London, May 29: The University of Oxford said today that it had nominated a female vice-chancellor for the first time in its history, naming terrorism expert Professor Louise Richardson to the chief executive role.
Richardson, who has previously taught at Harvard and is currently vice-chancellor of the University of St Andrews in Scotland, will be the first woman to hold the position since it was created in 1230.
Chris Patten, who holds the ceremonial post of chancellor, said the nominating panel was “deeply impressed by Professor Richardson’s strong commitment to the educational and scholarly values which Oxford holds dear”.
“Her distinguished record both as an educational leader and as an outstanding scholar provides an excellent basis for her to lead Oxford in the coming years,” said Patten, who served as the last British governor of Hong Kong.
Subject to confirmation from the university’s 5,000- strong parliament, Congregation, the Ireland-born Richardson, who is 56, will take over on January 1, 2016 and serve a seven-year term.
Her predecessor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, has been appointed president of New York University (NYU).
The married mother of three children received her undergraduate degree from Trinity College, Dublin, followed by a Masters in political science from UCLA and a Masters and PhD in Government from Harvard.
She said she was “enormously privileged” to be taking the helm at Oxford, “one of the world’s great universities”.