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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

Maliha Ahmed


I joined Minerva in 2019 after completing my MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation at the London School of Economics. Immediately before that, I obtained my BA in History also at the LSE.


My keen interest in education influenced my previous involvement in tutoring to educate, promote education and encourage widening participation.


Outside of work I like to read, go on long walks and visit with family and friends.



Chelsea Conyers


I joined Minerva in 2019 after obtaining an MPhil in Classical Archaeology from Exeter College, Oxford. My interest in the art and material culture of the ancient world also fuelled my undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh, where I received an MA (Scot) in Ancient History and Classical Archaeology in 2017.


Aside from my experiences on site at numerous archaeological excavations, I have also worked in public museums and commercial art galleries in America and South East Asia.


Outside of work, I can often still be found lurking in museums and galleries around London. I am a keen reader and an equally keen but frequently unsuccessful cook.



Chelsea Conyers

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.



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

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