Our Advisory Board:


Our Advisory Board is made up of senior executives and academics from both corporate and public-sector background whose close connections help ensure we deliver excellence in professional development.

The members of the Advisory Board play a vital role in the Government Event’s strategic direction, offering independent guidance on the key issues in both the private and public-sector and helping create its relationships and development. The Board members’ particular areas of expertise mean that Government Events benefits from having spokespeople in a variety of fields – from business and academia to government and the voluntary sector.

With this group of experts to challenge and support us, we can be confident that our programmes remain relevant and that we can continue to grow as a prestigious and respected company delivering industry leading events at the forefront of Government policy.

Geoff Thompson MBE, Chair, University of East London, Founder of Youth Charter, Former World Champion Athlete

Former world champion athlete is a respected sports administrator and youth activist. ​Geoff Thompson MBE FRSA DL, a former world champion athlete and one of the country's most respected sports administrators and youth activists, succeeds Mark Stephens CBE, who is stepping down after eight years at the helm. Raised in Hackney, Mr Thompson has unique connections to east London and is a lifelong advocate of the role that education, sport and culture play in improving the lives of young people. During a distinguished sporting career, he was the world heavyweight karate champion and world team karate champion between 1982 and 1986 and won more than 50 national and international titles. Following his retirement from competitive sport, he established himself as an influential sports politician and administrator, taking on numerous public and private sector appointments with the aim of promoting equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels of society.​​ He is the Founder and Executive Chair of the Youth Charter, a UK-based international charity and United Nations Non-Governmental Organisation that uses the ethics of sport and artistic excellence to tackle the problems of educational non-attainment, health inequality, anti-social behaviour and crime in some of the UK's most troubled communities. His public and private sector appointments include chairing Sport England's Advisory Group on Racial Equality in Sport and serving as a member of its grant assessment panel. Among other appointments, he has been a director of the Sports Council Trust Company, a board member of the New Opportunities fund, an honorary fellow of the former Institute of Leisure, Amenities and Mangement, fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and independent assessor for the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. In 1995, Mr Thompson was appointed an MBE for his services to sport and last year he was included in the Top 100 BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Leaders in Business list, in association with the Sunday Times.

Derek Lilley, Founder of Est Est Est, Restaurant Bar and Grill, Piccolino and Fourth Hospitality

Derek, founded the Est Est Est, Restaurant Bar and Grill and Piccolino restaurant chains and a trade magazine for the sector before founding the software provider Fourth Hospitality. Derek opened his first restaurant, Chompers, in the Cheshire village of Parkgate in 1980. The first Est Est Est site opened in 1988. Est Est Est then sold to City Centre Restaurants – now The Restaurant Group – in 1993, then established The Individual Restaurant Company, which spawned the Piccolino and Restaurant Bar & Grill chains. IRC was sold to Steven Walker in 2004. Derek’s wealth of experience delivering first class service across restaurants and leading the largest restaurant software provider in the UK puts him in an ideal position to advise Government Events.

Sue Liburd MBE An Award-winning Business Leader, Human Capital Innovation Consultant and Business Mentor

Leveraging her diverse experience gained in the public and private sector, Sue creates positive impacts across a range of business genre for some of the world’s leading Corporations, UK Charities and Government departments. She has an impressive track record as a board level confidante, and non-executive director, helping senior decision makers to develop their strategic intuition and reshape their organisations for the future. Sue sparks fresh thinking, the envisioning of new possibilities and influences thinking at the highest levels. Following a career in the NHS, Armed Forces and a number of senior executive roles in well-known Corporations in the UK; Sue has delivered change and transformation services across continents, within global brands. These include: Inmarsat, IBM, BNP Paribas, Prudential, Sainsbury’s, British Red Cross, Ministry of Defence, Home Office, Olympic Delivery Authority and British Airways. She was recognised in New Year Honours 2016 with an MBE for her services to Business, Charity and Voluntary organisations. With a master’s degree in human resource management, advanced diploma in high performance coaching, postgraduate diploma in management, certifications in behavioural psychology and health & wellbeing. Sue seeks to have a profound influence on the way the world does business spearheading initiatives where diversity of thinking in the workplace is recognised as a driver for business success.

Peter George, Chairman, Ergomed plc, Former CEO Clinigen Group plc

Experienced CEO, Chairman and business Owner with a demonstrated history of working in public and private businesses and management consulting. Skilled in Business Planning, Pharma, Medical Devices, Oncology, Biotechnology, and Management. Strong entrepreneurship professional with a Executive MBA focused in Business Administration and Management from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management. Peter has a strong track record in growing successful international pharmaceutical and healthcare businesses. He is most renowned for his achievements as CEO of Clinigen Group plc, the FTSE AIM global pharmaceutical and services company, which he founded in 2010 and grew into close to a £1bn market cap company having acquired several businesses and expanded its international footprint. Peter now serves as Chairman of Ergomed plc, the AIM-listed provider of clinical research, drug development and safety services internationally. He is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at Oxford Science Innovations. Prior to Clinigen, he held a number of senior roles in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors including Chief Executive Officer of Penn Pharmaceutical Services. He co-created Unilabs Clinical Trials International in 1997, which was successfully sold to Icon plc in 2000.

Jennie Bowmer, Managing Director, Mitre Group Ltd

Jennie is an experienced managing director with a demonstrated history of working in the professional education and training industry. With particular specialisms in the sports, leisure and community education sectors, Jennie has a reputation for developing trusted partnerships and identifying innovative training and development solutions in both the public and private sectors. Clients and partners include some of the world’s largest sports clubs including Manchester City FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC, The League Managers Association; renowned charities such as The Princes Trust, Kick it Out and many football rugby and cricket Trusts and Foundations; Government Departments including the Education and Skills Funding Agency; and associated expert bodies such as the Sports Ground Safety Authority. In 2016, Jennie lead her business, Mitre Group, through a management buyout, and subsequently in 2018 into the Enigma Holdings Group Ltd, an investment company driving growth through energised and ambitious management teams within Health, Wellbeing, Sport and Learning. As an advocate of learning and with a passion for education, management and sports, Jennie has an Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Bath and MSc in Sports Science from Loughborough University.
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