UCL News


Marc Stears appointed Pro-Provost (Policy Engagement)

17 January 2024

Marc Stears, founding Director of the UCL Policy Lab and Professor in the Department of Political Science, is announced as Pro-Provost (Policy Engagement).

Professor Marc Stears

This new role creates a senior champion for UCL’s work to inform and engage with policy development in the UK and globally.

Professor Stears takes up a role alongside his current position as Director of the Policy Lab, where he has spearheaded a collaborative approach, hosting a range of policy engagement activities, and working with academic colleagues across the university to shape debates on major issues.

As Pro-Provost (Policy Engagement), he will work closely with the Provost, the Vice-President (External Engagement) and the public affairs team to create opportunities for UCL researchers to shape important policy debates. He will act as a senior advocate for the vital role UCL can play in bringing together people of all different backgrounds to shape public policy for the better. Marc will also collaborate with the UCL Public Policy team, based in the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation and Global engagement) to support UCL’s academic engagement with external policymakers.

Marc brings to the role an extensive track record of convening researchers, policymakers and wider society to understand and tackle pressing challenges. As Director of UCL’s Policy Lab, based in the Departments of Economics and Political Science, he has brought cabinet ministers and shadow cabinet ministers to UCL, run a high profile series of events at the Conservative and Labour party conferences and built deep and sustained collaborations between researchers, community activists, business leaders, philanthropists and others trying to shape policy debate. Prior to launching the Lab in 2022, Marc has been Director of the Sydney Policy Lab at the University of Sydney, CEO of the New Economics Foundation, Professor of Political Theory at Oxford. He was also chief speechwriter to the UK Labour Party under the leadership of Ed Miliband.

Welcoming his appointment, President & Provost Dr Michael Spence said: “At UCL, we are feeding into the public conversation and policy development in a really vast range of ways, which at the moment can be quite dispersed across the institution. The appointment of someone with Marc’s huge expertise and extensive network is a brilliant opportunity to turbocharge that work and maximise the impact of our multidisciplinary excellence. I am delighted that he is taking up the role and very much looking forward to working with him.”

Marc Stears said: “UCL has been shaping debates in public policy ever since it was founded: disrupting conventional wisdom, welcoming new voices and helping to create better lives for everyone. It is a huge honour to help it continue to do so, especially at a time when our public policy challenges have rarely seemed so big or so intractable.”