Wendy M. Purcell is a global thought leader focused on transforming lives through education and research in pursuit of social equity, the knowledge economy, and sustainable development.
Prior to joining Rutgers, she was an academic research scholar at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. There, she was lead researcher on the Culture of Health project, a joint initiative with the Harvard Business School, which explored health and equity in business and community settings.
She is a member of the Institute of Coaching, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and mentors and coaches senior leaders and change agents across sectors. She was the lead academic on a global CEO study on leaders with purpose working across business sectors and is a visiting professor with University College London’s Global Business School for Health.
Her career has included extensive work at a strategic level with the Department of Health and the National Health Service in the UK. She was a university president, establishing a new medical and dental school, and was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education. She is an expert adviser to, and board member of, a range of nonprofit organizations focused on advancing transformative leadership, sustainability, and education. Through her global consulting work, she has advised numerous universities, including Harvard University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Indiana University, McGill University, and the London School of Economics.
She has authored more than 100 academic publications, as well as book chapters, books, and patent filings. She is editor-in-chief of the new journal Merits, an international journal focused on contemporary research issues related to enabling people at work to thrive. Her recent book, The Bloomsbury Handbook of Sustainability in Higher Education, was released in 2023. She is series editor of a 17-book series on higher education and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. She also is an academic editor of numerous scholarly journals relating to climate and health, leadership, and sustainability.
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