University names next Principal

Tuesday 3 June 2008

Dr Louise Richardson (photo: Corrine Pickering)

The Court of the University of St Andrews is delighted to confirm that it is to appoint Dr Louise Richardson as Principal of the University with effect from January 2009.

Dr Richardson (50), currently Executive Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, will succeed Dr Brian Lang who retires as St Andrews’ Principal in December 2008.

A native of the Republic of Ireland, Louise Richardson is one of the world’s leading authorities on the study of terrorism and political violence.

She has taught and written widely on terrorism, international relations and British foreign and defence policy and her recent book “What Terrorists Want” is regarded as one of the most comprehensive and intellectually rigorous analyses of terrorism yet produced.

As Executive Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, Dr Richardson is the senior administrative officer and is responsible for the coordination of academic and administrative activities and the strategic management of administrative operations. She is responsible for developing both programmatic objectives and the infrastructure to realise them. She also represents the Radcliffe Institute on Harvard’s Administrative Council and on other University-wide committees.

She is one of those credited with transforming Radcliffe from the former women’s college at Harvard to an internationally respected Institute for Advanced Study which fosters interdisciplinary collaboration between the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

Since her arrival at Radcliffe in 2001, she has spoken widely across the United States and abroad, to schools and universities, Harvard Clubs, academic conferences, Government officials and the security services. She has also been called to testify as an expert before the US Senate and appears regularly in the media.

In addition to her executive duties, Dr Richardson serves as Senior Lecturer in Government at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. She is highly regarded both as an academic and an administrator.

Ewan Brown, Senior Governor of the Court of the University of St Andrews said:

“Louise is a very highly regarded academic leader and scholar who has been courted by some of the world’s leading universities.

“We are delighted that she has chosen to accept the challenge of leading Scotland’s first university into a seventh century of academic achievement.”

Louise Richardson said:

“I am quite delighted and deeply honoured to have been given this extraordinary opportunity to lead St Andrews, an historic university whose long standing commitment to excellence in research and teaching is admired around the world.”

Dr Richardson received a Bachelor’s degree in history from Trinity College, Dublin in 1980. She earned Master’s degrees in Political Science from the University of California at Los Angeles and Harvard and in History from Trinity College, Dublin. She also has a Doctoral degree in Government from Harvard.

From 1989 to 2001, she was Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor of Government at Harvard, specialising in international security. She served for eight years as chair of the Board of Tutors and as head tutor in the Department of Government.

She has served in numerous other administrative capacities at Harvard University, including the Faculty Council and various committees concerning such issues as undergraduate education, the status of women, and human rights.

Her academic focus has been on international security with an emphasis on terrorist movements. For several years, she taught Harvard’s large undergraduate lecture course, Terrorist Movements in International Relations. For this, she won the Levenson Prize, awarded by the undergraduate student body to the best teachers at the University.

In addition to the Levenson Prize, Dr Richardson has received teaching awards from the American Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha for outstanding teaching in Political Science; the Abramson Award in recognition of her ‘excellence and sensitivity in teaching undergraduates’ and many awards from the Bok Center for Teaching Excellence.

Her research has been recognized with awards from such organisations as the Ford Foundation, the Milton Fund, the Sloan Foundation, the Center for European Studies, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the United States Institute of Peace.

She is married to Dr Thomas Jevon MD and the couple have three children.

The President of Harvard, Drew Gilpin Faust, said:

“Louise Richardson is a gifted leader with a deep commitment to academic values. Her outstanding management skills, her analytic abilities, her decisiveness and dedication have made her extraordinarily effective as the Executive Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for the past seven years, while she has at the same time transformed the understanding of terrorism through her important intellectual work.

“St Andrews is to be congratulated for choosing such a fine scholar, administrator and human being as its Principal and Vice-Chancellor.”


Note to editors

Founded in the 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world.

The University of St Andrews is a diverse and international community of 8500 comprising students and staff of over 75 nationalities. It has 6,800 students, 5700 of them undergraduates, and employs over 1800 staff.

The University is one of Europe’s most research intensive seats of learning – over a quarter of its turnover of £125 million comes from research grants and contracts. It is the top rated University in Scotland for research, teaching quality and student satisfaction and is consistently ranked among the UK top ten.

Its international reputation for delivering high quality teaching and research and student satisfaction make it one of the most sought after destinations for prospective students from the UK, Europe and overseas. In 2007 the University received on average 11 applications per place. St Andrews has not entered clearing for several years and sets highly challenging asking rates to attract only the most academically potent students in the Arts, Sciences and Medicine.

As it prepares to celebrate its 600th anniversary, the University is pursuing a varied programme of capital investment, including a new School for Medicine and the Sciences, the refurbishment of its Main Library and the provision of new student accommodation.

For further information please contact:

Niall Scott
Corporate Communications
University of St Andrews
E-mail [email protected]
Tel : +44 1334 462244 / 462530 / 467227, mobile +44 7711 223062

Note to picture editors: 

Images of Dr Richardson are available for press use and must be credited appropriately – contact +44 1334 467227/462530.

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