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Our team

We are an agile specialised team, united by our shared values of curiosity, courage and capacity-building.

By bringing together people with diverse expertise, we provide you with a blend of world-class consulting and nuanced sector expertise. This enables us to deliver exceptional strategies within the higher education sector to deliver immediate impact.

In all our engagements, we commit to collaborating with our clients to ensure that they receive the right balance of support and challenge. We provide them with repeatable tools that they are free to use after our engagement has concluded. Our faith in our client builds their own confidence and ambition. From the outset, we work to ensure that the client maintains ownership of their programme of work and, as our work with them comes to a close, are empowered to lead the rest of their own journey with renewed clarity and commitment.

Meet the people who can help your organisation navigate change, enhance performance, and create positive influence.

Juliet is a Managing Director of Strive Higher, which she founded in 2012. She is an experienced project director who provides consulting services within the HE sector specifically with a proven track record of leading significant university wide transformation projects.

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:

  • Culture diagnostics

  • Leadership & talent

  • Transformation & implementation

  • Strategic resourcing

  • LinkedIn
Juliet Szabo-Merridew

Juliet Szabo-Merridew

Managing Director

Juliet Lambe manages our Academy, ensuring an exceptional end-to-end client experience, as well as developing and quality assuring the academy offer. Juliet brings a wealth of people development experience from higher education, public and private sectors in the UK and overseas.

Associate: Coach 

Key Capabilities

  • Learning, talent, and organisational development

  • Scoping, designing, delivering and evaluating large-scale leadership and staff development  programmes

  • Workshop and action learning facilitation

  • Leadership coaching

  • LinkedIn
Juliet Lambe

Juliet Lambe

People Development Lead

Hester combines strong relationship management skills with a wealth of experience across strategy development, business planning, change management, and transformation. She works with clients by bringing a clarity of vision, quickly and effectively establishing the best strategies for intervention and implementation. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:

  • Strategy development

  • Business planning

  • Change management

  • Organisational performance

  • LinkedIn
Hester Gudmunsen

Hester Gudmunsen 

Senior Consultant

Nicky is a skilled relationship builder who can quickly create a sense of shared purpose and trust. She works effectively with clients identifying their strengths and surfacing issues in pursuit of delivering culture change. Nicky is experienced in designing strategies to maximise inclusion, collaboration and organisational performance. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:

  • Strategy development and alignment

  • Organisational culture change

  • Stakeholder engagement 

  • Team building and collaboration

  • LinkedIn
Nicola Parkes

Nicola Parkes 

Senior Consultant

Laura leads our operations across Strive Higher. She partners across the team and with our clients to ensure that we have all the necessary structures and plans in place for us to work together effectively based on a shared understanding of our mutual commitments.

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Project planning & management

  • Strategic resourcing

  • Communications & client engagement

  • Talent management

  • LinkedIn
Laura Wetherall

Laura Wetherall

Assistant Director Operations

Joelle is a highly experienced, personable and versatile Change and Transformation practitioner with an excellent track record of delivering programmes across a wide variety of environments in the Higher Education sector.  

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • People change management 

  • Organisation design 

  • Communications and engagement 

  • Transformation and implementation 

  • LinkedIn
Joelle Burford

Joelle Burford 

Associate: Principal Consultant 

Michelle is a Performance and Leadership Coach with over 20 years’ experience. She has held senior leadership positions with a proven track record in driving performance whilst simultaneously improving employee engagement. Michelle coaches individuals and teams to fulfil their potential. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities 

  • Leadership development 

  • Executive coaching 

  • Personal and professional development 

  • Employee engagement 

  • LinkedIn
Michelle Lawton

Michelle Lawton

Associate: Coach 

Joseph has an extensive coaching career. His coaching is informed by his experience of board level roles.  Joseph employs curiosity and deep listening to trigger mindset shifts in his clients which allow them to unlock their inner wisdom and courage to overcome obstacles to success.​

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Capabilities

  • Executive coach

  • Transitions coach

  • Strategy ​

  • LinkedIn
Joseph Ogbonna

Joseph Ogbonna 

Associate: Executive Coach 

Iveta is an experienced professional development coach. She brings extensive knowledge of the academic research environment and a deep understanding of the challenges researchers and other professionals in Higher Education face. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Research career development 

  • Culturally sensitive & impactful coaching 

  • Boosting confidence & work/life balance

  • Enhancing research integrity & culture

  • LinkedIn
Iveta Simera

Iveta Simera 

Associate: Senior Consultant & Coach 

Clare is a leadership coach with long experience in Higher Education, mostly in academic leadership. Her particular skills are in helping people do their best thinking, whether solving complex problems, making difficult decisions, understanding ambiguous situations or considering their personal development. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Person-centred coaching 

  • Thinking partnership 

  • Personal and professional development 

  • Group facilitation 

  • LinkedIn
Clare Wakeham

Clare Wakeham 

Associate: Coach 

​Daniel is a Managing Director of Strive Higher, which he joined in December 2021. A proven senior HE leader, having held executive level roles directing strategy and people transformation programmes.

