Ruth Buckingham


Ruth is an expert in strategic planning, project management, and change management and continuous improvement.  She brings specialist skills in establishing programme management offices; managing planning processes and risk; data analysis; undertaking service and value for money reviews; and business change and improvement projects to SUMS members and clients.

Ruth has gained specialist expertise in project management, business improvement, planning and strategy development while working in Higher Education over the last seven years. Prior to this, she worked in the housing sector and local government for over 20 years. Delivering continuous improvement is at the heart of her professional approach and she is committed to supporting SUMS members and clients in this activity.

Ruth joined SUMS as a Consultant in 2021. Her most recent role before this was as Interim Associate Director of Strategy and Performance at the University of London. During her time working at the University, Ruth supported the senior leadership team to develop a new strategy for 2020-25.  She managed the annual planning process, established a programme management office and delivered a wide variety of business improvement projects.  These projects included improvements to project practice, customer service, social responsibility and key processes. Ruth also programme-managed an award-winning, year-long celebration of 150 years of Leading Women at the University of London.  While working in Higher Education, Ruth gained an understanding of the nuances and complexities in the sector.

Through her work in the housing sector, Ruth developed her project management and analytical skills to deliver service and value for money reviews. resulting in improvements to multiple service areas such as income collection, estates services, voids and resident involvement. Her specific focus on the success and failure of projects – and learning lessons from them – helps organisations focus on continuous improvement.

Ruth has a BSc in Biological Science from Edinburgh University and a postgraduate diploma in Housing Studies from Glasgow University. She is Prince 2 qualified and is an Associate Member of the Association of Project Management.

Ruth is also a Board Member of Women’s Pioneer Housing, a housing association based in West London which provides much-needed, good quality affordable housing for women. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and enjoys visiting art galleries in her spare time.