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Faculty Members
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The Institute of Export & International Trade's tutors and members of its academic faculty have a wealth of experience and expertise in all aspects of international trade.


Dr. Liz Mason, LL.B (hons), MIEx (Grad), FHEA

Chief Examiner Institute of Export and International Trade

Introduction and Experience

Dr. Liz Mason is the Chief Examiner for the Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT). The role of the Chief examiner is to provide final approval of all assessments ensuring their conformity with the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria for each module. The Chief Examiner is also responsible for acting as the internal arbitrator for educational policy disputes and student complaints and provides written reports to the IOE&IT Academic Board.

Liz Mason is an award-winning graduate of the IOE&IT and has worked for the IOE&IT for over 20 years, as distance learning tutor, module examiner, moderator and trainer. Liz has taught for over 10 years at University postgraduate and undergraduate levels at three leading UK Universities in business and management subjects, primarily at the University of Leeds. During this time, she completed her doctoral research examining intellectual property rights protection and enforcement strategies of MNEs in China and India, which she undertook in the Centre for International Business, University of Leeds. Her teaching in higher education includes delivering courses in International Business Management, International Economic Environment, European Business, Managing and Exploiting Intellectual Capital and Globalisation of Innovation. She has also participated in an online distance learning courses including a Management for Innovation MOOC and through scheduled webinar sessions.

Liz is a law graduate (LL.B hons) from the University of Leeds and highly experienced professional in international business, with over 30 years’ experience in the private sector, public sector and higher education.  She has worked in industry primarily for SME manufacturing firms in the chemicals, textile and printing industries. In the public sector Liz has worked in a consultancy role as an international trade advisor and has been instrumental in the development and implementation of international business support programmes for firms within the Yorkshire & Humber region.

For the last ten years Liz has delivered executive education training programmes to firms both at UK and international institutions. Training courses include Contract Law for Business, International Business Management, International Contracting and Contract Negotiations; Understanding Incoterms 2010, Contracts for Beginners; Introduction to Importing; Export Documentation and Customs Procedures; Contract, Finance, Risk management and Logistics in International Business. Liz has also taught and delivered training sessions on firm strategies for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Teaching Awards

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) Professional recognition for teaching and learning in Higher Education

International Schools of Business Management (ISBM) International Teachers Programme

University of Leeds Teaching Award (ULTA-1)

Professional Trainers Certificate, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)

Dick Brentnall FIEx

Dick has spent many years working in senior marketing, sales and training positions for prominent international and UK companies. His responsibilities have ranged from the marketing and selling of consumer products through to retailing.

 Whilst his early career was spent working in the UK, he subsequently gained substantial practical international export marketing and sales experience in Europe, Middle East, West Africa, the Far East and, for at least eight years, living and working in the Americas.

 In 1996, Dick set up an export business development and training consultancy. He works with clients in the UK public and private sectors as well as undertaking overseas assignments particularly in the USA. His focus is on International Marketing, Strategy & Sales.

 The Institute of Export & International Trade is a long-standing client and currently Dick is Course Tutor for Level Five - International Marketing Strategy and Level Four - International Marketing.

Ian Gowers

Ian Gowers has worked in several sectors throughout an extensive career, most recently working with Engineering, Procurement and Construction companies, and previously in the Oil and Gas and Nuclear sectors.

He has been accredited by the Institute of Export & International Trade as an International Trade Consultant and is an expert on AEO and issues relating to Brexit.

He also has experience in planning activity, which has included reviewing activity from the perspective of trade in goods and services across the range of trade, compliance, people and commercial issues.


John Reed

Owner Exportaid  - April 2002-Present

 John has run his own international trade consultancy Exportaid since 2002 and has helped companies across industry sectors to access many more export markets. 

  • He has been involved in international sales for more than 30 years: 8 years selling woodworking machinery into North America, West and Southern Africa, the Middle East, and India; and 8 more selling floor covering products throughout Europe and Scandinavia and into Turkey and Russia; the remainder helping companies to sell their products and services overseas.
  • Key skills include planning, negotiation, researching international markets and ‘specification selling’.
  • Sometimes travelling on behalf of client companies to open up new markets and build selling infrastructure, John also trains sales people in their roles, mentoring by example.
  • Exportaid’s clients cover a number of industry sectors, from construction materials and environmental products to healthcare & medical, food & drink, craft jewellery, digital media, and music distribution.

 Director of Special Projects, Institute of Export & International Trade - January 2016 to Present

 As Director of Special Projects with the UK Institute of Export, John is involved in delivering international trade training programmes both in the UK and internationally, currently the main trainer for a project with the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) that covers the Balkans, former CIS States, the ‘Stans’ (Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan), North Africa, and as far East as Mongolia. John mentors delegates via Skype for a year following each course.

