Stephen is an experienced and commercially-minded business academic with significant strategic, operational and leadership experience of higher education, international partnerships and (commercial and charitable) income generation.
Currently heading up a number of significant trans-national higher education developments in Vietnam; Stephen is well networked across governments, education and public / private sectors, and has been able to drive forward and implement effective and transformational change in both education and across a range of business sectors given his deep understanding of emerging policy and funding agendas and through effective leadership and change management strategies.
During his academic career and across Dean of Faculty and Head of School posts in Arts, Computing and Engineering; Stephen has led on the development and successful validation of 26 undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes and has provided knowledge and technology transfer, creative consultancy and applied research to over 2,000 creative, cultural and digital business owners and their employees.
Externally, Stephen continues to sit and energetically contribute to many strategic Boards, and is well regarded for collegially developing and driving forward high level agendas that range from leadership in corporate vision; through to skills and education; regional, spatial and economic development; through to (and in particular) specific policies, strategies and investment aimed at growing the Creative, Cultural and Digital industries. Notably, Stephen founded ‘Creative Networks’ which, with over 3,000 members, is Yorkshire’s largest network of professionals working in and across the regions’ Creative, Cultural and Digital industry sectors. Stephen also founded and was Chairman of the ‘Creative Leeds Key Agencies Task Force’, an executive-level board that brought together the CEO’s and senior-most directors of the funding, government and policy agencies based in and around Leeds.
An MBA Graduate with Distinction, Stephen is currently completing his doctorate, titled: ‘The Marketisation of Higher Education’, which seeks to explore the competitive positioning strategies that UK Universities will need to adopt in a mixed economy landscape.
Stephen Smith became a Trustee of the Royal Armouries in May 2011.