David Russell

Executive in Residence

  • David.Russell@sbs.ox.ac.uk

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


David Russell has joined Saïd Business School as an Executive in Residence, after having led the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) in England as CEO for 8 years and having previously served the UK government for 16. 

In his most recent role, he led the ETF to become the national professional body in Further Education in England, working with Government and senior education leaders to transform workforce development in Further Education.

In this role, David will lead a collaborative project on the creation of a Self-Improving System in Further Education. He will work with the School and wider Oxford faculty to grow an action-oriented, sector-owned vision of how a self-improving system in Further Education can become a reality, to transform capacity and sustainability over the long term.

David started his career in Scotland as a qualified teacher of History. He then moved to Portugal to work in adult education across a wide client base, from social benefit projects in ‘lagging regions’ to meeting bespoke needs of professionals and politicians operating in national and international roles.

He served in the Department for Education in Whitehall under the New Labour and Coalition Governments. Key roles in the senior civil service included leading the secretariat for the cross-Government national Skills Strategy; creating the national policy, funding and accountability framework for open academies; leading the first phase of the National Curriculum Review; and implementing the Wolf Reforms, overhauling technical education in England.

David holds an MA from the University of St. Andrews, and a PGCE from Moray House Institute of Education in Edinburgh. He is an alumnus of Executive Education programmes at Sunningdale Civil Service College, The London Business School, Saïd Business School and the Windsor Leadership Trust.