RSS election candidates for new Council members from 2023

The Royal Statistical Society will elect six new trustees to serve on its Council from 1 January 2023. A ballot of members will take place in September 2022 to elect the new trustees from a list of nominees drafted by Council.

The new trustees will fill the vacancies of current Council members who will retire, having served a four-year term, on 31 December 2022:

  • Mario Cortina Borja 
  • Claire Miller 
  • Tom Smith 
  • Deirdre Toher 

The Society will also fill two casual vacancies.

Council has nominated nine fellows to stand in the election for the six vacancies (the Society's regulations require that Council put forward at least two more nominations than the number of vacancies, to ensure that there is a choice about who is elected).

The nominees, in a randomised order, are:

Omar McCarthy
Omar is a Lean director for AstraZeneca Operations and global lead for Six Sigma across AstraZeneca Operations. He provides direction and structure for Lean across European, Middle Eastern & African regions and is the subject expert for Six Sigma and governance lead for a large network of Lean Sigma Master Black Belts, Black Belts and Green Belts within AstraZeneca global operations.

He is also a visiting lecturer for the Lean Processes module of the Industrial Pharmacy MSc at the University of Manchester and a committee member of the RSS Quality Improvement Section.

Omar became a professional statistician in 2001 following completion of an MSc in Statistics from the University of Sheffield and began a career in analytics, first working in the financial services industry. 

In 2004, he joined AstraZeneca UK operations as a statistician, gaining certification as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt in 2008 when he became the lead for statistics and Six Sigma for UK operations before progressing into a regional and global Lean and Six Sigma role in 2011. He has successfully developed and delivered strategies for Lean and Six Sigma growth and leveraging these tools and techniques across the organisation. 

Recent additional areas of focus include data driven decision making - increasing the use of data for efficient and effective decision making - driving improved learning and improvement from human performance events to achieve more successful business outcomes.

Maria Sudell
Maria is currently an MRC skills development fellow and lecturer in health data science at the University of Liverpool. She completed a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics at Lancaster University, before securing a NIHR research methods training fellowship (involving a Statistics MSc at Lancaster, with subsequent research assistant post at Liverpool). She achieved a Biostatistics PhD at Liverpool in 2018, specialising in developing methods and software for joint modelling of multi-study longitudinal and time-to-event data. Maria has pursued this research interest through various research collaborations, involving network meta-analysis, efficient computing approaches, and applications to cardiovascular data.

In July 2020, Maria was appointed deputy director of the MSc in Health Data Science. Established in 2021, this programme trains health data scientists to conduct efficient, quality research to improve healthcare provision. Maria is involved in development of course content, coordinating teaching delivery, and organising and delivering sessions to prepare students for their future careers.

A fellow of the RSS since 2015, Maria was elected to the Young Statisticians Section as a committee member and later meetings secretary. During this time, she engaged with early career professionals in the RSS, through organisation and delivery of a range of events and sessions both at conference and throughout the year. She also became heavily involved with the RSS Merseyside local group as secretary and later chair. Maria stepped away from RSS roles for a short period due to maternity leave, but is now keen to re-engage with delivering the RSS strategic plan.

Emily Granger
Emily is a research fellow at the Department of Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is conducting research on statistical methods for the analysis of longitudinal data, with applications in cystic fibrosis. She has a MSci in Mathematics and Statistics from Lancaster University, and completed a NIHR Research Methods Fellowship at the University of Manchester where she also completed her PhD in Medical Statistics. Her research interests include the analysis of registry data, causal inference methodology, and methods for dealing with missing data.

Emily is actively involved in the RSS and currently serves on the committee for Young Statisticians Section. During her time with the Young Statisticians Section, Emily has sat on the RSS Conference Board and volunteered as secretary, vice chair and chair. Emily is passionate about bringing together and supporting early-career statisticians and data scientists. This is illustrated by her leading the organisation of the pre-conference day for early-career statisticians at RSS conference 2021 and currently, the Young Statisticians Meeting 2022.

Theodore Kypraios
Theo is a professor of statistics and the head of the statistics and probability section in the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Nottingham. His research is concerned with developing new computational statistical methodology for Bayesian inference and model selection for high-dimensional complex data. The area he has mostly worked on and made most contributions to, is in infectious disease modelling. The body of his work includes: i) developing methods (Markov Chain Monte Carlo, Approximation Bayesian Computation, Sequential Monte Carlo) for analysing data of various kinds, ii) utilising these methods to make impact in the modelling of infectious disease outbreaks addressing a wide range of questions of clinical importance, including Foot and Mouth disease, Avian Influenza, and healthcare associated infections.

Theo has been very actively involved with RSS for a long time. In 2014, he took the initiative to revive the RSS East Midlands Local Group which had been in a dormant state for several years. Under his leadership, the group had been put back onto the map by the organisation of 14 very well-attended events over four years. He has also served the Statistical Computing Section both as a committee member (2014-2018, 2021) and as chair (2018-2020) when the name changed to Computational Statistics and Machine Learning Section to strengthen the synergies between both domains a by encouraging and facilitating communication between them. Theo is currently a member of the Academic Affairs Advisory Group.

Benjamin Guedj
Benjamin is a statistician based in London. He is a senior lecturer at University College London (Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Department of Computer Science), a tenured research scientist at Inria (the top French research institute in mathematics and computer science), and a Turing Fellow with The Alan Turing Institute. Since September 2020, he is the founder and scientific director of Inria London, a joint lab between France and the UK.

