About Julia

Listed by The Times as one of the 50 most influential women in Britain, Dame Julia Cleverdon is much in demand on corporate and educational platforms as a speaker and catalyst for collaborative action. Over the course of her career she has worked to build more effective leadership and cross-sector partnerships across business, charities and education, as well as encouraging women to develop their careers and their work-life balance.

Julia began her working life in 1972 in industrial relations at British Leyland, after graduating with a history degree from Newnham College, Cambridge. She joined the Industrial Society, was seconded to Anglo American in South Africa, then developed and led the Education and Inner City Division from 1981 to 1988, during which time the Industrial Society became the leading provider of management training for education and voluntary organisations. In 1988 she was appointed Development Director of Business in the Community and became Chief Executive in 1992.

She was appointed CBE in 1996 and CVO in the New Year Honours list in 2002 and a DCVO in the Queen’s Honours list in 2008. She holds an Honorary LLD from the University of Warwick, and honorary degrees from Harper Adams University College (for her support of rural communities), the University of Central Lancashire (for her support of Burnley), Aston University, the University of Exeter and Middlesex University and the Open University.

Julia was married to the late John Garnett CBE, Director of the Industrial Society from 1962 to 1988, who died in 1997. They have two daughters, Charity and Victoria. She lives in Islington and the Isle of Wight.