Professor Louise Richardson became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford on 1 January 2016, having previously served as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews for seven years.
A native of Ireland, she studied history in Trinity College, Dublin before gaining her PhD at Harvard University where she spent twenty years on the faculty of the Harvard Government Department and latterly as Executive Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She served on Scotland’s Council of Economic Advisers and currently sits on the boards of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Booker Prize Foundation and numerous other charities.
A political scientist by training, Professor Richardson is widely recognised as one of the world’s foremost experts on terrorism and counter-terrorism. Her publications include Democracy and Counterterrorism: Lessons from the Past (2007), What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat (2006), The Roots of Terrorism (2006), and When Allies Differ (1996). She has also written numerous articles on international terrorism, British foreign and defence policy, security institutions, and international relations, lectured to public, professional, media and education groups and served on the editorial boards of several journals and presses.
Her awards include the Sumner Prize for work towards the prevention of war and the establishment of universal peace, Harvard’s Centennial Medal, and honorary doctorates from MGIMO University, Queen’s University Belfast the University of Aberdeen, and the University of St Andrews. In 2015 she became an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy. In 2016 Professor Richardson was elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in the United Kingdom, and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences