Professor Dame Louise Richardson is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford. She was previously Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews.
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 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 recognised internationally as an expert 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 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 editorial boards for several journals and presses.
Professor Richardson’s awards include the Sumner Prize for work towards the prevention of war and the establishment of universal peace and nine honorary doctorates from Universities around the world. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Academy of Social Sciences in the United Kingdom, an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
In June 2022, Professor Richardson was appointed a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) in recognition of her service to Higher Education.