My name is Matt Greenhall and I am the new Deputy Executive Director at RLUK. I’m delighted to be joining RLUK, and I look forward to meeting as many members as possible over the coming weeks and months. In my first blog post, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.

Before coming to RLUK, I worked for six years at The National Archives (Kew), most recently as Head of Academic Engagement. In this role, I was responsible for leading significant elements of The National Archives’ relationship with its academic and research audience, made up of individual academics, universities, research partners, and fellow Independent Research Organisations. This included overseeing its academic programmes, events, and strategic relationships, whilst developing and delivering its wider  Academic Engagement Strategy. Prior to this role, I held a secondment as the Head of Strategies and Programmes (within its Archive Sector Development Department), and previously worked as the Engagement Manager responsible for the West of England under The National Archives’ leadership responsibilities for the archive sector within England. The latter included working with around 350 archives, of all shapes and sizes, to support and advise them, and advocate for their activities at a time of great change. All of these roles brought me into regular contact with university archives and special collections, including those held within a number of RLUK members. Throughout my time at The National Archives, I developed and led a number of strategic relationships, including those with RLUK, Jisc, and individual research partners.

Prior to joining The National Archives, I worked within Durham University’s Archives and Special Collections where I led elements of the University’s youth engagement and widening participation programmes. This included working within the University’s Oriental Museum to lead a series of youth engagement projects under the banner of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. It was at Durham where I completed a BA Hons and an M.Res in History, and a PhD in early-modern British economic history.

In all of my roles, I have relished the opportunity to work with colleagues across the information, heritage and academic sectors. In particular, I have always been interested in exploring and supporting cross-sector collaboration and community engagement, an interest which has influenced much of my work.  I am really excited to be joining RLUK. As the role of the research library continues to evolve, I look forward to working with members to help address collective challenges, seize emerging opportunities, and support the implementation of Reshaping Scholarship. First and foremost, I am looking forward to meeting as many members as possible over the coming weeks and months.