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Associate vice-presidents

In addition to the senior officers at The University of Manchester, there are also a number of associate vice-presidents responsible for leading on priorities for the institution, some of whom are listed below.

Alan Ferns, Associate Vice-President for External Relations and Reputation 

Alan Ferns

Alan Ferns is Associate Vice-President for External Relations and Reputation and is responsible for providing co-ordination, leadership and strategic direction for a wide range of external relations and reputation building activities. He works closely with the President and Vice-Chancellor and other senior colleagues to build and maintain good relationships with external agencies and key stakeholders and to monitor, protect and enhance the University’s global reputation

Prior to taking up his current role in January 2017, Alan was Director of Communications and Marketing at the University where he managed the award-winning central communications and marketing team. He also provided the strategy and leadership for a wider community of communications and marketing professionals across the University responsible for delivering communications and engagement activity for the University’s 40,000 students, 11,000 staff and 380,000 alumni.

Alan and his team delivered all of the communications surrounding the successful Manchester ‘merger’ of 2004 and built the brand that has transformed the global reputation of The University of Manchester since then.

He has worked in the field of university communications since 1983 at the universities of Lancaster, Salford and Manchester.

Professor Stephen Flint, Associate Vice-President for Internationalisation

Stephen Flint

Professor Stephen Flint leads a geoscience research group that reconstructs the palaeogeography of ancient sedimentary basins worldwide. This helps to understand the effects of climate change and tectonic activity in deep time. Applications include exploration for new gas reserves in the transition from oil to renewable energy sources and forecasting of future environmental change.

He joined the University in 2012 as Professor of Stratigraphy and Associate Dean for Internationalisation in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. In 2015 he served as Interim Vice-President and Dean of Faculty and took up the newly established position of Associate-Vice-President for Internationalisation in November 2015. He leads on development of global strategic partnerships and is Chair of the Universities UK PVCs-International network.

Previously Stephen worked for Shell Research in the Netherlands, then moved to an academic position at the University of Liverpool, where he held a Personal Chair in Sedimentology and was Dean of Graduate Studies. He has published over 150 papers, geology textbooks and many industry reports.

Professor Nalin Thakker, Associate Vice-President for Compliance, Risk and Research Integrity 

Nalin Thankkar

Professor Thakkar is an Associate Vice-President and Professor of Molecular Pathology at The University of Manchester, Consultant Histopathologist at the Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and a Non-Executive Director at the Health Research Authority.

He is a multiple graduate of the University and has been associated with the University since 1997. In his executive role at the University, he has a broad remit with responsibility for oversight of non-financial risk and compliance, and research governance and integrity.

In his NHS role, Professor Thakkar is a senior clinician and leads the head and neck adult histopathology service for a large NHS Trust with a regional head and neck oncology surgery centre. He is also an examiner for the Royal College of Pathologists.

He has served as a Non-Executive Director (ministerial appointment) of the Health Research Authority (HRA) since its establishment as a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department of Health in 2015. The HRA is one of the key regulators overseeing health and social care research with a remit is to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health and social care research.

Professor Thakkar has previously served on the Royal College of Pathologists’ Ethics Committee and been a National Advisor to the Health Research Authority. Prior to this, he was a National Research Ethics Advisor to the National Research Ethics Service and also served as Vice Chair / Chair on both NHS and University research ethics committees.