Wendy M. Purcell

Dr. Wendy Purcell PhD FRSA, a Research Scholar with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University leads research on global leadership and governance for sustainable transformation in higher education and in various business sectors, including:

• Travel & Tourism, supported by the World Travel and Tourism Council
• Auto Industry, under the Culture of Health program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
• Airlines and Airports, supported by the Airlines for America
• Higher Education and Sustainability
• SDG Solutions Group https://sdgsolutionsgroup.com/
• Leaders on Purpose https://www.leadersonpurpose.com/

Wendy was President Vice-Chancellor of a UK university (2007-2015), taking it to the top 1% of world universities and number one ‘green’ UK university. She is Emeritus Professor of Biomedicine at Plymouth University, UK and life scientist with experience in knowledge exchange and innovation, having worked with the pharma/biotech sector. Council Member of the United Nations University, Member of the Association of American Universities and Colleges, she is Visiting Professor at McGill University.

Wendy was a Non-Executive Director with the UK Government’s cabinet-level office the Government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and Chair of its Nominations (Talent) Committee. She was Expert Adviser to Sir Andrew Witty’s Review of Universities and Economic Growth and Sir Adrian Smith’s Postgraduate Review. She continues to advise the UK Government, working with the Cabinet Office on Talent and Diversity for the Civil Service (equivalent to all US Cabinet Secretaries and Congressional leadership) and the Government Office for Science on Foresight programs. She was The Wellcome Trust Media Fellow, spending time as a Science Journalist with the BBC World Service.

Wendy is an experienced Director/Trustee with current roles in Charities/Not-for-Profits and was Founder/Chair of the UK Council for Healthcare Scientists. She has secured competitive research funding from UK, EU and USA sources and is highly effective in raising philanthropic funds. She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, a member of the RSA Sustainability Board, elected Member of the International Women’s Forum (UK and USA) and a Member of the Harvard-affiliated Institute of Coaching.

Wendy’s purpose lies in transforming lives through education and research in pursuit of social equity, the knowledge economy and sustainable development. She seeks to connect universities with business and society. A transformational leader, she is able to deliver excellence in mission-driven organizations in executive and non-executive roles and through leadership coaching and consultancy; she is a coach and mentor to senior executives in business and higher education. Comfortable with complexity and scale, she is analytical as well as enterprising in her approach and takes a keen interest in equity, diversity and inclusion, leadership and governance and sustainability. Wendy consults on global trends and change leadership resulting from disruptive forces and in pursuit of sustainable development.

Wendy has authored over 100 academic publications, as well as book chapters, books and patent filings. I have published over 100 research articles, as well as delivering expert reports, talks and advising. She is currently editor of the lead journal Sustainability for a special issue on ‘Sustainable Higher Education and Leadership’ and lead author of a textbook for Bloomsbury entitled ‘Handbook on Sustainability in Higher Education: an Agenda for Transformational Change’ and Series Editor for Emerald for 17 books on ‘ Higher Education and the Sustainable Development Goals’.