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Birkbeck appoints Sir Andrew Cahn as Chair of Governors

Sir Andrew Cahn, a highly experienced Chief Executive and senior civil servant who has worked at the highest levels in Whitehall, the private sector and Europe, will take up the post from 1 October.

Sir Andrew Cahn has been appointed as the new Chair of Governors of Birkbeck, University of London. He will take up the post from 1 October 2019, when the current Chair Sir Harvey McGrath, who has served three terms (the maximum allowed), steps down.

Sir Andrew’s appointment was unanimously endorsed by Birkbeck’s Board of Governors at a meeting on 21 February 2019.

Sir Andrew has had a long and distinguished career at the highest levels of Whitehall, the private sector and the European Union. He was principal advisor on EU issues to Prime Ministers John Major and Tony Blair and went on to become CEO and Chair of UK Trade and Investment, driving forward the internationalisation of UK-based businesses and attracting foreign investment to the UK.

He is currently a trustee of a number of charities including the Gatsby Foundation and WWF UK where he is Chair of the Board of Trustees. Sir Andrew is also a Trustee of the Institute for Government and a Non-Executive Director of Huawei Technologies (UK) plc.  His previous Non-Executive Director roles include Lloyds of London, and Nomura International plc and Nomura Europe Holdings, where he was also Vice Chairman.

Sir Harvey McGrath, Birkbeck’s outgoing Chair of Governors said: “I am very pleased to be handing over to Sir Andrew as the new Chair of Governors. The post attracted an extremely high calibre of applicants and Sir Andrew’s knowledge, experience, values and clear understanding of Birkbeck’s mission made him an ideal fit for the role. His support and commitment will prove invaluable in helping to steer the College through the opportunities and challenges of the coming years.”

Sir Andrew Cahn said: “Birkbeck has a unique and important mission and I am very much looking forward to joining it at such an important time in its history. I am looking forward to leading the College’s Governors and working with its staff as it plans for its 200th anniversary in 2023, as well as expanding its student population and building stronger links with businesses and the economy in London.

Master of Birkbeck, Professor David Latchman said: “I am delighted to be working with Sir Andrew. I would also particularly like to thank Sir Harvey for the immense contribution he has made to Birkbeck as the Chair of Governors. He has been at the helm during a period of major transformation in which the College has refocused its offering to attract a far more diverse body of students whilst staying true to its mission to provide excellent teaching and world-class research to Londoners."

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