HRMI 2022: Paul Boustead, chief people and culture officer, University of Leeds 

Paul Boustead plays a leading role in developing and implementing the University of Leeds’ people and organisational development strategies, while also ensuring the University realises a significant culture shift to become an organisation characterised by its inclusivity, collaboration and respect. 

Boustead also leads the Human Resources (HR) Directorate – which includes equality, diversity & inclusion, and organisational development & professional learning (OD&PL) – in developing and retaining a talented, diverse and adaptable community of staff. 

He has more than 20 years’ experience in HR and organisational development, including roles in local government, local education authorities, the NHS and HE institutions and is a companion of the CIPD. 

During his career, Boustead has led a number of large-scale change programmes, including the merger of three HE institutions to create a single university. 

Prior to joining the University, he served as executive director of people and organisational effectiveness at Lancaster University, where he was responsible for developing and implementing its first people strategy. 

Until recently, he was the elected chair of universities HR (UHR), and he sits on several national groups and committees, including the national pay negotiation board for the sector, the USS employers’ pensions group and the Excellence in Research Review Panel. He is a non-executive director at an NHS Trust, and a school governor. 


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Gen Z and millennials struggling to cope with increased cost of living 


Paul Boustead ranked 14th on the list of HR Most Influential practitioners 2022. 

Find the full list of HR Most Influential 2022 practitioners and thinkers here.