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Speaker Biographies

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the GCS Summit 2023

Marie Artim

Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition at Enterprise Holdings

Marie Artim is the Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition for Enterprise Holdings. She is responsible for strategies and initiatives around talent sourcing and selection and under her leadership, Enterprise has been recognized with top honors for their Campus Recruiting Program, Careers Website, Diversity Recruitment and Candidate Experience.

Marie is an alumna of Purdue University and began her career in the company’s nationally recognized Management Training Program soon after. Over the next several years she worked her way up through the business, and was named Vice President, Talent Acquisition in 2010.

Marie recently served as President of both the Board of Directors for the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and Food Outreach, a St Louis Based non-profit.

Bob Athwal

Culture & Belonging Director at Skyscanner

Bob has a unique background and perspective as he has been an employer, a vendor and a University senior leader. He is a regular International conference speaker specialising in Early Careers, Social Mobility and Racial Equity, Student Experience and Student Outcomes.

He has been the recipient of several industry awards relating to graduate recruitment and development as well as careers preparation within universities.

As well as being the co-founder of the Global Career Services Summit, Bob is also the co-founder of the 1 Hour Project, an initiative designed to level the playing field based upon his PhD to help advance social mobility amongst graduates.

Dan Black

Global Leader, Talent Attraction & Acquisition at EY

Dan Black is a Recruiting Leader with over 20 years of experience in the field. He is passionate about building a better working world by providing opportunities to the best and brightest talent and leveraging their considerable skills. Dan is an accountant with experience serving clients, accomplished public speaker, and established industry resource cited regularly in major media outlets. He is interested in opportunities that will help connect people with their passions.

Specialties: Strategy, development and oversight of major talent acquisition and management functions in large organizations.

Dawn Carter

Director, Global Talent Acquisition (Talent Coordination & University Programs) at Uber

Salma de Graaff

VP/CHRO at Skyscanner

Salma de Graaff is the VP/CHRO at Skyscanner, the most trusted flight meta search engines in the world. She leads a team covering Talent Acquisition, Reward, HR Ops, Business Partnering and Leadership and Learning in all their operating countries globally.

Salma is an internationally experienced HR Leader from a commercial background, with Tech Start-up and growth market experience. Specializations in designing and implementing Reward, L&D and Performance Management processes. Senior HR experience in UK, Netherlands, Ethiopia, Suriname and broader AME region, with Board responsibilities.

Academic background includes a Masters in HR and chartered member of the Institute of Personnel Development (MCIPD).

Harminder Dhillon

Global Graduate Recruitment and Development Manager, Global Banking and Markets at HSBC Bank

Nicky Garcea

Co-founder and Chief Customer Officer at Cappfinity

Nicky Garcea is a Co-founder and Chief Customer Officer at Cappfinity. She is an accredited industrial psychologist. Nicky works with Cappfinity clients globally and heads up the Americas. Nicky has over 20 years’ experience working with global clients. She is a pioneer in recruiting and developing for strengths and the recruitment and promotion of underrepresented talent. Nicky is a regular keynote speaker on candidate experience and immersive recruitment technology.

Michael Harbaugh

Director of Education Partnerships at Handshake UK

Michael Harbaugh is currently the Director of Education Partnerships at Handshake UK, leading their efforts to expand the network of higher education partners in Europe. As an early team member at Handshake, he has helped the company innovate and grow their broad network to where it is today, and he has led the expansion in the UK and EU for the last two years.

Michael has had a varied career working on different social justice projects in the education world. He began his career as a mathematics teacher in the Teach For America program, and subsequently worked in the public policy and non-profit sectors with organisations like Urban Leaders Fellowship and College Track. He approaches his role at Handshake as an opportunity to build a network with our university partners that can have the greatest positive impact on equity of access to outcomes for all students.

Ashley Hever

Assistant Vice President/Director, Talent Acquisition – Europe at Enterprise Holdings

As European Talent Acquisition Director, Ashley Hever is responsible for attracting and recruiting into the business. After graduating from The University of Hull, in 2001, Ashley joined the business as a Management Trainee and has held roles in operations, management and human resources.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has been nationally recognised for its work with universities to promote employability and social mobility.  For the past five years the company has been a top Employer for Social Mobility in the Employer Index and a Stonewall Top 100 employer. Enterprise has also been recognised by The Times as a Top 50 Employer for Women since 2005.

Ashley sponsors and chairs the Enterprise LGBT+ network Enterpride.

Richard Irwin

Global Talent Acquisition Lead – Future Talent and Programmes at Haleon

Richard has over 20 years experience in the scoping, design, development and delivery of business led recruitment solutions, operating models and transformation. He is skilled in aligning Talent Acquisition strategies with organizational goals for talent, diversity and cost optimization. Experienced in coaching and motivating high performing teams in complex matrix environments.

Stephen Isherwood

Chief Executive at The Institute of Student Employers (ISE)

Stephen was appointed Chief Executive of the ISE in June 2013. Prior to joining the ISE, he was Head of Graduate Recruitment UK & Ireland at EY. Stephen has extensive experience in the recruitment and development of students, both graduates and school leavers. In addition to his current role, Stephen sits on several steering groups related to higher education and is a trustee of Ashorne Hill Management College. In 2019 he was appointed as a special advisor to Dame Shirley Pearce’s TEF review. He has presented to various committees in the Houses of Parliament and often appears in national and local media.

