Staff news

New Director of Strategic Planning & Insight

Rona Smith has been appointed as the University’s Director of Strategic Planning & Insight, following a rigorous and competitive external recruitment process.

Rona will join the University having spent the past eight years at the University of Strathclyde, the last four of which as their Director of Strategy and Policy.

She will take up her position in the University Secretary’s Group on 1 August 2021.

Key role

The Director of Strategic Planning & Insight is a key role, responsible for leading, developing and managing the University of Edinburgh’s strategic planning framework.

The Director will undertake high profile, strategic work, engaging at the most senior levels in the University, and acting as a key contact with Government.

“I am delighted to be appointed as Director of Strategic Planning & Insight, and also looking forward to a return to the University of Edinburgh having previously worked here for nine years. My focus will be on leading the Strategic Planning team and collaborating with colleagues across the University to contribute to the University’s success in delivering Strategy 2030.”


Rona is an experienced higher education planner.

Having begun her career with the NHS, she worked at the University of Edinburgh for nine years as a Strategic Planner and Senior Strategic Planner. In 2013 she joined the University of Strathclyde as their Deputy Director of Strategy & Policy, and has been their Director of Strategy & Policy since October 2016, joining the University’s Executive Team in 2017.

She has been a member of Universities Scotland Funding Policy Group since 2016 and also contributes to various Scottish Funding Council and multi-agency groups.

Rona holds a BSc (Hons) in Biological Science (Immunology) from The University of Edinburgh and a Professional Certificate in Management from The Open University.

Related links

Strategic Planning

Strategy 2030