Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford

Louise Richardson

Louise Richardson is vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, the first woman ever to occupy this leadership role. Previously, she was principal and vice-chancellor at the University of St. Andrews. A native of Ireland, Professor Richardson received a BA and MA in History from Trinity College, Dublin and an MA and PhD in Government from Harvard University. For twelve years she was a professor of Government at Harvard. Immediately prior to her 2009 appointment, she was executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and was instrumental in the transformation of Radcliffe, once a women’s college, into an interdisciplinary center promoting scholarship across a wide range of academic fields and the creative arts.

A political scientist by training, Professor Richardson has specialized in international security with an emphasis on terrorist movements. 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 written numerous articles on international terrorism, British foreign and defense policy, security institutions, and international relations. She serves on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals and presses related to security studies. Professor Richardson has been awarded the Sumner Prize for work towards the prevention of war and the establishment of universal peace. In 2010, she was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and, in 2011, she was appointed to the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers.