Paula Black


Dr Paula Black As an engagement expert Paula works with Local Authorities, universities, student unions and third sector organisations to design and implement effective, high-quality public engagement. 

Until recently Paula was Network and Delivery Manager at The Democratic Society. Paula spent several years as a senior manager in Local Government. She has led Policy, Performance, Analysis and Consultation teams. She has also worked at the intersection of research and policy as Director of Research at the New Economics Foundation think tank. 

She was an academic for 10 years and developed an extensive track record of research and teaching in the social sciences at the Universities of Sussex, Manchester and Derby. From 2016 until 2020 she was Director of Nottingham Civic Exchange at Nottingham Trent University, a ‘civic think tank’ with a remit to fulfil the university’s civic mission. Here she built extensive programmes which brought together research, public engagement, student experience and policy development. 

Paula currently works with universities around engagement and impact. She coaches staff in both achieving impact from research and career progression. She is a Visiting Fellow in the School of Business and Law at Manchester Metropolitan University where she is a member of the advisory board of the Decent Work and Productivity Research Centre. 

Paula holds a postgraduate qualification in leadership coaching and mentoring and brings these coaching skills to her work. She is trained in broad based community organising with several years of community organising and campaigning experience with Citizens UK.