Meet our executive leaders

Dr Vishwajeet Rana

Chairman of the Executive Board

Dr Vishwajeet Rana completed an MBA from Ohio University and gained an MS and PhD from Stevens Institute of Technology. Dr Rana has executed a number of complex cross-border equity-/debt-structured investments and financing transactions in the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong while working at HSBC’s New York office. He enjoys evaluating different global education models and applying them to unlock the potential of students through higher education.

Dr.-Rana-Portrait-400
Dr.-Rana-Portrait-400

Dr Vishwajeet Rana

Chairman of the Executive Board

Dr Vishwajeet Rana completed an MBA from Ohio University and gained an MS and PhD from Stevens Institute of Technology. Dr Rana has executed a number of complex cross-border equity-/debt-structured investments and financing transactions in the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong while working at HSBC’s New York office. He enjoys evaluating different global education models and applying them to unlock the potential of students through higher education.

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Prof. Ray Lloyd

Chief Executive Officer

Professor Ray Lloyd joined GBS as CEO in September 2020. He was previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University and a Head of Department and then a Dean at Abertay University.

Professor Lloyd’s first degree was in mathematics, a subject he taught for several years both in London and then Botswana, where he held several positions with Botswana Athletics, including Director of Coaching.

He returned to the UK in 1996 to undertake a Master’s degree in Sports Science, later gaining a PhD in the same discipline. He has worked widely as a sports consultant with several sporting institutions including the English Premier League, First Class Cricket, Tennis, and Squash.

His current portfolio spans the academic life of the University including Research, Academic Partnerships, and Student Support. Professor Lloyd is a trustee of the Zimbabwe Educational Trust charity and has chaired the board of two Multi-Academy Trusts in West Yorkshire.

Prof. Don Pennington

Executive Board Member

Professor Donald Pennington has spent over thirty years working in the UK Higher Education sector. His extensive experience includes quality assurance, quality enhancement, and partnership working. He is currently a reviewer for the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Before joining GBS in 2017 as Director of Quality Enhancement, Professor Pennington held senior roles at Coventry University (as Pro Vice Chancellor) and the Institute of Education, University College London (as Director of Quality and Academic Standards).

don-square (1)
don-square (1)

Prof. Don Pennington

Executive Board Member

Professor Donald Pennington has spent over thirty years working in the UK Higher Education sector. His extensive experience includes quality assurance, quality enhancement, and partnership working. He is currently a reviewer for the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Before joining GBS in 2017 as Director of Quality Enhancement, Professor Pennington held senior roles at Coventry University (as Pro Vice Chancellor) and the Institute of Education, University College London (as Director of Quality and Academic Standards).

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Dr Melissa Willby

Executive Board Member

Dr Melissa Willby brings with her 30 years of experience in both the American Study Abroad and UK Higher Education sectors. She is accomplished at developing quality programmes that bring businesses and NGOs into the classroom to enhance learning.

Dr Willby was formerly Academic Director of the Mountbatten Program in London, Dean at Hult International Business School, and former Internship Director at Syracuse University’s London campus. Before this she was a lecturer at Richmond, the American International University in London. Her passion for education also manifested in her role as Director of the educational charity, the Rudolf Steiner Book Trust, a role which spanned two decades.

In her current capacity as Dean at GBS, Dr Willby is responsible for the School’s academic administration and external relations. She supports and promotes the highest quality educational programmes, research, and public service.

Liudmila Umarbaeva

Executive Board Member

Liudmila Umarbaeva is GBS’s Academic Registrar. Liudmila joined GBS in 2014 and has spent over six years working in the UK Higher Education sector. Her experience includes managing GBS’s quality assurance systems, Home Office and UKVI compliance, as well as governance and HR.  

Before joining GBS Liudmila was a Quality Officer and lecturer at the Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University Law faculty’s UNESCO Department for Constitutional Law and Gender Policy. She also completed internships at the legal departments of the Executive Office of the President and Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic.  

Liudmila holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University, and has undertaken postgraduate research on the constitutional and legal integration of human rights policies into the healthcare sector. She has taught classes and published numerous scholarly articles related to her research interests. Liudmila also holds an MBA from the University of Gloucestershire. 

LU photo with edits
LU photo with edits

Liudmila Umarbaeva

Executive Board Member

Liudmila Umarbaeva is GBS’s Academic Registrar. Liudmila joined GBS in 2014 and has spent over six years working in the UK Higher Education sector. Her experience includes managing GBS’s quality assurance systems, Home Office and UKVI compliance, as well as governance and HR.  

Before joining GBS Liudmila was a Quality Officer and lecturer at the Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University Law faculty’s UNESCO Department for Constitutional Law and Gender Policy. She also completed internships at the legal departments of the Executive Office of the President and Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic.  

Liudmila holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University, and has undertaken postgraduate research on the constitutional and legal integration of human rights policies into the healthcare sector. She has taught classes and published numerous scholarly articles related to her research interests. Liudmila also holds an MBA from the University of Gloucestershire.