UCL News


UCL announces new Vice-President (Operations) and University Secretary

20 April 2023

Two appointments to UCL’s senior team are announced today following approval by its governing Council, with Aimie Chapple being named Vice-President (Operations) and David Pacey taking up the role of University Secretary.

Aimie Chapple and David Pacey

Aimie Chapple, previously CEO of Capita Experience, will join the university next month, May 2023, taking responsibility for its wide-ranging Professional Services portfolio.

As a core member of UCL’s senior team, Aimie will lead a range of service areas that are crucial to the UCL’s academic mission, including estates and infrastructure, digital services, research and student administration and technical services, and central administration. She will work closely with President & Provost Dr Michael Spence to help deliver the core objectives of the university’s new Strategic Plan to make UCL a place that works better and is easier to navigate for all staff and students.

Aimie brings around 30 years of experience in business operations to the role. Prior to her time at Capita Experience, she spent 20+ years in leadership positions at Accenture, including in board level roles in the UKI such as Managing Director of the Management Consulting and Chief Innovation Officer with a particular focus on talent development and organisational change, working with clients including NHS and private health organisations, government bodies and a range of commercial organisations and utilities companies. Aimie continues to serve as a Non-Executive Director at LTG where she chairs the remuneration committee and serves on the audit committee. 

She is known for her passion for diversity and inclusion and has been an active supporter and sponsor of many of Capita’s Employee Network Groups. In recognition of this, she was named in the 2022 EMpower Advocates Executive Role Models, which celebrates 50 senior leaders who advocate for ethnic minority colleagues, and in the 2021 HERoes Women Role Model Executives list, showcasing 100 senior women who are driving greater gender equality in the workplace. In 2018 Aimie was named in the inaugural Kindness & Leadership 50 Leading Lights list.

UCL President & Provost Dr Michael Spence said: “This is a critical leadership role for UCL, and a really exciting one with a huge amount of potential to make a far-reaching difference to the experience of staff and students at UCL. I am delighted that our brilliant Professional Services teams will have in Aimie an exceptionally experienced, visionary and supportive leader as we go about transforming how we provide the services that underpin our academic mission. I am really looking forward to working with her and being inspired by her proactive, can-do attitude. She will be a terrific addition to our senior team.

“Huge thanks are due to Andy Smith, who has done a tremendous job in leading this vital portfolio as interim Vice-President.”

Aimee said: “I am thrilled to be joining UCL to both support and empower the team to deliver exceptional services that enhance the staff and student experience and to work with leaders across the university to deliver on the promises set out in the UCL Strategic Plan. I look forward to hearing more about the progress that has already been made and uncover the opportunities we have to work together to take the ambitious plans forward.”

David Pacey named as UCL’s new University Secretary

David Pacey, currently Chief Governance Officer at the University of Sydney, will be UCL’s new University Secretary, providing independent leadership of governance support and advice to the university’s Council and senior officers.

David brings over 30 years of experience in higher education and government in senior management roles focused on ensuring organisations make accountable, transparent and effective organisational decisions. For the past 11 years, he has provided expert advice to the Senate, Vice-Chancellor, Chair of Academic Board and senior management team of the University of Sydney in several senior roles, prior to which he was Director of Governance at the University of Technology Sydney. He has also held governance roles in Australian local government.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Governance Institute and a Member of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Association of University Secretaries. He is expected to join UCL in June 2023.

UCL’s University Secretary reports directly to the Chair of Council and leads the Governance Team to ensure that Council and its Committees have effective support, as well as providing efficient frameworks of governance for the university executive.

Chair of Council Victor Chu, who led the recruitment, said: “David is a highly respected figure in the Australian governance sector and I am delighted that UCL will benefit from his extensive track record of working in large, complex and research-intensive organisations. He will be an invaluable advisor and support to me as Chair of Council, to the wider membership and to UCL’s senior team. I am very much looking forward to working with him.”

David said: “I am thrilled to be joining the Governance team at UCL and working closely with the Chair of Council, Council members and the senior team. I am very much looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”



  • Aimie Chapple (left) and David Pacey (right)

Media contact 

Molly Bridge

E: molly.bridge@ucl.ac.uk