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The University of Southampton

CBI president to be next Chancellor of the University of Southampton

Published: 12 April 2011

Helen Alexander, CBE, the current President of the CBI, has been appointed to succeed Sir John Parker as Chancellor of the University of Southampton, when Sir John reaches the end of his term in office on 31 July. She will be the University’s first female Chancellor.

Helen Alexander is known for her wide and varied experience in international business. She is currently chair of the Port of London Authority and Incisive Media, and a senior adviser to Bain Capital. She is a Trustee of the WWW (World Wide Web) Foundation, and chair of the Business Advisory Council of the Said Business School, Oxford University. She holds non-executive positions at Centrica and Rolls-Royce Group and was previously a trustee of the Tate Gallery and held non-executive positions with Northern Foods and BT. She comes to the end of her term as President of the CBI in June.

For eleven years (until 2008), Helen Alexander was Chief Executive of the Economist Group, and she was also formerly managing director of the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Don Nutbeam comments: “Helen Alexander brings the University a great wealth of experience across a range of business sectors that match the institutional strengths here at Southampton. I am confident that she will be an excellent ambassador for the University and delighted to welcome her as our next Chancellor.”

Helen is the University’s first female Chancellor.
Helen Alexander CBE

The Chancellor is the principal lay officer of the University. This is largely an ambassadorial and ceremonial role, a key feature of which involves the Chancellor presiding over degree ceremonies at Graduation.

Helen Alexander comments: “It is a great honour to be Chancellor of one of the UK’s leading research universities. As a trustee of the WWW Foundation, I already have close links with Southampton academics through their world-leading work in relation to the future of the Web. I am looking forward to gaining an even deeper understanding of the University, its staff and students and the distinctive research and teaching that makes Southampton such a unique place of learning.”

Helen Alexander has an MBA from INSEAD and is an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford.

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