Meet the committee

Our EDI Committee members will continually review, promote and report on ICMP’s plans and progress in the creation of an equal, diverse and inclusive environment across all our services. The team will also instigate, advise, develop and monitor our EDI policies.

Our EDI Committee is made up of students, staff members and a dedicated Student Officer. You can meet them here.

Paul Kirkham ICMP Chief Executive

Paul Kirkham (He/Him) • Chief Executive 
EDI is important to me because it implies and creates fairness; it removes disadvantage; and we gain so much more ourselves by widening our horizons and including in our professional and personal lives individuals who have different backgrounds, different experiences, different knowledge and different talents.  Before working at ICMP, I travelled the world for 15 years, living and working in many diverse countries such as Nicaragua, Bangladesh and Nigeria, and I came to understand that life is so much more than just our own narrow histories and opinions. The world is a very big and diverse place and we can grow so much as individuals if we embrace life in all its amazing manifestations. So I would like to bring to the EDI committee a sense of open-mindedness and curiosity about other cultures, other opinions and other ways of living and experiencing life.

Olivia Besly ICMP Head of HR

Olivia Besly (She/Her) • Head of HR
EDI  is important to me as I believe everyone should be able to reach their full potential. I have experience in making the necessary changes in practices to support underrepresented groups and I look forward to sharing these with committee members.

James Brister ICMP Industry Liaison Manager

James Brister (He/Him) • Industry Liaison Manager
I've always been taught to pursue ways in increasing my awareness of the people around me and to strive for a more fair, kinder and inclusive society. As the Husband to a Black Woman and father of two multiracial girls, that pursuit and awareness has become sharpened and magnified so if my being on the EDI Committee can continue the same sort of growth at ICMP, I'm proud to be part of it.

Steve Dunhill ICMP Marketing Manager

Steve Dunhill (He/Him) • Head of Marketing
Early in my career, I worked in social care in one of the poorest boroughs in London. In stark contrast to my own upbringing, I encountered many young people who were stigmatised and marginalised for a myriad of reasons, none of their own choosing. This work opened my eyes to the essential need for organisations, and individuals, to become critically self-aware to ensure barriers are removed, prejudices are challenged, and equality of opportunity is actively pursued. Placing EDI at the heart of all we do at ICMP will see our students and wider community collectively flourish and I look forward to assisting and contributing to the work the committee undertakes. 

Simon Phillips Disability Adviser

Simon Phillips (He/Him) • Disability Adviser
To me, the  EDI  agenda represents open-mindedness, interest in the differences between us all and acceptance that we all have different backgrounds and equally valid ways of perceiving/interacting with the world around us. I'd like to reinforce this attitude throughout ICMP (through the work of this committee) and bring my professional experience of working in disability support (and the wider world of EDI in general) for over 10 years.

Hannah Trott AP Manager

Hannah Trott (She/Her) • Access and Participation Manager
For me, EDI is about ensuring that everyone is empowered to fulfil their potential and access the opportunities they wish to pursue. I have experience supporting students from under-represented groups to understand and access opportunities in education and beyond. It's important that ICMP is an inclusive and open-minded community, where experiences can be shared and learned from.

Tony Harris Dean of Academic Studies

Tony Harris (He/Him) • Dean of Academic Studies 
I grew up in Birmingham where living and working in a diverse community is the norm. I've since spent my career in education settings where the core principles of social justice, tolerance, understanding and fairness are paramount. In my experience, the happiest, healthiest and most vibrant communities are ones where 'differences' are visible, valued and celebrated. ICMP is proud of the diversity of its community but needs to do more to promote this and to support those who are under-represented. The EDI Committee and its members are committed to ensuring ICMP plays its part in changing our society for the better. 


Jess Guyler (They/Them) • Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity Student Officer 
I feel passionate about equality, diversity and inclusivity as a proudly neurodiverse, queer, south-east Asian. I aim to help student voices be heard and to continue to make ICMP a comfortable environment for all. Feel free to say hi, email, or contact me on socials if you have any questions, want a chat or have any ideas on things you think could be improved with EDI at our uni!"


Gabe Khitarishvili-Awde (They/Them) • Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity Student Officer
I’m a first-year BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance student studying vocals. Being a part of a community is important and I’m devoted to making sure we are heard. My role as an EDI officer is so important and I will be devoted to being the best representative for your needs possible. Don’t feel afraid to approach me about issues you have surrounding EDI within our uni.


Sophie Daniels (She/her) • Head of Songwriting and Masters Songwriting Programme 
Like all women working in music, and music education for 25 years, I have a great deal of experience of inequality. It is everywhere in our industry, as an example, just 15% of professional songwriters in the UK identify as female. I am a Director of The F List, where we are working to address gender inequality in UK Music. The issues that influence and perpetuate gender equality are myriad and complex, but I believe that achieving equal representation will go a long way towards tackling these issues.

I feel equally passionate about the many other types of inequality we face, including; race, disability, neurodivergence, religious background and of course socio-economic background, and I do my best to get educated on these matters. When studying the issues of equality, increasingly it seems that intersectionality is at the heart of both the challenges and the solutions, and therefore, I believe it's counterproductive to fight for one individual area of equality in isolation.

I see it as part of my responsibility as a human being, but in particular as someone working in education, to work with the ICMP community to do all I can towards the goal of equality for future generations of musicians.