Arc Universities

Professor Karen Holford CBE is Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor at Cranfield University.  Previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University, Karen joined Cranfield in August 2021, following the retirement of Professor Sir Peter Gregson.

Karen has joined the Arc Universities Governing Board. Working together with Government, the Arc’s LEPs, Growth Boards and business, the AUG is working together with business and government to foster research, skills and innovation to support inclusive and resilient growth across the region, and beyond.

As Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor at Cranfield University, Karen serves on the Arc Universities Group Governing Board, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Leaders Group, Midlands Innovation University Partnership Board, and Universities UK Policy Group on Security. In 2018, Karen received a CBE for services to engineering and the advancement of women in engineering, and in 2019 received the Suffrage Science award in Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Cranfield is well known for its strong collaborations with government, with industry and with other universities, and is leading some of the key themes of the Arc Economic Prospectus, including Sustainable Aviation, Space and the Environment.  Through the Arc Universities Group, Cranfield and the eight other member universities are seeking to help build what government has described as a global powerhouse in science, technology and innovation.

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