Professor Jo Fox is Dean and Chief Executive of the School of Advanced Study and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Public Engagment), University of London.

jo fox

Professor Jo Fox began her career at Durham University as a lecturer in Modern European History. She became Durham History Department’s first female professor in 2010 and its first female Head of Department in 2016. She was appointed as the first female Director of the Institute of Historical Research at the School of Advanced Study in 2017.

Jo Fox is a specialist in the history of propaganda, rumour and disinformation. She is the author of two major monographs, and has published widely in leading journals. She is currently Principal Investigator on an AHRC COVID-19 rapid response project on ‘COVID-19 rumours in historical context', and is a regular commentator on historical and contemporary disinformation campaigns (‘fake news’), most recently appearing at the Körber Stiftung History Forum in May 2019.

Jo has previously served as the Honorary Communications Director of the Royal Historical Society. She is a National Teaching Fellow (2007), a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS), and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Manufactures and the Arts (FRSA). 

Jo is a committed advocate for gender equality in Higher Education, and has served as an Athena Swan panel chair and as a member of the working group for the Athena Swan Charter Mark.


Professor Clare Lees, is Vice Dean of the School of Advanced Study and Director of the Institute of English Studies

Clare Lees

Professor Clare Lees' research interests include early medieval literatures, languages and cultures of Britain and Ireland, gender and sexuality studies, and histories of place and belief. Her most recent work explores how modern and contemporary poets, writers and artists engage with early medieval cultures. She enjoys working creatively and critically. In her view, English Studies is a wide-ranging, inclusive discipline committed to a broad and generous definition of its field, from the earliest centuries of writing in English to its most contemporary digital iterations.

During the course of her career in the US and the UK, Clare has supervised over 20 PhD students and mentored several Early Career researchers in medieval literature and culture, many of whom have gone on to academic careers. She joined SAS in 2018 as Director of the Institute of English Studies, after nearly two decades as Professor of Medieval Literature and History of the Language at King's College London. A longstanding Fellow of the English Association and Fellow of King's College London, Clare works closely with colleagues in English Studies nationally in the English Association and University English and is a former member of the AHRC Peer Review College. She was a member of the English subpanel for REF2014 and is a member again for REF2021.

Internationally, she has served as a research assessor in the USA, Canada and Australia, as well as for research funding organisations in Europe such as the Institut Francais, the RCN (Norway) and the ERC. She was the founding Director of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), an AHRC-Doctoral Training Partnership and has a strong career-long interest in postgraduate and early career research.


Elaine Walters, Director of Operations


Elaine came to the School after a period working at South Bank University and then the NHS where she worked for 12 years at the English National Board for Nursing. She joined the School in 2001 as Institute Manager at the Institute of Historical Research.  Moving to assist in the overall management of the School in 2014 she has been the Chief Operating Officer for 8 years.  Elaine is a member of the University Senior Management Team and has responsibility for operations across the 8 Research Institutes and central departments; strategic and operational planning; budget; risk management; health and safety; staffing matters; governance; student administration and quality assurance policy.