Professor Elena Beleska-Spasova appointed dean of Henley Business School

Professor Elena Beleska-Spasova has been appointed Dean of Henley Business School, taking up the post with immediate effect.

Following the retirement of Professor John Board from the role of Dean, Professor Beleska-Spasova has spent the last eight months as Acting Dean.

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Robert Van De Noort, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said:

“I welcome Elena into the permanent role of Dean of Henley Business School and look forward to working closely with her as part of the University leadership team in the years to come.

Elena’s experience and energy will be invaluable as we work together on the important programme to increase both the University’s and Henley Business School’s resilience in the face of some pressing challenges. Her appointment is a positive step towards delivering potential growth opportunities.”

As Dean, Professor Beleska-Spasova will lead work to develop and grow the Business School, in support of the University’s Strategic Plan, and meeting the demands of an increasingly challenging and competitive sector.

She will help lead Henley’s contribution to the University’s work to tackle current external financial pressures, including investigating ways to improve academic structures and professional service processes to make savings and streamline work.

Professor Beleska-Spasova said:

“Taking on the role of Dean at Henley Business School is a huge honour. Having worked here for almost 14 years now, I have first-hand experience of all that Henley has to offer, including our world-class research, our innovative teaching and our forward-thinking employees.

The role is not without its challenges, particularly in these difficult and uncertain economic times. My focus will be to ensure that we continue to build a sustainable and resilient institution that is able to thrive and grow, delivering smart thinking and innovation that makes a real difference to students and businesses alike. I’m really excited about the future of Henley Business School.”

Extensive experience

Professor Beleska-Spasova first joined the University in 2009 as a lecturer in International Business in Henley Business School, becoming a professor in 2019. In 2021, she took on the role of Pro-Dean Education and Innovation where she worked alongside the Dean as one of the key contributors to the overall strategic direction and management of Henley.

Prior to joining Henley, Professor Beleska-Spasova gained extensive experience in the business sector, working in several large international organisations across Europe and North America, including PwC in Canada.

During her academic career, her research has explored strategic issues and challenges faced by organisations on an international scale, and the drivers of international competitiveness and performance with particular focus on exports and SMEs.