National Foundation for Educational Research announces new Chief Executive 24 Jul 2013

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), the UK’s largest independent educational research organisation, is pleased to announce the appointment of Carole Willis as Chief Executive with effect from December 2013.  Carole takes over from Sue Rossiter who is leaving the Foundation at the end of the year.
Carole is currently Director of Research and Analysis at the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department’s Chief Scientific Adviser. She is responsible for leading the DfE’s 300 strong community of analysts, setting direction for the Department’s research and analysis activity, and building capability to understand and use analysis and evidence effectively to drive education policy reform.

Prior to joining the DfE in 2008, Carole worked in both the private and public sectors including the Home Office, the Department of  Trade and Industry, the Department for Work and Pensions, National Economic Research Associates (NERA) and the World Bank.

Commenting on her appointment, Richard Bunker, Chairman of NFER, said:

“We are delighted that Carole is joining NFER. She is well known and widely respected across the sector and brings a wealth of educational, research and economic experience at an important time for the Foundation as we continue to increase the impact of NFER’s work and raise our profile, ensuring that our research insights inform policy and influence practice for the benefit of learners.

Carole will build on what has been achieved under Sue Rossiter’s leadership during the last eight years.”

Carole has a BA (Hons) degree (first class) in Economics from the University of Nottingham and an MSc in Economics with a specialisation in Industrial Organisation from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Commenting on her appointment, Carole said:

“I am delighted to be joining such a highly respected and established organisation and to have the opportunity to lead NFER in ensuring its research has a real impact on policy and practice in education and children’s services.

This is an exciting time for the development and use of robust research and data, with an increasing emphasis from government and from practitioners on understanding and applying 'what works'.  I want NFER to be at the forefront of leading this debate and helping to deliver the evidence and tools that will make this a reality.”

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