Stella Power

AHRC Chief Operating Officer

Stella Power has been Chief Operating Officer at the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) since January 2023. Prior to this, she worked as a civil servant for 19 years, working mainly on large people transformation programmes and corporate services delivery.

Stella’s role encompasses oversight, management, and assurance for the operations of both AHRC and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) International, ensuring these are being conducted within public sector guidelines on transparency and propriety.

Alongside the AHRC directors she leads on the development, shaping and delivery of AHRC’s vision and strategy in line with the expectations of UKRI, with a particular focus on delivering the effective use of resources and maximising the contribution of staff across the organisation’s functions.

Before joining AHRC, Stella was the Chief Operating Officer for Defra Group Digital, Data and Technology services at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). In this role she focused particularly on technology for sustainability and innovation in service delivery.

Previously, Stella held several roles in Defra group including in human resources, EU Exit delivery, COVID-19 response and in other government departments such as the Cabinet Office and the Department for Transport.

During Stella’s time at the Cabinet Office she led the cross-government employee engagement programme, and this sparked a passion for developing and delivering the best employee experience possible to the teams, functions and organisations she has worked with.

Stella has a strong interest in the arts and humanities, having studied these at university and spending the early part of her career in the fashion industry. This background has cemented in her the conviction that arts, humanities, design, research and innovation can provide an endless source of lifelong learning, enlightenment and richness to the lives we lead, both as individuals and societies.

Stella’s early career prior to joining the civil service was centred around fashion retail and property management.

Last updated: 4 September 2023

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