Sarah Smith joined the University of Edinburgh as University Secretary in March 2013. Her role involves:
- leading a team of around 1000 professional services staff delivering human resources and staff development, student services, communications & marketing, strategic planning, recruitment & admissions, international, internal audit, legal services and development & alumni.
- as Secretary to the University Court (Board), ensuring good and effective governance of an institution with £840m turnover, 13,000 staff and 33,000 students; and
- strategic thinking – including development of Strategic Vision 2025 and work on the underpinning 3-5 year strategic plan.
She worked previously in a range of senior civil service roles in both the Scottish Government and in Whitehall, including as Director, Learning & Head of Policy Profession; and Director Strategy & Ministerial Support in the Scottish Government; Head of East Asia and Pacific Programme in Department for International Development; and Team Leader roles in international aviation and shipping in the Department for Transport.
Prior links to the University include her role as Visiting Professor to the Academy of Government from 2008 to 2013 and her year’s secondment to the University as Associate Vice-Principal International in 2007/08.
She graduated from Oxford University with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics; from Imperial College, London with an MBA; and completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School. She has a Certificate in Counselling Skills from the University of Edinburgh and an Advanced Diploma in Executive Coaching with the Academy of Executive Coaching.