Seven commissioners, one goal

The commissioners are seven highly experienced leaders with UK public sector and international expertise.

Dr John Bullivant

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Strategic Advisor to the Good Governance Institute

John is the Founder of the Good Governance Institute. He has published and lectured widely and internationally on health governance, quality, best value and benchmarking. He now chairs our advisory group whose role is to provide the Good Governance Institute with support on the development of strategy including the identification of future priorities and opportunities on how GGI can work at policy and political level. In the first instance during 2019, the group will support GGI to develop a policy paper, which examines governance in the Public Sector to 2030.

John has introduced many of GGI’s publications and products including maturity matrices, board assurance prompts, risk appetite, governance between organisations, challenge and review. He has updated the seminal Integrated Governance Handbook ten years after its original launch by the Department of Health. John is a former VFM auditor, board director of a health authority, visiting fellow at the Open University Business School and a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) faculty delivering the Quality Governance Fellows programme.

He was a member of the Health Minister’s National Advisory Board in Wales, President of the quality network of the Royal Society of Medicine, a peer reviewer for Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, board secretary to the all industry Benchmarking Institute and an advisor to a number of business and professional organisations. He lives in South Wales. John is director of Governance Benchmarking.

Professor Mervyn King

Senior Counsel and former Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa

Mervyn King is a Senior Counsel and former Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa.  He is Professor Extraordinaire at the University of South Africa on Corporate Citizenship, Honorary Professor at the University of Pretoria and Visiting Professor at Rhodes University. He has an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of the Witwatersrand, is Chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa, which produced King I, II and III, and is First Vice President of the Institute of Directors Southern Africa.

He is Chair Emeritus of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), Chairman Emeritus of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the World Bank on Corporate Governance. He chaired the United Nations Committee on Governance and Oversight and was President of the Advertising Standards Authority for 15 years. He has been a chairman, director and chief executive of several companies listed on the London, Luxembourg and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. He has consulted, advised and spoken on legal, business, advertising, sustainability and corporate governance issues in 53 countries and has received many awards.  He is the author of two books on governance and sustainability and sits as an arbitrator and mediator internationally. His background work includes being a founding member of the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa and the King Report.

In South Africa, King holds the following positions: Director of JD Group Limited (since 1995), Director of Brait Societe Anonyme (since 1998), Director of Strate, the settlement arm for equity trading in South Africa (since 1999), Director of the Association of Business Administrators of Southern Africa (since 2004), President of the Advertising Standards Authority, First Vice-President of the Institute of Directors Southern Africa, Chairman of the Automobile Association of South Africa, Chairman of the Appeal Committee of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, Member of the Securities Regulation Panel (which oversees all acquisitions and mergers in South Africa), speaker in conferences, radio and television talk shows.

Lord Richard Newby

Member of the House of Lords

Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords

Born in Rothwell, West Yorkshire, Dick Newby attended Rothwell Grammar School before studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St Catherine’s College Oxford. He grew up in a Labour stronghold and was a member of the Labour Party at university and in several London Boroughs. During the 1975 European referendum, He was General Secretary of Young European Left, the pro-European youth wing of the Labour Party.

Dick worked for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for its whole life and was its chief executive from 1983-88. He has worked on all subsequent Lib Dem General Election campaigns, as press officer to Paddy Ashdown (1992), Deputy Campaign Chairman (1997) and subsequently as a member of the Campaigns and Communications Committee. He was also Charles Kennedy’s Chief of Staff during his period as Leader. He was created a life peer with the title Baron Newby, of Rothwell in the County of West Yorkshire in 1997. He was Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Treasury Parliamentary Party Committee from 2010 until May 2012. He then became a Minister as Deputy Government Chief Whip and Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in the House of Lords. As part of this post he gained the title of Captain of the Queen’s Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard.

Outside politics he has been a tax man (HM Customs and Excise 1974-81), corporate affairs director of a property company (Rosehaugh 1988-92) and a PR/public affairs adviser (1992-2001). Until his appointment as a Minister in 2012 he was Chair of Live Consulting, a corporate responsibility consultancy. He has also spent a lot of time working in the area of youth sports, he was Chair of Sport for Life International, which manages education programmes linked to major sports stadiums globally. He was also Chair of Sport at The Prince’s Trust and of International Development through Sport (IDS UK). He received an OBE in 1990 for his service to politics.

Professor Andrew Corbett-Nolan

Chief Executive, Good Governance Institute

Andrew Corbett-Nolan is the Chief Executive of GGI, and has worked in healthcare since joining the NHS in 1987. He specialises in board development work, and some of the more complex governance reviews that GGI undertakes. He has led many of the important programmes of work undertaken by GGI, including the development of the new governance arrangements for Clinical Research Networks, the review of the Welsh Healthcare Specialist Services Commissioning, the development of the Good Governance Handbook and the development of governance review tools for NHS England.

Andrew was the first Director for Health Services Accreditation, the in-house accreditation service for the NHS, Development Director at the King’s Fund, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Quality Centre, National Head of Healthcare Consulting at Bentley Jennison, and Development Director of the Commissioning Institute. He was a Non-Executive Director at Central and North West London Mental Health NHS FT, the Lay Panel Chair for Governance at South London Healthcare NHS Trust under the TSA regime, Vice Chair of the Terrence Higgins Trust, a Trustee of Health Unlimited and is a Non-Executive Director of the UK Public Health Register.

He served as European Secretary for the Joint Commission International and International Consultant for COHSASA in Cape Town. He is Director of the Governance Office for the European Society for Quality in Healthcare and a Member of the European Healthcare Futures Forum.

