Dr Rhiannon Birch

Principal Consultant


Rhiannon brings expertise in the design and establishment of integrated planning cycles, linking strategy, performance evaluation and risk management with action planning, workforce, and budget planning.

An advocate for data-led decision making and data literacy, Rhiannon has worked with university leaders to develop strategies and business plans, advise on new opportunities and complete options appraisals to develop the way forward. She has a strong understanding of the application and benefit of risk management as a key management tool within HE, having developed and embedded risk management within strategic planning processes, cultures, and practices.

Rhiannon has developed performance frameworks for different types of universities and delivered transformational programmes which develop reporting and insight capabilities and improve the delivery of statutory reporting, including data optimisation.

Rhiannon joined SUMS in October 2022 following an extensive career in senior management positions both in and external to HE, including Director of Planning & Insight at the University of Sheffield, Head of Membership & Professional Records for the British Medical Association, and Director of Strategic Insights & Planning at the University of Derby.

With a background in information management, Rhiannon has a PhD in higher education policy from the University of Sheffield as well as a PGCert in Higher Education Management from the University of Southampton.