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About Durham University

Denise McConnell, interim Chief Financial Officer


The interim Chief Financial Officer is responsible for all aspects of the University’s Financial Strategy including financial planning and reporting, treasury, investment, procurement and value for money. She provides financial and commercial leadership within the University, ensuring that Financial Sustainability is embedded within the University’s decision-making processes and operations.

Professional background and expertise

Denise joined Durham University in July 2018, having previously undertaken similar interim Chief Financial Officer roles at the University of Hull and Birmingham City University. Denise also served as interim Chief Operating Officer at Leeds Trinity University.

Previously a senior civil servant with the Legal Aid Agency, Denise had responsibility for the accounting and forecasting of the £2.2bn Legal Aid Fund with leadership responsibility for 380 staff. Her achievements include producing Department of Work and Pensions Resource Accounts, where her technical advice resulted in the lifting of a 15-year audit qualification, and project managing the first pre-recess filing of the accounts.

Education and qualifications

Denise holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Business from Leeds Trinity University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG.