Sir David Bell

Category: 1990s /  All Harkness Stories /  Higher Education /  Politics & Public Services / 

Sir David Bell (HF 1993-94) was Assistant Director of Education at Newcastle City Council prior to embarking on his Harkness Fellowship year, later returning to Newcastle to become Director of Education and Libraries. David’s interest in education policy making, and a general desire to spend time understanding more about the United States, led him to apply for a ‘Harkness’. He was based in Atlanta, Georgia and worked at Georgia State University, with some time based in the Office of the State Superintendent of Schools. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading since 1 January 2012, David has held a number of major posts across the English education system. He was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education for six years. Prior to that, he was Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England for nearly four years. David began his career as a primary school teacher and later became a head teacher. Between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2019, David is Vice President England and Northern Ireland for Universities UK (UUK) as well as a member of the UUK board. In addition, David is a board member of Reading UK CIC, a trustee and advisory board member of the Higher Education Policy Institute, a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a non-executive director of the Law Commission. David was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2011.