Dr. Alma Harris, FAcSS, FLSW, FRSA has held Professorial posts at the University of Warwick, University College London, the University of Malaya, the University of Bath, and the University of Swansea. She is internationally known for her research and writing on educational leadership, education policy and school improvement. In 2009–2012, she was a Senior Policy Adviser to the Welsh Government assisting with the process of system-wide reform. She co-led the national Professional Learning Communities (PLC) programme and led on the development and implementation of a master’s qualification for all newly qualified teachers in Wales. Since 2009, she has worked for the World Bank contributing to development and research programmes aimed at supporting schools in challenging contexts in Russia. Professor Harris is a Visiting Professor at the Moscow Higher School of Economics and the University of Southampton. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Education University of Hong Kong. Dr. Harris is Past President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement (ICSEI), which is an organisation dedicated to enhancing quality and equity in education. In January 2016, she received the ICSEI honorary lifetime award. In 2016, she was appointed to the International Council of Education Advisers (ICEA) to offer policy advice to Scotland’s First Minister and Deputy First Minister. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her website can be found at almaharris.com


  1. & Leading professional learning with impact. School Leadership & Management 39(1), 1-4.
  2. & Instructional leadership in Malaysia: a review of the contemporary literature. School Leadership & Management 39(1), 76-95.
  3. & Leading against the odds. School Leadership & Management 38(1), 1-3.
  4. & Leading for equity: a moral imperative. School Leadership & Management 38(3), 239-241.
  5. & Leading schools as learning organizations. School Leadership & Management 38(4), 351-354.

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Administrative Responsibilities

  • Head of Department - Swansea University School of Education

    2018 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2017 2018 Professor of Education University of Bath
2012 2016 Director Institute of Educational Leadership University of Malaya, Malaysia
2007 2010 Pro-Director (Leadership) Institute of Education UCL
2003 2007 Director, Institute of Education University of Warwick

External Responsibilities

  • Member of International Council of Education Advisers, Scottish Government

    2016 - 2020

  • President, International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement

    2013 - 2015

  • President , College of Teachers

    2008 - 2010

  • Senior Policy Adviser, Welsh Government

    2010 - 2012

Key Grants and Projects

  • Teacher Training Incentives in Wales: International policy context (ITER 002) 2019 - 2019

    , with Associate Professor Michelle Jones, Education Workforce Wales

  • The Teaching- Research Nexus in the Humanities and Social Science in Higher Education 2018 - 2019

    , with Associate Professor Michelle Jones, British Academy