Sir David Bell KCB

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Sunderland

Sir David Bell became the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Sunderland on 24 September 2018.
Sir David was born in Glasgow in March 1959. Educated at a comprehensive school, he took degrees at the University of Glasgow and obtained his PGCE from Jordanhill College of Education.
In a career spanning over 37 years, Sir David has held a number of major posts across the education system. Between 2012 and 2018, he was Vice-Chancellor at the University of Reading. Previously, he was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education for six years, serving four Secretaries of State and three Prime Ministers. He also served as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools for nearly four years.
Sir David began his career as a primary school teacher and later became a head teacher. He was Director of Education and Libraries with Newcastle City Council and Chief Executive of Bedfordshire County Council. He was a Harkness Fellow based in Atlanta, Georgia for a year.
Between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2019, Sir David is Vice President England and Northern Ireland for Universities UK (UUK) as well as a member of the UUK board.
Sir David, who was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2011, is married and has two adult daughters.