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James Croft is CMRE’s Executive Director, and is responsible principally for the organisation’s forums and outreach in respect of government and parliamentary, sponsor, key stakeholder, and practitioner engagement. James has authored and co-authored a number of reports for the Centre and its partners, including 'Collaborative overreach: why collaboration probably isn't key to the next phase of school reform' (2015), 'School Vouchers for England: Harnessing choice and competition for greater quality and equality in education' (co-published with the Adam Smith Institute, 2013) and 'When Qualifications Fail: Reforming 14-19 assessment' (2012). Previously he was the author of 'Profit-making free schools', for the Adam Smith Institute (2011).

Tim Evans is Professor of Business and Political Economy at Middlesex University London. One of the UK’s ‘Top 100 most influential economists and financial experts’, he is also a Senior Fellow with the Adam Smith Institute and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society. Over the years, he has consulted with the global corporate affairs leaderships of many of the world’s largest companies including Pfizer, ExxonMobil, Microsoft and Merck Sharp and Dohme. A former President and Director General of the Centre for the New Europe in Brussels (2002-2005), between 1993 and 2002, he was the Executive Director of Public Affairs at the Independent Healthcare Association in London. In 1991, he was the Head of the Slovak Prime Minister’s Policy Unit in Bratislava. In the late 1980s, he was Assistant Director of the Foundation for Defence Studies. Tim has an M.Sc and PhD from the London School of Economics and in 2011 was awarded an MBA. He also holds a NATO sponsored Post-graduate Certificate in National Security from the Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany.

Andrew Williams was Parliamentary Manager for Cambridge Assessment the international exams group which owns and manages the University’s three exam boards: UK exam board OCR, Cambridge International Examinations and Cambridge English Language Assessment. Andrew's role was to ensure Cambridge Assessment's world class research informed policy-making and to help politicians identify trends likely to affect the future development of the education landscape. He was also responsible for ensuring Cambridge Assessment was recognised within the UK government as a major global exporter of qualifications and education services to over 170 countries. Before joining Cambridge Assessment in 2010 Andrew worked as a researcher and Special Advisor to the then Shadow Minister for Shipping and Aviation and prior to that worked across a variety of briefs inside Parliament including Work and Pensions, International Development and Trade.

Patrick Watson is Managing Director of Montrose Public Affairs Consultants Ltd, a company that has specialised, for the last 25 years, in monitoring analysis and research of education, skills and guidance policy for organisations in both the profit and not-for-profit sectors. Patrick also provides advice and support to organisations seeking to contribute to shaping the education policy landscape. Clients include organisations that run schools, in both the private and state sectors, school improvement services, assessment services , trade associations and school networks. Patrick frequently writes for education publications and runs the influential Montrose 42 blog on education policy and research issues.

Elin de Zoete is the Deputy Managing Director of Political Lobbying and Media Relations (PLMR), where she heads up the education team and sits on the company Board. With nearly ten years’ experience in political consultancy and PR for the sector, Elin has worked with some of the most innovative schools and education service providers in the country, supporting them with political engagement, profile raising and reputation management, and brings to the Board a detailed understanding of political and operational challenges schools face.

Company secretary

Chris Lenton chairs the Board and fulfils the duties of Company Secretary and Administrator for CMRE through his consultancy Lenton & Associates. Chris is a former Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (2008-13) and was previously COO and then CEO of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators. His career as a director has focused on strategic planning, marketing and corporate governance, with ethics and corporate social responsibility being guiding aspects of his business framework. Chris’s interest in education is reflected in his co-directorship of The Tutors’ Association, an organisation he has led through a period of rapid growth in membership. He is also a consultant at Wild Search executive recruitment consultancy, which specialises in appointments to the education sector, and was formerly chair of the London Academy of Professional Education (LAPRO).