Dr. Alma Harris is internationally known for her research and writing on educational leadership and school improvement. She started her career as a secondary school teacher in South Wales before moving into business development and starting her own company. After completing her PhD at the University of Bath, she held
senior academic posts at the University of Nottingham
and the University of Warwick.
As Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Warwick, she also held the post of Director of the Institute of Education for four years. In 2009, she was appointed as Pro-Director (Leadership) and Professor of Educational Leadership at the Institute of Education, University of London.
During her career, Dr. Harris has worked at the policy level, with various governments and agencies around the world, supporting their school and system improvement work. In 2009–2012, she was seconded to the Welsh Government as a senior policy advisor to assist with the process of system-wide reform. She co-led the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) programme with Dr. Michelle Jones, and also led on the development and implementation of a Master’s qualification for all newly qualified teachers in Wales.
Since 2009, she has worked with 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.
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 an honorary lifetime membership.
At present, she is working in Asia and is Director of the Institute of Educational Leadership at the University of Malaya in Malaysia. She is leading a major research
project focused on leadership and leadership development in 7 education systems (Australia, England, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia and Singapore).