Born in London in 1961, Tessa attended Westminster School then Somerville College, Oxford, where she read Oriental Studies.
In the 1980s she became a literary agent and script editor at BBC Scotland, before her appointment as Head of Development at British Screen and later Head of Drama for the BBC independent commissioning group. Tessa led Film4 from 2003-05, then took over film and drama for Channel 4, where she commissioned popular programmes such as Shameless and The Inbetweeners.
As an Executive Producer, Ross has worked on some of the most popular and decorated British films of recent years. Tessa’s most recent commissions and releases include Todd Haynes’ Carol, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster, Andrew Haighs' 45 Years, Justin Kurzel's Macbeth and Sarah Gavron's Suffragette. Other hits include 12 Years A Slave, Billy Elliot, Slumdog Millionaire, The Last King of Scotland and the controversial comedy Four Lions.