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:

  • HE policy & practice

  • Strategy alignment

  • Organisational performance

  • Transformation & implementation

  • LinkedIn
Daniel Snowden

Daniel Snowden

Managing Director

Emma is a digital leader who works collaboratively to deliver positive change. She brings comprehensive skills and experience in transformation and change in both Higher Education and Government sectors. She has extensive experience across digital strategy, transformation and delivery, always putting user centred design at the heart.

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Technology architecture, design and systems

  • Transformation and implementation

  • Complex problem solving

  • Cultural change

  • LinkedIn
Emma Bayne

Emma Bayne

Senior Consultant 

With global experience in change management, product portfolio management, operating model design and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, Amber has worked with senior leaders and executives to design and deliver organisational and cultural change programmes within professional and higher education. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Transformation, change & implementation 

  • Stakeholder engagement & management 

  • Complex problem solving

  • Amber Kirkbride
Amber Kirkbride

Amber Kirkbride

Senior Consultant 

Eve’s experience in providing dedicated and efficient high-level support to senior HE leaders means she has clear insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. Her natural creativity, solution-focused mindset and excellent interpersonal skills ensure Eve provides high-quality, people- focused project support. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:

  • Stakeholder engagement 

  • Project management 

  • Problem solving 

  • Administrative excellence 

  • LinkedIn
Eve Matthews

Eve Matthews

Senior Project & Engagement Co-ordinator 

Sarah is a leadership coach, facilitator and organisational development consultant.  Her background spans the public, private and not-for-profit sectors including working in HE in OD and research roles.  She is particularly skilled in helping leaders navigate change and ambiguity authentically.  

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:  

  • Executive coaching 

  • Group facilitation 

  • Leadership/people development 

  • Staff engagement 

  • LinkedIn
Sarah Acton

Sarah Acton

Associate: Senior Consultant & Coach

Andy is an Organisational Behaviour Specialist with vast expertise in culture transformation projects within the education sector. Andy has accrued over 20 years' experience developing organisations, individuals, and teams from the inside helping them transform their culture in line with their strategic ambitions.

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:

  • Behaviour framework development

  • Workshop/focus group facilitation

  • Change readiness assessment

  • Training & people development

  • LinkedIn
Andy Brett

Andy Brett

Associate: Senior Consultant & Coach

Soo Yee is a former international Executive Director in Financial Services. She has deep insights on business development and strategy. She has shaped, overseen and implemented multi-year international transformation programmes, including digital transformation. She brings a unique blend of transformative coaching, agile and design thinking principles to support leaders lead change with authenticity and impact.

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • innovation & transformation

  • executive leadership and executive coaching

  • cultural agility and inclusion & diversity

  • career transition and high potential talents

  • LinkedIn
Soo Yee Leong

Soo Yee Leong

Associate: Executive Coach 

María is a values-driven coach and accomplished consultant with over 20 years' experience as a senior leader. She has supported founders, executives and new leaders to lead with authenticity and perform at their best. As a consultant, she has delivered projects focussed on strategic alignment and systems improvement. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities: 

  • Leadership coach 

  • Scaling up strategies 

  • Stakeholder management 

  • OKR framework implementation 

  • LinkedIn
Maria Quevedo

Maria Quevedo

Associate: Senior Consultant & Coach

Alice is a Consultant and Senior Projects Coordinator for Strive Higher.  She brings two decades of experience to the role, combining the ability to quickly and intuitively understand the needs of clients with clearly and effectively managing and communicating solutions. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:

  • Client Experience  

  • Continuous Improvement 

  • Role Architecture  

  • Research and Analysis 

  • LinkedIn
Alice Wrigley

Alice Wrigley

Associate: Consultant & Senior Project & Engagement Co-ordinator 

Michelle has over 30 years' experience of leading teams in the commercial sector where she held senior leadership positions. During her career, Michelle successfully worked with leaders to define, implement and embed global and sustainable change programmes that delivered ambitious strategic targets.  

