University Secretary and Head of the Executive Office, member of the Senior Management team

Professor William Stephens PhD CEnv FIAgrE FHEA became Secretary and Registrar of Cranfield University in April 2010 and took on his additional role as Head of the Executive Office on 1 August 2014. As secretary of Council, he is responsible to the Pro-Chancellor for Council governance.

William Stephens
Professor William Stephens

Professor Stephens graduated from Edinburgh University with a BSc (Hons) in Ecological Science. He was awarded an MSc in Soil and Water Engineering from Cranfield Institute of Technology in 1978 and later, a PhD on the effects of climate on the yield of tea in East Africa in 1992.

Professor Stephens began his career in environmental consultancy before undertaking irrigation research for the Malawi Government until 1984. He then joined Cranfield as a Research Officer working the agro-climatology of tea before joining the academic staff in 1990 as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer.

In 1999, Professor Stephens was appointed Head of the newly founded Institute of Water and Environment at Cranfield’s Silsoe campus. From 2005, Professor Stephens became Change Programme Director, reporting to the Vice-Chancellor on the major developments on the Cranfield campus to accommodate the move of academic activities from Silsoe and the formation of the School of Applied Sciences and Cranfield Health.  He led the development of Cranfield's Carbon Management Plan.

Professor Stephens was the Cranfield University Nominated Trustee on the Bedford Charity from 2001 - 11. He was also a Commonwealth Scholarships Commissioner from 2004 to 2010. He is currently a Trustee of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust.