Appointed - Vice-President (External Engagement), UCL

  • Location: Bloomsbury Campus, London
  • Salary: £Six Figure Package
  • Ref: GH-2112-8181
  • 2023-09-14T14:40:53+00:00
  • Ellwood Atfield

This is an example of a role successfully appointed by the Ellwood Atfield team.

It was a pleasure to support this recruitment project. Register at if you’d like to hear about current opportunities.

Establish an integrated communications and engagement function for UCL, London’s Global University.

UCL is a diverse community with the freedom to challenge and think differently. With over 12,500 staff and more than 41,500 students from 150 countries, UCL pursues academic excellence, breaks boundaries, and makes a positive impact on real world problems. We champion innovation, creativity and cross-disciplinary working in our teaching and research, and we are consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the world. From the start, we opened higher education to students from a wide range of backgrounds and have changed the way we create and share knowledge. The courageous attitude and disruptive spirit of our founders is still alive today.

Our new President & Provost Dr Michael Spence joined UCL in 2021. As he builds UCL's senior leadership team, we now seek to appoint a new Vice-President (External Engagement).  This new leadership team will deliver a unified strategy for UCL, through collaboration built on trust, openness, collaboration and commitment.

The opportunity:

The main purpose of this new role is to establish, consolidate and grow the new external engagement function at UCL. As a member of UCL’s leadership team, the Vice-President (External Engagement) will report to the President & Provost and deliver an integrated and comprehensive set of externally facing functions to and raise UCL’s national and international profile. The new Vice-President will also help build UCL’s presence in London as a resource for those who are working to consolidate the capital’s reputation as one of the world’s greatest cities.

The external engagement function will bring together communications, media relations, public affairs, events and stakeholder management functions to build an integrated team that can leverage UCL’s influence on the London, national and international stages. Collectively, the team will work to ‘tell UCL’s story’ and to leverage the networks and partnerships that will enable the university to maximise the impact of its world-leading research and amplify the voices of UCL’s most compelling and thoughtful theorists and scholars.

Main responsibilities include:

  • Scope, establish and grow an effective External Engagement function for UCL that can provide leadership, direction, and professional services facilitation to support the work of the senior team and the President & Provost’s office.
  • Lead the strategic planning work that will enable UCL to capitalise on its research breadth and the thought leadership of the academic community to leverage its profile nationally and internationally.
  • Deliver public affairs and external engagement activities to build capacity and reach of the senior leadership team and expand UCL’s understanding and utilisation of best practice activity in this area.
  • Provide visionary and ambitious leadership as an active and collegiate member of the Provost’s senior team, including contributing to the development and implementation of the UCL strategy, and leading on all aspects relating to UCL’s external profile, as well as serving as a trusted adviser to the President & Provost.

Required skills, experience, and abilities include:

  • Experienced public affairs, stakeholder management or communication professional with senior leadership experience within a large, complex organisation.
  • Strong track record of effective influencing and network building across government, industry and/or media and the capacity to use existing networks and establish new ones to further the interests of UCL.
  • Ability to clearly communicate an organisation’s vision and its impact to multiple audiences and to support others to do this effectively.
  • Well-developed negotiation skills and the ability to act as an ambassador for UCL in cross cultural settings with global stakeholders.
  • Demonstrable record of outstanding achievement in a senior leadership role.

This important leadership role is a rare opportunity to shape the voice and influence of a world class organisation.

How to apply:

For more information, please consult the job description and apply via the ‘Apply for this Role’ button.
Please note that applications for this position will close on 11th January 2022.
Interviews with Ellwood Atfield will begin from 4th January 2022.
Final interviews with UCL will be conducted on 28th January 2022.