Karen Jones CBE Karen Jones CBE

Café Rouge founder and UEA alumna Karen Jones is the university’s Chancellor. Karen succeeded award-winning novelist and UEA alumna Rose Tremain. The Chancellor’s formal duties include chairing the university’s annual general meeting and conferring degrees at graduation ceremonies. Beyond this ceremonial function, each Chancellor shapes the role in the way they feel best supports the values and aspirations of the university. 

Karen was born in Lancashire and educated at the University of East Anglia, where she studied English and American Literature from 1975 to 1979, also attending Wellesley College in the USA. She co-founded the Café Rouge chain of restaurants in 1989, became CEO of the Spirit pub group in 1999, and is co-founder and chair of the Food and Fuel group of London gastro-pubs and café bars as well as holding Non Executive positions at Booker plc, National Theatre Enterprises Ltd, Firmenich AG and Cofra Holdings (the latter two in Switzerland).

Karen said: “I am delighted and honoured to be chancellor of UEA and am very much looking forward to working with Joe Greenwell, David Richardson and the whole team at UEA to continue and develop its reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting and innovative universities. It is an equal honour to follow in the footsteps of Rose Tremain, whose standing as one of our leading novelists has confirmed UEA’s stature in the fields of literature and creative writing.”