Skip to main content

Alison Johns

Alison is the Chief Executive of Advance HE. She was appointed in the autumn 2017, to lead the merger of three national agencies which created Advance HE in 2018. Prior to that, she was the Chief Executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE).
Advance HE
Job Title
Chief Executive

With three decades experience in higher education she was held a variety of senior posts including head of policy for leadership, governance and management at the HEFCE (The Higher Education Funding Council for England, now the Office for Students, the HE regulator for England), where she led on a wide range of policy themes and established both the Leadership Foundation and the Equality Challenge Unit.

She is a past president and chair of the Association of University Administrators (AUA), advisor to  the Association of Commonwealth Universities Human Resources Management Network and also sits on the British Council’s planning committee for Going Global, the major international higher education conference. She has and has held numerous Board positions and works widely in the area of effective governance and the advancement of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Alison has extensive international experience in higher education sitting on a variety of boards and advising governments and higher education institutions on higher education reform.  She led the review of teaching and learning enhancement for the Australian government, which established the Office for Learning and Teaching to enhance teaching quality across the Australian higher education sector.  Alison regularly takes part in conferences and events, both nationally and internationally, and has been an invited speaker in over 30 countries on four continents speaking on all aspects of university leadership, governance and management.