From 2010 to 2017, Mary was Chief Executive of UCAS, the universities and colleges admissions service. Earlier in her career she held executive and non-executive positions in the education, hospitality, food and biotech sectors.
She is Chair of the Dyson Institute and of Pearson Education Ltd. She is a Non-Executive Director for the Student Loans Company, the London Interdisciplinary School, The Student Room and Education Cubed, as well as a Trustee for the multi-academy Trust, United Learning. She is also Education Adviser to Emerge Education, an early stage investor in Edtech companies.
Mary has an MSc from London Business School. She was awarded an OBE in 2000 and promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to further and higher education. She is an honorary Fellow of Birkbeck, University of London and Goldsmiths, and has an honorary doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire.