press release
Published: 05 September 2022

The University of Surrey announces new Chair of Council

The next five years could be the most exciting in the University of Surrey's history, according to its incoming Chair of Council, Charlie Geffen.  

Mr Geffen will lead the University of Surrey's formal governing body, the Council, which has responsibility for finances, property and long-term business plans as well as the mission and strategic vision of the University. 

His three-year term as Chair, which begins on 1 January 2023, coincides with the University opening a new School of Medicine and the establishment of key research institutes to tackle major challenges such as sustainability and artificial intelligence.  

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said: 

"I am delighted to announce that, following an open and competitive recruitment process, Charlie Geffen will take the reins as Chair of Council. 

"Charlie, who is currently a Member of Council, understands the exciting journey the University of Surrey is on to deliver our strategy (Forward thinking. And doing). I'm confident that under his leadership, the Council will help us to achieve our mission of producing highly employable graduates, as well as research and innovation that transforms lives and shapes the future for the better.” 

Charlie Geffen is currently a Lay Member of the Council (a member not presently employed by the University) and has extensive governance experience in the private and charity sectors. Charlie, the former Senior Partner at a leading multinational law firm, is currently a Senior Adviser at Flint Global and serves or has served as a non-executive director on several commercial and not-for-profit boards. 

Charlie Geffen, incoming Chair of Council at the University of Surrey, said: 

"I am honoured to take on this role as the Chair of Council for this fantastic, forward-looking and ambitious University. As I look at what the University of Surrey has set out to achieve, I am convinced the coming years will be some of the most exciting and consequential in its history." 

Charlie Geffen will succeed Michael Queen in January 2023.  

Michael Queen said: 

"I am happy to leave the role of Chair in the safe hands of Charlie and with the University's future looking brighter than ever. I will continue to support the University of Surrey in any way I can in the future, and I wish the University and those who have the privilege to oversee its fortunes on Council the very best of luck."  

Professor Max Lu added: 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael Queen, the current Chair of Council, for his dedicated and outstanding service to the University’s governance. We will have an opportunity to formally thank Michael for his distinguished contribution later this year." 


Notes to Editors 

The University of Surrey is a research-intensive university, conducting world-leading research, delivering excellent innovation in teaching and producing highly employable graduates, together transforming lives and changing the world for the better.  

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2021), 41% of Surrey’s research was rated as world-leading, the highest possible rating, the University ranked in the top 20 in the UK for the overall quality of research outputs. A focus on research that makes a difference to the world has contributed to Surrey being ranked 55th in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings 2022, which assesses more than 1,400 universities' performance against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 


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