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Organisational and Professional Development

About us

Find & Contact Us

The Organisational & Professional development team is based at Department W on the second floor, in the HR village (desks 2.73 to 2.96)

Business Partnering: 

We provide a nominated, named member of the Organisational & Professional Development team for faculty and professional services.  This provides a contact for lead teams, managers and staff who wish to discuss their organisational development, training and professional development needs. To find out who your business partner is, see Who's Who below.

If you're not sure who would be best to answer your query, or you have a general question, please email

Who's Who?

Petra Dodd - Head of Organisational & Professional Development

Petra leads our Organisational Professional Development team. Joining us in 2020, she brings with her over 20 years of experience, mainly in the higher education sector (Imperial College, City University and the University of London) as well as other organisations such as the Financial Conduct Authority and Transport for London.

Petra has a strong interest in improving job satisfaction and wellbeing, while at the same time focusing on improving efficiency. She is committed to using the best evidence, so we can make the biggest impact possible with our resources. She is interested in hearing from colleagues on how we can continuously improve.

In her work, Petra draws on her experience and qualifications in Occupational Psychology (MSc), coaching (ILM), facilitation (ILM), a range of psychometrics, and project management (APM).

David Wallace - Organisational & Professional Development Advisor Photograph of Dave Wallace

Business Partner to Humanities & Social Sciences

David joined Queen Mary’s Organisational and Professional Development Team in 2015. Coming from the public sector, David’s background is in professional and organisational development supporting a range of disciplines including Leadership and Management, Human Resources, Social Care, Youth Work, Staff engagement and Learning Technologies.

David’s current area of responsibility covers leadership and management initiatives, personal and professional skills development. He is currently developing a Leadership and Management Skills programme of learning for Queen Mary staff at all levels. 

He is also a qualified coach and is trained in various Psychometric testing and analysis tools. David leads the Queen Mary University of London Coaching Network.

Externally, David founded and Co-chairs the first East London Higher Education Coaching Collaboration Network. David is also a member of the London Region Staff Development Forum Network. 

Lorraine Smith - Organisational & Professional Development AdvisorPhotograph of Lorraine Smith 

Business Partner to the School of Medicine and Dentistry

Lorraine joined Queen Mary’s Organisational and Professional Development Team in January 2017. Coming from the public sector, Lorraine’s background is in professional and organisational development roles supporting a range of disciplines including Leadership and Management, Management Apprenticeships, Social Care, Staff engagement and Project Management (for which she is Prince2 accredited, and worked as a Project Manager for 10+ years). Lorraine’s current area of responsibility covers leadership and management initiatives, and Safeguarding Awareness. Lorraine is an experienced coach and facilitator, is trained in Psychometric testing and analysis, and has a particular interest in team and group dynamics.

Naomi Potter - Organisational and Professional Development Advisor Photograph of Naomi Potter

Business Partner to Professional Services

Naomi joined Queen Mary's Organisational and Professional Development Team in September 2018. Having worked in various charity and public sector roles since graduation, Naomi worked as an IT trainer and e-learning facilitator in the NHS for three years. She then moved to the Graduate Development Programme, spending two years across three local councils in West London, and graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership & Management from the ilm. She is also a member of the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development.

At Queen Mary, she acts as business partner to Professional Services staff and is the team lead for e-learning production. She is a practicing coach, accredited facilitator for the Strengthscope and DiSC psychometric tools, and a Mental Health First Aider.

Laura Pheils - Organisational and Professional Development AdvisorPhotograph of Laura Pheils

Business Partner to Science & Engineering

Laura joined the Organisational and Professional Development team in January 2022.  She brings with her over 10 years of experience in higher education (University of Kent, St George’s, University of London) and has also worked in the NHS and private sector.

Laura has a background in Human Resources and as an operational manager, specialising in learning, professional and organisational development over the last 6 years.  She is a Chartered Member of the CIPD, qualified coach (ILM), facilitator (CIPD) and Belbin accredited practitioner.  She is interested in building connections, partnering with managers and engaging with teams, working towards professional and personal development and improving the working culture for all.

Esmay Bear - Staff Apprenticeship LeadPhotograph of Esmay Bear

Esmay joined Queen Mary’s Organisational and Professional Development Team in 2021. Coming from the public sector, Esmay has developed a specialism in employer-based apprenticeship programmes, supporting workforce development and career progression.  She has previously worked for Hackney and Ealing councils. 

As a qualified careers guidance and project management professional, Esmay has worked within the employment and skills, youth support and development, and training sectors.  She has also as an apprenticeship assessor and provided consultancy for the development of assessment processes.  In these roles, she has acted to develop, manage, and provide leadership for learning and development and employment initiatives.

Nicola Palmer - Organisational and Professional Development Administrator

Nicola works with her jobshare partner Iris as the administrative support for the Organisational and Professional Development team. She has a great breadth of experience in events management and higher education, and among her areas of focus at Queen Mary are our Welcome Events and the cross-institutional coaching network.

She can usually be contacted on Monday and Friday.

Iris Godding - Organisational and Professional Development Administator

Iris studied Environmental Anthropology & Development Sociology at the University of Leiden (MA) and Film & Television Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She has over 15 years of experience working in the audio-visual, educational and cultural sectors. She jobshares with Kathryn to provide administrative support for the Organisational and Professional Development Team, and can be contacted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

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