University Alliance has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Vanessa Wilson, who will take up the role on 18th March 2019.

Vanessa is the current Director of Commercial and Communications at UK Sport, the government’s lead agency for delivering elite sporting success and major sporting event hosting in the UK. A key part of Vanessa’s role has been championing the significance of public funding and National Lottery investment across the c. 55 Olympic and Paralympic sports and c.1100 Olympic and Paralympic athletes that receive funding.

Vanessa has held senior strategic communications, campaigns and marketing roles across Whitehall – including the-now Department for Education (2000-2005) and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (2005-2011).

Professor John Latham, University Alliance Chair and Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University said:

“I am delighted and excited Vanessa will be joining us in March.

“Vanessa has huge experience of Whitehall and Westminster – as a civil servant and ministerial advisor; in lobbying, campaigning and advocacy; and marketing, partnerships and sponsorship. Her energy, drive and attitude will be a huge asset to the Alliance. She stood out in a strong field.

“Vanessa will be reviewing our core mission, vision and objectives, working to members and working across the sector. We will be strengthening our business model, commercial strategy and member services; sharpening our public positioning; and building a broader coalition of partners. We’ll start setting out these plans in the summer.

“The Alliance has put forward bold policies to create a top-class post-18 system. We have built up a strong agenda to support and establish a top-class technical, professional and vocational skills system. Universities are in a tough, volatile policy, political and public environment – together, our job is to establish consensus for long-term investment and reform in tertiary education, research and innovation.”

Vanessa Wilson, incoming University Alliance Chief Executive said:

“It is a huge privilege to be joining the University Alliance at this critical point in post-18 Education. I am very much looking forward to working closely with all our members -including past and prospective – to effectively represent the significant role that University Alliance universities play in our society in defining and delivering the future of a successful Global Britain.”



About Vanessa Wilson:


About University Alliance:

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