The Board of Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) has appointed Gillian May as its principal and chief executive with effect from 1 September 2013.
May is currently principal designate at the college and was formerly its vice principal:curriculum and quality. Before this appointment she was assistant head at Newlands Girls School in Maidenhead.
The appointment has been made following the announcement last March by the previous principal Bill Grady OBE that he would be leaving at the end of the academic year.
May has lived in Maidenhead since she graduated from the University of Southampton where she studied accountancy & law. The chartered accountant spent the first 14 years of her career in the corporate world handling multi- million pound deals working for Pepsico, Bunzl Plc and Arthur Andersen.
College board chair John Wilder said: "I'm thrilled that we have secured the services of a very experienced educational and business leader to take over the helm at BCA. There was fierce competition for this role and the calibre of the candidates from across the UK is testament to the growing reputation of the College.
"BCA grew by 15 per cent in 2012/13 and expects to grow by a further 10 per cent this academic year. The College is in a position to maximise further opportunities and we needed someone with the necessary vision and the drive and energy to work with the governing body and staff to deliver results.
May said: "I'm delighted to have been appointed as Principal and Chief Executive at BCA. We operate in a vibrant and exciting economy which deserves only the best educational provision. I share the view of Board members in believing that BCA should be a real centre of excellence providing outstanding academic education and skills training. I'm looking forward to continuing to work in close partnership with the other education leaders and forging stronger, effective working links with local authorities and local businesses.
She is one of only four women nationally to head up a land-based college.