Commissioner and senior staff profiles

The Commission

 

Mick King
Michael King

Michael King
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman & Chair of the Commission

Michael King joined us in 2004 and served as Deputy Ombudsman, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer before becoming the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman in 2017. He has been responsible for introducing our public advice service and our groundbreaking jurisdiction for private sector adult care complaints.

He was previously the Chief Trading Standards Officer for Northumberland County Council, having spent fifteen years in consumer and public protection roles in the North East of England. He has, in addition, served as a voluntary trustee for Alnwick Citizen’s Advice Bureau, as an external examiner in forensic investigation and consumer law for Teesside University, and as an independent council member of a private sector ombudsman scheme.

Rob Behrens
Rob Behrens

 

Rob Behrens
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Ex Officio member

Rob Behrens is Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in the UK, Visiting Professor at UCL Institute of Education, Chair of the ENOHE, the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education, and Board Member of UCAS, the university admissions service. He was Independent Adjudicator and Chief Executive of OIAHE, the ombudsman service for higher education students in England and Wales, for two terms between 2008 and 2016. Rob was a member of the Bar Standards Board between 2012 and 2017 and Complaints Commissioner to the Bar Standards Board between 2006 and 2008.

Previously, Rob worked in higher education and then had a civil service career, including working on the South African transformation from apartheid, other international development, and three years as Secretary to the Committee on Standards in Public Life, the body giving independent advice on standards to the Prime Minister. Rob was educated at state school in Manchester, and at Nottingham and Exeter universities. He was made a CBE for ‘services to higher education’ in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List. Rob’s Being an Ombudsman in Higher Education – A Comparative Study was published by ENOHE in June 2017.

Deep Sagar head and shoulders
Deep Sagar

 

Deep Sagar
Advisory member of the Commission and Chair of the Audit & Risk Assurance Committee

Deep Sagar was a senior manager in private-sector businesses like Coca-Cola. His roles included being general manager and sales and marketing director. More recently he has been non-executive director in public-sector and related organisations.

He has chaired a local authority trading subsidiary and social care providers such as Turnstone Support.

Among his current roles he is chair of the governing body of South Eastern Regional College, a board member of Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) and member of the audit and risk committee at the Northern Ireland Executive Office.

Deep was appointed as Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee in January 2018.

Prof Stephen Perkins head and shoulders
Prof. Stephen Perkins

 

Professor Stephen J Perkins
Advisory member of the Commission and Chair of the Remuneration Committee

Stephen J. Perkins spent the first part of his career in industry, notably as a member of the ‘privatisation team’ in electricity generation, going on to work in an executive role for National Power PLC, a FTSE top 30 business. In that capacity, he supported business development through acquisition and greenfield investment across, Asia, southern Europe and the USA.

He spent a period leading a successful start-up business: the Strategic Remuneration Research Centre, in partnership with colleagues at City University, London, working with an array of blue chip organisations. Following doctoral research at Oxford University he transitioned into a full-time academic role, teaching at that ancient institution as well as modern universities offering business management education in the UK and Germany.

In keeping with his professorial chair, in the years 2011-14 he chaired the Corporate Governance Special Interest Group of the British Academy of Management and, until its disbanding in 2015, sat as a member of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Academic Advisory Council. He remains a CMI Subject Matter Expert.

Most recently, Professor Perkins served a four-year term as Dean of the Guildhall Faculty of Business and Law, London Metropolitan University, stepping down from that role in 2016.

Past experience also includes having served as a non-executive director on the board of a large NHS trust undergoing transformational change.

An international authority in the field, he is currently editor-in-chief for a major volume: the Routledge Companion to Reward Management, due for publication in 2018. He leads the CIPD Annual Reward Survey team, which investigates and reports on reward management practice across ‘UK plc’.

He sits as a Magistrate on the Central London Bench.

Carol Brady head and shoulders
Carol Brady

 

Carol Brady MBE
Advisory member of the Commission

Carol Brady has more than 20 years' experience working in the field of regulation and consumer protection and particularly in delivering consumer services. She began her career with trading standards and has worked in the former Department for Trade and Industry, to set up the Consumer Direct helpline in the UK.

Carol has also worked for the Office of Fair Trading and Local Better Regulation Office, being responsible for improving the performance of regulation and the relationship between regulators and business. Carol is also the Chair of the Board of the Trading Standards Institute.

Carol is a non-executive board member for the Ministry of Justice's Claims Management Regulation Unit and a Guardian of the Birmingham Assay Office.

Carol joined the Commission as an advisory member in July 2014.

Executive Team

Nigel Ellis
Nigel Ellis

 

Nigel Ellis
Chief Executive Officer

Nigel Ellis was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2017, after previously being our Director of Operations and Head of Investigation. Previously he was in charge of National Inspection and Assessment at the Care Quality Commission, leading 150 staff in specialist teams of inspectors, investigators and professional advisors. 

Before this he was Head of Investigations at the NHS regulator, the Healthcare Commission, leading high profile investigations into systemic failures including: high mortality rates at Mid Staffs NHS Trust, outbreaks of hospital infections at Maidstone and Stoke Mandeville, abuse of people with learning disabilities at Cornwall Partnership Trust, maternal deaths at Northwick Park Hospital, and the failure of services to Peter Connolly (‘Baby P’) in Haringey. Nigel has worked in different roles in the voluntary sector, including Director at the MS Society, parliamentary lobbyist, and consumer rights researcher.

Paul Conroy
Paul Conroy

 

Paul Conroy
Director of Intake & Assessment

Paul Conroy joined us in 2000 and previously served as an Investigator and Assistant Ombudsman before leading a significant transformation project as the Head of Assessment. He also led the piloting of the Government’s schools complaints service across fourteen local authority areas in 2010 – 2012.    

Previously Paul worked at the Legal Services Commission, as well as working as a Welfare Adviser and manager of several advice centres providing information and support to members of the public.

Jayne Spence
Jayne Spence

 

Jayne Spence
Head of Policy & Communications

Jayne Spence joined us in March 2017 to head up the policy and communications team. Prior to that she spent nearly ten years leading corporate communications in an executive agency of Defra, supporting operational delivery to over 100,000 customers and more than 2,000 staff. She played a pivotal role representing the Rural Payments Agency in Defra’s ambitious transformation project to create a single communications team for all members of the group. Jayne spent more than twenty years leading marketing and communications, in various roles, for the Royal Agricultural Society of England and Haymarket Events. Her focus included shows, exhibitions, outreach and the organisation’s venue near Coventry. Jayne is a member-nominated trustee for a pension fund.

Karen Sykes
Karen Sykes

 

Karen Sykes
Director of Investigation

Karen Sykes joined us in 2005 and served as an Assistant Ombudsman before becoming Director of Investigation in April 2017. Karen has been responsible for managing an investigation team through a period of significant change as well as work to enhance business efficiency, knowledge management and the impact of our casework. In her current role she is responsible for leading, managing and co-ordinating the Investigation function.

She was previously a Policy Manager at the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly with a focus on economy and skills, policy and scrutiny of the Regional Development Agency. Karen has also had a number of local government roles in Yorkshire and the North-East working in economic development, planning, transport, environmental services, social care and housing.

 

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