University of Leeds appointed Jennifer Sewel as its next Secretary

Jennifer will join in January 2022 from Durham University, where she is currently University Secretary.

She said: “I’m looking forward to joining Leeds at such a significant time for the University and for the higher education sector, working to a new University strategy which will provide an important focus for decisions and actions for the next ten years.”

Roger Gair, current University Secretary, will retire in December after more than 40 years’ service at Leeds, with more than 20 of them as Secretary.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk said: “I’m delighted to announce Jennifer’s appointment and I look forward to welcoming her into our community in January. She has a strong background in university governance and strategic planning from her time at Durham, and impressed us with her intellect and leadership style.

“Jennifer is joining the University at an exciting time, and I am looking forward to working with her as we deliver our 10-year strategy and its three pillars of community, collaboration and impact.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to reiterate my huge gratitude to Roger for his enormously significant service to Leeds over the past four decades, and for supporting me in my first year as VC.”

The University Secretary is a member of University Executive Group, responsible for providing advice and support to the Council, Senate and their committees and for leading on:

compliance and legal affairs;
freedom of expression;
communications and reputation management;
risk management and assurance;
wellbeing, safety and health;
student discipline;
student complaints and appeals.
Jennifer Sewel previously served as Director of Policy, Planning and Governance at the University of Aberdeen, where she was responsible for the University’s governance, assurance and strategic planning functions. She is a member of the Association of Heads of University Administration and has served as a member of a number of charity boards.