University of Manchester appoints new Director of IT Services

Claire Priestley has been appointed as the new Director of IT Services at the University of Manchester, joining them from City, University of London.

Claire will join the University on Monday, 1 March 2021, succeeding Malcolm Whitehouse who left the institution as Chief Information Officer at the end of October.

Claire has worked at City for 12 years, from a background in Business Change Management and held roles across Training, Process Change, Application Development and IT Business before progressing to become Director of IT in 2016. 

During her time at City, Claire had overall responsibility for the university’s entire technical estate including IT Business, Development, Operations and Support Services and Information Assurance.  She also served as a member of City’s Executive Committee and Senate.  

She recently oversaw a successful move to remote working as well as online teaching, learning and assessment.  She also founded CIO+1, an initiative to increase diversity and inclusion throughout tech leadership across all sectors in the UK. Claire has been listed in the CIO 100 in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Patrick Hackett, Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, said: “I’m delighted that Claire is joining us.  As we have seen over the past eight months, having the right IT in place for our staff and students is absolutely critical to our future success.  I am sure that Claire will provide exceptional leadership in this vital role and look forward to welcoming her to Manchester.”

Commenting on joining our University, Claire said: “I am thrilled to join The University of Manchester at such a critical time for both the sector and technology, and am looking forward to working with such talented teams, partners and stakeholders.”

Original article source:

Posted by Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker

Higher Education


Emma Wilkins of Dixon Walter, led the recruitment campaign for this key appointment. It follows successful academic leadership appointments elsewhere for the University. Emma has taken much time to understand the institution and provide key advice on how to market the opportunities to ensure the best talent is found.

Higher Education


Hands up who’s ready for half term! Phew what a busy start to the academic year it’s been. At Dixon Walter, we’ve been busy working on some fantastic appointments with existing clients and new. Thank you to all those who continue to support us.