We know it takes more than a job title to make a leader. Meet the people appointed by our Board of Governors to lead the University, and learn more about the work they do.

Our Board of Governors carry the ultimate responsibility to approve the mission and strategic vision of the University and assure the effective management of the University as well as planning its future direction. Our Board Appointees are also members of our University Executive Board.

Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor, University of Portsmouth

Professor Graham Galbraith


Professor Graham Galbraith joined the University in 2013 as Vice-Chancellor and in this role is our Chief Executive and Chief Academic Officer. He is also the Chief Accountable Officer to the Office for Students that currently regulates UK Universities.

It's our Vice-Chancellor's job to deliver our University Mission and Strategic Plan by providing a world leading student experience alongside internationally-recognised research and innovation solutions that engage with business and respond to the needs of society.

Professor Galbraith shapes the strategic direction of the University in partnership with the Board of Governors, manages key senior staff including the Board Appointees, Chairs the University Executive Board and leads the development of the key delivery plans which underpin the achievement of the University Strategy. He is also a full member of the Board of Governors.

Passionate about the transformative power of higher education, Professor Galbraith's experience, entrepreneurial outlook and track record of academic achievement provide the leadership necessary for the future success of the University.

Email: vice-chancellor@port.ac.uk

Executive Assistant: shani.thirlwell@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 92 843191

Bernie Topham profile headshot

Bernie Topham

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Our Chief Operating Officer, Bernie Topham, has responsibilities for the strategic management and operation of key professional support services that underpin the effective and efficient operation of the University and provide the important services that students and staff need.

She oversees many departments including Estates and Campus Services, the Library, Sport and Recreation, Marketing and Information Services.

Bernie has an MBA from the University of Plymouth, and was previously Chief Executive of Eastleigh Borough Council. She also has held director-level roles with Portsmouth City Council and the Borough of Poole Council.

Executive Assistant: prenita.jonson@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 9284 3397

Paul Hayes profile headshot

Professor Paul Hayes

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

As Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Hayes has responsibility for all of the academic business of the university through oversight of the Faculties and by leading the achievement of our academic and educational ambitions. His work helps us give our students an excellent education and experience.

Paul, who previously served as Dean of the University's Faculty of Science, also has responsibility for the management of our Executive Deans and Dean of Learning and Teaching.

A marine biologist by training, his research in microbial ecology is recognised around the world.

Executive Assistant: claire.coffin@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 9284 3395

Chris Chang profile headshot

Chris Chang

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement and Student Life)

Chris is responsible for providing strategic leadership in the development and implementation of an ambitious Global Engagement strategy for the University, for extending our global partnerships and reach to make our high-quality brand of education even more accessible worldwide. He has responsibility for UOP Global, the Department of Student Academic Administration, and Academic Partnerships. He is also the strategic lead for student support, health and wellbeing as well as for Equality Diversity and Inclusion.

Before joining the University in September 2016, Chris was Pro Vice-Chancellor Corporate Marketing, International and Development Services at Anglia Ruskin University. He has over 30 years’ experience in the higher education sector and a background as a lawyer. He qualified as a barrister in 1986 and began his career working as an advocate and solicitor at the High Court of Malaya, advising large corporate clients.

Email: chris.chang@port.ac.uk

Executive assistant email: shirley.boff@port.ac.uk

Telephone: 023 9284 3398

Jeremy Howells

Professor Jeremy Howells

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and External Relations)

Jeremy joined us in 2020 from the University of Kent where he was the interim Dean of Kent Business School. A leading international researcher on innovation, Jeremy is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a visiting Fellow and active member of Kellogg College at the University of Oxford.

Before joining the University of Kent, Jeremy was Dean of the Faculty of Business, Law and Art at the University of Southampton. He's also held senior positions at the University of Manchester, where he was the Executive Director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centre for Research in Innovation and Competition (CRIC) and Head of the Innovation Management and Policy Division at the Alliance Manchester Business School. While at the Alliance Manchester Business School, Jeremy held the Eddie Davies Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Email: jeremy.howells@port.ac.uk

Executive Assistant: kirsty.malloy@port.ac.uk

Telephone: 023 9284 3192

Emma Woollard profile headshot

Emma Woollard

Executive Director – Finance

Emma is a CIMA qualified accountant. She joined us as a management accountant in 1989 and became Director of Finance in 2004.

Emma provides strategic financial leadership for the University, supporting the Vice-Chancellor, Executive Board and Board of Governors in the development and implementation of the University’s strategy, including responsibility for the financial aspects of its implementation. She is also responsible for ensuring there are robust and effective systems for financial control to enable the management of financial risks.

Email: emma.woollard@port.ac.uk

Executive Assistant: sarah.cole@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 92 843302

Claire Dunning photo

Claire Dunning

Executive Director – Corporate Governance

Claire leads our work in corporate governance and oversees the governance processes of the University and its subsidiary companies.  She is also responsible for student complaints, risk management, information governance and legal services.  Claire is a qualified solicitor and holds a masters in corporate governance.

Before joining the University of Portsmouth Claire worked as a commercial lawyer within a FTSE 250 company.

Email: claire.dunning@port.ac.uk

Executive Assistant: julie.reynolds@port.ac.uk

Tel: 023 92 843199