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Our Team


Kerry Shepherd


I am an experienced search consultant. Before co-founding Minerva, I spent nine years at Heidrick and Struggles.  I have led searches to fill senior leadership positions for a wide range of organisations primarily in the Education, Global Development and Charity sectors.


I spent the first five years of my career as a Translator, first for a small agency in Bonn and then at Cartier International in Paris.


I completed a BA in Modern Languages at Selwyn College, Cambridge and an MA in Interpreting and Translating at the University of Bath. I also have an MBA from the Pennsylvania State University.


I spent nine years living and working in France, Germany and the US, and speak French and German.


Kerry Shepherd

Ben Tucker


I have nearly twenty years’ experience in search, focused on organisations with a social mission.  I worked for over seven years' with both Saxton Bampfylde and then Heidrick and Struggles, where I was Partner in the Education and Social Enterprise Practice, prior to co-founding Minerva. 


My experience includes advising on the appointments of Vice-Chancellors, Chief Executives, Chairs and Board Members and a broad range of other roles.


I studied Classics and English at Keble College, Oxford and then undertook an MSc in Organisational Behaviour at Birkbeck, University of London.  Outside of work I am leader of a garage rock band.


Ben Tucker

Natalie Chapman


I have a background in Human Resources, having worked for Coopers and Lybrand in both London and Moscow. More recently I have been a director of a small niche retail business in the marine sector. 


Outside of work I am a member of a community choir and a trustee for a local charity supporting young adults with learning disabilities.


I joined Minerva in 2014 as an Executive Assistant and Project Administrator.



Natalie Chapman

Efrat Danon


I joined Minerva in 2016. I have a background in recruitment, customer service and sales. I have an MA in Gender studies from UCL and a BA in Literature and Philosophy from Tel-Aviv University.


I am a native Hebrew speaker. Outside work I like to write and have published three fiction books in Israel.


Efrat Danon

Kellie Horner


I joined Minerva in 2014 from the Medical Research Council in Cambridge where I handled a large staff TUPE project.  


Over the last three years my role has expanded and, as well as providing project support on client searches and general diary management and PA support, I am responsible for running day to day operations including SAGE payroll, benefits and general HR activities including pension administration.


I am also an Associate Member of the CIPD, having successfully completed the level three foundation certificate in HR general practice.


Kellie Horner

Tom Cheater


Before joining Minerva, I worked at Milton Abbey School as a Resident House Tutor and Learning Development teacher. After graduating, I worked for 3 years as a location scout in and around London before becoming TEFL-qualified in 2017 and teaching English in Kyrgyzstan and South Korea.


I have a degree in Japanese from SOAS, University of London, stemming from a lifelong interest in languages. I’m also a keen photographer and cyclist and ideally spend my weekends doing a combination of the two.



Tom Cheater

Helen Higgins


I joined Minerva in 2018 after working in the commercial art and interiors world.


My undergraduate degree in Modern Languages from Churchill College, Cambridge allowed me to pursue my interests in art, literature and travel.


Fluent in French and Spanish, I also speak a little Portuguese and Italian. Outside of work I am a keen yoga practitioner and a dedicated cook.


Helen Higgins

Ellie Hopkins


I first worked for Saxton Bampflyde as a researcher, before my Dad persuaded me to join his start-up, a small mail order company. Over the next 10 years there, the company grew from 7 to 25 people, raised over £1million for different charities - and I learnt a lot, fast! As it was a small company, I was lucky to work in most parts of the business. But then I had my children – most important job yet – and moved to doing freelance research to fit around them. I was delighted to join the Minerva team properly in October 2020.


I have an MA in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh and am currently doing an MA in Early Childhood Education at Canterbury Christchurch University (just for fun!).


I sit on the Regional Governing Board of Veritas Multi Academy Trust, which runs 2 primary schools in Kent and volunteer with Kent Refugee Action Network and Re-engage (formerly Contact the Elderly). Outside work, you’ll find me playing with the kids, walking the dog, fighting the cat off the food waste bin or reading something nerdy.




Juhi James


I joined Minerva after completing my undergraduate degree in Classics from Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.


Before joining Minerva, my interest in education led me to tutor both in the UK and abroad. This experience in primary and English as a second language teaching has further grown into an interest in widening participation in Higher Education. 


Outside of work, I enjoy playing squash, running and reading.


Juhi James

Emma Jamison


I joined Minerva in 2018 after working for the BBC for 17 years as a reporter and newsreader. Prior to that I worked in commercial radio. I hold a BA Hons in Journalism.


Originally from Wales I now live in Cambridgeshire with my husband and two children. Outside of work I spend my weekends ferrying my children to various parties and sporting events, and supporting Wales during the Six Nations!



Emma Jamison

Carla Maloney


I joined Minerva after graduating from Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge with a degree in Human, Social and Political Sciences.


Prior to Minerva, I have been a CAMbassador for the University of Cambridge, where I worked alongside the Cambridge Admissions Office in running a range of outreach events. It was my enthusiasm for widening participation that fostered my interest in the Higher Education sector.


In my spare time, I enjoy yoga, cooking and playing pool with friends.



Lisa Miles


I joined Minerva after 16 years in the School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge, having previously worked in the finance sector.  My recent position was Recruitment Adviser in the Human Resources Division where I was responsible for the full recruitment life cycle for senior appointments both clinical and non-clinical.  I was also responsible for clinical pay and contracts of employment.  I have extensive experience of the Higher Education Sector, the NHS and Industry.


I have an honours degree from the Open University in Social Sciences which I studied for in my spare time and I am a Mental Health First Aider.


In my free time, I enjoy yoga, spending time with my family and walking my two lively Yorkshire Terriers.



Jo Ogilvy


My 16 year career has been spent in search, and prior to joining Minerva I led the schools practice at an executive search firm. Whilst my particular focus in recent years has been working with schools and other educational institutions, I also have a range of experience advising on other senior appointments across the public, not for profit and commercial sectors for clients whose work has had children and young people at its core.   


I have a degree in Classics from University of Oxford and have been a governor on the board of an academy and an independent school.


My garden, family and dog seem to take up most of my time outside work.


Jo Ogilvy

Alice Speers


I joined the Minerva team in 2021. After graduating from Bristol University, I spent some time in investment management before qualifying as an English teacher in 2009. The majority of my teaching career so far has been in the state sector where I became Head of English for a large secondary school.


Alongside my role at Minerva, I play a leading role in a co-ed boarding prep school, working closely with governors and staff on the strategic development of the school. My role is varied and has people at its core, in particular the recruitment and retention of staff and the implementation of our organisational culture. 


I hold a BA Hons degree from the University of Bristol and PGCE from the University of Roehampton.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time on the Dorset coast.