Trustee profiles

RREF is run by an experienced Board of Trustees consisting of both senior industry figures (Reading graduates) and senior academics and management from the University.

Chairman - Professor Gavin BrooksGavin_Brooks

Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Reading

Professor Brooks graduated with a first class honours degree in Pharmacy (1984) and obtained a PhD in the areas of organic chemistry and pharmacology (1988) from the School of Pharmac, University of London.

He served as a founding Head of the Reading School of Pharmacy (2004-2008) and was appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) in 2012. Joining RREF as a trustee in 2012. 

Company Secretary - Samantha Foley

Chief Financial Officer, University of Reading

Samantha Foley has a BA Joint Honours Degree in English Literature and American Studies and she is a CIPFA Chartered Accountant. Samantha was previously the Director of the Government Finance Academy, where she was responsible for the creation and leadership of a new Academy providing high quality learning and development to circa 14,000 finance professionals. Prior to that, she was the Finance, Commercial and Policy Director for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

As Chief Financial Officer at Reading, Samantha has responsibility for managing the University's finances, investments and business support, together with the provision of other services such as procurement. She is also be a key member of the University Executive Board.

Cathy Hughes 

Head of School Real Estate & Planning, University of Reading

Cathy joined the School of Real Estate and Plannings research team in 2002 from the Valuation Office Agency and took up a position as lecturer in valuation and management in 2007. Cathy was appointed as Head of School and as a RREF Trustee in September 2015.

Sue Clayton (BSc Estate Management, 1979)Sue Clayton

Executive Director Capital Markets, CBRE

Sue Clayton joined Richard Ellis after graduating and worked in Valuation and Fund Management before moving to the Investment Agency in 1987. She was the first female to be promoted to Equity Partner in 1993 and was appointed Head of National Investment in 1996. Sue was then appointed Managing Director, Capital Markets when Insignia Richard Ellis merged with CB Hillier Parker in 2003 and sat on the CB Richard Ellis UK Executive Board until 2007.

Sue is now Executive Director, Capital Markets. She chairs the RREF Development Committee and has been a RREF Pioneer since January 2010.

Professor Ginny Gibson (MSc Urban Land Appraisal, 1981)

Ginny GibsonDeputy Dean, Henley Business School

Professor Ginny Gibson was appointed Deputy Dean of Henley Business School in October 2010 and was previously Head of the School of Real Estate & Planning.
Ginny's research is in the field of corporate real estate and she is recognised as one of the leading academics in the area. Since joining Reading in the mid-1980s, she has been involved in numerous research projects funded by professional bodies (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), government departments (Office of Government Commerce), and a range of private sector organisations (BT, Barclays, Boots, MWB, JCI).

Ginny also has a keen interest in learning and teaching in Higher Education and was the Director of Teaching and Learning for the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences (2002-2008). Ginny returned to the Business School to head the School of Real Estate & Planning and to co-ordinate the move into a new £20million business school building.

Ginny is a member of the RREF Management Group and sits on the Advisory Board. She has been a RREF Pioneer since January 2011.

Bryan Laxton (BSc Land Management, 1981)

Bryan LaxtonNon-executive Director

Bryan Laxton was the CEO of Cushman & Wakefield's UK operations which extend to 760 employees in seven offices until his retirement in 2015. Bryan joined the firm in 1981, was appointed a salaried partner in 1989, an equity partner in 1997, a member of the UK management board in 2003 and an EMEA board member in 2006. He is a member of the RICS and authorised by the Financial Services Authority.


Bryan was Chairman of RREF from 2007 to 2009 and currently chairs the Advisory Board. He was fundamental to the mentoring programme initiative, drawing together a project board to launch the scheme in 2008. Bryan has been a RREF Pioneer since November 2010.

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