Oxford University Press (OUP) has appointed Fathima Dada, currently global m.d. for English and Schools at Pearson, as the new managing director of its Oxford Education division. Dada will succeed outgoing managing director Kate Harris, who is retiring in the last quarter of 2018.
Born and educated in South Africa, Dada began her career there as a teacher in the apartheid era and went on to join Pearson’s South African business, Maskew Miller Longman, in 1988 as a trainee editor. From there she took on larger South African, regional, and then global roles at Pearson, including becoming the chair and c.e.o. of Pearson’s Southern, East, and Central African businesses. Dada has also taken time out of her publishing career to work with governments and not-for-profit organisations in many countries, including designing the South African primary and senior secondary curricula for the South African Education Ministry in the early 2000s.
Nigel Portwood, chief executive of OUP, welcomed Dada to the senior team, calling her "an experienced and accomplished publishing executive with an excellent track-record".
"She understands what it takes to grow businesses in international markets. She is also committed to improving educational standards, and knows how digital technology can be used to support that aim," he said. "I am certain that she will be successful in both furthering OUP’s progress and in improving educational outcomes in our markets."
Dada said: "I am delighted to join OUP, to be working alongside talented people who are as passionate about education as I am. I look forward to taking on this new challenge, helping to strengthen links across OUP’s education businesses, and ultimately continuing to make a positive impact on teachers and learners."
Dada will start her new role later in 2018.