University appoints Julie Ashworth as Senior Governor

The University of Aberdeen is pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Ashworth as Senior Governor to lead its governing body, the University Court.

Currently Chair of the Institute of Directors (IOD) Edinburgh and a member of the Scotland Advisory Board of the IOD, and Governor of George Watson’s College in Edinburgh, Julie is Founder and CEO of Broadreach Leadership Consultancy, which works with companies and organisations worldwide in workforce coaching and development.  Julie is also the Scottish Lead for Women on Boards

As an experienced Executive and Non-Executive Director, Chair, Board Advisor, Angel Investor and Founder, she has worked with a range of businesses and charities in various retail and coaching roles, including with M&S, IBM, and Sainsbury’s.

The Senior Governor is responsible for the leadership and effectiveness of the Court as the University’s governing body, with a key role in building a successful relationship between Court and the senior management of the University.

Welcoming Julie’s appointment, Professor George Boyne, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said:  “I am delighted to welcome Julie to the role of Senior Governor and look forward to working with her to achieve the ambitions in the University’s Aberdeen 2040 strategy.

“The Senior Governor is a hugely important role for the University’s Court and the wider University community, and for our relationships with external partners regionally and globally.  

“Julie brings a wealth of experience from various high-level roles including as Chair of the Institute of Directors Edinburgh and the Scottish lead for Women on Boards. She has occupied a wide range of positions and as an experienced Executive and Non-Executive Director, Chair, Board Advisor, Angel Investor and Founder, she brings a high level of expertise which will stand us in good stead as we address the challenges for the higher education sector and meet our strategic ambitions.

“Following new legislation in Scotland, this was only the second time that students, staff and members of Court have been able to vote for the person they feel is best qualified to lead the Court, the University’s governing body.

“On behalf of the University I’d like to thank everyone who played their part by voting in the election,and express my personal thanks to all three of our candidates for participating so enthusiastically and effectively in this process.”

Julie, who will serve a three-year term of office as Senior Governor, said: “I am absolutely thrilled by the opportunity to lead the Court at the University of Aberdeen.

“I’d like to thank all the staff and students who voted and pay tribute to the other very impressive candidates.

“It is an extraordinary time as we move forward out of the pandemic and I don’t doubt the challenges and opportunities this presents. The University is very much a part of the local community, but also has an international outlook as one of the UK's top 20 universities. With the COP26 summit in Scotland just a few months away I know we can lead many of the conversations around energy and sustainability.  I can't wait to be part of such an impressive, dynamic and ambitious organisation.”

Julie succeeds Esther Roberton, who made a positive contribution to the life, work and governance of the University prior to her leaving the role at the end of last year.