Professor Sandra Harding, Officer of the Order of Australia, took up her appointment as Vice Chancellor and President of James Cook University Australia in January 2007. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring clear and effective leadership and management of the University across all operating sites, including campuses in Cairns, Singapore and Townsville.
Educated at the Australian National University, The University of Queensland and North Carolina State University (USA), Professor Harding has extensive academic and academic leadership experience. An economic sociologist by training, her areas of enduring academic interest include work, organisation and markets and how they work. She also has a keen interest in public policy in two key areas: education policy and related areas; and; the global Tropics, northern Australia and economic development. In addition, she has undertaken a wide variety of senior university-aligned roles as well as memberships/directorships of a variety of local, national and international Boards and Councils.
Current roles include: Project Convener, State of the Tropics project; Member, Working Group providing advice to the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, on higher education policy matters; Member, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation Board; Director, Education Australia Ltd; Council Member, the Australian Institute of Marine Science; Director, North Queensland Cowboys NRL club; Director of Townsville Enterprise and of Advance Cairns (regional economic development bodies); and; a member of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia’s (CEDA) Leadership Council.