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Ed Anderson - BSc (Hons) Economics, 1972

Ed Anderson - BSc (Hons) Economics, 1972


Ed Anderson - BSc (Hons) Economics, 1972

Ed Anderson (BSc (Hons) Economics, 1972) was born in Singapore and came to Leeds in 1969 to study at what was then the Leeds College of Commerce, later becoming Leeds Polytechnic. Over the last 46 years, Ed has enjoyed an illustrious career taking him from President of the Students’ Union to Chief Executive of Leeds Bradford Airport and earlier this year he took on a new role as Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, appointed by The Queen as Her Majesty’s representative in West Yorkshire. 

“I remember some of my lecturers, they were very good and it was a very good course.” Ed recalls, thinking back to his time at university. “At the end of my degree, I became the President of the Students’ Union, which was a sabbatical position for one year. I was the fourth president of the Students Union, fourth ever. That gave me a seat on the Board of Governors, which for someone aged 21, was quite something, and it was the experience of being President that stood me in good stead ever after.”

From the Students’ Union, Ed went straight into local government, training as an accountant which took him across several local authorities in the region before joining Leeds Bradford Airport. “I had two spells at Leeds Bradford Airport, one was in the early 80s and then the second, which was my last executive job, where I ran the airport for 10 years as Chief Executive, from 1997 to 2007. I’m very proud of the time I spent at Leeds Bradford Airport as it was during that time that Jet2.com was established at the airport, and it now has over 50 routes across Europe, I’m particularly proud of that.”

Using the experience he’d gained running the airport Ed moved into financial services, taking on the role of Chairman of Yorkshire Building Society for eight years. “Chairing the board of the Yorkshire Building Society through the financial crisis was quite challenging, but we came through it and in very good shape.” He is currently Chairman of National Savings & Investments.

In September Ed was appointed as Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, taking over the role from Dame Ingrid Roscoe who held the position for almost 15 years. Ed is now responsible for arranging visits to West Yorkshire by members of the Royal Family, representing The Queen at events across the county. “There’s quite a few things that all Lord Lieutenants will do, particularly working with the Armed Forces and other uniformed services, a lot of civic and church engagements and then on top of that most Lord Lieutenants want to try and make a difference by encouraging the voluntary sector in the county. There are literally thousands of charities in West Yorkshire, all doing amazing work, every single one of them and I feel like they’re the glue that holds society together. I’d like to do everything possible to support them as organisations and to encourage the notion of volunteering across the county.”

“As an alumnus of Leeds Beckett University, I would advise all students and fellow alumni to appreciate the help that people give you throughout your life and take opportunities as they arise which sometimes involves taking some risks, and then secondly, to try and make sure you put something back into society and do some good.