Former Yarm Grammar School pupil Rona Fairhead is to become the BBC Trust’s first chairwoman.

Rona Fairhead

Rona Fairhead

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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

FORMER Yarm Grammar School pupil Rona Fairhead is being lined up to become the BBC Trust’s first chairwoman.

The top financier has been confirmed as the Government's preferred candidate to oversee the broadcaster.

She will now appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for pre-appointment scrutiny on September 9.

Born in Cumbria, she was educated at Yarm Grammar School, now Conyer’s School on Green Lane in Yarm.

The 53-year-old, who is a keen Middlesbrough Football Club supporter, attended St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where she was president of the law society and graduated with a law degree.

She achieved an MBA from Harvard Business School and an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Teesside University in 2010.

Mrs Fairhead is set to take over from Chris Patten who stepped down after three years as chairman in May due to ill health. His tenure was overshadowed by criticism of the BBC’s handling of the Jimmy Savile scandal and the £100?million collapse of an IT project.

Mrs Fairhead was chairwoman and chief executive of the Financial Times Group between 2006 and 2013 as part of a 12-year career with its owner, Pearson.

In 2012, Mrs Fairhead - a non-executive director at HSBC and PepsiCo - became a CBE, receiving the award for services to UK industry.

She has held leadership positions with plane and train-maker Bombardier, and in chemicals at ICI, where she was executive vice president of strategy and group financial control.

Earlier this year she was appointed a British business ambassador by the Prime Minister.

A statement from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport described her only as the Government's "preferred candidate".

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Rona Fairhead is an exceptional individual with a highly impressive career history. Her experience of working with huge multinational corporations will undoubtedly be a real asset at the BBC Trust.”

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