The World 100 Network Committee

Andrea Farquhar (Chair)

Assistant Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs
McMaster University, Canada

Andrea leads a team at McMaster that is responsible for strategic reputational management, marketing and media relations, digital media communications, fundraising communications and the alumni magazine, government and community relations, and internal communications.  McMaster is a research-intensive institution with 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students.  The University is internationally respected for founding evidence-based medicine and creating problem-based learning, which has been adopted at universities around the world.

Andrea has been at McMaster for the past 20 years but her first career was in media.  After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in English and history, she became a radio news reporter.  When she finished her eight-year radio career, she was reading the news on CFRB, Canada’s most listened to news station.

Tania Rhodes-Taylor

Vice Principal, External Relations
The University of Sydney

Tania Rhodes-Taylor joined The University of Sydney in February 2017 as Vice Principal, External Relations. Tania leads the work to improve coordination of the University's external engagement activities and in developing ways of ensuring that staff and students can easily and effectively move between the University and its external partners.

Prior to joining The University of Sydney, Tania was Director of Marketing and Communications at Queen Mary University of London where she had overall responsibility for external relations and reputation development including international partnerships, marketing, communications and student recruitment. 

Tania has previously worked in the corporate and government sectors and began her career with Unisys, including a period working in Asia, before moving to work for government agencies and, since 2007, within the higher education sector.

Alan Ferns

Associate Vice-President for External Relations and Reputation
The University of Manchester, UK

Alan Ferns is responsible for providing co-ordination, leadership and strategic direction for a wide range of external relations and reputation building activities and functions. The University of Manchester is the UK’s biggest and most popular university.

Prior to taking up his current role in January 2017, Alan was Director of Communications and Marketing at The University of Manchester where he managed the award-winning central communications and marketing team.  He also provided the strategy and leadership for a wider community of communications and marketing professionals across the University responsible for delivering communications and engagement activity for 40,000 students, 11,000 staff and 350,000 alumni.


Eilis O'Brien

Director of Communication and Marketing
University College Dublin, Ireland

Eilis joined UCD in 2004.  Since her appointment she has been responsible for the development of a coherent external image and identity for the university.  She created and led the UCD Horizons campaign to explain and promote the introduction of modularisation at undergraduate level.  She leads the media relations strategy that helps spread information regarding academic expertise and achievement to a broad audience in Ireland and internationally.  She manages the external communications messaging through mass-media channels including web.

Prior to joining UCD, Eilis spent three years in Dublin City University where she established the office of communications and marketing.  Prior to that, she was Director of Communications, Education and Training during the start-up phase of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.  Eilis was public relations manager with Bank of Ireland for eight years and with Bord Gáis Éireann for five years. 

In addition to her industry experience, Eilis worked in consultancy where she specialised in strategic communications in the health and environment sectors. 

Eilis O’Brien graduated from UCD in 1983 with a BA (Hons) in Political Economy & Geography.  She was awarded an MBA from UCD in 1991.

Ovidia Lim-Rajaram

Chief Communications Officer
National University of Singapore
Ovidia oversees institutional communications at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Her remit includes reputation management, strategic communications, branding and marketing communications, digital communications, special events and protocol, issues management as well as crisis communications for a diverse community comprising 17 schools and 27 university-level research institutes across three campuses. She is the press secretary to the university president, and university spokesperson. In her earlier life, Ovidia was a newspaper reporter, broadcast journalist, and a media studies lecturer. She graduated from NUS in political science and history, and holds an MA in International Communication from Macquarie University.

Kirsti Lehmusto

Director of Communications and Community Relations
University of Helsinki, Finland

Kirsti's responsibilities include external and internal communication, marketing and digital communication, media relations, university magazines and community relations, comprising partnerships, political relations, alumni activity and fund raising. Her strengths lie in brand building and international marketing. She is a board member of the Finnish Kone Foundation’s Saari RES, which promotes Finnish academic research, arts and culture, and a member of the administrative board of Vanhan kirjallisuuden päivät, The Days of Vintage Literature.

Siobhan Forbes

Executive Director Marketing and Communications
University of Melbourne, Australia

Siobhan Forbes joined the University of Melbourne in July 2017.

Siobhan has experience in the public and commercial sectors, mostly recently within financial services at National Australia Bank. She has also worked with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Employment, Education and Training, Telstra, Michelin, Transport Accident Commission, Australia Post and Transurban, among others. She has held non-Executive positions with the Australasian Shared Services Association, the Breast Cancer Institute and St Brigid's. Siobhan is also co-founder of a company specialising in measurement and development of social intelligence.