Dr Charles Tannock

Former MEP

Charles was educated at Bradfield College, Berks followed by Balliol College, Oxford and the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London. He is a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Before being elected to the European Parliament in 1999, Charles worked for several years as a Consultant Psychiatrist in London and was a Senior Lecturer at University College Hospital.

Charles was the deputy leader of the EP Observer mission to the 2004 Ukrainian Presidential elections and takes a keen interest in enlargement issues. He is involved politically in a number of cross party Parliamentary groups and is a member of the European Cancer Patient Coalition and the EP Intergroup on Animal Welfare, a former Vice-President of the European Friends of Israel and a member of Friends of Tibet. Charles was Founder of the EP Friends of India, a founder member of the EP Friends of the Commonwealth, a member of the advisory board of the EU Friends of Armenia, honorary EP Parliamentary Adviser to Save the Assyrians Campaign and Anglicans for Israel, and the UK Friends of Falun Gong. He is on the Executive Committee of the Conservative Friends of Bangladesh and an Ambassador for FRODO, a UK registered charity which helps Romanian disabled orphans. He is an EP Attachment Host for the UK John Smith Memorial Trust and the Parliament and Industry Trust. He is Chairman of the EP-Taiwan Friendship Group and the EP-Sovereign Military Order of Malta (“Knights of Malta”) Friendship Group. He is the European Parliamentary adviser to the UK Overseas Territory Association and was appointed a Commissioner for Human Rights of the UK Conservative Party in November 2011.

Charles has been awarded the following achievements: Commendatore of the Order of St Maurice and St Lazarus of the Italian Dynastic House of Savoy, a Freeman of the City of London, the Freedom of the City of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, knight of the “Order for merits” 3rd Grade of Ukraine, Medal of Mkhitar Gosh of the Republic of Armenia, an honorary doctorate from Yerevan State University and a Grand Officer of the Order of San Carlos of the Republic of Colombia for services to the country in the field of diplomacy and international relations. He has also been awarded the medal of honour by the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan (ROC) for services to parliamentary diplomacy, the Presidential Order of Excellence of Georgia, the Order of the Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon by the President of Taiwan (ROC) and the Medal of Gratitude by the President of Armenia.

Baroness Glenys Thornton

Member of the House of Lords

Shadow Health Minister

Baroness Glenys Thornton grew up in inner-city Bradford, attended a local comprehensive, and then studied politics and government at the London School of Economics, where she is now a Governor. She has previously been a Council member of Oxford Brookes University and served as a communications adviser to successive VCs of Cambridge University. Glenys was the Chief Executive of The Young Foundation from June 2015 to October 2017 and continues to support the work as a Senior Fellow.

Glenys has had a career in the voluntary, co-operative and private sectors for over 30 years, starting at Gingerbread, then the Citizens Advice Bureau and leaving them to work as Project Director at the Institute for Community Studies and Mutual Aid Centre from 1978 – 1981. She left the ICS to become Political Secretary of the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society, joining the public affairs team of the Co-operative Wholesale Society working there until 1992. In 1993 Glenys became the General Secretary of the Fabian Society. A feminist activist from LSE days, she has worked within the Labour Party to ensure gender balance, and has and still does mentor many women seeking public office. More recently Glenys has been supporting women elected to new parliaments in the developing world, Tanzania, Kenya and Myanmar for example.

Glenys founded what became Social Enterprise UK and chaired the organisation until 2008 and also founded the All Party Parliamentary Group for Social Enterprise. In 2010 she became one of three Patrons of SEUK and in that capacity Glenys has been active in building what is now the Social Economy. Over the years Glenys has been a Trustee of Action for Children, Jamie Oliver’s 15 Foundation, Training for Life, and of course The Young Foundation. She was a board member of the IdEA, the Local Government Improvement agency from 1999 – 2008. As a backbench peer, she helped to put through the Community Interest Company Right to Request legislation and the Social Value Act. Glenys ran her own communications company from 2001 – 2008, and stood down when she was appointed Health Minister in the House of Lords. She also had responsibility for Women and Equalities in the Lords, and helped to put through the Equality Act of 2010. In 2010 she became the Shadow Health Minister and in May 2012, Glenys changed jobs and became the Women and Equalities Shadow Minister, and so has worked on the Equal Marriage Act, Forced Marriage Act and violence against women legislation.

Baroness Mary Watkins

Member of the House of Lords

Chair, National Institute for Health Research, South West Peninsula

Baroness Mary Watkins is a British Professor of Nursing. She currently is emeritus professor of healthcare leadership at Plymouth University and Deputy Vice Chancellor of the university.

Qualifying as a general nurse in 1976 and a mental health nurse in 1979, Professor Watkins worked in community, in-patient mental health and acute settings, providing non-emergency and emergency healthcare.

Made a Nightingale Scholar in 1985, Professor Watkins was appointed Dean of the then Faculty of Health and Social Work at Plymouth in 2003, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health) in 2005 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in January 2007. She retired in 2012, but still retains close links to the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, and serves on the Board of Governors. She is also closely involved with the governance of Marine Academy Plymouth, which is sponsored by the University.

She was nominated for life peerage by the House of Lords Appointments Commission and was created Baroness Watkins of Tavistock, of Buckland Monachorum in the County of Devon, on 2 November 2015. She sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher.

Join the conversation


Get in touch

Your voice is vital to the National Commission. Get involved by emailing [email protected]

Keep up to date

Sign up here to be kept up to date with the latest National Commission news