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Senior officer profiles

Unless otherwise stated, the contact address for senior officers is:

The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor


Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, FRS, President and Vice-Chancellor, leads by example.  Her own research in the field of neuroscience, which is ongoing, has contributed towards major advances in the understanding and treatment of brain damage in stroke and head injury.

She joined the Victoria University of Manchester in 1987, became Professor of Physiology in 1994 and held an MRC Research Chair from 1998 to 2010. Concurrent with her Faculty posts she has also held University roles as Vice-President for Research (2004–2007) and as Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2007–2010). 

She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in June 2004 and made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in June 2005 in recognition of her services to science. In September 2016 she began a year-long term as President of the British Science Association.

Dame Nancy became President and Vice-Chancellor in July 2010, the first woman to lead The University of Manchester or either of its two predecessor institutions. 

She was the founding President of the Society of Biology, and was a non-executive Director of AstraZeneca and a Royal Society Council Member. She is currently co-Chair of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester, and a member of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Board.

Dame Nancy takes a strong and active interest in public communication of science.

Find out more about the President and Vice-Chancellor's role and remuneration.

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT
Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 6010

Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Luke Georghiou

Professor Luke Georghiou is the University’s Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, providing strategic leadership and operational management across the full-range of University functions.

From 2010 to 2017 Luke was responsible for the University’s research strategy and its implementation and doctoral training. In his new role he continues to be responsible for business engagement and commercialisation activities. He is active in research and policy advice to governments and business with current work on innovation management, public procurement and innovation and evaluation of the national demonstrator project for Internet of Things (CityVerve).

Luke has chaired and been a member of several high-level inquiries and advisory bodies, including being rapporteur of the influential Aho Group report to European leaders on 'Creating an Innovative Europe'. His publications include articles in journals such as Nature, Science, Harvard Business Review and Research Policy. He was elected to the Academia Europaea in 2011.

He holds a PhD (1982) and BSc from The Victoria University of Manchester and has been the Director of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research. Most recently, he was Vice-President for Research and Innovation, and before that he held the post of Deputy Dean and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Humanities. He also served two terms as a senate representative on the University’s Board of Governors.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 5933

Lemn Sissay, Chancellor

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay MBE is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. He is associate artist at the Southbank Centre, patron of the Letterbox Club and the Reader Organisation, and ambassador for the Children’s Reading Fund.

Lemn is a fellow of the Foundling Museum and was official poet of the London 2012 Olympics. His public-art Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London, with Gilt of Cain unveiled by Bishop Desmond Tutu.

He is the author of a series of books of poetry alongside articles, records, radio documentaries, public art, and plays. His installation poem What If exhibited at The Royal Academy, touring the world from Tokyo to New York, and 21st Century Poem was released on the multi-million selling, award-winning album Leftism by Leftfield. A violin concerto performed at the BBC Proms by Viktoria Mullova was inspired by and named after his poem Advice For The Living.

The BBC television documentary Internal Flight and radio documentary Child of the State were both broadcast about his life and his TED talk about childhood has more than half a million views. Lemn was the first Black Writers Development Worker in the north of England, based in Manchester. In 2010, he was awarded an MBE for services to literature. The Sissay PhD Scholarship for Care Leavers, the first of its kind, has been running for six years. He regularly reads on stages and in universities across the globe as an inspirational speaker and poet. He wrote the official poem for the 2015 FA Cup.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 6010

Edward Astle, Chair of the Governing Body and Pro-Chancellor

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 sector. 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 Intertek plc, one of three independent members of BT plc’s Equality of Access Board, and Vice Chair of the prisoner literacy charity Shannon Trust.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 3251

Gillian Easson, Pro-Chancellor


Gillian Easson has wide board-level experience. Educated at Girton College, Cambridge, and a qualified solicitor, Gillian has concurrently undertaken board roles in the health and higher education sectors for almost 20 years.

Gillian was previously a non-executive director of The Christie cancer centre and Chair of the Christie Finance Committee and Charitable Fund. She has also held the roles of Chair of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, board member for The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation and head of high-level inquiries at the examination regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

She became the first female pro-chancellor of The University of Manchester in 2012 and is a member of the University’s Global Leadership Board, the Law Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Gillian has many charitable interests, particularly involving the creation of opportunity for young people.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 6010

Patrick Hackett, Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer


Patrick Hackett took up his role as Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer on 1 October 2018. Previously Patrick was Chief Operating Officer at The University of Liverpool, a position he took up in August 2013, having formerly been Chief Operating Officer since November 2008. Prior to that he held the position of Director of Facilities Management.  

