Café Rouge founder and UEA alumna Karen Jones is the University of East Anglia’s seventh Chancellor. Karen succeeded award-winning novelist and fellow 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. Karen has since enjoyed a stellar career, founding and growing companies large and small. She was appointed UEA's new Chancellor in 2016 and is a strong influence on the cultivation of enterprise and entrepreneurship within the university, as well as helping to forge deeper links with industry.
Karen co-founded the Café Rouge restaurant chain 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. Karen was also recently appointed Executive Chairman of Prezzo and is Chairman of both the Hawksmoor and Mowgli restaurant chains.