The World 100 Network Committee

Andrea Farquhar (Chair)

Assistant Vice-President for 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.

Cor Jansen

Director of Communications and Marketing
Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Cor has served as the Director of Communications and Marketing at Utrecht University since 2011. Prior to Utrecht Cor worked in the field of Marketing  and Communications for several institutes if huger education including: University of Groningen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, HU Utrecht University of Applied Science, and Utrecht Community College.

Lara McKay

Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
The University of Melbourne, Australia

Lara is the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of Melbourne where she oversees a team responsible for the development of university-wide strategies and policies to successfully market and communicate the University's brand and manage its reputation. In this role Lara works in partnership with key internal and external stakeholders to ensure a collaborative and multi-disciplined approach in the areas of marketing, brand management, advertising, digital engagement, insights and market research, communications, and media and issues management.

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.


Katherine Ma

Director of Communications
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Katherine is in charge of the University’s communication strategies, stakeholder relationship management and holds the custodianship of the University’s reputation and brand. Her Office is responsible for the University’s international and local media relations, public affairs, ceremonies and events, the university website, social media, online and print publications, editorial services and productions. The office also lends support to the communication activities of the 10 faculties and 100+ departments and centres of the University.

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.