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Paul Lindley Appointed Chancellor of the University of Reading

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Paul Lindley OBE has been appointed as Chancellor of the University of Reading, the ceremonial head of the University.

Paul Lindley - Reading University
Paul Lindley OBE, Chancellor, University of Reading

Mr Lindley, who will be installed as Chancellor in July, is the eighth person to hold the position in Reading’s 96 years as a University, taking over from the current Chancellor, William Waldegrave, Baron Waldegrave of North Hill, who has held the post since 2016.

Mr Lindley said: “I am honoured to be asked to become Chancellor of the University of Reading.

“The University, including Henley Business School, has a worldwide reputation for exceptional research, knowledge and expertise that offers solutions to so many of the world’s critical challenges.  I will seek to be an ambassador for this work, a guardian of the university’s values, a challenger to grasp its tremendous opportunities and a voice for its amazing diverse community.

“As the university approaches its 100th birthday, I am looking forward to working closely with everyone to ensure that its next century is built on a culture of belief that a better world is possible, and a confidence that equips its students, staff and alumni with the skills and vision to lead in delivering it.”


Mr Lindley has been recognised as one of the county’s leading entrepreneurs. He founded the children’s food company Ella’s Kitchen in 2004. The company is now the largest baby food company in the UK.

The University of Reading played an early role in the development of Ella’s Kitchen, helping the company to develop through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships that involved academic expertise from Henley Business School and the Department for Food and Nutritional Sciences.

Mr Lindley now plays a leading role in seeking social, economic and educational justice. He founded and chairs Robert F Kennedy Human Rights UK, chairs the Mayor of London’s Child Obesity Taskforce and sits on the board of the US media and education giant Sesame Workshop, creator of Sesame Street.

Mr Lindley was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Reading in 2013, and was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2019 for his contribution to the British food industry and entrepreneurship.

Lord Waldegrave, the outgoing Chancellor, said: “In Paul I think the university has made a really excellent appointment.

“I wish Paul every success, and am sure he will help the University by bringing his trademark energy and enthusiasm to the office of Chancellor.

“I have very much enjoyed my time in office as Chancellor of the University, particularly meeting students and their families as they graduate with their degrees. The University is in a strong position to grow its vital work in the region, the UK and the world, and I will continue to follow the successes of its students, alumni and staff with great interest.”