President Professor Eeva Leinonen

Professor Eeva Leinonen joined Maynooth University as President in October 2021, after five years of service as Vice Chancellor and President at Murdoch University, Perth, Australia.

Professor Leinonen was born and raised in Finland, where she completed her schooling. As part of her education in Finland Professor Leinonen spent a year as an exchange student in Michigan, USA, prior to entering university in England, where she studied linguistics and psychology. She obtained a BSc (Hons) in Linguistics and Psychology (First Class) from Aston University, UK; MPhil in Text Linguistics from Exeter University, UK: PhD in Clinical Linguistics from De Montfort University, UK; Docent (Higher Doctorate) from her hometown university, University of Oulu, Finland; and DSc (Honoris Causa) from Aston University, UK.

Professor Leinonen’s academic research focuses on pragmatic language processing in children and young adults with autistic spectrum disorders. She collaborates with colleagues in Finland and Italy.

Prior to moving to Australia in 2012, Professor Leinonen held the position of Vice-Principal (Education) and Professor of Clinical Linguistics at King’s College London. She has been Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, in addition to holding a number of other academic leadership positions, including Dean of Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, Head of School of Psychology, Head of School of Humanities and Director of Health and Human Sciences Research Institute.

Professor Leinonen has been actively involved in national and international higher education policy discourse and implementation through her roles on numerous boards and advisory bodies, including: Universities UK; Universities Australia; Irish Universities Association, Trustee of IntoUni Charitable Trust; Trustee of Schools Competition Settlement Trust; Chair of the UK Higher Education Funding Council/ Quality Assurance Agency advisory group into Employer Engagement in Learning; Chair of Innovative Research Universities Network in Australia; President of Australian Higher Education Industrial Association; Director and Board Member of Future Directions International; WA Health Translation Network Board Member; Governor of Forrest Research Foundation; Member of Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group Australia; Member of National Priorities Industry Linkages Board, advising Australian Federal Minister for Education; Chair of Irish Research e-Library Governing Board; Vice Chair of Universities Ireland.