Dr Roni Ajao (Associate Hughes Hall University of Cambridge)

Dr Roni Ajao is the Executive Director of MRL® Public Sector Consultants Limited (MRL®). She has also worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), PA Consulting and EY as a Management Consultant within Government, Public Services and Defence. Dr Ajao has led a number of high-profile assignments for government departments, i.e., the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Education, the United Kingdom Identity and Passport Service and the Office for National Statistics, as the interim Director of Communications, Publicity and Stakeholder Management for the entire UK Census. Internationally, as an adviser to governments, Dr Ajao has worked on key programmes for the United Nations (UN), the World Bank and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). For example, under the auspices of the UN, she was appointed as the Special Technical Assistant (STA) to two government Ministers in Nigeria. From September 2018 – June 2020 she worked with the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria on Policy Development and Analysis reviewing policies in education, health, poverty alleviation and infrastructure development. Dr Ajao trained as a land surveyor and town planner before moving into management consultancy. Academically, she holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Durham University, an M.Phil. from University College London, an MBA from City University London, a M.Sc. in Consulting and Coaching for Change from HEC in Paris and Said Business School, Oxford University. She also has certificates in International Development and Global Change from the University of Cambridge and in Leadership from Harvard. Dr Ajao has been awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Consulting, Fellowship and Chartered Status of the Chartered Management Institute, Fellowship of the Institute of Leadership and Management, and Fellowship of the Institute of Directors. She is also a Fellow of the Association for Project Management and is one of the Chartered Panel Members for the Association. She is a member of Chatham House and a Panel Member for the UK Ministry of Defence – Women in Defence (WiD) Initiative. Dr Ajao teaches, mentors, and works with various institutions, e.g., Manchester Alliance Business School, Liverpool Business School, Cambridge Judge Business School / Faculty of Education and Anglia Ruskin University London. She also trains senior executives in general management, strategy, and organisational change. Her research interest areas are education, public policy, strategy, and leadership.