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Professor Denise Lievesley

Leeds-HKU Conference: Moving Beyond Research to Engagement and Impact

Speakers and Panelists

Professor Denise Lievesley

Professor Denise Lievesley
Professor of Social Statistics and Dean of Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, King's College London

Measuring the Benefits of Academic Research


Denise Lievesley is dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy at King's College London. This Faculty has an outstanding record in bringing social science expertise to bear upon important policy issues internationally, nationally and locally. Through established links with government departments, public policy bodies, and the public, private and third sectors, staff and students engage with external partners in processes that range from devising and shaping research questions to informing policy, practice and development in external organisations. This is helped by the fact that the Faculty's constituent departments are not isolated in discipline-based silos, but academic colleagues are grouped together round a broad set of research themes.

Denise will reflect on the experience of demonstrating impact in both the REF and also externally funded research.She will talk about how the Faculty is trying to improve its ability to bring together its unconventional mix of subject specialisms – which tend to be organized in the contexts of their applications such as education, health, public sector management, security, and the environment – in coherent and innovative ways.


Professor Lievesley is one of the country's leading social statisticians, who has campaigned for evidence to be used as the basis for the development of sound public policies within the UK and more widely.

Having enjoyed a distinguished career, which has included the posts of founding Chief Executive of the English Information Centre for Health and Social Care; Director of Statistics at UNESCO – where she established its new Institute for Statistics – , and Director of the UK Data Archive (and simultaneously Professor of Research Methods in the Mathematics Department, University of Essex), most recently Professor Denise Lievesley was a special advisor at the African Centre for Statistics of the UN and was based in Addis Ababa.

Professor Lievesley's various roles have led her to work with ministers, ambassadors, senior civil servants and officials of international agencies, for which she has established a reputation for upholding the principles of professional integrity, policy relevance and methodological transparency. Throughout her working life, Professor Lievesley has been committed to protecting the integrity of official statistics and to ensure that they remain free from political influence.

Her expertise and ability has been recognised with her election as President of the Royal Statistical Society (1999-2001) and of the International Statistical Institute (2007-9), the first ever woman to hold this office. Through these roles she has contributed to the formulation of both national and international policy on both statistics and evidence-based policy, and remains active in the development of social research methods and in research ethics.

She is a Fellow (and graduate) of University College London and has received an honorary doctorate from City University. Professor Lievesley has held honorary professorial posts at City and Durham universities, as well as at INRS in Montreal. She has also taught at many institutions and universities throughout the world.

Continually in demand, she has served on some 25 national and international committees and run or been organisationally involved with more than 65 national and international conferences. She has been the international representative on the Board of the American Statistical Association for the last three years and chairs the methodology committee of the European Social Survey.

Presentation slides