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About the Founder and Group Board Member

Dr Keith Howard OBE, PhD (Bradford), EdD (Bradford), LLD (Leeds), MSc (Leeds), BSc (Hons)(Leeds)

Image: Dr Keith Howard, OBEAfter graduating in mining engineering, Keith Howard embarked on a PhD in geophysics but decided to take up an appointment with Anglo American Corporation in South Africa.  He later returned to England where he qualified as a mining manager with the National Coal Board.

During his time in industry he maintained an interest in academic matters and completed a Masters degree by research and shortly afterwards joined the University of Bradford School of Management, where the roots of Emerald are to be found.  He was then able to complete his ambition of a doctorate, having been seconded for a day a week to lead an IBM team in the development of computerised corporate modelling systems.

For five years at Bradford he directed the largest and most successful doctoral programme in Western Europe and completed many publications in the field of research and management science, including The Management of a Student Research Project.

The Company was founded in 1967 and for nearly all the time since then Keith was Chief Executive or Chairman of Emerald Group (Holdings) Limited.  He stood down as Chairman at the end of 2017, the year in which Emerald celebrated its 50th anniversary.  He remains a member of the Group Board.

Outside Emerald, Keith is particularly interested in the performing arts and sport.  He has been a trustee of Life Education for over 20 years and is currently President of Opera North, a trustee of Leeds Rugby Foundation and Chairman of the Emerald Foundation.

  • On 24 November 2009, HRH the Prince of Wales presented one of his five Medals for Arts Philanthropy to Keith.  This medal celebrates individuals who support the arts and recognises the contribution of the most inspiring cultural philanthropists in the UK.

  • On 12 October 2011, the Queen awarded Keith an OBE for services to business, sport and to the arts in West Yorkshire

Visit the Emerald Foundation website.

Keith Howard receiving his OBE from the Queen during the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 12 October 2011.