The former Secretary of State for Education, Ruth Kelly has been appointed as Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at St Mary’s University, Twickenham in south-west London.
Ms Kelly, who served in the Labour Government between 2004 and 2008, joins the university from HSBC Global Asset Management, where she was Global Head of Client Strategy. In a statement, she said that education was an “enduring passion for her.”
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining St Mary’s at a time of significant growth and opportunity for the university. I greatly enjoyed my time working in the City but education is an enduring passion and this was an opportunity I had to seize. St Mary’s is a fabulous institution with a famous history, a strong ethos and an exciting vision for the future,” she said.
“I aim to be at the forefront of efforts to forge links between the University, the public sector, the voluntary sector and business. It is an extremely exciting time to be joining St Mary’s and I look forward to the journey ahead.”
At 36 years of age, Ms Kelly was appointed as Secretary for Education and Skills making her the youngest woman ever to sit in the cabinet at the time.
Vice-Chancellor Francis Campbell, former ambassador to the Holy See, said: “This is a significant appointment for St Mary’s. Ruth Kelly brings expertise and insight that will be vital in helping the University grow and develop.
“As a former Education Secretary she boasts deep knowledge of government and a strong grasp of the sector. Through her experience working in the City she can offer valuable insight into the commercial world and the opportunities for partnership that the university will be seeking to develop in the years ahead. It is a unique combination of skills and experience and we are delighted to welcome her aboard.”
A statement from St Mary’s University said that Ms Kelly’s new role is as a “senior leadership position with a particular focus on developing research, diversifying the funding base of the University and building stronger partnerships with government and commercial enterprises at a local, national and international level.”