Ray Hudson has been appointed "regional champion" at Durham University.
Professor Hudson is an economic geographer who has held a range of senior management positions during his 34-year career at Durham. He becomes the university's first pro vice-chancellor for regional strategy, and will also be responsible for its Queen's campus in the deprived area of Stockton.
Durham plans to expand the campus, linking with a £300 million development led by Tees Valley Regeneration, which is set to bring more than 2,500 new jobs to the area.
Professor Hudson said Durham staff and students already did a lot of work in the region, including science outreach programmes with schools, community engagement with sport and knowledge transfer, but more needed to be done. "We need to broaden and deepen this engagement and use the wealth of Durham's talent, ability and resources at both the Durham and Stockton campuses to increasingly tackle the real issues that affect our region, such as industrial decline, health, education and environmental sustainability," he said.
Paul Westhead takes up a chair in entrepreneurship at Durham Business School, joining from Warwick Business School, where he was professor of enterprise.
Jo Phoenix , reader in social policy/criminology in the School of Applied Social Sciences, joins from Bath University, where she was a senior lecturer.
Francis Watson moves from Aberdeen University, where he is chair of New Testament exegesis, to become chair in New Testament studies in the department of theology and religion.
Ehmke Pohl , reader in the department of chemistry and the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, joins from the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, where he was principal beamline scientist.
Phil Jones , deputy vice-chancellor, moves to Sheffield Hallam University as vice-chancellor.
Keith Herrmann , director of programmes, small enterprise development at Durham Business School, becomes deputy chief executive at the Council for Industry and Higher Education.
Katharine Paterson , head of the Regional Regeneration Team, moves to Universities for the North East as director of the North East Higher Level Skills Pathfinder.