Leadership Team & Governance
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Leadership Team & Governance

The St Julian’s Association

The St. Julian’s Association has an important role in developing the educational vision and character for the School. 

The St. Julian’s Association is made up of between 30 and 50 members who have been proposed by a nominating committee and have been voted in at the Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). The nominating committee strives to ensure that a wide and balanced membership is maintained including alumni and former or current parents, in addition to members from the wider community. Some Association members are from the Greater Lisbon region, whilst others are from the UK and other European countries.

The St. Julian’s Association was founded in 1938 as a cultural non-profit making organisation whose sole objectives are to provide and support the provision of education, and all revenues of the St. Julian’s School Association must be applied or reserved for the pursuit of these objectives.

Board of Governors

The number of Board members varies but does not exceed nine and has a minimum number of seven. Three members are required to be British citizens. The members of the Board are elected at the AGM of the St Julian’s Association and serve for a term of three years and are restricted to a maximum of three consecutive terms in office.

The Governors assume this role on a voluntary basis and are not remunerated for their work. The Board operates as a non-executive body whose responsibility is to ensure that the school’s mission is fulfilled now and in the future by providing strategic direction, governing through policy and monitoring progress.

The Association aims to ensure that the Board is comprised of a members with a balance of skills and experience that will enhance the governance of St. Julian’s in addition to being able to make the required commitment for participation. 

The Board approves the annual budget and the capital and investment strategy that will best support the best educational provision for St. Julian’s students. The Board appoints the Head of School and the Bursar, which serve as its only executive function. The Board of Governors presents a formal report to the St. Julian’s School Association members at the Annual General Meeting.

Board meetings are generally held around six times a year, involving a presentation from the Head of School, and on occasion, other leadership team members when agenda items are relevant to their specialist areas. Board Subcommittees and working groups meet with a frequency that suits their particular needs. 

The purpose of the Board of Governors is to provide confident, strategic leadership and to create robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance. The Board has three core objectives:

  • To ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
  • To hold executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils and the performance management of staff;
  • and To oversee the financial sustainability of the organisation and make sure its money is well spent.


A large amount of the detailed work undertaken by the Board is done in sub-committees of the Board. The current subcommittees of the Board are as follows:


The Finance Subcommittee exists to exercise the finances of the school to ensure that there is financial sustainability and transparency, ensuring that funds and financial risks are managed effectively within the financial policies recommended by the Finance Subcommittee and the Board.

Discounts and Bursaries

To Discounts and Bursaries Subcommittee’s remit is to review and decide upon any request for discounted school fees within predefined guidelines set by the Board.


The Infrastructure Subcommittee assists the Board in providing oversight of all matters pertaining to the capital assets of the school, all matters pertaining to the IT infrastructure, and any other matters referred to it by the Board.


The Policy Subcommittee supports the Head of School in establishing policies, ensuring that they are aligned as appropriate with the school’s Guiding Statements and overseeing their effective implementation.


The Alumni Subcommittee assists the school Alumni Officer in setting out strategies and direction in order to create a more complete database of Alumni and increase Alumni involvement and participation in the life of the School.


Teresa Roque (Chair) is Portuguese and joined the Board of Governors in 2016. A former pupil of St. Julian’s, Teresa has been a member of the St. Julian’s Association since 2013, and has served on several Board sub-committees namely, Strategy, Infrastructure, Alumni and Fundraising and as Board vice-Chair between 2020-22. Teresa is currently completing her Ph.D. at Universidade Católica in Political Science. She has lectured at several universities in both political science and international economics. Previously she served as non-executive vice-president of Banif SGPS and Açoreana Seguros, and a Board member of Banif Malta. She was a founding member of Empresários para a Inclusão Social (EPIS), a non-for-profit association which helps combat the school drop-out rate in Portugal and was on the Advisory Board of Universidade Nova – School of Business and Economics between 2010-2015. Teresa received her B.A. Hons. from Oxford University in P.P.E. and her M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from SAIS, John Hopkin’s University. She currently has a daughter in the I.B., and her son graduated in 2022. Teresa joined the Board in November 2016 and is now in her third and final term of office which ends on November 2025.


Murphy Cobbing is British and currently Vice-President of the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification). A former BBC Senior Broadcast journalist, Murphy spent most of her career working in the UK in news and current affairs, as well as producing a wide range of documentaries for radio and television. Until 2017, Murphy was a trustee and Vice Chair of the Tyneside Cinema and a trustee of the North East Circus Development Trust. She is a Commonwealth Scholar. Murphy joined the Board in November 2019 and is now in her second term of office, which ends in November 2025.


Luis Cocco is Portuguese and a former parent of three children who went through St. Julian’s. He currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer and Executive Board Member of GLINTT – Global Intelligent Technologies, SA. Previously he held the position of Chief Financial Officer and Executive Board Member. Luis held several positions at Portugal Telecom Investimentos Internacionais, Tradecom, Banco Santander Negócios and McKinsey.  Luis received his Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and his first degree in Business Administration from Universidade Católica Portuguesa. Luis was elected to the Board of Governors in November 2022 and is Chair of the Finance Committee. Luis joined the Board in November 2022 and is now in his first term of office, which ends in November 2025.