An architect by profession, Patrick has a BArch from University College Dublin and has previously held senior leadership positions at The University of Reading and Royal Holloway, University of London.  He has also been a consultant, advising higher education institutions across the UK on facilities management organisation and development and the delivery of major capital projects. Patrick was a non-Executive Director of Aintree University Hospital NHS trust for six years until the end of March 2015. 

Patrick heads up the PS Leadership Team.

To get in touch with Patrick, please contact:

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 2066

Professor Colette Fagan, Vice-President for Research

Colette Fagan

Professor Colette Fagan, FAcSS, is the University’s Vice-President for Research. She is responsible for leading and implementing the University’s research strategy and doctoral training.

Previously Colette was the Deputy Dean and Vice-Dean for Research for the Faculty of Humanities (2010–17). She was elected to Senate in 2008 and in 2009 joined the University Board of Governors as a Senate-elected representative, with her term of office renewed twice by election (2009–18). Her other board experience includes primary school governing body chair and parent governor (2008–11).

Colette’s research focus is on employment, working conditions and job quality; with particular interests in gender relations and inequalities in the workplace and in family life, working time and time use, and international comparative analysis. Her research has been supported by major national and international funders, including the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and the European Union’s research framework programmes. Her record of knowledge exchange and impact formed one of the University’s REF 2014 impact cases for sociology. She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and has held visiting academic appointments at the Wissenshaftzentrum (WZB) Berlin; RMIT Australia; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.

Through her research she has been appointed to several high-level advisory bodies. She was a working group member and co-author of the British Academy’s 2016 report Crossing Paths: Interdisciplinary institutions, careers, education and applications. She is the UK national academic expert in the European Commission's Expert Network on Employment and Gender Equality (SAAGE) and one of the two academics appointed to Eurofound’s Advisory Board on Working Conditions and Sustainable Work (the European Commission’s tri-partite research and policy agency). Her previous advisory appointments to inform policy through research include the European Commission, the European Parliament, the United Nations’ International Labour Office and the OECD; plus reports for a range of government agencies, trade unions and employers’ associations in the EU, Australia, Japan and South Korea. 

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 8860

Professor Clive Agnew, Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students


As Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students, Professor Clive Agnew is responsible for strategy and policy development in this area. He aims to ensure that the University excels in all aspects of its educational mission.

Clive holds a Chair in Physical Geography. He researches and teaches in the fields of water resources development and applied hydrology. His first degree was in Physical Geography (BSc) from Newcastle University in 1976. His PhD was awarded in 1980 from the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia for work on water resources and drought in west Africa. He worked for his PhD at the CILSS/WMO AGRHYMET Centre at Niamey, Niger and has continued to work on problems of environmental degradation and water management.

He has worked extensively in both the drylands and the wetlands of Africa, Europe and the Middle East, developing strategies for the management of water shortages at local and regional levels. His most recent book, Water Resources and Development, written with Philip Woodhouse,examines stewardship of the water environment to give a balanced treatment of the role of environmental, social and political priorities in the allocation of water. Currently he is engaged in research projects investigating the management of water and ecosystems in the UK uplands, Bangladesh and Tanzania.

He was appointed to the Systems Department of the Open University in 1979 and, from 1981 to 1999, was a lecturer then senior lecturer in Geography at University College London.  In 2000 Clive was appointed as Head of Geography at Manchester and from 2004 to 2009 served as Head of the newly created School of Environment and Development (Including Architecture, IDPM, Geography and Planning). He was appointed Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students in 2011.

Clive continues to teach undergraduate and postgraduate students. In earlier appointments he has held various teaching management positions, including Director of Geography Programmes, Chair of Geography QAA, Director of MRes and numerous programme leads. He has written on interactive teaching for large groups and developing numeracy skills, and has held national positions as a curriculum and teaching reviewer and training facilitator. The three main goals of his current position are the enhancement of student experience, to support widening participation and to improve student employability. 

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 3654

Professor Martin Schröder, Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering

Professor Martin Schröder

Professor Schröder is an expert in materials chemistry applied to energy research and nanosciences. He leads a programme of research in the development of porous metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for a variety of applications including H2 storage, CO2 capture and the separation of fuel and toxic gases and hydrocarbons. He joined the University in June 2015 as Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Professor of Chemistry. He was previously Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Nottingham.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, he is also currently Principal Investigator for the EPSRC Programme Grant ‘Coordination Chemistry for Energy and our Sustainable Futures’ and has previously held ERC Advanced and Proof of Concept Grants. He has won many awards for his research, most notably from the Royal Society of Chemistry, including the Corday Morgan Medal and Prize (1989), the Tilden Lectureship and Medal (2001), the award for Chemistry of the Transition Metals (2003) and the award for Chemistry of the Noble Metals and their Compounds (2008). He has held a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award (2005-2010), a Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship (2006), and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Tallinn Technical University, Estonia in 2005.

