Dame Deirdre became Chancellor of the University on the 1 August 2020. She is an Honorary Graduate of the University dating back to 2007 and previously served as Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council from 2012 to 2019.
Previously Deirdre was Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority from 2009 until 2020. During this term, Deirdre oversaw the aviation response to the 2010 Icelandic volcanic ash cloud, and the repatriation of Britain citizens following the collapse of Monarch and Thomas Cook.
Deirdre has served on a number of public bodies and has considerable experience of corporate governance, risk-based regulation and consumer policy, including previously Vice-Chair of the European Food Safety Authority Management Board. Deirdre has also been Deputy Chair of the Financial Services Authority and Chair of the National Consumer Council, and the Scottish Consumer Council. She is Honorary Vice-President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. She has been a Non-Executive Director of the HM Treasury Board, Thames Water Utilities Ltd and Castle Trust.