Tim Bradshaw has been appointed as the Russell Group’s new chief executive, having served as acting director since February.
The Russell Group, which represents 24 UK research-intensive universities, said he had been “confirmed in the role following an open recruitment process”.
The role, one of the most senior in the UK sector, was left open after Wendy Piatt stood down as director-general in February.
Russell Group institutions benefit from significant EU research funding and seeking to resolve the future of that funding post-Brexit, along with the future of EU nationals who serve as staff members, are among the organisation’s current priorities.
Dr Bradshaw was previously director of policy at the Russell Group, having joined the organisation in 2012 from the Confederation of British Industry, where he led work on industrial strategy, manufacturing, competitiveness, university-business collaboration, and science and technology policy.
“The landscape for higher education is undergoing a major reorganisation as the new Office for Students and UK Research and Innovation become established and start to develop their new roles,” Dr Bradshaw said.
“As chief executive, I want to play a central role in delivering the government’s industrial strategy ambitions. And, of course, we still face significant uncertainty over Brexit.
“The Russell Group will be keeping the interests of our world-leading universities high on the government’s agenda, so we can continue to play to our strengths in research, teaching and innovation.”
Dr Bradshaw studied at the University of Leicester and the Open University. He has a PhD in geology and geochemistry.
Sir Anton Muscatelli, chair of the Russell Group and principal of the University of Glasgow, described it as "a great appointment for the Russell Group and for the wider HE sector".
“Tim has all the credentials necessary to lead the organisation over the next few years," Sir Anton said. "He brings to the role a wealth of experience in higher education, business and government as well as an in-depth understanding of the major policy challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”