Jamie Darke holds British and Portuguese citizenship and is a former senior British diplomat with extensive policy and operational experience focused on the Middle East before serving as Political Counsellor in Lisbon from 2003-06. During a career break from the FCO in 1980-85, he was head of training for the Omani security service and a management consultant with the Hay Group. A shareholder-director of a central London marina since 1996, and of a Portuguese property investment company since 2018, he established his risk advisory practice in Portugal in 2008.  He received a BA (Hons) and MA from Cambridge in English Literature in 1975, qualified in Arabic at higher level at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies in Lebanon in 1978, and obtained an MSc from London Business School in 1983.  He took Farsi in 1993 and Portuguese in 2003, both to intermediate level. Jamie joined the Board in November 2017 and is now in his second term of office, which ends in November 2023. 


Daniel Ernst holds British and Portuguese citizenship and is a St. Julian’s Alumni. Daniel has two children currently attending the school. Daniel is currently the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Fruitful Office Group, the largest office fruit distributor in Europe. Previously, he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Marchfirst Strategy Consulting. Daniel received his Masters in Business Studies and Russian Studies from the University of Edinburgh. Daniel is fluent in Portuguese, English, and Spanish and also speaks French and Russian. Daniel was elected to the Board of Governors in November 2022 as Chair of the Alumni Committee. Daniel joined the Board in November 2022 and is now in his first term of office, which ends in November 2025.


James Frost is British and, for the past 30 years, has worked in the developing and managing of the family property Quinta de Sant’Ana, building up four successful businesses. Prior to moving to Portugal, James served as an Officer in the British Army for seven years. James’ seven children have all been or are presently being educated at St Julian’s. James joined the Board in November 2017 and is now in his second term of office, which ends in November 2023.


Maria Luís Mendes has studied Law at Universidade Católica de Lisboa. Practiced Law for ten years and worked as a consultant to the Government of Macau in the areas of International Law and Arbitration for three years.  Followed her husband’s diplomatic appointments in Washington DC, Bogotá, Canberra and Budapest. While not able to work with the Law at these postings, Maria became involved in several areas of community work in the arts, children with special needs, maternity and child health, and education. Maria followed her sons’ education closely and volunteered for several roles at their schools; she was elected to the Board of the American International School of Budapest and appointed chair for two years while also participating in all its 4 Committees. Upon return to Portugal, Maria became president of the Portuguese Association of Spouses of Diplomats (AFDP), a member of the Board of Directors of EUFASA AISBL and, recently, joined the Task Force for the Portuguese EU Presidency at the Division of Economic Multilateral Organizations, Oceans and Law of the Sea, of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Maria’s two younger sons graduated from St Julian's in 2016 and 2017. Maria Luís joined the Board in November 2020 and is now in her first term of office, which ends in November 2023.


Taheer Saiyad is Portuguese and a former St Julian's pupil, having attended the school between 1984 and 1991. He has two children currently attending St. Julian's. He received a BA in Politics & Philosophy from York University and an M.Phil in Politics from Oxford University and is currently the CEO of three successful family-owned businesses in the clothing retail and real estate sectors. He is also the co-founder of MyWishGuru, a technology-based startup which was developed between 2012 and 2014. Taheer has been a member of the St Julian's Association since 2016, has sat on the Nominations Committee and the Alumni sub-committee, and currently sits on the Finance and the Infrastructure sub-committees. Taheer joined the Board in November 2019 and is now in his second term of office, which ends in November 2025.


Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade graduated with an M.Eng with Distinction in Mechanical Engineering in the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) and holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management (Boston, USA). Between 1994 and 2003, Miguel studied, lived and worked in Scotland, Italy, England, Portugal and the USA. Miguel joined EDP in 2000 and led the area of M&A, Strategy and Corporate Development until 2009. He was a member of the Board of EDP Distribuição (energy grids) from January 2009 to February 2012. Miguel was also a non-executive Member of the Board of Directors of EDP Inovação, EDP Ventures and EDP Gas Distribution, and Chairman of InovGrid ACE. In 2012, he was appointed CEO of EDP Comercial (client solutions) as well as CEO and Vice-President of Hidroeléctrica del Cantabrico and Naturgas Energia while also being an Executive Board Member of EDP. In 2018, Miguel was appointed CFO of EDP and has been the CEO of EDP and EDP Renewables since 2021. His children attend St Julian’s. Miguel joined the Board in November 2016 and is now in his third and final term of office, which ends in November 2025.


Further details of the workings and remit of the Board of Governors are contained in the Governors Handbook | PDF 277KB

The Statutes of the St Julian's School Association are available here