Professor Donna Lee

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Donna Lee staff photo 300x300

Title: Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Donna joined Keele University in February 2022 from Manchester Metropolitan University where she was Head of the Department of Economics, Policy and International Business as well as Director of the Future Economies University Research Centre. 

As Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Donna provides strategic leadership of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her leadership interests focus on strategic innovation, external collaboration, and equality and diversity.

As Executive Dean, Donna is keen to ensure that education and research shape positive outcomes for students, communities, and societies. She works with colleagues and students to ensure the Faculty delivers world-class education and impactful research in collaboration with a range of external partners at local, regional, national and global levels. Donna also has a university-wide brief in developing Keele’s collaborative relationships with further education providers in the Staffordshire and Shropshire regions.

Donna is a political economist and award-winning educator. She holds a PhD from the University of Connecticut and has published several books and over 30 articles covering economic policy and governance, economic diplomacy and negotiations, economic development, critical and queer theory, as well as the use of technology in learning and teaching. She co-edits the Palgrave Diplomacy and International Relations monograph series and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of International Business Policy.

Donna has considerable experience of engaging with government, industry and business to enhance the reach, impact and reputation of higher education. She recently served as a member of the FCO Strategic Director Expert Group on the Integrated Review of the UK’s Global Strategy, as well as the Government for Science/ESRC Working Group Rebuilding a Resilient Britain where she led a sub-group on local and regional economies. She has also worked with several government departments and international organisations.  

Donna was previously Dean of Social Sciences at Bradford University. Prior to that, she was University Senior Tutor, Director of Quality Assurance for the College of Social Sciences, and Deputy Head of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Donna was formerly Co-Director of the former Higher Education Academy C-SAP subject centre, served as Secretary to the British International Studies Association, was a member of the International Studies Association Governing Council and the Doha Development Agenda Taskforce.