Benjamin conducts research in theoretical machine learning. He holds a PhD (2013) in mathematics and statistics from Sorbonne Université (Paris, France) and focuses on statistical learning theory, PAC-Bayes, computational statistics, generalisation for deep learning, among other topics. He has contributed over 50 research articles in statistics and machine learning. He has been the recipient of several competitive grants in Europe and France, is involved in programme committees of most of the machine learning venues and has received several awards including three consecutive best reviewer awards for NeurIPS. He is leading the first Inria research team in the UK, and is a member of the ELLIS society and a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (member of the CSML Section).

Benjamin is a young leader of the Franco-British Council, and a Knight of the Order of the Academic Palms of the French Republic. He has served as deputy secretary, elected member of the board, and founder and president of two Committees of the French Statistical Society, and is committed to the Franco-British scientific cooperation and friendship. More details:

Donald Simeon
Donald is professor of biostatistics and public health research at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, and director of the Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. He has provided leadership in biostatistics in the Caribbean over the last two decades.

A long-standing fellow of the RSS, Donald has been a Chartered Statistician since 2000. Over the last few years, he became increasingly more involved in the RSS and has been an active member of the Data Ethics and Governance Section. He is also a member of the Centre for Applied Data Ethics Advisory Committee at the UK Statistics Authority.

Donald has taught biostatistics at the undergraduate and graduate levels and has considerable expertise and experience in research methodology. Indeed, for most of his career, his passion has been on building capacity of junior health researchers. Over the last few years, his area of statistical interest has been data ethics. He is a founding member of the Bioethics Society of the English-speaking Caribbean and served on its executive since 2006. He is also the chair or member of Research Ethics Committees in Trinidad and Tobago and The Bahamas.

Donald has had previous experience serving on similar Boards such as the Council on Health Research for Development and the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS and is therefore well prepared to serve on the RSS Council.

Altea Lorenzo-Arribas
Altea is a socio-economic statistician at BioSS where her consultancy work focuses on topics connecting people and the environment. She holds a PhD in Statistics from the University of Southampton, an MSc in Operational Research from the University of Strathclyde and a BSc in Statistics from the University of Salamanca (Spain).

Altea is an elected committee member of the RSS History of Statistics Section since 2021. Last year she was welcomed onto the board for the Aberdeen RSS conference group in recognition of voluntary contributions to the RSS International Conference since 2018. More recently, she joined the Caucus for Women in Statistics organising committee for the forthcoming 1st Annual International Day of Women in Statistics and Data Science, and is a guest-editor for an upcoming Significance special issue on Women in Statistics and Data Science. Altea judged the Significance Early Career Writing Competition between 2018 and 2020 and was part of the Nightingale2020 planning. She has served in the Highlands Local Group committee since 2016 and co-organises the biennial Young Researchers using Statistics symposia convened to increase the participation of early career quantitative researchers in NE Scotland. As a member of the committee of the Young Statisticians Section between 2018 and 2020 she co-organised successful events, notably the 2019 Women in Statistics Day. In her contributions to the Society, Altea is proud to be playing a part in increasing the visibility of underrepresented minorities in statistics and in boosting interactions with researchers and fellows worldwide through Twitter.

Sarah Nevitt
Sarah is a senior research associate in health data science at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests involve statistical methods for complex evidence synthesis, health technology assessment and clinical trials.

Sarah has been an active fellow of the RSS since 2012 and has held a number of roles within the RSS. She has been a committee member of the Medical Section since 2019 and has contributed to organising scientific meetings and to the Section's social media. Sarah previously spent four years as a committee member of the Young Statisticians Section (YSS) from 2015 to 2019 and two years as YSS chair from 2017 to 2018. She is also a regular attendee and contributor to RSS International Conference, serving on the Conference Board from 2015 to 2017, organising and chairing invited medical, data science, professional development, communicating statistics and networking events (including the infamous YSS pub quiz) at RSS conferences from 2015 to 2021 and contributing to RSS conference filming and social media as a volunteer steward from 2015 to 2019.

Sarah is passionate about best practice in the use of and communication of statistics and statistical methods, particularly within a medical or healthcare setting. To promote best practice, Sarah serves as a statistical editor / advisor for four medical journals and has been a STEM ambassador since 2015, promoting mathematical and statistical literacy among school pupils and students of a range of ages at science fairs and careers events via hands-on activities.

Phillippa Spencer
Phillippa has worked at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) for 20 years and is currently the chief of mathematical sciences in the Cyber and Information Systems division. Phillippa has applied mathematical and statistical thinking across a wide range of technical domains including cyber, artificial intelligence, data fusion, chemistry and biology.

Phillippa also actively promotes equality in the workplace leading the Dstl Gender Equality Network and mentoring colleagues.

Phillippa has had a positive impact on national and international issues. DfID used her statistical modelling of likely Ebola infections among healthcare workers in Sierra Leone to determine aid spend and was a key subject matter expert in bringing the F-35 fighter into service.

Phillippa supported the recovery of Salisbury and Amesbury applying modelling to determine whether locations and vehicles were safe to use. Phillippa also leads on Autonomy and AI vulnerabilities research, ensuring the UK and international allies understand the risks and countermeasures when deploying this new technology.
Recently Phillippa led on the Covid data response to the pandemic and received an OBE as a result. Phillippa is passionate about championing new ideas and approaches and always believes that it is the team work ethic and inclusivity in the team that makes the science work, not one person alone.


As per the regulations, any four Fellows may, with the consent in writing of the nominee, nominate an eligible Fellow to be considered as a candidate for a Council vacancy. To nominate a candidate, or if you have any questions, please get in touch with Jo Fishwell, the Society’s Governance and Committees officer

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