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Chair of the Board of Governors

The Chair of the Board of Governors plays an important role in the governance of the University while working independently of its regular executive management.

Appointed by the Board of Governors from within its lay membership, the Chair is responsible for its leadership and is accountable to all stakeholders for the Board’s effectiveness.

The post of chair can be held for a maximum of six years, apart from in exceptional circumstances, when the Board may appoint the same person for a further three years.

Edward M Astle, MA, MBA

Chair of the Board of Governors

Edward Astle

Edward Astle joined the Board of Governors in 2014 and was appointed Chair in 2016.

Edward has spent most of his career in the telecoms and utilities sectors. He served on the boards and ran substantial divisions of Cable and Wireless (1989–97), BICC (1997–99) and National Grid (2001–08). Between 1999 and 2001 he chaired two start-ups and one plc that had just floated on the London Stock Exchange, all of which were telecoms related.

From 2008 to 2013 Edward was Pro Rector (Enterprise) at Imperial College London, leading a team that supported the university’s links with business, particularly for corporate research funding and its international ventures. He also oversaw the university’s relationship with Imperial Innovations.

Educated at Manchester Grammar School and Queens College, Oxford, and with an MBA from INSEAD, Edward is currently a non-executive director of Openreach, one of three independent members of BT plc’s Equality of Access Board, Deputy Chair of the ENGIE UK Advisory Board, and Vice Chair of the prisoner literacy charity Shannon Trust.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 3251
Email: chair@manchester.ac.uk