Beau Leese

Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Practera

As Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Practera, Beau leads an edtech company creating opportunity through experiential learning. Practera is a platform enabling educators in Australia and around the world to deliver experiential learning programs that help develop students’ real-world skills for the jobs of tomorrow. Prior to joining Practera full-time, Beau was Head of Strategy, Innovation and International for CSIRO, Australia’s national R&D agency, and Co-Founder of CSIRO’s deep tech start-up accelerator CSIRO ‘ON’. Beau was formerly Australian Lead Director for Higher Education with Deloitte Consulting. Beau has co-founded two other technology start-ups and worked in international marketing and program development for an Australian university. He holds a Bachelor of Laws, Master of Marketing, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mark Mitchell

Chief Education Partnership Officer at GTI

Chief Education Partnership Officer at GTI. Working at the intersection of education, enterprise and employability since 2009. This involves engaging with Higher Education and Further Education providers across Ireland and UK; their learners and graduates; and employers and other stakeholders to deliver successful graduate outcomes at scale via GTIs CareerTech platform, targetconnect.

My approach is collaborative, leading cross-functional teams and multiple stakeholders to a shared objective. Core areas of interest include skills development, personalised content, UX/UI, work integrated learning and business opportunity development.

Strategic and empathetic leader. Proud to positively impact millions of learners and support thousands of employers by connecting talent.

Previously Group Product Director; and Managing Director, gradireland.

Tiffany Noeske

Sr. Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Talent Acquisition Corporate Human Resources at Abbott

Tiffany Noeske is senior manager of strategic initiatives within Abbott’s global talent acquisition group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She drives diversity recruitment, early career and employer branding strategies and execution to support Abbott’s growth in alignment with its 2030 sustainability plan. Based in Wiesbaden, Germany, Tiffany is entering her fifth year with Abbott and has over 15 years of experience managing complex stakeholder projects and behavior change programs in emerging markets. She holds two post-graduate degrees and is a Fulbright scholar, specialized in cultures of Southeast Asia, holding a MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and the National University of Singapore.

Cath Possamai

Talent Acquisition Director – EMEA – Stores at Amazon

Cath Possamai is a leader focussed on unlocking the best within her teams, thriving particularly in complex partnering environments. She believes absolutely that collaboration, empowerment and openness are fundamental to success.

Cath’s strengths lie in initiating, driving and managing change; the leadership of large diverse teams; recruitment and talent strategy; business process design; senior stakeholder partnering; reputation management and business development.

She has a particular specialism in Resourcing and Talent and experience across multiple sectors (IT, Telecomms, Financial Services, Outsourcing and Defence) both as solution provider and inhouse practitioner.

Among her many accolades, Cath is recognised as one of Recruiter Magazine’s ’11 Most Influential Resourcing Leaders’ in 2014, 2016 and 2021 and was named in the ‘Timewise Power 50’ in 2019 which recognised the UK’s top flexible workers.

Bryan Quick

Director, Talent Acquisition and Global Head of University Relations at Abbott

Bryan is the head of University Relations at Abbott responsible for a global team accountable for the design and delivery of the enterprise strategy attracting and recruiting next generation talent.

Bryan started his career with Abbott leading operations recruitment and has taken on several projects in this space with a global impact including the design and implementation of Abbott’s Campus Ambassador Program and redesign of the operations pipeline strategy for campus recruitment. Most recently, Bryan assumed the leadership role managing programs supporting the entire globe. This included the management and oversight of all recruitment strategies, building and strengthening internship recruiting partnerships with the business, managing intern engagement, and leading a best in class University Relations team.

Prior to Abbott, he was Director of Learning and Development at Lincoln Park Zoo where he reimagined the training and onboarding programs for the entire zoo. Bryan also worked for Disney for 16 years where he managed education operations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He also provided leadership for recruitment efforts for Disney’s college intern program which is one of the largest corporate internship programs in the world.

Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Francis Marion University and has a 20+ year track record of leadership in the Talent Acquisition space. Bryan has also held several positions for the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). He has chaired the Leadership Advancement Program for NACE and sits on an Employer Advisory Committee.

Matt Small

President & CEO at Symplicity

With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, Matt is deeply committed to partnering with the global higher education community to redefine student and institutional success by leveraging Symplicity’s smart, innovative technology. Previously, Matt held numerous leadership positions at Blackboard, including General Counsel, Chief Business Officer, and President, International. Since becoming President & CEO of Symplicity, he has led the company to continue to expand globally with products and acquisitions in Latin America, Canada, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East, most recently acquiring Orbis Communications in 2021.

Matt has a deep understanding of the EdTech market and an appreciation for how important the issue of employability has become domestically and abroad, along with the role technology can have to address the challenge. Matt frequently is asked to provide his expertise on bridging the skills gap and addressing employment strategies of universities and employers, having written pieces for Forbes and the much-read Workshift newsletter, focused on early career readiness.

Professor Wendy Thomson CBE

Vice-Chancellor of the University of London

Professor Wendy Thomson CBE took up the role of Vice-Chancellor of the University of London in 2019, following a distinguished career in government and higher education.

She has held roles as the UK Prime Minister’s Chief Advisor on Public Service Reform, as Director of Best Value Inspections at the Audit Commission, CEO of the London Borough of Newham and as MD of Norfolk County Council.

At McGill University, she was Director of the School of Social Work and Professor of Social Policy. Wendy has served on various government commissions and boards of directors.

She is a member of the Board of Universities UK, London Higher, Diabetes UK and The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). She also is chair of the Social Market Foundation.