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UCEA Chief Executive Helen Fairfoul announces she will be leaving at the end of 2019

Helen Fairfoul has announced her decision to leave her role as Chief Executive of UCEA at the end of December 2019. 
Professor Mark E. Smith, Chair of UCEA, said: “Both the Board and myself personally are hugely grateful to Helen for her tremendous contribution to UCEA. She will be sadly missed when she finishes as UCEA’s Chief Executive. Thanks to Helen’s insightful and skilled leadership and guidance UCEA is well placed to continue its excellent work in supporting sector institutions in their many employment challenges. Our surveys show UCEA is a very highly valued sector organisation under Helen’s leadership. I would also like to express the Board’s gratitude to Helen announcing her intentions at this point so that the search for a suitable successor can begin.”
Helen Fairfoul said: “It has been very difficult to decide when to set a date to finish leading this fantastic organisation and focus on other things. However, I will have been Chief Executive for seven years this autumn and I have identified the end of 2019 to give the UCEA Board good time to seek my successor. It has been an absolute privilege to be Chief Executive at UCEA and work with such exceptional colleagues across the sector. I am choosing to leave while I love doing this job and in the knowledge that the HE sector employers’ body is in a tremendously good place to continue to provide its growing membership with the high-quality representation, support and services they expect.”
Helen joined UCEA in 2007 as Deputy Chief Executive, having previously been HR Director at the University of Roehampton. Helen was appointed UCEA’s Chief Executive in 2012.*
* A more detailed biography is available on the Staff webpage
For further information: 
Please contact Andy Fryer, Head of Communications and Membership ( or Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Manager ( 
Call 020 7383 2444.