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 Council at the Dyson Institute and Chair of Trustees of the Access Project. She is also a Council member at the Open University, a non-exec Director at the Student Loans Company and the London Interdisciplinary School and a Trustee for 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 has an honorary doctorate from the University of Gloucestershire.