Introducing Tessa Harrison

Tessa Harrison has recently joined us as a Partner in our Education team.  Tessa’s focus will be on developing our higher education leadership and talent transformation services.  She will be working closely with our Practice Lead, Julia Roberts. 

Tessa’s 30-year career in higher education senior leadership and management saw her working in five universities and in different parts of the HE sector. Tessa held department and faculty roles at Anglia Polytechnic University (now Anglia Ruskin University) before she joined Lancaster University in a central leadership role.  She was the Academic Registrar and Clerk to the Board of Governors at the University of the West of England, Registrar at the University of Southampton and until January this year, the Executive Director of Education & Students at King’s College London.

Until August 2016, Tessa was the Chair of the Association of University Administrators (AUA) following a number of years as a Trustee on the AUA Board.  Tessa also served as an appointed member of the Board of the Leadership Foundation for HE (now Advance HE).  Tessa is regularly invited to speak about her experiences of being a female leader in higher education.  She has written about the importance of humility and the role of coaching in leadership.  In 2019, Tessa was shortlisted for a WonkHE new voices award for an opinion piece about the need to rebuild trust through effective academic governance. 

Tessa is a graduate of the Meyler Campbell Business Coaching Programme and coaches a number of senior level executive clients.

Of her decision to leave the HE sector to join GatenbySanderson, Tessa says:

I am excited to be joining GS at such a critical time for HE leadership and talent transformation and to bring my experiences and understanding of higher education to support GS’s strategic responses to the changing needs of our institutions. 

HE institutions change lives and shape the societies in which we live and work. GS finds and develops leaders who shape a better society. The synergies are obvious and I am looking forward to working with Julia and colleagues across GS to share our insights experiences with leadership teams, governing bodies, sector organisations, student bodies and individual candidates to connect our recruitment and development of the next generation of leaders to our shared aspirations for change. 

If you’d like to discuss your current priorities and challenges with Tessa, and consider how our integrated executive recruitment and leadership development services can benefit your people strategy, please do get in touch:

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