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New Humanities and Social Sciences VP for Queen Mary

Queen Mary University of London has appointed Professor Frances Bowen as its new Vice-Principal for Humanities and Social Sciences, following an extensive international search.

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Professor Bowen is moving to Queen Mary from the University of East Anglia (UEA), where she has been Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Social Sciences since 2018. She will take up her new role on 1 September 2022, when Professor Matthew Hilton steps down at the end of his second three-year term.

Before joining UEA, Professor Bowen held several key leadership positions at Queen Mary. Initially recruited as Professor of Innovation in 2011, she also worked as Deputy Head and Director of Research in the School of Business and Management, before progressing to Head of School and eventually becoming its Dean.

Ahead of her move, Professor Bowen commented: “I am very excited to be coming back to Queen Mary University of London, and into this challenging role. Meeting colleagues through the application process in the last few weeks reminded me of the deep talent, expertise and passion within the Faculty and University. I look forward to working with old friends and new to shape the future of humanities and social sciences at Queen Mary.”

Professor Bowen is a distinguished researcher in the field of corporate environmental strategy. She has a strong track record in attracting external funding to support her research - including grants from BEIS, Defra, ESRC, EPSRC and SSHRC. She is passionate about putting research into practice, and regularly advises both private and public sector organisations on sustainable business strategies.

Having earned degrees at the University of Oxford, Northeastern University (USA) and the University of Bath, Professor Bowen secured progressively more senior academic appointments at the University of Sheffield and the University of Calgary (Canada), where she was Associate Dean for Research. She has also held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).

In her current role at UEA, Professor Bowen is responsible for seven academic Schools encompassing 6,000 students and 400 academic staff. She has also led institutionally significant projects across the University’s wider portfolio, including the development of its international engagement strategy.

Queen Mary’s President and Principal, Professor Colin Bailey, said of the appointment: “Professor Bowen is an outstanding academic leader, with a strong affinity to our values and mission, and I am certain she will be a great asset to Queen Mary once again. I am delighted she is re-joining Queen Mary in this key role, where I look forward to working with her to deliver the next chapter of our University Strategy.” 

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