Alistair has been Deputy Chief Executive of UUK since January 2016. He joined UUK in October 2013, first as Director of Communications and External Relations, before being named Deputy Chief Executive. He brings to his new role significant experience of higher education and political engagement, working as a Director at the University of Birmingham, for the 1994 Group, for national campaigns and in communications consultancy. He is also well-known within the sector as a speaker and commentator on higher education issues.
Alistair said: "It is a privilege to be taking on this role to represent the UK's world-class university sector. Our universities are united in shared values of openness, tolerance, creativity and a commitment to discovery and learning. Given the current economic and social challenges, it is crucial that these values and the voice of our universities are heard.
"I look forward to working with our new President and with university leaders to ensure that our sector continues to thrive and to support universities to further their positive impact across all four nations of the UK. My early priorities will be to strengthen the voice of universities in current policy debates, promote the many and diverse strengths of our sector, and enhance our engagement with members in all corners of the UK.
"I would also like to pay tribute to the work of my predecessor, Nicola Dandridge, for the exceptional contribution that she has made to UUK and to the higher education sector over her eight years as Chief Executive. I look forward to building on her legacy together with the talented and committed team at UUK."
Professor Janet Beer, who took up the role of UUK President on 1 August 2017, said: "The challenges and opportunities afforded by the current economic, social and political climate mean that UUK was seeking a Chief Executive with a strong track record in campaigning, political advocacy, and the ability to connect with a diverse range of stakeholders. Alistair's skills, experience and sector knowledge made him an outstanding candidate.
"As I start my two-year term of office, I am delighted at the prospect of working with Alistair and seeing his ideas and fresh perspective used to help the sector face the challenges ahead with confidence."