GuildHE’s next chief executive will be Gordon McKenzie, currently deputy director for higher education strategy and policy at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Mr McKenzie will take up his post at GuildHE in early July and succeeds Andy Westwood, who is now associate vice-president for public affairs at the University of Manchester and professor of politics at the University of Winchester.
Mr McKenzie is the latest in a series of senior figures to leave BIS in recent months, including Maddalaine Ansell, the former deputy director for international knowledge and innovation who is now University Alliance chief executive, and Matthew Hilton, the former director of higher education who is now deputy vice-chancellor (operations) at Kingston University.
GuildHE describes itself as “the key advocate for the importance of institutional diversity within the higher education sector”, with members including “many institutions with a specialist mission or subject focus and major providers in art and design, music and the performing arts, agriculture, education and health”.
Mr McKenzie, a graduate of the University of Birmingham, where he studied drama, said GuildHE “represents so many dynamic institutions with outstanding qualities”.
He added: “I am really looking forward to developing GuildHE’s influential role in maintaining and shaping a UK higher education sector which transforms lives, enhances national and local economies and produces high-impact, world-leading research.”
GuildHE said Mr McKenzie has “experience handling sensitive areas including the implementation of the Browne review on HE funding and successive government spending reviews. He has also worked with a range of ministers on innovative policies including tackling an increase in graduate unemployment and encouraging the growth of a more competitive sector.”