Russell Group universities seek new boss

Wendy Piatt

The Russell Group of 24 leading UK universities — which includes Edinburgh and Glasgow — is looking for a new director general following Wendy Piatt’s decision to stand down in February 2017.

Piatt is leaving after 10 years as director general and chief executive of the organisation.

Russell Group said Piatt has led the business since its formation in 2007 “and developed and implemented a highly successful strategy to represent the interests of the country’s leading research-intensive universities, engaging with government, business and education groups in Britain and around the world.”

Professor David Greenaway, chair of the Russell Group and vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham, said: “I would like to thank Dr Piatt for her leadership skills, hard work and commitment in first of all establishing the Russell Group as an incorporated organisation in 2007, and in making the group an internationally recognised advocate of all that is best about UK higher education, research and innovation in the years since then.

“She has significantly raised the profile and influence of our leading universities and has played a key role in shaping the strategies and policies that have made UK universities admired around the world.”

The board of the Russell Group will begin a search for a new director general to succeed Piatt, who will stand down on February 1, 2017.

Piatt said: “Having established and steered the Russell Group over the past 10 years as a highly effective representative body for 24 of the UK’s top universities, I have told the board that I wish to explore new challenges in 2017.

“This milestone is an appropriate time to move on, and I am confident my successor will inherit an organisation which is synonymous with the very highest standards in research, teaching and innovation.”