Kirsty Allen

Dr Kirsty Allen


Kirsty Allen has over 25 years of experience in Higher Education leadership, management and governance in support of academic research and teaching. Most of her professional career has been at the University of Cambridge in successively more senior roles.

Kirsty Allen

Kirsty’s undergraduate degree was in English Language and Literature at the University of St Andrews. She stayed on at St Andrews to do a Master’s degree in Scottish Literature and was then awarded a studentship for PhD research into ‘The Life and Work of Willa Muir’. Following the successful completion of that research, she decided to move into professional services in Higher Education with a first post at the University of Dundee.

She came to Cambridge in 1998 and was the Faculty Administrator in the Faculty of Law for the next ten years. During that time, she had two secondment stints as a Panel Advisor for the 2009 Research Assessment Exercise (predecessor to the Research Excellence Framework).

She was appointed to the new post of Head of the Registrary’s Office (one of the, then, six Directors comprising the Leadership Team in the Unified Administrative Service) in 2008. In that capacity, she worked closely with the Registrary, the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellors and other University senior officers across a range of policy, governance and strategy issues.

She was appointed to the new post of Chief Operating Officer for Cambridge University Libraries (CUL) in 2018. She is a member of the CUL Executive Leadership Team and leads the Directorate providing professional support services across CUL. This is comprised of five teams: the Finance Office, Human Resources, Facilities Management, the Programme Support Office and the Strategic Support Office.