Contact Dr Christine Thompson


In her current role as Corporate Planning Director, Dr Chris Thompson works with the University Executive, reporting to the Chief Operating Officer to deliver:  Leadership, co-ordination and support for the University in the areas of strategic projects, strategy and business planning, and horizon scanning; Support for the University’s leadership team to develop, implement and achieve its strategy; Strategic projects supporting transformational programmes with Executive sponsorship to describe, position and plan their delivery; Support for major change initiatives at the University; Thought leadership, advice and expertise for the Executive on national security-related matters.

Immediate priorities are to support the development of Cranfield's new strategic plan; and to lead on developing and implementing a new organisational risk and resilience framework.

Chris graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Botany and a PhD in Plant Biotechnology. From there she had a successful research career in the Agricultural Biotechnology sector, most recently with Zeneca Seeds (Syngenta). She went on to spend several years in the Research Councils (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Science and Technology Facilities Council) developing expertise in corporate governance, research funding strategy and policy, evaluation methodology, programme management and managing large-scale facilities. Moving to Imperial College London in 2008, she held both operational and strategic roles, first as Director of Research Strategy and then as Programme Director for the Institute of Shock Physics. At the end of February 2014 Dr Thompson joined CDS, Shrivenham as a member of the CDS Executive Team in the new post of Director of Strategy and Resources.  Chris took up the post of Director of Research & Innovation on 1 August 2014 where she worked with the PVC Research and Innovation to: develop research and innovation strategy, policy and effective governance; manage relationships with government funding agencies; lead the management of strategic relationships with key corporate partners; coordinate and provide support for bid submissions; lead the provision of research contract and IP support; lead delivery of the REF 2021 submission; lead the provision of incubation and acceleration facilities; and provide support for research student processes including policy support for Doctoral Training Centres.  She was also the Senior lead for HR Excellence in Research and Brexit planning, championed the Technician Commitment and was the Security Controller for Cranfield's ListX capability.