Luke Blair’s new post, starting in September, part of Imperial’s leadership team, will be responsible for leading and driving communications across the College to strengthen and enhance its position as one of the world’s top universities.
Blair is currently an equity partner and board director at London Communications Agency (LCA), where he leads the agency’s health and transport work. In his 12 years at LCA he has covered a number of communications leadership roles across the private and public sectors, including senior positions in local government, the NHS and Transport for London. He has also been a member of the Cabinet Office communications review team and is a regular judge of PR industry awards.
As Vice-President, Blair will lead the Communications and Public Affairs Division, directing activities to promote Imperial’s work in the UK and internationally, to communicate with the College community, and to develop Imperial’s brand and its digital media strategy. He will advise the College leadership team and sit on Imperial’s senior management and executive boards, and report directly to the President Professor Alice P. Gast.
Imperial’s Strategy to 2020 includes the aim to make the College more outwardly focused, by sharing the importance of its work with global audiences, informing decision makers and building strong, collaborative relationships with alumni and partners in business and government.
Luke’s expertise and energy will help us bring the best in Imperial to the rest of the world
Professor Alice P. Gast, President of Imperial College London, said: ‘We are committed to sharing Imperial’s excellence and breadth with the community, our alumni, decision makers, and the public. We need outstanding partners to leverage our passion for research discoveries and educational innovation. We also strive to forge connections across disciplines, institutions and borders. All of these goals are underpinned by excellent and thoughtful communications.
‘We are excited that Luke will be helping us to achieve our ambitions. He is a widely respected communications leader, with outstanding experience across sectors. Luke’s expertise and energy will help us bring the best in Imperial to the rest of the world.’
A former political correspondent, Blair spent 10 years in journalism, including nearly five years on the Evening Standard. He went on to hold public relations roles at London First, the Design Council and the public relations consultancy Fishburn Hedges before joining LCA in 2003.
He said: ‘I am really looking forward to getting started in this role. Imperial has a simply amazing brand and reach and it is going to be a great privilege helping it to realise its ambitions for science, research and education.’