Mr Sheehy is a highly skilled leader with more than 20 years’ experience shaping the agenda of higher education and has led the Australian Technology Network of Universities for almost five years.
He has held key education roles in government, along with working as an education and strategy consultant for the Asian Development Bank and also held senior management roles at Swinburne University.
Universities Australia Chair Professor David Lloyd said: “We’re delighted to appoint someone of Luke’s calibre to lead Universities Australia through what will be a crucial period for universities.
“He knows the sector well and comes with demonstrated skills and a strong track record of working across the political aisle and with industry bodies to advocate the interests of universities.
“His skills and knowledge will be of immense benefit to UA as we continue to work with government to foster an environment in which universities can continue delivering for the nation.
“Luke takes the reins from Catriona Jackson who has done an outstanding job of leading UA and leaves the organisation in a strong position. I thank Catriona for her considerable contribution over a long period and look forward to working with Luke to continue taking our sector forward.”
Mr Sheehy said it was an honour to have the opportunity to lead a sector as important and powerful as higher education.
“As the first member of my family to graduate from university, I know first-hand the power of education to transform lives and I am driven to ensure that opportunity is provided to as many people as possible,” Mr Sheehy said.
“I bring with me to UA a deep passion for higher education and will use my role to advocate for the policies and funding our sector needs to ensure we can educate more Australians and continue undertaking game-changing research.
“Australia’s success is intrinsically linked to a strong pipeline of skills delivered by our world-class universities. With 2024 set to be a year of big reform, I will bring the energy and enthusiasm necessary to ensure we come up with meaningful change and advance the interests of UA’s members.”
Renee Hindmarsh will act as Chief Executive until 6 February 2024.