HEPI is delighted to announce a senior new member of staff, Dr Diana Beech, who joins the think tank from the Department for Education (DfE) in a new role as the Director of Policy and Advocacy.

Previously a Programme Manager at the DfE with responsibility for establishing the Office for Students, Diana holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge (on conservative-Lutheran resistance in the Third Reich). She has also held post-doc positions at the University of British Columbia and the Technical University of Berlin, and spent three years in Cambridge managing a research project on the values behind contemporary European science policy.

Diana Beech said:

I am absolutely thrilled to be joining HEPI at such a pivotal time for the UK higher education sector. As the realities of Brexit and the Higher Education and Research Bill emerge, I look forward to working closely with the sector to help navigate the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI, said:

At HEPI, we have doubled our published output and more than doubled our programme of events in recent times, and we now work directly with the overwhelming majority of UK universities. This activity reflects the enormous changes affecting higher education at the moment. Our new appointment marks the next phase in our development and will allow us to do even more to shape and lead the policy debate.

Notes for Editors

In addition to her recent experience in higher education policymaking in Whitehall, Diana Beech has extensive experience of both UK and European higher education. She previously worked as a Research Consultant on the ‘OAPEN-UK’ project, gathering evidence to help stakeholders make informed decisions on the future of open access monograph publishing in the humanities and social sciences. Diana was also a founding member of the EURAXESS ‘Voice of the Researchers’ network, which seeks to influence policy-making in the European Research Area. She has spoken widely on the European research career at major international events, including EU Presidency conferences, and has served as an Expert for a European Commission working group to facilitate the open, transparent and merit-based recruitment of researchers across Europe. Diana has also worked as the Head of Research for the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, influencing UK labour market policy debates with reports on pay and progression for low-paid workers and the rise of the ‘gig economy’.