Governance and Structure

Board of Trustees | Senior Management Team | Departments | Research Staff

Senior Management Team

Carole Willis

Chief Executive
c.willis@nfer.ac.uk, +44 (0)1753 637350

Carole Willis is Chief Executive of the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). She joined NFER in December 2013. Widely respected across the education sector and social science community, Carole has extensive experience of leading research and analysis in both the public and private sectors. Her focus is on raising NFER’s profile and increasing our impact, ensuring that our robust research and assessments actively inform education policy and practice. She is passionate about promoting quantitative analysis in education, and making better use of the rich administrative data sets available to understand how to improve education outcomes.

Prior experience and professional background

Before joining NFER, Carole was Director of Research and Analysis at the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department’s Chief Scientific Adviser. She had responsibility for leading DfE’s community of analysts, setting direction for the Department’s research activity, and building capability to use analysis and evidence effectively to drive education policy reform.

Her earlier roles included leading analysis of immigration and crime at the Home Office, research into productivity and growth at the Department of Trade and Industry (now the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), and delivering pension reform at the Department for Work and Pensions. She worked as an Economic Consultant on competition and transport policy at National Economic Research Associates (NERA) and undertook research on poverty, equity and growth at the World Bank.

Carole has a BA (Hons) degree (first class) in Economics from the University of Nottingham and an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE).