Professor Jennifer Rubin has been named as the new Chief Executive of The Economic and Social Research Council.

In a statement, Professor Rubin said: “Rigorous social science can be transformative. When brought to bear on pressing challenges from antimicrobial resistance to low productivity, excellent research can make a contribution to improving outcomes for people, communities and economies.

“I feel privileged to be asked to lead the ESRC in supporting and developing world-leading social science, as well as the skills and data to understand and address societal issues together with colleagues under the new umbrella of UKRI,” Rubin said.

When UK Research and Innovation launches next April, Professor Rubin will become the ESRC’s Executive Chair.

Professor Jennifer Rubin is currently Director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London and Professor of Public Policy. Before joining King’s Jennifer established and then led the justice and home affairs research programme at RAND Europe for 10 years. She obtained her PhD at the University of Cambridge in social and political sciences, following a first-class degree in European Politics at Loughborough University.

Phil Sooben, CEO of the Political Studies Association, said the announcement came at an important time for social science research in the UK. “The Political Studies Association welcomes the appointment of Jennifer Rubin as the new CEO of the Economic and Social Research Council. This is a crucial time for UK social science and requires someone with the necessary leadership skills and expertise to head up the ESRC as UKRI comes into being.

“We particularly welcome the breadth of Professor Rubin’s previous experience and her understanding of the critical importance of high quality research having an impact on policy making and professional practice and we wish her well in her new role,” he said.