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University Executive Board

The Vice-Chancellor and President leads the University, and reports to the Board of Governors. Together with the University Executive Board, the Vice-Chancellor sets the strategic direction of the University.

USS Campus

Professor Amanda Broderick (Vice-Chancellor and President)

An eminent social scientist, Professor Amanda Broderick joined University of East London as Vice-Chancellor and President in September 2018. 

Professor Broderick was previously Chief Executive Officer at Newcastle University London and has held Chairs in International Business and Marketing at multiple institutions in the UK, and Visiting Chairs internationally. She has a strong leadership track record and rare insight into a cross-section of strategic groupings of Universities.

Before moving to Newcastle University, she was Pro-Vice Chancellor (International Priorities) and founding Executive Dean of the College of Business & Law, University of Salford; Principal of St. Cuthbert’s Society (a Durham University College) and Deputy Dean of Durham Business School. She also led the development of the disruptive ‘challenger institution’ - University Academy 92, founded by the Class of ’92 and Lancaster University and launched in September 2017. 

Her leadership track record highlights her expertise in strategy development and execution; strong financial management and business planning; global education innovation; business partnership development; and, turn-around change management. She holds an entre- and intra-preneurial skills set and in-depth knowledge of alternative educational models and new business ventures in both charitable and for-profit environments.

An award-winning researcher, her expertise lies in the fields of international business, marketing psychology and strategic communications with particular application to the digital and social business agendas. Her research has appeared in many leading business journals and she has authored two seminal texts in her field.

Professor Broderick provides strategic and academic leadership for the University, with overall responsibility for 1,300 members of staff and 17,000 students, spread across campuses in London Docklands and Stratford.

Dean Curtis (Deputy Vice-Chancellor)

Dean Curtis joined University of East London as Chief Finance Officer in February 2018. His responsibilities include ensuring financial viability of the University as well as the management of the finance, estates, information technology and sports functions.

Dean is a qualified chartered public finance accountant. He commenced his career in local government on a Youth Training Scheme before becoming a trainee accountant and qualifying in the National Health Service.

During his time at the NHS he was the Director of Finance of three London NHS Trusts and worked for the NHS Executive appraising substantial investment cases for new hospital developments, most notably at Saint Bartholomew's and Royal London Hospitals.

In 2000, he joined Queen Mary, University of London, as Director of Finance and Planning before becoming the Chief Administrative Officer in 2007.

In 2012, he was appointed Chief Strategy Officer, concentrating on implementing transnational education projects in China and Malta and on a distance-learning platform. He also led on ensuring local planning policy on the redevelopment of Whitechapel supported the implementation of a life science strategy.

Professor Hassan Abdalla (Provost)

Professor Hassan Abdalla joined University of East London in 2011 as Dean of the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering. He has more than 20 years of experience in both academia and industry.

From 2009 to 2011, Hassan was Dean of the College of Design at the University of Sharjah. Prior to that, he was Head of the Leicester School of Architecture and Spatial Design at De Montfort University Leicester.

He is an international authority in the fields of sustainability, smart/future cities, engineering design, Artificial Intelligence in design and factories of the future.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce; Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers; and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was appointed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as an academic assessor for TEF2 and more recently as a TEF panel member for TEF3.
He is the author and co-author of over 100 papers published in high-impact journals and conferences worldwide. He has secured several millions of pounds for research projects from the European Union, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industry. Most recently, he was the EU coordinator for the FP7 ‘Pan-European Data Centre Academy’ project jointly with 12 companies and universities from across Europe. He is currently leading cutting-edge research jointly with Ford Motor Company and IBM.  Hassan also serves on the Advisory Professorial Board of several universities overseas.

Professor Verity J Brown (Pro-Vice Chancellor Impact & Innovation)

Professor Verity J Brown, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Impact & Innovation), joined the University of East London in March 2019 after working at the University of St Andrews. She is a behavioural neuroscientist with an interest in the functions of the brain circuits that support executive functions and, in particular, the processes involved in cognitive biases.

Professor Brown’s career in higher education management stems from her lifelong interest in creativity and how the creative process and creative people are managed. Her interest in creativity equally complements her research topic and Professor Brown enjoys teaching just as much as researching.

Professor Brown holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from UCL, a PhD in behavioural neuroscience from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from the Open University.

She has also worked as a cognitive psychologist exploiting neuroscientific methods. Professor Brown’s studies examine how changes in brain functions, such as the effects of drugs, brain damage, normal aging and degenerative diseases, impair mental ability.

Professor Charles Egbu (Pro Vice-Chancellor Education and Experience)

Professor Charles Egbu joined the University of East London as Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education & Experience) in May 2019. He has more than 25 years of experience in higher education. He was formerly Dean of School of the Built Environment and Architecture at London South Bank University where he held the chair in project management and strategic management in construction.

He has also held academic positions at University of Salford, UK, University College London (UCL), Leeds Metropolitan University, and Glasgow Caledonian University. His Doctorate was obtained from the University of Salford in the area of Construction Project Management.

He is currently President (2019/20) of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building (FCIOB), Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS), Fellow of the Association for Project Management (FAPM), Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (FRSA), and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
He was admitted to the Worshipful Company of Constructors in May 2017, and received the Freedom of the City of London in 2017.

He has written 12 books, and has lectured nationally and internationally in areas such as sustainable development, resilient communities, construction economics, and innovation and knowledge management in complex environments. He has contributed over 350 publications in various international journals and conferences, and has hosted, chaired and spoken at many conferences in his areas of expertise.