  • He is also a tutor for five IOE course modules: Fundamentals of International Business, Introduction to International Trade Management, The Global Marketplace, Management of International Trade, and Practical Global Trader.
  • John also occasionally works as a lecturer/seminar leader for Open to Export.


Having played the guitar for over 40 years, John finally recorded his first album in 2016. He has a very wide taste in music, from folk and rock to more progressive folk and blues, reggae and punk. John has a passion for the outdoors and for British history and loves to walk and breathe fresh air.  It’s an interesting life and every day is a gift.

Kevin Shakespeare FIEx

Specialist in Finance

Kevin has been involved in the world of trade, from a young age of just 17 working in a small business, to joining National Westminster Bank, The Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank, carrying out a variety of roles in senior positions covering the world of trade and dealing with businesses of all sizes.

Kevin sits on several committees and boards involved in directing the world of business, trade and education. Professional and industry qualifications have been achieved with a number of organisations including The Association of Corporate Treasurers, The Institute of Financial Services and British International Freight Association.

Kevin provides training to students covering trade, business and finance.

Sandra Strong FIEx

Sandra has many years' experience in international trade from desk-level to becoming the corporate shipping manager for the Ferranti International Group until its break-up in 1993, when, after 2 years working for the receivers, Strong & Herd was formed. She was a graduate member of the Institute of Export & International Trade until awarded a Fellowship of the Institute in 2011 for services to UK Companies involved in all areas of international trade. She is also a Certified International Trade Advisor and a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

She continues to have hands-on involvement in export and import on a daily basis. In addition she assists companies in operating compliant Customs procedures such as IPR, OPR, End-Use (predominantly Civil Aircraft and Military), AEO application and procedures, PCC, Intrastat reporting systems, Export Control Regulations (both UK and USA, eg ITAR) and Letter of Credit procedures. She presents practical in-company and public workshops (throughout the EU) that reflect the very latest in export and import techniques with useful tips on how to put theory into practice.

As Managing Partner of Strong & Herd LLP she is involved in the training courses as well as the day-to-day activity of the Shipping Office and OneCall client support services and audits/reviews/ implements Corrective Action - Best Practice programmes for company’s import, export and customs procedures in-line with HMRC standards and Export Control Organisation requirements.

She is the co-author of the "Importers' Handbook", revised Frank Dow's "Understanding Documentary Bills and Credits" for Croner Publications and has co-operated with the British Exporters Association (BeXA) in producing their excellent handbooks "A Guide to Successful Exporting" and the "Guide to International Trade Compliance".

Holly Tonge MIEx (Grad), BSc, MBA, IOE&IT Director of Special Projects

Holly has worked in international trade her whole career, most recently as a senior consultant managing

projects including AEO, customs warehousing and other customs authorisations. Holly’s background is in the freight forwarding industry, which provided her with extensive experience of imports, exports, transit, warehousing and customs compliance. 

In 2018 Holly established her own business providing customs consulting services for a number of businesses in sectors such as food & beverage, retail, automotive and chemical.

Jon Walden FIEx

Jon Walden is Principal Consultant in Customs and Trade Facilitation at Crown Agents, with over 30 years’ experience in international trade including sales, freight forwarding, marketing, finance and compliance roles. He provides technical consultancy, training inputs and advisory services in international contracting, international supply chain, WTO/WCO systems and requirements, international trade procedures, shipping / freight procedures, trade facilitation, supply chain security, warehousing, trade finance, export strategy and promotion and customs reform and modernisation projects. Jon is an accredited trainer to the public sector, trade associations and private companies in these areas, and considered a thought leader in global customs, transport, logistics and trade facilitation issues. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Export and International Trade and of the Institute of Freight Professionals, and sits on the Roster of Experts for ICC, UNCEFACT and UNCTAD. He also serves as a facilitator to the Commonwealth Secretariat on Export Competitiveness (in developed and developing countries) and is a regular speaker at high-profile conferences including the Africa Cashew Alliance, Borderless Alliance, PMAESA and Intermodal Africa, and has addressed the Kenya Trade Facilitation Committee. Jon was guest speaker at the 2016 Zimtrade export competitiveness conference in Harare. He was the Customs and trade procedures expert on USAID’s NEXTT (Nigeria) project and also carried out a World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreement assessment in Cambodia. He has developed an export procedures, export finance, and competitiveness programme for EBRD aimed at capacity enhancement for SMEs, delivered in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Romania. Jon has provided technical inputs on projects funded by DFID, USAID, AfDB, EBRD, EU, DIT, JICA, Commonwealth Secretariat,. AsDB and FCO in East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Middle East, ASEAN Region, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Western Europe.

Jon is a tutor for the Institute of Export and International Trade and has had three books published on international trade topics. He regularly contributes thought pieces to international trade and logistics publications and journals.