Professor Brenda Gourley is the former Vice Chancellor and President/Chief Executive Officer of The Open University in the United Kingdom. She occupied that post for nearly eight years and for the nine years previous to that she held the same post at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. She is a professional accountant by training.
She serves on several boards and trusts, both in the public and private sector, in the UK, Europe, the United States and South Africa. She chaired the Association of Commonwealth Universities for two terms of office.
She is a frequent speaker across the world – promoting especially the role of Higher Education in promoting social justice, civic engagement and the changing nature of Higher Education in the digital world – and is widely published.
She has been recognised for her achievements by the award medals and prizes as well as several honorary degrees and fellowships from institutions on four continents.