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An accomplished and highly respected leader, Gillian has spent more than two decades in leadership positions at Ulster University, progressing regional skills development, talent models and foreign direct investment opportunities across Northern Ireland and beyond.

As Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, Gillian will oversee the continuation and enhancement of Ulster University Business School’s work as a leading engaged and entrepreneurial Business School and key partner to industry in Northern Ireland, delivering programmes that produce industry-ready graduates and empower established business owners to reach new opportunities.

Ranked first in Northern Ireland for research excellence in Business and Management (REF 2021), Ulster University Business School will continue to lead cutting-edge research that transforms knowledge, shapes industries and solves real-world problems.

Most recently the Associate Dean for Development and Partnerships (Domestic) at Ulster University, Gillian has worked closely with a range of highly professional and dynamic teams within academia, industry and government, to ensure a responsive and innovative approach to emerging business needs and government strategy.

Professor Paul Bartholomew, Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University, said:

"As Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Business School, Gillian will be the primary ambassador for the Faculty externally, and through an understanding of, and in partnership with, the business community, she will continue to lead the development of the University’s taught provision, research, and knowledge transfer activities.”

On her appointment, Professor Gillian Armstrong said:

“I am delighted and honoured to be appointed as PVC and Executive Dean for Ulster University Business School. I have had the pleasure of working with a range of exceptional colleagues and a dedicated Faculty Leadership Team and consider this recognition as a reflection of the collective approach and pioneering work that takes place across the Business School.

"UUBS has a rich history of working in partnership with businesses right across Northern Ireland in the areas of organisational development, work-based learning, graduate employability, skills development and applied research with impact. My priority is to ensure transformational outcomes for our students, society and the economy. Through people-centric partnering, I’m looking forward to strengthening the synergies between industry, government and academia to support innovation, business productivity and economic development."

Gillian is a Fellow and an elected member of the Institute of Directors (IOD) Northern Ireland (NI) Committee, a Board Member of Arts and Business NI, and a past Council member of the NI Chamber of Commerce (NICC). She is also actively involved with the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) and the British Academy of Management (BAM), the voice of the UK's business and management education sector.

Gillian is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and currently holds a Visiting Professorship at Hebei Geo University (HGO), China. In 2023, Gillian was awarded an MBE for services to Higher Education and Business. Gillian is inspired and supported daily by her family, her husband and two children.

Gillian will take up this role on the 1st June 2024.