Trustees

Olubunmi Adenegan

Bunmi Adenegan is a Law lecturer at Coventry University Group (CU-C) with a background in Law, Economics and Accountancy. He has over 23 years’ experience as a lawyer, specialising in Employment Law, EU Law and Commercial Law.

He served as a magistrate in Coventry from 2008-2020 on both the family and adult criminal benches, and is the recipient of a joint certificate of appreciation from the Mayor of Coventry and Warwick Council Mayor for his services to the magistracy.

He is a passionate advocate for quality education in schools, colleges and universities in the city. As well as working in higher education, he is also a member of the Independent Schools Appeal Panel in Coventry, and is keen to see more joint ventures within the education sector, focused on improving students’ employment prospects in the city. 

 

David Burbidge CBE DL

Chairman of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, David is also Chairman of Burbidge & Son Ltd, former Chairman of the Belgrade Theatre and served on the main Board of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is also Chairman of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and is a Deputy Lieutenant and former High Sheriff of the West Midlands. He was awarded a CBE for services to cultural philanthropy in the West Midlands – particularly Coventry and Warwickshire.

 

Baljit Dhadda

Baljit is Director of BD Search, a boutique executive search practice dedicated to connecting world-class executives with innovative, mission-driven organisations. Having previously held senior positions at other leading executive search businesses, her expertise is in leadership, talent strategy, governance, professional services, diversity and inclusion.

She is an experienced trustee, having previously served on the boards of Coventry Sports Trust, Coventry University and Coventry University Student’s Union. She holds a BA in History and Politics and an MA in Gender and International Development from the University of Warwick, as well as PhD from the University of London. She is passionate about promoting a democratic, sustainable, healthy and inclusive future for people and planet.

 

Sunny Dhillon

Sunny is a consultant at Arcadis UK, a leading global design and construction consultancy focused on the built environment. He has experience of working on large-scale projects for public and private clients, and is adept at using digital tools to achieve positive outcomes and drive efficiency across a range of scenarios.

Born and raised in Coventry, he is excited to be part of the redevelopment and regeneration of the city. He is keen to encourage tech-savvy innovators to use their talents in Coventry, helping to establish its legacy as a forward-thinking, dynamic and progressive city and ensure all Coventrians are able to benefit from this exciting period.

 

Monica Fogarty

Monica Fogarty is Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Council. With over twenty five years’ experience in local government, Monica has held a number of senior roles. Until 2016 she was Strategic Director for Communities leading the ‘place’ agenda for Warwickshire and prior to that she was Assistant Chief Executive for Warwickshire. Monica has also held a range of Head of Service posts including Policy; Performance and Change Management, having also worked for Coventry City Council. Particular areas of expertise are Economics, Strategic Infrastructure; Partnerships and Organisational Change. She has experience of managing most forms of council front line services. With London-Irish roots, Monica and her family live in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.

 

Ian Harrabin MBE

Ian has worked in most parts of the UK but has recently concentrated on projects in the Midlands and in particular Coventry, his city of birth. His company, CDP, was the development partner to Coventry council in delivering the city’s £60m Millennium project, The Phoenix Initiative. The project was shortlisted for The Sterling Prize in 2004. CDP then converted redundant power station buildings to the north of the city centre into 114 office and residential units. This project, now known as Electric Wharf, won an award for Outstanding Place of the Decade in West Midlands in 2010. Currently an ambitious long term partnership project to regenerate the historic Far Gosford St area as the city’s creative quarter is nearing completion.

 

Kuljinder Khaila

Kuljinder Singh Khaila is Chair of the Royal Television Society in the Midlands, which supports and celebrates the region’s screen sector across the region through awards, screenings, masterclasses and access to film and television decision-makers.

As an Executive Producer at the BBC Academy, his portfolio includes a range of projects aimed at directly engaging young people through sharing skills and opportunities, such as BBC Young Reporter and BBC STEM.

Prior to this, he worked as an Executive Producer for the BBC in television and live events, as an Editor at BBC Asian Network and in a development role for BBC Films. He has developed and delivered projects in comedy, music, arts, factual and entertainment.

He works closely with the BBC Creative Diversity Unit to help them connect with under-served audiences across the UK, and is currently an advisor on diversity for the National Film and Television School.

