Mary Curnock Cook



Mary Curnock Cook joined UCAS as Chief Executive in January 2010.

From 2003 – 2009, Mary was Director of Qualifications and Skills at the Qualifications & Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA, formerly QCA) where she led on qualifications policy and development for the 14-19 reform programme covering, amongst other things, GCSEs and A Levels. In addition she had responsibility for the UK Vocational Qualifications Reform Programme.

From 1994 – 2001, she was Chief Executive of BII, the professional body for licensed retailing. Between 1997 and 2001, Mary served as a Council member on the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC). She was a Non-Executive Director of Laurel Pub Company, and Chairman of award-winning e-learning company, Creative Learning Media, both from 2002 – 2005.

Prior to 1994, Mary was Marketing Director of Food from Britain, and International Sales & Marketing Director of International Biochemicals.

Mary lives in West London with her three grown-up children, two of whom are still at university. Mary has an MSc in general management from the London Business School. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours 2000 for services to training in hospitality and tourism. She is a governor at Swindon Academy – a 3-19 school. In addition she is a trustee of the Access Project which supports young people from deprived backgrounds to progress to higher education. She is also a trustee of the National Star Foundation which provides highly specialist care and learning support for young people with complex physical difficulties, emotional, acquired brain injuries and associated sensory difficulties.

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