Lucian J Hudson is an experienced board chair, strategic communications specialist and executive coach. Most recently he has led a successful transition at the University of Oxford, putting public affairs and communications on a more strategic footing. He is lead author of the Policy Exchange report, ‘Universities at The Crossroads’, addressing governance, leadership and communication.
As Chair of Earthwatch Europe, he is steering the organisation through the disruption caused by Covid-19, adapting business strategy through innovation, overseeing new investment and building corporate partnerships, harnessing science and citizen engagement. His wider business portfolio includes counsel on crisis and recovery.
A trusted advisor to senior leaders, he helps them to manage challenges critical to achieving success. Since 2000 he has supported cabinet ministers, board chairs, vice-chancellors and chief executives. As communications chief in six large organisations, with responsibility in most roles for brand and marketing, Lucian has been at the heart of international and national decision-making, business transformation and crisis management. As the UK Government’s chief spokesman at summits and ministerial meetings on climate change and sustainable development, he briefed media, forged common purpose and negotiated with governments, business and civic society.
At the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Cabinet Office and more recently, University of Oxford and The Open University, he led strategic change, overseeing integrated communications across multiple teams, and engaging staff, media and stakeholders, including donors. He masterminded the highly successful announcement of two major widening access initiatives, and the unprecedented £150 million gift to the humanities. His OU team won four awards for promoting lifelong learning and academic excellence.
As a senior BBC television executive, Lucian was a pioneer in 24-hour breaking news and established commercial joint venture channels with international broadcasters. He produced the first six hours of television news coverage for the BBC on the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
He founded the UK Government’s first digital portal, transformed the Foreign Office’s use of social media, and was responsible for the PR launch of FutureLearn, the digital education platform serving millions of learners.