University Officers | University of Oxford
VC's Oration 2018
Procession of the Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson to the Sheldonian Theatre to deliver her Oration in 2018
Credit: Ian Wallman

University Officers



Pro-Vice-Chancellors with portfolio

Development and External Affairs: Dr Robert Easton

Dr Robert Easton took up the role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Development and External Affairs) in October 2017. Before coming to Oxford he worked at The Carlyle Group, the global alternative asset management company, latterly as Global Partner and Managing Director. During his 17-year tenure, he performed numerous roles as an investment professional and served on portfolio company boards in many sectors. Previously, he held a number of positions in corporate development and investment banking. Throughout his business career Dr Easton maintained extensive outside interests including chairing the British Venture Capital Association and being an angel investor in numerous start-up and technology ventures. He is also a Trustee of the British Heart Foundation, among many other philanthropic activities.

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Development and External Affairs) he is responsible for public affairs, development and alumni relations, and international strategy.

Education: Professor Martin Williams

Professor Martin Williams took up the role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) on January 1 2018. Professor Williams received his BSc and PhD degrees from Bristol University and later worked as a structural design engineer. He moved to the University of Oxford in 1989, based in the Engineering Science Department and at New College, where he is the David Clarke Fellow in Engineering. He is a Fellow both of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers. He served on the Council of the University of Oxford for four years, and as Senior Proctor from 2009-2010. He has chaired the Committee for the Proctors Office since 2015.  He was previously Associate Head (Education) of the Division of Mathematical Physical and Life Sciences and was Deputy Head of the Department of Engineering Science. At New College he was Sub-Warden from 2007-8 and Senior Tutor from 1995-99.

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Williams is responsible for the University’s strategy and policies for teaching, learning, student support and admissions.

Innovation: Professor Chas Bountra

Chas Bountra trained at King’s College London and the University of Edinburgh before taking up a post-doctoral fellowship and college lectureship in Physiology at Oxford. He then worked for 19 years in the pharmaceutical industry, where he was involved in the development of candidate drugs for several diseases, including novel treatments for cancer chemotherapy and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. He returned to Oxford as Professor of Translational Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine and as an Associate Member of the Department of Pharmacology. Professor Bountra is currently working with 9 pharmaceutical companies, 8 disease foundations and more than 100 academic labs to develop new drugs for a range of common and rare diseases. He leads the University’s innovation activities at regional, national and international level.

People & Gardens, Library and Museums: Professor Anne Trefethen

Professor Anne Trefethen is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (People & Gardens, Library and Museums) and a Fellow of St Cross College.

She became Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Academic Services and University Collections in January 2015, and from 1 September 2018 became Pro-Vice-Chancellor for People and GLAM, as chair of the Personnel Committee and with responsibility for overseeing the University’s gardens, libraries and museums.

Professor Trefethen was appointed the University’s first Chief Information Officer in March 2012, prior to which she served as Director of the Oxford e-Research Centre. Before coming to Oxford in 2005, she was a Director of the UK e-Science Core Programme and prior to that worked at NAG (Numerical Algorithms Group) in both management and technical roles. She has spent ten years in the US at Thinking Machines Corp and at the Theory Centre, Cornell University, in leadership roles.

Planning and Resources: Dr David Prout

Dr David Prout took up the post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources) in September 2017. He has had a distinguished career in central and local government, most recently (2013-17) as Director General for the £50 billion High Speed 2 programme. Prior to that he was Director General for Local Government at the Department for Communities and Local Government, where he was responsible for all aspects of local government policy and funding, for the Fire Service, and for tackling extremism. He has also served as, among other roles, Executive Director for Housing, Planning and Regeneration at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (2007-2009); Director for Local Government Policy in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2004-2007) and Private and Principal Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister (1999-2004).

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources), Dr Prout is responsible for institutional and strategic planning, and resource allocation.

Research: Professor Patrick Grant

Patrick Grant took a Bachelor of Engineering degree at Nottingham University, and a D.Phil in Materials at Oxford. He has been Vesuvius Professor of Materials since 2004, Deputy Head of the Mathematical Physical and Life Sciences Division from 2012-14, and Head of the Department of Materials since 2015. A Chartered Engineer, he is also a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Professor Grant’s current areas of interest include supercapacitors and batteries, three-dimensional printing, and alloys for power generation. He was a founding academic of the Begbroke Science Park and is a non-executive director of Oxford University Innovation. As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) he works closely with Oxford colleagues to create an environment conducive to world leading applied and curiosity-driven research, and with external funders to secure resources adequate to realize our research ambitions. Professor Grant chairs the Research and Innovation Committee and will be Oxford’s lead in the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework.

Pro-Vice-Chancellors without portfolio

  • Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini, DBE, QC, FRSE Principal of St Hugh's College
  • Sir Gordon Duff, FRCP, FRCPE, FMedSci, FRSE Principal of St Hilda's College
  • Professor Roger Goodman, FAcSS Warden of St Antony's College
  • The Very Rev’d Professor Jane Shaw Principal of Harris Manchester College
  • Dr Rebecca Surender Advocate for Equality and Diversity
  • Professor Lionel Tarassenko President of Parks College
  • Professor Irene Tracey FRCA, FMedSci Warden of Merton College
  • Professor Sir Rick Trainor, KBE, FRHistS Rector of Exeter College


  • Mrs Gill Aitken MA, CB Oxon

Heads of Academic Divisions

  • Humanities: Professor Karen O'Brien
  • Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences: Professor Sam Howison
  • Medical Sciences: Professor Gavin Screaton, FMedSci, FRCP
  • Social Sciences: Professor Sarah Whatmore, FBA


  • Proctors: Professor Martin C J Maiden; Professor Sophie Marnette
  • Assessor: The Reverend Professor William Whyte
  • Bodley's Librarian: Richard Ovenden, FRSA, FSA
  • Director of the Ashmolean Museum: Dr Alexander Sturgis
  • Director of the Museum of the History of Science: Dr Silke Ackermann
  • Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum: Dr Laura Van Broekhoven
  • Director of the University Museum of Natural History: Professor Paul Smith
  • Director of the Department for Continuing Education: Professor Jonathan Michie
  • Chief Executive of Oxford University Press: Nigel Portwood
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