London EC1V 0HB
Professor Sir Paul Curran was Vice-Chancellor and then President of City, University of London for eleven years, having served previously as Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton. Following a period of significant progress, City joined the University of London Federation in September 2016. On relinquishing the role of President in 2021, Sir Paul became Professor Emeritus of the University.
A former NASA research scientist and advisor to the European Space Agency (ESA), Paul's award-winning work in ecological Earth observation, involving the use of satellite sensors to monitor the environment, is published widely. With a focus on climate change, his most recent research involved the estimation of terrestrial chlorophyll content at regional scales.
Appointed to the Chair in Physical Geography at the University of Swansea in 1990, Sir Paul had previously held a research post with the NASA Ames Research Center in California, academic posts at the Universities of Sheffield and Reading and a visiting academic post at the University of New South Wales. At the University of Southampton, from 1993, he held the Chair in Physical Geography, was Head of Geography, Dean of Science and Head of Winchester School of Art before being appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor; he is now a Visiting Professor.
Between 2005 and 2010 Sir Paul led the transformation of Bournemouth University. With a focus on academic excellence, it moved swiftly to become the competitive outward-facing institution it is today.
Sir Paul is a recipient of the Remote Sensing Society's Gold Medal and has received achievement awards from the Royal Geographical Society, NASA, ESA and the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and Honorary Doctorates from Grand École ESCP, Paris and Peter the Great University, St Petersburg, Russia. Her Majesty The Queen approved the award of the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, for his ‘international development of geographical science’ and he is a Freeman of the City of London.
Sir Paul is a Non-Executive Director and Trustee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd. (USSL); President of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc) and Patron of The Conversation UK. He served previously as Chair of the national Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB); Founding Chair of the Board of Trustees for The Conversation UK; Chair of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) Board, where he led the employers' negotiating team in national pay negotiations; Member of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and its Remuneration Committee and Chair of its Audit and Risk Assurance Committee; Chair of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Higher Education Workforce Steering Group; Member of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Board and its Audit Committee; Member of the London Higher Board and Member of Universities UK and its Research Policy and Innovation and Growth Policy Committees.
Sir Paul received a BSc (hons) degree from the University of Sheffield in 1976, an MBA (dist) degree from the University of Southampton in 1998 and PhD and DSc degrees from the University of Bristol in 1979 and 1991 respectively.
He is a Chartered Geographer and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society and Chartered Management Institute.
Sir Paul was knighted in the 2016 New Year Honours for 'services to higher education’.