Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

James Rolfe

Chief Operating Officer

James Rolfe is our Chief Operating Officer, leading on professional services – business intelligence, digital, estates and people – and corporate development at Anglia Ruskin University.


James started his career in the Civil Service, where he worked for 16 years – ten of them in Whitehall.

Keen to work in roles that had a direct and tangible impact on his community, James made the move into local government. He was Assistant Director of Adult Social Services at Norfolk County Council, before becoming Executive Director of Resources at the London Borough of Enfield. Here, James was the Council’s Chief Finance Officer, leading its transformation programmes, as well as Enfield’s customer service, revenues, benefits, commercial, procurement, leisure, culture and libraries teams.

James was also Managing Director of Housing Gateway Limited – Enfield’s innovative housing company – and led on entrepreneurial, commercial and procurement activity for the Council's trading entities.

Originally from Suffolk, James knew ARU by reputation and was impressed by the University’s contribution to its local communities, and the wider region. When the opportunity arose to join ARU, it seemed like a natural move. James is no stranger to higher education, having achieved an MBA from Cranfield University. He’s also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Away from ARU, James is a keen road cyclist and mountain biker. You’ll often see him out in Norfolk with his local cycling club, where he pursues two ambitions: to get quicker; and to tackle some of the world’s famous bike routes. Mont Ventoux, here we come.