The University Executive
Membership of the University Executive Group (UEG) comprises the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors, the Executive Deans, the Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Financial Officer and the University Secretary.
Professor Simone Buitendijk
Professor Simone Buitendijk is the thirteenth Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, a major Russell Group University with a commitment to high quality education, a strong and dynamic research base and a track record of social, economic and cultural development. Before joining the University, she was Vice-Provost (Education) and Professor of Maternal and Child Health at Imperial College London.
Professor Hai-Sui Yu
Principal Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Professor Hai-Sui Yu serves as a ‘standing deputy’ for the Vice-Chancellor; provides oversight and coordination of the University’s academic strategy and its planning and delivery; and leads on the University’s international strategy. He also holds the role of Professor of Geotechnical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering.
Professor Nick Plant
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation
Professor Nick Plant leads on the development of the University’s research and innovation strategy, creating a research culture and environment which delivers high quality research and impact for the region and beyond.
His brief includes promoting partnerships in a number of key sectors, accelerating collaboration across a wide range of academic disciplines and driving recruitment of world-leading academics.
Professor Jeff Grabill
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education
Professor Jeff Grabill leads our overall education strategy, ensuring the University attracts, excites and retains high-quality students from a wide range of backgrounds.
His brief includes implementing innovative measures to ensure that students benefit from an outstanding education and excellent all-round experience, widening participation, promoting teaching excellence and innovation, and further boosting the employability of the University’s students.
As University Secretary, Jennifer Sewel is responsible, amongst other things, for providing advice and support to the Governing Body (Council), Senate and their committees.
Her work includes; corporate governance, ethics and reputation; overseeing the University’s response to changes in the external regulatory framework; legal services; policy and compliance including, Data Protection, Freedom of Information; Freedom of Expression, Prevent; Student discipline, complaints and appeals; whistleblowing, misconduct in academic research; Protocol, and oversight of the management of critical incidents (including student emergencies).
The direct reports of the University Secretary include the Secretariat, Policy, Funding and Regulation, Communications and Engagement, Risk Management, and Wellbeing, Safety and Health.
Chief Financial Officer - MBA ACA
Jane Madeley is the University’s Chief Financial Officer. In addition to her core responsibility for Finance and Purchasing, she has also led the development of the Strategy and Planning and Risk Management functions within the University.
Jane’s role also includes developing the University’s commercial relationships with industry, commerce, public-sector partners and education and research partners at home and abroad.
Chief Operating Officer
The COO is a key member of the University Executive Group (UEG), supporting the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in the leadership, management and effective operation of the University.
Rachel Brealey is primarily responsible for University-wide operations and the direct service delivery of key corporate functions, including human resources, information services, marketing, student education services, research and innovation services, alumni and development, campus innovation and development, and transformational programmes.
Professor Andrew Thorpe
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures
Leading our Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, Andrew Thorpe has one of the broadest humanities portfolios of all UK research-intensive universities. He is Professor of Modern History at the University, and a Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Higher Education Academy. He was previously Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Exeter. His main research interests are the history of British politics in the 20th and 21st centuries, the history of party (notably the Labour Party), and international communism.
Professor Karen Birch
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Biological Sciences
Karen is Professor of Exercise Science in the School of Biomedical Sciences. She previously held the post of Head of School and is a Fellow of the American College of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Her research interests include using exercise and physical activity to enhance fertility and to ameliorate the impact of reproductive ageing upon cardiovascular disease in women. Her research integrates the disciplines of medicine, exercise science, cardiovascular science and fluid dynamics.
Professor Julia Bennell
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business
A Professor of Operational Research, Julia holds various leadership roles in her research community including Vice-President of the European Association of Operational Research Societies and a member of the research panel for the UK OR Society. Her research focuses on developing optimisation models for logistics and transportation, where she has worked with manufacturers, transport providers and the public sector. Before becoming Executive Dean, Julia held the post of Deputy Dean in Leeds and Deputy Head of the Business School at the University of Southampton.
Professor Paul Johnson
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences
Paul Johnson is a professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy. He studied at the University of Durham and the University of Newcastle. He previously worked at the University of Durham, University of Surrey, and University of York where he was Head of the Department of Sociology. His research is concerned with a number of broad questions about the relationship between law, human rights and equality.
Professor Selina Stead
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Environment
Selina Stead is a Professor of Environmental Science. She is a marine biologist, tropical scientist and a UK Government Chief Scientific Advisor and Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. Her research focuses on environmental science, policy and governance, with a goal on co-creating global sustainability solutions. Her international research spans the Caribbean, East Africa, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia.
Professor Nora de Leeuw
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Nora is the first Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University, which builds on existing strengths in eight schools and draws heavily on the University’s membership of the Henry Royce, Rosalind Franklin and the Alan Turing national research institutes.
Professor de Leeuw was previously Pro Vice-Chancellor (International & Europe) and Professor of Computational Chemistry at Cardiff University, where she also led the Doctoral Academy. She is Professor of Theoretical Geochemistry at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and was a Visiting Professor of Biomaterials at Université de Paris-Est in France. Professor de Leeuw is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, an elected Fellow of The Learned Society of Wales and elected Member of Academia Europa.
Professor Mark Kearney
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health
Professor Mark Kearney is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health. He is also a British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular and Diabetes Research and clinical cardiologist with an interest in the mechanisms underlying diabetes related heart disease and the natural history and new treatments for patients with heart failure. His research group includes members with a wide range of skills addressing the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. His team are working on the link between changes in insulin and IGF-1 signalling in the blood vessel wall and diabetes with the aim of designing new ways of treating the devastating cardiovascular complications of type 2 diabetes.