University of Southampton

Our Chancellor

The Chancellor is the leading ambassador and formal head of the University. The day-to-day running of the University is managed by the Vice-Chancellor and the Executive Group.

Read more about how the University is governed and run.

Chancellor: Dame Helen Alexander, DBE

Our Chancellor

Dame Helen Alexander, distinguished business woman

Our Chancellor

Dame Helen Alexander is known for her unusually wide and varied experience in international business, which has made her a very sought-after business consultant and leader.

She is currently the chairman of UBM plc, the Port of London Authority (PLA), and Incisive Media. She is also the Deputy Chairman of esure Group Holdings, a Non-Executive Director of Rolls Royce Group plc, and senior advisor to Bain Capital. She was also President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) until June 2011.

She is also currently involved with other not-for-profit organisations in the media, web science, and the arts and education. She is a trustee at Thomson-Reuters, the WorldWide Web Foundation, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Said Business School in Oxford, and St Paul’s Girls’ School.

"Helen Alexander brings the University a great wealth of experience across a range of business sectors that match the institutional strengths here at Southampton." Professor Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor

Notable achievements:

  • managing Director of the Economist Intelligence Unit from 1993-1997
  • was Chief Executive of the Economist Group from 1997-2008
  • was the first female President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
  • non-executive Director at Northern Foods plc from 1994-2002
  • non-executive Director at BT plc from 1998-2002
  • non-executive Director at Centrica plc from 2003-2011
  • honorary fellow of Hertford College, Oxford
  • awarded a CBE for services to publishing in 2004
  • awarded a DBE for services to business in 2011

    “I was delighted to be invited and even more honoured to be elected by the University Court as the seventh Chancellor of the University of Southampton. I share in the pride of this institution as it has grown and prospered over its first six decades. When speaking to both staff and students, I am struck by a real sense of pride in shared success and history. It is a pride that reflects an inspiring environment – a place where ideas are formed and nurtured and where great things have been, are and will be achieved. I have every confidence in the long term success of the University of Southampton and in taking up the post of Chancellor I shall do my very best to contribute to its development in the coming years.”



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