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Professor John Mawson


Director of the Institute for Local Governance


John Mawson is Director of the Institute for Local Governance which is a North East research and knowledge transfer partnership between the region’s 5 Universities, 12 Unitary Councils and other key public bodies including ONE North East, the Strategic Health, Police and Fire Authorities. He has a multidisciplinary professional and academic background having worked as a town planner for Strathclyde Regional Council and subsequently as Director of Economic Development at West Midlands County Council and Chief Executive of the West Midlands Enterprise Board, a local authority controlled venture capital institution.

In the academic world John served as Director of the Public Service MBA programmes at Birmingham University and went on to hold Chairs in Town and Regional Planning at Dundee University, and Public Policy and Management at Aston Business School. Prior to joining Durham Business School he was Director of the Local Government Centre at Warwick Business School. During his career John has raised over £3 million in research income from Research Councils, charitable foundations and central and local government consultancy and has published several books and over a hundred journal articles and official research publications.

Reflecting his experience at the research practice interface, John has served as Special Advisor to the House of Commons Environment Committee and Chaired the Local Authority Research Council Initiative (LARCI) His consultancy work has included leading the successful London wide bid to establish the London Development Agency, and leading two national evaluations of Regional Development Agencies. He was a member of the Cabinet Office Team which prepared central government’s decentralisation strategy: Reaching Out. John has held Board positions in several private-public sector partnerships and community initiatives including serving as a Director of the West Midlands Technology Transfer Centre, Warwick Science Park, and was founding Chair of Social Enterprise West Midlands. Reflecting these latter interests he is a member of the advisory board of the ESRC’s Third Sector Research Centre and is also a member of the Academy of Social Sciences, Royal Geographical Society, the Regional Studies Association, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives.

Find out more about the Institute for Local Governance

Research Interests

  • Regional and local economic development
  • Management of Cities and Regions
  • Public sector management and local governance
  • Social enterprise
  • Theory and practice of knowledge exchange between academia and practice

Research Groups


Contact Details

Director of the Institute for Local Governance
+44 191 3349291