Dr Anthony Freeling assumed office as the ninth President of Hughes Hall (and fifteenth head of the College since its foundation in 1885) on 1 October 2014; stepping down at the end of his term in September 2022. As President, Anthony was elected as Chair of Cambridge University Colleges’ Committee and sat on the University Council and several sub-committees. He was Acting Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge for a period of nine months and until July 2023.
Anthony is an Honorary Fellow and former Scholar of St John’s College Cambridge, where he graduated with First Class Honours in the Mathematics Tripos in 1978. He subsequently qualified with an MPhil and a Cambridge PhD in Management Studies. He is a Bye-Fellow of King’s College.
He became a City Fellow of Hughes Hall in 2008, resuming his active connection with the University of Cambridge through the College’s programme of involving prominent business figures in academic life.
Anthony spent eighteen years of his career working at McKinsey & Company in the UK, where he was a Senior Partner, leading its Marketing and Sales Practice across Europe. This gave him extensive experience in counselling Chief Executive Officers and facilitating collective and strategic decision-making. Following his retirement from McKinsey, he worked as an independent consultant advising a range of companies, in areas such as law and global marketing services.
A recognised authority on marketing, Anthony published Agile Marketing in 2011. He has been a Director of Ashridge Strategic Management Centre, and Research Director of the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Councils for Europe and Asia.
From 2006 – 2014 he chaired the Development Committee for the UK’s Open University, and served as a member of its Council. Anthony is also a trustee of the PHG Foundation, an acknowledged founder of the public health genomics movement. He was previously a trustee of UnLtd for 9 years, a charity that is the largest supporter of social entrepreneurs in the UK and offers the largest such network in the world.
He is married to businesswoman Laurel Powers-Freeling, who has degrees from Columbia University and the Sloane School of Management at MIT. She is Chair of Uber UK, of Moneybox and of Ripe Insurance, and was previously an Executive Director at Marks & Spencer, member of the Court of the Bank of England, of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Europe and on the Board of Atom Bank. In her not-for-profit work, she is involved in healthcare and music organisations, currently serving as Chair of Cambridge University Health Partners and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and previously she chaired the UK’s National Joint Registry and was a Governor of the Royal Academy of Music. Anthony and Laurel have two daughters.