Dr. Paul Marshall (Pro-Vice-Chancellor Careers & Enterprise)

Dr. Paul Marshall took up the role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Careers and Enterprise) in May 2019. Paul champions, develops and leads the delivery of the University’s Vision 2028 ‘Future Professional’ strategic objective. The vision will address industry and community skills gaps and deliver an increase in the diversity and inclusion of those ‘employment prepared’, and the co-production (with industry) of a ‘showcase’ skills gap solution.

A graduate of the University of Sussex (PhD, MA, BA (Hons)), he has 25 years’ experience of working in the higher education sector, most recently serving for five years as a Board member of UPP, the UK’s largest provider of campus student accommodation and specialist residential services.  He previously served as Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools and the Executive Director of the 1994 Group of Universities.  Paul has held numerous advisory positions within the UK Government.  In 2013, he engaged the support of the Prime Minister’s Advisory on Enterprise, Lord Young of Graffham, to establish the Small Business Charter.   

Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and the Institute of Directors and a former judge of the Times Higher Awards. In 2018 he was appointed by Kirsty Williams, AM, Cabinet Member for Education, Welsh Government, to the inaugural Board of the National Academy for Educational Leadership, Wales.  He is a member of the Universities UK International Transnational Education Advisory Board, and the Strategic Advisory Board of the Loughborough University, School of Business and Economics.

Ian Pickup (Chief Operating Officer)

Ian Pickup is Chief Operating Officer at the University of East London, where he is responsible for the leadership, development and effective delivery of all student-facing professional services. Prior to this, Ian was Deputy COO (Student and Academic Experience) at SOAS University of London, providing strategic leadership to a team of around 200 staff across marketing, student recruitment and admissions; quality assurance; widening access and participation; careers; teaching and learning development; registry and student wellbeing.

Ian previously served as Head of the Student Experience at University College Cork, Ireland, and was Director of Student Affairs and Director of Sport and Wellbeing at the University of Roehampton. He holds a PhD in Education from the University of Roehampton, where he worked as a Principal Lecturer, becoming a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2007. Ian contributed to a range of national and international initiatives, including being the UK partner in an EU (Comenius) project relating to early years teacher education, and the training of staff to use sport as a tool for social cohesion in post disaster contexts.

A teacher and coach, Ian has authored key texts to support initial teacher education in physical education and remains a passionate advocate for the educational benefits of sport and physical activity. Ian was among the first wave of professional rugby players with the Harlequins Rugby Club in the mid-1990s and maintains an active interest in a range of sports today.

Vanessa Varvas (Chief Marketing Officer)

Vanessa Varvas joined the University of East London in October 2018 as Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment and progressed to Chief Marketing Officer in March 2019. She leads the External Relations Directorate which has responsibility for Communications & Engagement and Marketing and Student Recruitment, bringing these disciplines into one integrated customer-facing team.

Vanessa has had experience in transforming organisations, developing and implementing strategic plans in established and start-up environments and extensive international experience with a global outlook and managing a matrix of key stakeholders.

Before joining the University of East London, Vanessa was Director of External Relations at the Newcastle University London, launching the London campus. Before that she was Head of the International Office at the University of West London following several appointments in a range of higher education institutions and service industries, including in China. 

She is a member of Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR Accredited Practitioner) and Institute of Directors (IoD). In addition, she has an MSc in Chinese Language, Business and International Relations from the University of Sheffield, a PG Diploma in Public Relations from CIPR and a BSc degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science from the University of Guelph, Canada. 

Vanessa is a keen advocate for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and the power of physical activity and sport. She is also the Executive Sponsor for the UEL LGBTQ+ staff network.

Professor Marcia Wilson (Dean of the Office for Institutional Equity) 

Professor Marcia Wilson is the Dean of the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE). The OIE is the first of its kind in the UK and has specific responsibility for addressing inequalities within the institution by creating sustainable cultural changes which will positively impact the University community.

Professor Wilson joined the University in 2008 as a senior lecturer. Her previous posts at the University include Head of Sport & Exercise Sciences, Associate Dean, and Head of the School of Health, Sport & Bioscience. She holds a PhD in Sports Psychology from the University of Iowa, USA, a Master’s degree from the University of Texas, Houston, and a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education & Education Studies from the University of Bangor, Wales. She is a member of British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

She previously lectured at Coker College, South Carolina, USA and University of Gloucestershire, and Brunel University. Her research interests are in expectancy theory in sport and social justice in higher education with a particular emphasis on the experiences of Black students in the higher education sector.

Professor Wilson has won multiple awards for her work in higher education including the Best Lecturer award out of 400 nominees (2014); the Pay It Forward award at the Inspirational Woman Awards (2016); and in 2018 she won a national Precious Award for Leadership.

Peter Gregory (Director of Human Resources)

Peter Gregory joined University of East London as Human Resources Director in January 2018. His responsibilities include recruitment, employee relations, staff engagement, learning and development, reward and recognition, and health, safety and wellbeing. Peter is UEL’s Health and Safety Champion.

Peter has over 40 years’ experience in senior Human Resources positions across the private and public sectors. His formative years were spent in employee relations and staff development roles at the Ford Motor Company. Following that, he served as global Learning and Development Director for Barclays Capital, Director of Talent for Barclays plc and Centrica plc and in HR Director roles in Central Government.

Peter holds a BA in Politics from the University of Sheffield and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.