New Chair for University’s Governing Council

5 June 2017

Derbyshire businessman Stephen Smith has been appointed as the new Chair of the University of Derby’s Governing Council. Mr Smith will take up the role from August 2018 following the end of the tenure of the current Chair, Chris Hughes, who has been part of Governing Council since 2001 and in the role of Chair since 2011.

Stephen was approved as the new Chair of Governing Council at its meeting in April 2017. He joined the University’s Council three years ago and brings a wealth of experience to the role. He is Group Chief Executive and founder of Leicester-based EMB Group, a leading economic development business services and accreditation company, which was established in 2006.  Since then EMB have delivered programmes, projects and services worth over £200m to the private and public sectors.

His earlier career was in brand marketing with multinational corporations followed by general management roles in the greeting cards and logistics sectors.

Stephen also has significant experience as a non-executive director on a number of different bodies, including RNN Group FE College, North Northants Development Company, British Chambers of Commerce, Princes Trust Regional Council and the NEST Employers Panel for pension auto-enrolment.  He has been the Chair of the University’s Strategy, Finance and Planning Committee since 2015.  He is also a fellow of the Institute of Directors (IOD) and a recent Director of the Year category winner for IOD.

Speaking about his appointment, Stephen Smith said: “I am very pleased to have been offered the role of Chair of Governing Council.  The University of Derby has performed exceptionally well over the past few years, driven by my predecessor Chris Hughes, the Governing Council and a highly talented management team.  I feel privileged to be able to continue that excellent work as the new Chair, ensuring academic excellence, a great student experience with first class employment prospects, and further strengthening partnerships with employers and key stakeholders.”

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kathryn Mitchell, said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured Stephen as the next Chair of Governing Council, to continue the outstanding work and legacy of the current Chair, Chris Hughes, and to steer us through the next phase of our development and continued success.”