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Senior Executive Team

Professor Jo Fox

Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Public Engagement

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Public Engagement) is responsible for the University’s overall research and public engagement strategy.

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 mis- and dis-information. She is the author of two major monographs, and has published widely in leading journals (such as the Journal of Modern History).  Her most recent research has focused on ‘The Political Warfare Executive, Covert Propaganda and British Culture’ with James Smith, Pat Waugh and Guy Woodward (Durham) (funded by the Leverhulme Trust), and she was Principal Investigator on an AHRC COVID-19 rapid response project on ‘COVID-19 rumours in historical context’ (with David Coast (Bath Spa) and James Smith (Durham)).  

Jo is a regular commentator on historical and contemporary propaganda and disinformation campaigns and works with policy-makers on contemporary challenges in this area. She also regularly assists museums and archives in their public programmes and exhibitions. 

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). 

From 2019-2023, she served as Chair of the Humanities and Social Science Early Research Awards panels at the Wellcome Trust.

Jo is a committed advocate for gender equality and social mobility in Higher Education, has served as an Athena Swan panel chair and as a member of the working group for the Athena Swan Charter Mark, and (with Ben Dodds and the RSA) established social mobility programmes in North East England.