UCAS is delighted to welcome a senior executive from Google and a senior data strategy director to the UCAS Board.
Posted Fri 23 April 2021 - 10:28

Katharine Purser, Deputy Director of Data Strategy, at the Department for Work and Pensions, and Shuvo Saha, Director of Customer Programmes at Google will join the Board which governs the activities of the UCAS charity. 

Katharine has held several senior strategic positions across both local and central government and has been appointed as a Trustee of the UCAS Board and will sit on the Remuneration Committee and Nominations Committee.  During her career, Katherine established and managed the award-winning multi-agency Welfare Reform Task Force and is passionate about improving diversity in the public sector. As Head of the Centre for Public Appointments at the Cabinet Office, Katharine led over 200 campaigns a year to bring diverse talent to the boards of public sector bodies.

Katharine Purser said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to step into this role to support UCAS – which plays a vital role in our national educational infrastructure. In my day job I work on strategic use of data for DWP, and I hope to apply my skills to help UCAS make best use of data and digital as strategic assets in ways which both benefits, and is welcomed by, students, universities and all our customers and stakeholders.   

“Working in Government I also hope to continue to strengthen UCAS’s positive and productive relationships with government organisations.”  

Shuvo Saha will also take up his position as Trustee of the UCAS Board, as well as Director of the UCAS Media Board next month.  With over a decade of experience across a range of senior roles at the heart of Google, Shuvo has extensive knowledge and expertise of international marketing, digital media sales and education having also held positions at Oxford Strategic Marketing and Procter & Gamble in his career to date Shuvo is also a Board Trustee of Common Purpose and sits on the Advisory Board for The Climate School.  

Shuvo Saha said: "I'm excited to join UCAS at a very important time for higher education.  Disruption from the pandemic has provided a once-in-a-generation moment to transform how we help students make the right choices for their future - especially in the context of a global, competitive and increasingly digitally powered education industry.   

“After spending recent years building the Google Digital Academy, I hope that my experience in building digital skills and transforming people and organisations can add value to this challenge!"  

Chair of UCAS’ Board of Trustees, Trudy Norris-Grey, said:  

“Katherine and Shuvo come to UCAS with impressive track records in digital and data. Their combined experience and expertise will support the UCAS charity in further developing our vision to make UCAS the leading digital destination for students to explore all the opportunities available to them in higher education and training and receive personalised information and advice”.

UCAS Chief Executive, Clare Marchant, said:  

“I am delighted to welcome Katharine and Shuvo to UCAS. They each bring with them impressive credentials which will undoubtedly be invaluable to us at a time of real change and transformation for the organisation and the sector as a whole, supporting us as we continue with our commitment to inspire students to make informed, aspirational choices about their future.” 

Recent appointments have also been made to the UCAS Media and UCAS International Boards. Daragh Kelly and Tracey Harrison have joined as Director’s to the board of UCAS Media and Laurie Pearcey has been appointed as a Director to the UCAS International Board.  

In his career, Daragh Kelly leads on data science and customer and data analytics as the Global Vice President, Data and Analytics at British fashion house Burberry; Daragh previously held senior levels positions at Sky in Data and Insight.  

Tracey Harrison, is a Director at Harrison, Mayer and Mayer and has a vast array of experience across the globe in introducing innovative and impactful education and training programmes. Tracey has been widely celebrated for her contributions to improving social mobility.  

Laurie Pearcey is Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and Chief Executive of UNSW Global. Laurie is responsible for, and expert in, International student recruitment, developing pathways to education and advancing global business development. 

Two appointments have also been confirmed within UCAS’ Audit Committee.   

Sarah Randall-Paley, Director of Finance at the University of Lancaster since 2009 has stepped up to the role of Chair of the Committee, succeeding Dr David Ashton. Sarah was previously a co-opted member of the Audit Committee and is also Chair of the British Universities Finance Director’s Group.  

Professor Wendy Robinson, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, College of Social Sciences, and International Studies at the University of Exeter also joins the Audit Committee next month as a co-opted member.   

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