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Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor profiles

Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor profiles


Kate Adie, CBE, DL

In January 2019, broadcaster and author Kate Adie became the university’s fifth Chancellor.

Kate was the BBC’s Chief News Correspondent from 1989 to 2003 and covered major international events.

She is also a prolific author on a range of subjects, including women in World War One, and presents From Our Own Correspondent on Radio 4.

Kate was appointed OBE in 1993 and CBE in 2017, and has won multiple awards, including a BAFTA Fellowship in 2018 – a lifetime achievement award given in recognition of outstanding achievement in the art forms of moving image; the highest honour the academy can bestow.

The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university and her most public role is to preside over the university’s annual graduation ceremonies, presenting degrees to students. She will also attend other university events and serve as an ambassador for the institution in the UK and beyond.

The role was previously held by Lord Nicholas Phillips, who stepped down after ten years as Chancellor. Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers was the first President of the Supreme Court and was Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.


Dr Ann Abraham

Ann’s career in the public and charitable sectors included roles in central and local government and as Chief Executive of Citizens Advice. She was Legal Services Ombudsman for England from 1997 to 2002, during which time she also served as a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. From 2002 to 2012 she was UK Parliamentary Ombudsman and Health Service Ombudsman for England.  Ann chaired Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust from 2014 to 2017. She is currently a Trustee of the Dorset Mental Health Forum and a Commissioner with the Jersey Care Commission.

Dr Jennifer Coombs, DL

Jennifer is an ambassador and latterly Board Member for the political magazine, Prospect. She is a former High Sheriff of Dorset, serving as The Queen's representative for law and order in the county from 2015-2016. Jennifer was appointed as Pro-Chancellor in May 2017.

Dr Emma Egging

Emma is best known for founding the Jon Egging Trust (JET) in 2012, following the death of her husband, a Red Arrows pilot, in 2011 in a tragic accident. Emma is the Chief Executive Officer of the charity, which operates UK-wide and supports 10,000 young people each year to overcome adversity and be the best they can be. JET works with organisations linked to aviation, engineering and science and develops young people’s teamwork and leadership skills through its Blue Skies and Inspirational Outreach programmes. Before setting up the charity, Emma was a project director at the British Museum as part of the Community Partnerships team, which included working with vulnerable young people aged 1326.  

Dr Sue Sutherland, OBE

Sue’s career in nursing led her to become the Chief Executive of UK Transplant and Chief Executive of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Sue joined the University Board in 2006 and became Chair in 2011, serving for six years before becoming Pro-Chancellor in May 2017.