and team management, particularly in operational or developmental contexts, although he has also contributed significantly to estates management, refurbishment and construction projects. Prior to 2003, he enjoyed a varied career in hospitality, working with local and international companies. Bart is also involved with the town and gown communities hosting the University Colleges’ Sustainability Guild, and being a member of the Oxford Fairtrade Coalition and the steering group for Good Food Oxford.

Bart is  the Chair of the Finance, Personnel and General Purposes Committee and the Governor with oversight of Health & Safety at the College.

John Church - Governor St Clare's Oxford

Libby Wood

Libby studied for her IB Diploma at St Clare’s, and graduated from the college in 2005. She subsequently read French with Management at King’s College, London, spending an intercalary year in Paris. Since leaving university, Libby has worked as an English teacher and higher education academic manager in Italy and Australia. Libby is Programme Director of the Masters in Finance at London Business School overseeing the strategy and implementation of the degree programme, which is consistently ranked number one in the world. Previously she was the Associate Director for Programmes at the Entrepreneurship Centre at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Libby’s motivation to serve as governor stems from her passion for international education and the significant impact St Clare’s had on both her personal and professional paths. Currently, she lives in the beautiful village of Bladon near Oxford and is a keen traveller, cook, and linguist.

John Church - Governor St Clare's Oxford

Loren Griffith

Loren is an educational consultant with extensive experience consulting on strategy, performance improvement, and program implementation for corporate and non-profit clients including education technology companies and universities. He also runs a boutique advisory service for students seeking admission to universities abroad. He is the founder of Loren Griffith Education Advisors, Ltd. and was previously Director of International Strategy at Oxford University. Loren has a deep commitment to international education, and is a former Vice Chair of Governors and Chair of the Finance sub-committee of the Europa School in Culham, UK. He is a graduate of Yale University, has a Master’s (MPA) from Princeton, and a law degree (Juris Doctor) from Stanford. Loren has also served on President Obama’s Policy Working Group on Green Energy. Loren sits on the Education Committee where his extensive experience and market intelligence are highly valued.

Lucia Nixon (Chair of the Education Committee)

Lucia’s education in Canada included a year at a French lycée in Montréal. She did a degree in Greek and Classical Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. She holds two Master’s degrees (from the Universities of British Columbia and Toronto), and did doctoral research in Classical Archaeology at Newnham College, Cambridge. Lucia has been a Member of the Common Room of Wolfson College, Oxford and the sub-Faculty of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology since 1995. From 2005 until 2014 she was Senior Tutor and Tutor for Admissions at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Before coming to Oxford, Lucia taught at Queen’s University, Ontario and the University of New Brunswick at St John. Lucia has published extensively on Sacred and Economic Landscapes, and on other archaeological and classical themes as well as gender, equality, and education. She has done archaeological fieldwork in the UK, Italy, Turkey, and Greece, and co-directs the Sphakia Survey in Crete.

Lucia has a strong commitment to equality, inclusion, and diversity, and has been a member of the Oxford University Equality and Diversity Panel, and the Race Equality Steering Group; she was a mentor for the Oxford University Ad Feminam scheme. Lucia is also a governor of Oxford Spires Academy, a non-selective state secondary school in East Oxford. In her spare time, Lucia enjoys travel, cooking, choral singing, and opera.


Mary Louise Culpepper

Mary graduated from Brown University and received a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She also completed teacher training through the Program in Religion and Secondary Education at Harvard Divinity School and the Harvard School of Education. She taught English in an American high school and also English as a foreign language to adults in Germany and France. She served on the Board of Governors at the International School of Florence as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, member of the Executive Committee as the Board Secretary, and member of the Marketing Committee. One of her children was a St Clare’s student and she also has 3 other children who have attended schools in Oxford. Mary Louise has the responsibility to oversee our boarding provision.


Moira Darlington

Moira has been a Governor of St Clare’s since 2013 and is the Governor responsible for Academic Overview. Moira has also been appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire. She studied Classics at St Anne’s College, Oxford, before taking a PGCE in History and RS at the University of London. She has worked for more than forty years in education, at senior and primary level, leading both academic and pastoral departments; she still works part-time at the Dragon School, where she was Deputy Head. She was an ISI inspector with responsibility for overseeing the Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural aspect of school life. She was a trustee of Emmaus (a charity for the homeless) for ten years, helping to establish the Oxford Community, and is involved with a range of local charities.

Paul Bright

Paul was born, raised and educated in Gravesend, Kent. On leaving school, he worked as a trainee estimator, draughtsman and salesperson for a large shopfitting company while studying part-time for a business degree and a postgraduate management qualification from the University of East London, eventually rising to manager and director positions. Paul led a management buyout of a company in 1991, and subsequently his business career has blossomed to include interests in steel trading, real estate, petroleum and financial portfolios. Besides his business career, Paul has a strong interest in human rights and international relations. In recent years, for instance, he has acted as an aide to the former President of Ghana to support his aims of promoting democracy, good governance and women’s rights in Africa. Paul is comfortable interacting effectively at all levels and with people of diverse cultural backgrounds. Paul is married with one daughter, and lives in London and Lugano, Switzerland. He speaks fluent Italian and his interests include rock climbing, mountaineering, running and visiting theatres, museums and galleries. Paul is of dual British and Nigerian heritage. Paul is the Governor for Child Protection and Safeguarding.

Richard Dick

Richard has been the Executive Chairman & CEO of Lucy Group Ltd since 1990. Lucy was established in Oxford in 1812 as an iron founder. It remains a private company, and has diversified into electrical switchgear, street lighting and real estate The Group HQ continues to be in its original offices in Walton Well Road. Richard was High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 2009 when, together with W Lucy, he started the High Sheriff Young Engineer Awards – now an annual event. His active charity interests are in young people and especially those under-performing, education generally and homelessness in Oxford and re-training. He is married with four adult children and three grandchildren. His hobbies include skiing, sailing and gardening.

Committed to the school’s continuing success

We are proud to be an independent charity overseen by a Board of Governors


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St Clare's, Oxford