Our leadership team
Many of us have worked in academic publishing for decades, but we also have backgrounds in communications, retail and finance.
Dr Keith Howard OBE 1931–2021
Emerald 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 but remained actively involved with the company's strategy and direction as a member of the Group Board, until his sad passing, peacefully at home, on 12 August 2021 at the age of 89.
Emerald was Keith’s focus and passion, he was committed wholeheartedly to making a positive impact in the world, and his dedication to learning has always been admired by many. Alongside his professional focus, he played an active role in his local community and supported many local and national charities, both personally and through the Emerald Foundation. Keith loved sport, theatre and the arts, and was proud to share this love with Emerald colleagues during recent years as a result of various partnerships and sponsorships.
He was presented with one of HRH the Prince of Wales’s five Medals for Arts Philanthropy in 2009, celebrating individuals who support the arts and recognising the contribution of the most inspiring cultural philanthropists in the UK, and was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2011 for services to business, sport and to the arts in West Yorkshire.
Keith was an inspirational and principled leader, with a challenging mind, a dry wit and an absolute passion for learning. He is missed by all who had the genuine privilege and pleasure to have worked with him.
Following my role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Emerald Publishing, I took on the role of CEO of the Emerald Group in October 2021. The Group comprises Emerald Publishing and Emerald Works, a corporate e-learning solution which provides accessible, on-demand performance tools that help people perform in today’s workplaces. After over 20 years in academic publishing, I look forward to widening my horizon, as well as learning from existing and new communities of practice on how we can serve them more effectively.
As part of both giving back and learning from our communities, I'm an International Advisory Board member for the University of Bradford, and an Advisory Board member for the University of Lincoln’s Impact Literacy Institute. I also work within the local community on Bradford’s Economic Recovery Board.
Both in and out of work, I'm a keen advocate for gender diversity, having launched Emerald’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme in 2016, and speak widely on this topic at global forums and events. I love the theatre and music, but you'll still find me at my happiest browsing for hours in a bookshop!
It is a privilege to be CEO of Emerald Publishing, continuing the work led by Vicky Williams and Richard Bevan before her, reflecting the vision of our founder Keith Howard. Emerald’s commitment to contributing towards positive change in our communities remains as relevant as ever, particularly given the pandemic which has further exacerbated inequalities within the global research ecosystem.
As one of the first signatories of the UN’s SDG Publisher Compact, we are committed to a range of actions to help realise the SDGs and create positive societal impact. Outside the business, my wife Sarah and I enjoy all that comes with having teenagers at home, as well as a menagerie including two Field Spaniels, a rabbit and guinea pig.
I joined Emerald Group in 2013. Prior to this, I qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte, specialising in corporate finance whilst working in the UK and Asia-Pacific. Subsequently I worked for Barclays plc as a Corporate Director, managing a diverse team with over £600m of assets under management, and with Emerald Group as a client where I first got to know the business.
I have direct responsibility for group functions including Customer Operations, Finance, Legal and Property & Services. My focus at Emerald is to provide the appropriate governance framework to support our continued global expansion, and to influence the Group’s execution of strategy. I am also responsible for leading the Group’s merger & acquisition activity.
Outside of work, I have three young (and energetic) children to keep me occupied. I also enjoy mountain biking, watching cricket and rugby, and playing music – when I get the chance!
I joined Emerald's sales division in January 2005 and was appointed Regional General Manager for China and India in 2006, where I set up our operations in China and India and managed the expansion. I have also been instrumental in the agreement of several national licensing deals as well as setting up offices in Boston, Brazil, Dubai, Taiwan and Australia.
In November 2009 I joined the Board, and became responsible for managing our global sales and commercial operations.
Prior to Emerald, I held various senior sales and management positions in retail and in an international arena, managing worldwide sales in the medical supply industry. I graduated in International Business and Japanese at Liverpool John Moores University and also obtained an MA in International Business in 2009 from Leeds Metropolitan University.
My career with Emerald began in 2017 as Head of Business Technology. A significant focus within that role was driving agile digital delivery, including the migration from Atypon’s Literatum to the new Emerald Insight platform. Joining the Board in September 2019, I’m responsible for driving our digital transformation across our customer facing technologies, our content value chain and into our business systems and infrastructure.
Before Emerald, I worked in various of roles at ProQuest, including editorial and product management across official publications, journal archives and historical documents, and for Cambridge University Press, in digital operations and technology leadership related to e-learning solutions.
Having spent much of my life in the fenlands of East Anglia, I enjoy the hills of Yorkshire and can frequently be found running the footpaths and pavements.
I joined Emerald in 2019 after nearly 25 years working in publishing, with 22 years spent at Wolters Kluwer working in a variety of roles in their legal and regulatory and tax and accounting divisions. I have experience of large-scale print to digital migrations, led the launch of a platform migration, and taken new product and service offerings to market.
At Emerald I’m responsible for the strategic development of our global publishing programme, comprising journals, books and teaching cases with a focus on author experience, innovation through non-traditional content types and research aligned to the UN SDGs in curated missions aligned to our Emerald Goals of Healthier Lives, Responsible Management, Quality Education for All and Fairer Society. Community-focused, we work closely with social scientists, practitioners and policy makers globally to help turn research outputs into policy and practice.
Outside of work I enjoy catching up with friends and family, reading, theatre and bingeing on box sets.
I joined Emerald in 2018. Prior to this, I spent 10 years at PwC, qualifying as a chartered accountant before going on to specialise in M&A advisory services. It was through this work I got to know Emerald as an M&A client, who were recognised as an acquisitive and forward thinking local business.
My role as Finance Director for Emerald Publishing is to ensure robust financial governance and to facilitate the investment required to achieve our growth plans as well as wider commitments to our communities.
At home I lead a busy family life with our 3 young (and highly energetic) boys. I also enjoy my squash and, when time allows, a round of golf.