 

Professor Judith Mossman

Judith is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities at Coventry University. A scholar of the theatre of ancient Greece, Judith read Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, followed by lectureships at Oxford and Trinity College, Dublin. She is President of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies. She is a passionate advocate for the arts.

 

Kumar Muthalagappan OBE

An entrepreneur and chartered accountant, Kumar is currently CEO of Oncacare, a global oncology clinical research company, and brings a wealth of experience from a number of sectors including tourism, theatre and hospitality.

Kumar has served on numerous Boards including the Olympic Delivery Authority, Visit Britain, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Alexandra Palace, Advantage West Midlands and the Council of the University of Warwick, to name a few. Kumar is well-connected to the city and region and brings a strong business acumen as well as an appreciation of cultural organisations.

 

Dr Seyedeh Naseriniaki

Seyedeh is the founder of Chrysalis Craft Coventry, an organisation supporting migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to learn, make and share through craft projects. She is a human rights activist, a City of Sanctuary board member and in 2020 was selected to join Pru Poretta’s Godiva Sisters – a diverse group of women continuing the legacy of Lady Godiva as active members of the community.

She has worked with various national and international NGOs and charities, including Fairtrade and Médecins Sans Frontières, and was recently selected as one of NatWest’s Women of Inspiration: 100 Social Enterprise Leaders Showing Covid Who’s Boss.

She has a PhD in Architecture and Design from the University of Genoa, and has supported and volunteered with several local organisations, including Carriers of Hope, Health Watch, Voluntary Action Coventry, Foleshill Creates, Grapevine, CARAG, CRMC, Crisis, City of Sanctuary, St John’s Ambulance, MiFriendly Cities, ININI Initiative, the Independent Advice Centre and the Public Health Steering Group. Her voluntary work has included mentoring and supporting asylum seekers, teaching English, and planning and running dance, cultural and art and craft events.

 

Upinder Pokhriyal

Upinder currently works as Senior Area Branch Manager at the State Bank of India in Coventry, drawing on 25 years’ of experience in the banking sector and a Masters degree in Commerce. Brought up in India before moving to the UK in 2004, she is multilingual, speaking English, Hindi and Punjabi as well as understanding Urdu.

Whilst living in the UK, she has retained an interest in the culture, music and traditions of South Asia. She is keen to help the Coventry City of Culture Trust celebrate the city’s diverse cultures and bring communities together to celebrate a wide range of artistic talent.

 

Martin Reeves

Martin has been Chief Executive of Coventry City Council since April 2009. He was the Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority March 2016 to September 2017. He is a Governor on the Board at Coventry University; is the first Honorary President of LARIA (Local Authorities Research and Intelligence Association) and on the board of the Centre for Cities.

 

Alan Rivett

Alan is former Director of Warwick Arts Centre. Since being appointed in 2001 he successfully steered Warwick Arts Centre’s programme to a position where it regularly hosts high profile, contemporary, international theatre, music, visual arts and interdisciplinary events. He lead on a major £34m capital development of Warwick Arts Centre featuring new developments in facilities for the contemporary visual arts, digital production and exhibitions. He is also a member of the 2021 Executive Group responsible for overseeing the programme.

 

Professor Simon Swain FBA

Simon Swain is Vice-President National and Regional Engagement at the University of Warwick and Vice-President for Research and Higher Education Policy at the British Academy. In his Warwick role he works with the amazing colleagues at the trusts, charities, and governmental agencies and authorities who are building the City of Culture and ensuring its legacy in Coventry and our region. At the British Academy he is helping to defend the health and funding of our Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines. He is still active researching the interface between the worlds of ancient Greece and Rome and the Islamicate empire of the middle ages. His most recent book is on the 13th/7th century author Ibn Abi Usaybi‘ah’s Classes of Physicians.

 

Erica Whyman

Vice Chair of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, Erica became Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company in January 2013. She works closely with Artistic Director Gregory Doran on all aspects of artistic strategy, taking a particular lead on the development of new work. Erica led the team which reopened The Other Place in March 2016, a creative hub dedicated to daring theatrical exploration. Erica takes a lead on extending equality and diversity across all RSC activities and is passionate about participation in theatre-making. Erica is a theatre director with many years’ experience all over the UK.