Olivia Harrison

Olivia is the Chief Executive of the Learned Society of Wales. She has overall responsibility for the running of the Society, manages the LSW staff team and ensures the delivery the society’s strategic plan by coordinating with and reporting to Council.  

Olivia joined the Learned Society of Wales in February 2022, coming from her role as Head of Research, Innovation and Engagement at the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).  

Olivia originally trained and worked as a chartered structural engineer before moving into higher education policy in Wales. Starting in public affairs at Universities Wales and moving into research policy, Olivia rapidly became recognised as an expert in the area of research and innovation policy on the UK higher education stage. In her role at HEFCW she oversaw the allocation of approximately £100m core funding to Welsh universities for research and innovation activities. She also lead the development of HEFCW’s ‘Research and Innovation: The Vison for Wales’.    

Passionate about improving inclusivity and promoting diversity, Olivia lives on Barry Island. She enjoys walking her dogs on the beach and a swim with the ‘Swim and Tonic’ sea swim club. She is also a keen scuba diver and enjoys exploring reefs all over the world.