Previously Martin has held a Personal Chair at the University of Edinburgh, and Visiting Professorships at the University of Toronto, the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg. He was Lecturer of the Year of the Leiden Institute of Chemistry in The Netherlands in 2010 and Guest Special Professor of Wuhan University, China in 2013. He has published 470 papers, reviews and patents.

The University of Manchester, Sackville Street Building, Sackville Street, Manchester M13 9PL
Tel: +44 (0)161 306 9112

Professor Keith Brown, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities


Professor Keith Brown graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1979 with an MA in Modern and Scottish History, and was also awarded a PhD there in 1983.

He was appointed Glenfiddich Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews in 1983 and went on to hold a number of fellowships there until becoming a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Stirling in 1991.

In 1995 he returned to the University of St Andrews as Professor of Scottish History and was appointed Head of the School of History in 1997. He became Vice-Principal (Teaching) for the University in 2001 and in 2003 was appointed Master of the United College, managing the overall academic operation of the University.  His remit was extended to include the role of Deputy Principal in 2006.

In 2010 he joined The University of Manchester as Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.  The Faculty of Humanities is the largest of the University’s four faculties with 17,000 students, around 2,000 academic and professional support staff and a diverse portfolio of disciplines organised around the Schools of Arts, Languages and Cultures, Environment, Education and Development, Law, and Social Sciences, as well as Alliance Manchester Business School.

Keith is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His field of research is early modern Scottish and British History. He led the team that in 2007 launched the acclaimed online archive of the proceedings of the original Scottish Parliament, from its first surviving act of 1235 to its union with the English Parliament in 1707.

In recent years he has published a three-volume edited history of the Scottish Parliament and a monograph entitled Noble Power in Scotland from the Reformation to the Revolution (Edinburgh University Press; 2011). His current work is on Scottish migration to England from the 16th to the 18th century, for which he holds an Arts and Humanities Research Council Network Grant.

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT
Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 1111

Professor Peter Clayton, Interim Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Professor Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton was made Interim Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty in 2018. Prior to this he was Head of the School of Medical Sciences from August 2016.

He was previously Director of the Institute of Human Development at Manchester and is a Professor of Child Health and Paediatric Endocrinology and honorary consultant at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and the Christie Hospital.

He graduated from Manchester University Medical School in 1984 (Distinction in Paediatrics), having obtained a first class intercalated degree in Physiology and Pharmacology in 1981.

Professor Clayton did his early paediatric training around Manchester before embarking on an academic career in Paediatric Endocrinology.

His primary research interest is centred on understanding mechanisms leading to disordered growth and development.

Professor Clayton has served on the Councils of the British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, the Society for Endocrinology (SfE, UK), the Growth Hormone Research Society and the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE).

He has been honoured with medal lectures for the SfE, ESPE and the Australian Endocrine Society and guest lectures for the American Endocrine Society, and Paediatric Endocrine Societies in Europe, South America, Japan, India and Korea.

Professor Clayton was appointed a consultant at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in 1994, overseeing the endocrine service. In collaboration with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, he established Manchester as one of two centres in the UK providing care for babies with congenital hyperinsulinism. He also holds a consultant post at the Christie Hospital, where he sees children with endocrine late-effects from cancer treatment.

Read Professor Clayton's full profile on the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health website. 

The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9NT
Tel: +44 (0)161 306 0533

Professor James Thompson, Vice-President for Social Responsibility

Professor James Thompson

Professor James Thompson is Vice President for Social Responsibility and Professor of Applied and Social Theatre.

He leads the University’s third core goal on social responsibility, focusing on how we orientate our research, community engagement, teaching and learning and processes to making a positive social, environmental and cultural impact on society. This includes Equality, Diversity and Inclusion - working with staff across the institution to ensure equality is at the forefront of all our processes. 

He also leads on the University’s cultural institutions, having oversight of the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Manchester Museum and the Whitworth.

He was the founder and director of two arts organisations (the TiPP Centre and In Place of War) and he continues to research arts programmes in war, disaster zones and care services. He has developed and run arts projects in Africa and South Asia (principally in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sri Lanka) and has written widely on theatre applied to conflict, peacebuilding and reconciliation.

The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9NT
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 3357