Helen Megarry - Independent Adjudicator
Ben Elger - Chief Executive
Helen was appointed as Independent Adjudicator on 1 May 2023. She has overall responsibility for our case-handling and good practice work, including the Good Practice Framework, and for legal claims against the OIA including judicial review. She leads on our engagement with the wider ombuds sector through the Ombudsman Association and the European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education.
Helen was the Independent Adjudicator at the Adjudicator’s Office from 2016 to 2023, leading the team there. She was a Board Member of the Ombudsman Association for four years from May 2016. Helen previously worked for the Housing Ombudsman Service for 18 years in various casework and leadership roles, including as the Deputy Housing Ombudsman. She is a solicitor by profession and worked in private practice for several years before moving into complaint handling.
Ben was appointed as Chief Executive on 1 April 2018. He has overall responsibility for organisational planning, finance and people management. He has a key role in liaising with governments and led our work on the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 and the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022. Ben is a member of the UK Standing Committee and has previously been involved in groups relating to the Regulatory Partnership Group for Higher Education in England including the working group charged with "mapping the Higher Education system". He was also a member of the steering group for the Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP).
Ben joined the OIA as its first Chief Operating Officer in September 2008, combining the role with that of Company Secretary. Before that he spent 15 years working with students, for the last 10 years as Chief Executive of Reading University Students' Union, and before that at the Students' Unions at Winchester, King's College London and South Bank Universities and as National Secretary of NUS.