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Service Design 

  • Executive coach  

  • Project and Programme Management   

  • Change management  

  • Michelle Cotter LinkedIn
Michelle Cotter

Michelle Cotter

Associate: Coach 

John leads on the delivery of Strive Higher’s strategic partnerships strategy as we establish new partnerships, products and services that will help build capacity across the sector. He has extensive experience of developing and implementing strategic projects, supporting change programmes and project management.

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Partnership development & engagement 

  • Strategic planning & implementation 

  • Portfolio development 

  • Project management 

  • LinkedIn
John Melton

John Melton 

Strategic Partnerships Portfolio Lead 

Laura brings a wealth of skills and experience leading university data strategy and governance improvement initiatives. Pragmatic, pace setting and solutions- focussed, Laura can navigate the most complex and pressing data strategy and governance challenges with confidence and clarity. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities: 

  • Data strategy & governance improvements 

  • Academic portfolio size & shape 

  • Delivering change and transformation 

  • Complex problem solving in HE

  • LinkedIn
Laura Jackson

Laura Jackson

Principal Consultant

Simran brings a wealth of skills and experience leading strategic people change initiatives across the sector including operating model development, service design, workforce planning and HR transformation. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:

  • HR transformation

  • Operating model development

  • Workforce planning

  • Organisation design

  • LinkedIn
Simran Khanijau

Simran Khanijau 

Senior Consultant

Liisa uses her exceptional project support skills to ensure projects run to time and quality and stakeholders are engaged well throughout. She brings extensive HE experience and draws from her background in developing people and organisations. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:

  • Client engagement

  • Continuous improvement

  • Process mapping

  • System implementation

  • LinkedIn
Liisa O'Brien

Liisa O’Brien 

Senior Project & Engagement Co-ordinator

Emma has built  a successful career in HR and leading operations team in high-growth technology businesses. As a qualified coach, Emma uses her intuition and energy to encourage a new perspective and insight, working with leaders and managers to take meaningful action that is practical and applicable within the workplace.

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:

  • Leadership Coaching 

  • Employee Engagement 

  • Project Management 

  • Operational Design and Experience 

  • LinkedIn
Emma Bolger

Emma Bolger 

Associate:  Executive Coach 

Frances is a seasoned Human Resources Director with extensive experience in the education sector. As a coach, she is highly inquisitive and supportive. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities: 

  • Leadership development 

  • Talent Management 

  • Organisational development 

  • Organisational design

  • LinkedIn
Frances Hall

Frances Hall

Associate: Coach 

Kat is an academic with extensive experience of working in HE, gained through international research and creative arts projects.  She specialises in facilitating creative arts encounters for diverse stakeholders to develop shared values and cultures and embed strategic change. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:  

  • Transformation and implementation 

  • Student and staff engagement 

  • Empathetic facilitation 

  • Innovative teaching methods 

  • LinkedIn
Kat Low

Kat Low

Associate: Senior Consultant & Coach

Anna is a skilled and experienced leadership coach and organisational development consultant.  She combines a background in public sector management with experience supporting transformation & people development programmes in HE settings.  Anna brings exceptional listening & analytical skills along with a laser focus on outcomes. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Leadership development 

  • Staff engagement 

  • Organisational change 

  • Executive coaching 

  • LinkedIn
Anna Sanders

Anna Sanders

Associate: Senior Consultant & Coach 

With more than 25 years international experience in facilitation and coaching; education, learning and organizational development are at the core of Helen’s career.  She partners on the design and delivery of leadership and coaching programs to drive transformational change. 

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Leadership and Team Coach 

  • Adaptive Leadership 

  • Presence and Impact Development 

  • Learning design and facilitation 

  • LinkedIn
Helen van Ameyde

Helen van Ameyde

Associate: Senior Facilitator and

Executive Coach 

Nita’s career has spanned the BBC, local government and housing in Diversity and Inclusion, HR and Corporate management.  As a coach she brings curiosity, deep listening and a safe space for those she works with. She employs a number of assessments, including the Intercultural Development Inventory.  

Associate: Coach 

Key capabilities:​

  • Inclusive leadership  

  • Executive coaching 

  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 

  • Psychometric assessments  

  • Nita Sharma LinkedIn
Nita Sharma

Nita Sharma

Associate: Coach 

If you’d like to join our team or find out more, please get in touch with us.

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