Who's Who

Dr Rita Gardner CBE FAcSS

Chief Executive
[email protected]
Dr Rita Gardner CBE FAcSS is a professional geographer. She was appointed Chief Executive of the Academy of Social Sciences to succeed Stephen Anderson from 28 January 2019. Rita was previously Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), the UK’s learned society and professional body for geography, from 1996 to 2018. In that role, she developed and led a sustained, strategic programme of modernisation and expansion of the society, advocacy for geography, and public and policy engagement. Dr Gardner has extensive experience in advisory, trustee and committee roles, including Personal Advisor for geography to Lord Adonis (Schools Minister, Department for Children, Schools and Families); Chair, Exhibition Road Cultural Group; Non-Executive Director, British Antarctic Survey; and Member, ‘Finch’ Review Group on Open Access to Scholarly Publications. Dr Gardner pursued an early academic career in geography from 1979 to 1996 at London University after studying at Oxford University (DPhil) and UCL (BSc). Her work is recognised with three leading geography awards, five honorary degrees and a CBE for services to geography.

Professor Bobby Duffy

Chair Campaign for Social Science
Professor Bobby Duffy is Director of The Policy Institute and Professor of Public Policy at King’s College London. Prior to joining King’s College, he was Managing Director of Public Affairs for Ipsos MORI and Global Director of the Ipsos Social Research Institute, spanning some 30 countries. In a 25-year career in policy research and evaluation, he has worked across a wide range of public policy areas, including a secondment to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. He became Chair of the Campaign for Social Science in November 2019.

Kelly Beaver

Board Member
Kelly Beaver is the Managing Director of Ipsos MORI’s Public Affairs business in the United Kingdom. She is responsible for a team of c.250 staff located throughout the UK including in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. Her team provides robust research and analysis to help clients across every area of government policy to monitor and understand public opinion, behaviours and societal trends, design public services and policies, and to determine what works in achieving social and economic policy objectives. Kelly holds several honorary positions outside of Ipsos. These include a Senior Research Fellowship at the Kings Policy Institute, and a Board Member for the Campaign for Social Sciences in the UK. Kelly was a Director of the UK Evaluation Society between 2011 and 2017.

Dr Patrick Diamond

Board member
Dr Diamond is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Queen Mary, University of London. Patrick was Senior Adviser in Number 10 and the Cabinet Office for over 10 years. He is the author of a number of books and reports on social and public policy, and is a former Councillor in the London Borough of Southwark.

Rachel Neaman

Board member
Rachel is an influential technology leader specialising in digital transformation, leadership, health tech, skills and inclusion. Her executive career spans the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, including as the first Chief Digital Officer for the Department of Health, and as a CEO. She is a Non-Executive Director of The Panoply Holdings Plc, a Governor of Birkbeck College, London, and sits on the Board of Digital Leaders, of which she is a former Chair. Rachel runs her own consultancy, advising and mentoring businesses and business leaders, and speaks regularly at UK and international conferences and events.

Professor Jonathan Portes FAcSS

Board member
Professor Portes is Professor of Economics and Public Policy, King’s College London. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Economic and Social Research Council’s ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ initiative. He was the Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, as well as Chief Economist to the Department for Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office.

Dr. Chris Tyler

Board Member
Dr. Chris Tyler is Director of Public Policy in University College London’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (UCL STEaPP), where he leads STEaPP’s policy programmes and explores how policy makers use scientific evidence. Prior to joining STEaPP, Dr. Chris Tyler spent five years as Director of the UK’s Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and before that was the first Executive Director of the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) at the University of Cambridge. He has a degree in anthropology from the University of Durham and a PhD in biological anthropology from the University of Cambridge and sits on the Council of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Sharon Witherspoon MBE FAcSS

Head of Policy
[email protected]
Sharon is Head of Policy at the Campaign. She was at the Nuffield Foundation, a grant-giving endowed charitable trust, for 19 years, first heading its programmes of social research and social policy, and then for three years as Director. Before that, she was a practicing social researcher at NatCen and the Policy Studies Institute, designing and analysing large-scale social surveys on various topics. She was awarded an MBE for services to social science in 2008, received the British Academy President’s Medal in 2011, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College London in 2015 for services to social sciences and law.

Professor James Wilsdon FAcSS

Board Member
James Wilsdon is professor of research policy at the University of Sheffield and vice-chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA). From 2013 to 2017, he chaired the Campaign for Social Science, and led an independent review of the role of metrics in the management of the research system, published in 2015 as The Metric Tide. Previously he worked at the universities of Sussex and Lancaster, and was director of science policy at the Royal Society.

Jon Deer

Board Member
Jon Deer is deputy director of the Research Division and team leader for the Research Development team at LSE. He has over 20 years experience in higher education, working at the Institute of Education before joining LSE.

Professor Rick Delbridge FAcSS

Board Member
Professor Delbridge is Dean of Research, Innovation & Enterprise, Cardiff University and Professor of Organizational Analysis, Cardiff Business School. He is also academic lead for the Social Science Research Park (SPARK). His main areas of research expertise are innovation, employment relations, Japanese management and manufacturing.

Professor Claire Donovan

Board member
Professor Claire Donovan is Professor of Higher Education and Deputy Head of the Department of Education at the University of Greenwich. She was previously Reader in the Health Economics Research Group (HERG), Brunel University London and has held research and teaching positions at the Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University; Nuffield College, Oxford University; and The Open University. She has pioneered cross-disciplinary research on research evaluation and policy, including assessing the wider impacts of research on society, and the governance of the humanities, arts, and social sciences within science systems.

Desiree Lopez

Board Member
Desiree Lopez is Head of Behavioural and Social Strategy at Flamingo. Desiree was the CEO of TNS BMRB, one of the UK's largest social research agencies. She has more than 20 years’ of international experience in social research. She is an education specialist, having worked as an educational researcher, teacher and teacher trainer in Australia, Canada and the UK.

Ziyad Marar

Board Member
Ziyad is President, Global Publishing at SAGE. Ziyad joined SAGE in 1989 and has worked across all aspects of publishing. He was appointed Editorial Director in 1997, Deputy Managing Director in 2006, and took on a more global role in 2010 as Global Publishing Director. In 2016, Marar was promoted to President, Global Publishing where he has overall responsibility for SAGE's publishing strategy.

Professor Andrew Russell

Board Member
Professor Russell is is Head of Politics at the University of Liverpool. He began his career as lecturer in politics at the University of Leeds before moving to the University of Manchester in 1994 where he became a professor in 2011. He is a specialist on the British Liberal Democrats party and on young people. In 2004, he was the academic representative on the Electoral Commission's review of the minimum age of candidature and voting in UK elections.