Professor Dame Heather McGregor


Professor Dame Heather J. McGregor is the Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai. Professor McGregor was previously the Executive Dean of the Edinburgh Business School, having held the post since 2016. Her earlier career was in investment banking, and she has spent 17 years as an entrepreneur leading her own executive search firm prior to her move into higher education.

Professor Dame McGregor has a PhD from the University of Hong Kong in Structured Finance and an MBA from London Business School. She is a qualified chartered management accountant (CGMA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Her undergraduate degree was a BSc in Agricultural Economics & Marketing from Newcastle University. She is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Sunderland.

Professor Dame McGregor is an experienced writer and broadcaster, including writing for the Financial Times for 17 years. She was the founder of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which works to promote diversity in the communications industry, and a founding member of the steering committee of the 30% Club, which works to raise the representation of women at senior levels within publicly listed companies. Furthermore, Professor McGregor is a non-executive director of two public companies, one listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and one listed on the London Stock Exchange. She is also a member of the UK Government’s Honours Committee for the Economy.

 In 2021, Professor Dame McGregor was one of the first two people at Heriot-Watt University to be named a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She was awarded a CBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List in UK for her services to business, especially diversity in the workplace. In December 2022, she was made a Dame of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours for services to education and business and heritage in Scotland.

She is among the first to be recognised with the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) by King Charles III.

Key information

Contact the Provost

04 571 7000