Steering Committee

The OUBEP Steering Committee comprises senior executives representing major global companies, as well as world-leading academic economists. This high-level, practice-oriented governing body ensures that the course programme always addresses rigorous academic content informed by current industry priorities.

John Downie


Accenture Management Consulting

John is a Senior Managing Director in Accenture's Resources (Oil & Gas, Chemicals, Metals, Mining and Utilities) business. He has held a variety of senior positions in the Resources Operating Group over the past 20+ years. 

He currently holds three senior roles within the Resources Operating Group: 1) John leads the Management Consulting practice for Resources globally; 2) He leads the Resources North America Oil and Gas practice; 3) He serves as the Global Client Account Lead for one of Accenture’s major Oil and Gas clients.

John has extensive experience of working with clients across the Resources and Oil and Gas industries in Europe, Asia and North America.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in applied science from Swinburne University in Melbourne and a Master of Business Administration from London Business School. He is married with two children. 

Eric Bischof

Committee Member


Eric Bischof studied chemistry at the RWTH Aachen in Germany and holds a Ph.D. in natural science. He has more than 25 years of experience in the chemical industry, including positions in manufacturing, product management, supply chain management and business process redesign. Eric participated in the OUBEP program in 2010. He has lived and worked in Europe, USA and in China.Today Eric Bischof serves as Vice President Corporate Sustainability at Covestro. He is married and has 3 children.


Daniele Ferrari

Committee Member

Versalis S.p.A.

David Gould

Committee Member

David Gould Consultants Ltd

After graduating from the University of Sussex, David Gould had an extensive career in the UK Ministry of Defence, with perods in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK Delegation to NATO) and the Cabinet Office (Deputy Head Overseas and Defence). From 2000 to 2008 he was Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer of the Defence Procurement Agency and then Defence Equipment and Support. He left in 2008 to set up his own consultancy company, and subsequently became Executive Chairman of Selex Sistemi Integrati UK Ltd. In 2012 he moved to Australia to be General Manager Submarines, successfully remediating the poor availability  of the RAN’s COLLINS class, and initiating the project for its replacement, now underway in collaboration with France’s DCNS. David returned to the UK in 2016.

Jenny Hayward

Committee Member

University of Oxford

Nigel Hobson

Committee Member

Shell International Petroleum Company Ltd

Nigel Hobson is currently Vice President Shell Global Operations for the Trading and Supply Business based in London.  This follows two recent assignments as VP Supply & Distribution for Europe and Africa based in London and with Shell’s Chemicals business as VP Global Operations & HSSE based in the Netherlands. 

Nigel joined Shell in 2005 as Consultancy Manager for the Downstream Management Consultancy which included prime responsibility for projects in Manufacturing, Supply & Distribution well suited to his diverse experience gained across many Downstream businesses. 

Following graduation as a Chemical Engineer from Exeter University previous leadership roles with ExxonMobil include Refinery Operations, Crude Oil Trading, Supply Operations and Commercial Sales. Nigel is a Fellow of The Institution of Chemical Engineers.

Andrew McLaughlin

Committee Member
RBS International

Paul O’Brien

Committee Member

Procter & Gamble

Paul has worked for Procter and Gamble for almost 30 years. Originally from Glasgow, he is a Geophysicist who spent 3 years researching ocean currents in the Antarctic as part of a PhD from Southampton University.  Most of Paul’s career is in manufacturing but he has spent time in HR, Logistics and Supply Chain planning.  He moved into Quality Assurance in 2013 and now has responsibility for the Global Fabric and Home Care Quality Assurance programme.  Paul joined P&G in London and has worked as a Plant Manager in Kuantan (Malaysia), Mechelen (Belgium) and Cairo (Egypt).  He is currently located in Geneva (Switzerland). Paul attended the OUBEP course in 2009 and was course Director in 2010.

John Pelton

Committee Member


Programme Strategy Director, Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme

John has been the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme Strategy Director since the beginning of May 2018.  Previously John led the Highways England Major Projects transformation programme, the Crossrail Programme Partner Joint Venture and Crossrail’s Innovate18 innovation programme, the HS2 Efficiency Challenge Programme.  Before joining CH2M/Jacobs John spent his first career leading complex programmes with the British military on operations around the world and in procurement.  John is also Chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers Municipal Expert Panel and is an Honorary Professor of project and construction management at UCL.

John attended OUBEP in 2008 and was the 2011 Course Director.


Nicholas Putnam

Committee Member

Independent Consultant

Andrew Smart

Committee Member

Accenture Management Consulting

Andrew Smart is the Global Industry Senior Managing Director for Energy and is based in Accenture’s London office. He is responsible for defining and driving Accenture’s global industry program for oil and gas. He has led large scale and strategic M&A and business transformation programs at many oil and gas clients, as well as helping address their strategic priorities and planning. Andrew holds a Philosophy degree from Durham University and a post graduate degree in Computer Science from Cambridge University. He is married with four children.

Margaret Stevens

Committee Member

University of Oxford

Margaret Stevens is a Professor of Economics at the Unversity of Oxford, a Senior Research Fellow of Lincoln College, and currently Head of the Economics Department. She has worked in Oxford since 1993, teaching microeconomics, labour economics, public economics and quantitative economics; from 2000 until 2016 she was the Tutorial Fellow in Economics at Lincoln College.  Her research interests are mainly in labour economics, particularly equilibrium search and matching models, and their application to vocational training and other labour market policy questions. Other areas of interest are education, health and welfare policy.  Margaret is involved in the CORE project, an international collaboration of university economists developing a new introductory economics curriculum for undergraduates.

Simon Watson

Committee Member

Royal Bank of Scotland

Managing Director, Personal Banking. Certified Bank Director and experienced corporate leader, Simon Watson was Course Director

Guy Wingate

Committee Member