Staff profiles

Dan Blows

Communications Officer

Dan joined MillionPlus in January 2016. Dan is an experienced communications officer who graduated from Kingston University with a 1st class BA Hons degree and is responsible for the MillionPlus Press and Social Media strategy. Dan is the first point of call for any media enquiries or interview requests. Dan is also secretariat to the Health and Social Care Network.

020 3927 2916 M 07527 336 795

Jayne Hope

Head of Operations

Jayne joined MillionPlus in May 2010 having previously worked for Universities UK. Jayne’s responsibilities are to manage all cross-cutting operational matters including HR, finance, and IT services. Jayne oversees the Press and Communications strategy and membership services including communications, MillionPlus members’ meetings and events and is secretariat to the MillionPlus Executive Committee.

T 020 3927 2918

Vanessa O’Donnell

Head of Policy and Research

Vanessa joined MillionPlus in March 2024 from the schools charity West London Zone where she was Head of Public Affairs and Communications. Before that she worked at the Russell Group, specialising in quality and regulation, and later at the CBI, leading on innovation and research policy. Vanessa is responsible for the delivery of the MillionPlus policy and research strategy and will lead on several university academic staff networks, including: Research; Teaching and Learning; Health and Social Care; and Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

T 020 3927 2917

Robert Mirante 

Policy officer

Robert joined MillionPlus in February 2022 after having worked in professional services at a Greenwich University. Robert has previously worked for think tanks and policy organisations in the United States Congress, The British Embassy (USA), and the Houses of Parliament. Robert will be responsible for supporting the MillionPlus policy and research programme.

T 020 3927 2914

Nick Wright

Head of Public Affairs

Nick joined MillionPlus in August 2022. Nick has extensive parliamentary experience having worked as a political advisor and senior parliamentary researcher to the Labour Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Further Education and Skills and Shadow Secretary of State for Education with a primary focus on post-16 Education. Nick is responsible for the delivery of the MillionPlus Public Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement strategies including party conferences; and will lead on several of our academic staff networks - Deans of Education Network; Public Affairs Network, UKVI and International Trade.

T 020 3927 2915 M 07527 336 990   

Crystal Djagbo

Admin Assistant

Crystal joined MillionPlus in January 2024 having previously worked for Women’s Health Clinic and has a BA Hons in Youth Studies. Crystal will provide essential administrative support to the work of MillionPlus including our university senior staff networks. Crystal also provides diary support to the Chief Executive.

T 020 3927 29158