NEWS6 November 2020

ESRC executive chair departs

News People Public Sector UK

UK – The Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC’s) executive chair, Professor Jennifer Rubin, has left for a senior advisory role at the Home Office.

Home office

Rubin, who has led the ESRC since January 2018, will be chief scientific adviser and director of general science, technology, analysis, research and strategy at the Home Office.

She will take up her new role in January, and replaces Professor John Aston, who has returned to Cambridge University. Professor Alison Park, director of research at the ESRC, will step up as interim executive chair on Rubin’s departure.

During her time at ESRC, Rubin helped the organisation through the launch of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which brought together seven research councils including the ESRC, and established major projects such as the National Productivity Institute and Administrative Data Research UK.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, chief executive of the UKRI, said: “Professor Rubin has been an outstanding executive chair of the ESRC, strengthening the social sciences within UKRI and overseeing the establishment of major projects. We wish her all the best in her new role.”

Rubin said: “It is a privilege to be joining the Home Office to continue John’s excellent work of bringing together and leading the science, technology, analysis, research and strategy portfolio at such an important time.

“I look forward to working with the outstanding teams across the department and beyond, to providing science advice to the department, and to working together with the chief scientific adviser network on cross-government issues.”