Professor Colin Riordan – President and Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, UK – has been appointed as the ACU's Interim Secretary General and Chief Executive. He will take up the role on 1 September 2023, after retiring from his present post.
Before joining Cardiff University, Colin worked as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex UK, having been appointed in 2007. Prior to this, he was Pro Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Newcastle University in the UK since 2005.
Professor Riordan taught English as a foreign language at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in Germany (1982-84) and was Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in German at Swansea University (1986-1998). He became Professor of German at Newcastle University in 1998, where he remained until his move to Essex in 2007.
He has published widely on post-war German literature and culture, including writing and editing books on the writers Jurek Becker, Uwe Johnson and Peter Schneider. Other research interests include the history of environmental ideas in German culture.
Professor Riordan commented on the news: ‘Having served as a member and Vice-Chair of the ACU’s Council I have seen first-hand how the work of the ACU and its members lifts lives across the Commonwealth and beyond. I am therefore delighted to be taking up the role of Interim Secretary General and Chief Executive and look forward to working closely with the ACU community to help realise its strategy and shared mission to build a better world through higher education.’
Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Chair of the ACU Council added: ‘I am very grateful to Joanna for her time at the ACU. She has been an inspiring and dedicated CEO and Secretary General and has made an important contribution over the past 6 years. I look forward to working with Colin in his new role as Interim Secretary General and Chief Executive. He knows the ACU extremely well, and is a highly respected figure within higher education. He has the leadership experience, skills and knowledge required to lead the ACU while we work on making a long-term appointment.’
The ACU’s departing Secretary General, Dr Joanna Newman, leaves the ACU after 6 years to take up the role of Provost at SOAS University of London, UK.