Helen has extensive experience of executive leadership and governance in the higher education sector, having held senior roles at the UK’s Research Councils in the UK and the USA, at the Russell Group, and a decade as Director of Policy and External Relations at UCAS. She holds an MBE for services to the administration of science.

In addition to her degree in Biology, she holds a range of professional qualifications covering project, programme, and risk management. She has long term interest in education and social mobility and the economic and civic contribution of higher education.

Helen is an independent Governor at Northumbria University and Chair of the University Audit Committee. She chairs the local governing body for a cluster of primary and secondary schools in Swindon, Wiltshire.

Helen has a broad range of experience including leadership and governance, strategy development and change delivery, recruitment and admissions, student experience, partnerships, research and knowledge exchange, and data governance.

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photo of Helen Thorne