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David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

Sir David Bell became Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Sunderland in September 2018.

Sir David was born in Glasgow in March 1959. Educated at a comprehensive school, he took degrees at the University of Glasgow and obtained his PGCE from Jordanhill College of Education.

In a career spanning over 37 years, Sir David has held a number of major posts across the education system. Between 2012 and 2018, he was Vice-Chancellor at the University of Reading. Previously, he was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education for six years, serving four Secretaries of State and three Prime Ministers. He also served as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools for nearly four years.

Sir David began his career as a primary school teacher and later became a head teacher. He was Director of Education and Libraries with Newcastle City Council and Chief Executive of Bedfordshire County Council. He was a Harkness Fellow based in Atlanta, Georgia for a year.

Sir David is a trustee and advisory board member of the Higher Education Policy Institute and a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also sits on the Sunderland City Board and the Employment and Skills Board of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

Sir David, who was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2011, is married and has two adult daughters.

Contact details

Sir David Bell KCB
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive
Email: vice.chancellor@sunderland.ac.uk

Julie Richardson
Senior Executive Officer to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive
Tel: +44 (0)191 515 2713
Email: julie.richardson-1@sunderland.ac.uk