About > HESPA Executive > Alison Rankin


Alison L Rankin, FCMA (Director of Strategy, Planning, and Performance - Ulster University)



Alison Rankin, a Chartered Accountant by profession, is substantively employed as the Director of Strategy, Planning, and Performance, within the Vice Chancellor’s office, having previously been employed as Assistant Chief Finance and Information Officer of Ulster University, monitoring and controlling the University’s financial operations and financial strategy. The Strategy, Planning and Performance Directorate supports the development, implementation and delivery of the University's aims and ambitions expressed in the Strategic Plan 5 and 50, through the provision of sectoral policy analysis and insight, business intelligence, support for planning and change projects, governance and reporting.  Rankin has led the roll-out of a University – wide Accountability Framework, following her development of a Balanced Scorecard, and a fully Integrated Planning Process.

Previously, Rankin spent 10 years in the private sector, laterally, as a Group Financial Controller within the CRH group, during a period of significant growth and acquisition. During this time she led the acquisition of a new franchise and was also instrumental in the divestment of a subsidiary, and led the related redundancy programme.

Rankin serves on several Board of Directors, and specialises in strategic and financial management and development. Earlier in her career she was appointed Interim CEO of UUTech Ltd, the Ulster University’s technology and knowledge transfer company, having served on the board for two years.  As a member of the IUL board today, she continues to provide strategic oversight to the Innovation and Consultancy teams on all aspects of technology and knowledge transfer / exchange and commercialisation of research activity/outcomes.

She is a dedicated and results-driven senior manager with a highly successful background in the development and delivery of robust strategic financial management in both the public and private sectors. She has been exposed to a wide range of disciplines and activities throughout her career to date, having successfully managed significant change in complex operations.  She has prepared and implemented strategic plans, operationalising strategies and policies to achieve desired outcomes, organisational change and improved service provision.  She continues to provide quality information in an ever-changing environment and demonstrate intellectual leadership with the ability to integrate broad areas of knowledge. She possesses strong ambassadorial skills, with the ability to promote and represent a corporate’s interests locally and nationally.

She was a Governor at the Northern Regional (FE) College for eight years, and during this time chaired the F&GP, the Audit Committee, and the Risk Management Committee.  She has been assessed as highly competent in the areas of leadership, contribution to strategy, analysis, and application of specialist skills. She is currently Governor at Mill Strand Integrated Primary School, where she serves as Vice Chair, and Chairs the Finance and General Purposes Committee.

In her spare time, she enjoys running and competing in triathlons, having previously qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.


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