Wendy Purcell

Affiliated Research Scientist, SHINE
Research Associate, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Visiting Professor, University College London’s Global Business School for Health

Wendy’s purpose lies in transforming lives through education and research in pursuit of social equity, the knowledge economy and sustainable development. She is a Visiting Professor with University College London’s Global Business School for Health where she leads their MBA ‘Change Management for Healthcare’. Wendy is Lead Faculty Instructor with Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Division of Continuing Education and Visiting Scientist with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she was an Academic Research Scholar 2016-2022.

Wendy is an Emeritus Professor of Biomedicine and was President Vice-Chancellor of a UK university (2007-2015), where she established a new Medical School and a new Dental School. She led the university to be among the top 1% of world universities and first ‘green’ UK university. She is a Council Member of the United Nations University, Governing Board Member EELISA European University and Member of the American Association of Universities and Colleges. Wendy was a Non-Executive Director with the UK Government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and Chair of its Nominations (Talent) Committee and Strategic Member of the Cabinet Office’s Task Force on leadership talent development.

At Harvard University, Wendy led research on global leadership and governance for transformational change. She was lead researcher on the Culture of Health project, a joint initiative of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Business School supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where she explored health and equity in business and community settings. Her teaching relates to change agency with a focus on sustainability and sustainable development as the fuel for adaptive change across sectors. Wendy is a registered member of Harvard’s McLean Institute of Coaching, Harvard Medical School and coach/mentor to executive leaders and change agents. She was lead academic on a global CEO study concerning leaders with purpose working across business sectors.

Wendy is an Expert Adviser and Board member to a range of Boards and charities/not-for-profit organizations advancing internationalization and sustainability leadership. She has authored over 100-publications, is an academic editor[1] and author; she is busy writing books[2],[3] on Sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals and the role of higher education in advancing a world where no one is left behind. She is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Merits, an international journal focused on contemporary research issues related to enabling people at work to thrive.

Wendy worked extensively at a strategic level with the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and was founder and inaugural Chair of the UK Council for Healthcare Scientists, Member of the Health Education England (HEE) Genomics Advisory Board and HEE’s Healthcare Science Implementation Network Group. She was Expert Advisor to UK Department of Health (DoH) on the Future Shape of the Healthcare Science Workforce, Chair of the DoH Healthcare Science Strategic Advisory Group in Higher Education, and Member of Universities UK Health Education and Research Policy Network. By invitation of the DoH Office of the Chief Scientist, Wendy was Chair of Medical Education England (MEE) Healthcare Science Clinical Academic Careers Strategy Group and a Member of MEE’s Academic Careers Working Group focused on NHS workforce development.