Michelle Mitchell OBE– Chief Executive, Cancer Research UK 

To commemorate the College’s bicentenary in 2023, we’re showcasing 200 ‘Birkbeck Effects’ which capture the incredible stories of our vibrant and diverse community, highlighting their achievements and impact on the world. 

Michelle Mitchell

Michelle is Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK and is motivated by creating lasting and impactful change in the world today through innovative research. 

She was the first in her family to attend university, gaining an MSc Politics and Administration degree from Birkbeck in1997, and spent the early years of her career in London working for a local MP.   

Michelle felt more attracted to charity work as this was where she believed real social change could be brought about. Her work in the charity sector has seen her working in numerous exciting roles including the Chief Executive of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Director General of Innovative UK and also a Non-Executive Board Member of NHS England.   

Under her leadership at Cancer Research UK, the Brain Tumour Award funding scheme was launched, in collaboration with the Brain Tumour Charity and a refreshed research strategy for children’s and young people’s cancers. 


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