Durham University appoints its first female Vice-Chancellor

Professor Karen O’Brien has been appointed as Durham’s next Vice-Chancellor

Durham University has appointed its first female Vice-Chancellor, Professor Karen O’Brien, who will join Durham on January 4th 2022, succeeding current Vice-Chancellor Stuart Corbridge.

Professor O’Brien has been successfully leading the University of Oxford’s Humanities Division over the past five years as well as being a member of the University Council, where she was responsible for the financial oversight, research strategy and equalities and access priorities of the University.

Prior to her arrival at Oxford, she was the Vice-Principal for Education at King’s College London. She has also held various national and international leadership roles, including serving on the international jury of the Institut Universitaire de France and as the chair of the Russell Group Pro-Vice-Chancellors for Teaching and Learning.

Speaking of Professor O’Brien, Joe Docherty, Chair of Durham’s University Council, said: “Professor O’Brien was our unanimous choice as our next Vice-Chancellor. She is an exceptional leader with a distinguished track-record in the University sector. Her depth and breadth of understanding and forward-thinking will help her lead Durham University to even greater success.”

Commenting on her appointment to the role, Professor O’Brien said: “I am honoured and thrilled to be joining Durham University, which is distinguished for the excellence and impact of its research, the quality of its education and its Colleges and Wider Student Experience.

“I am looking forward to leading and serving this great University as it approaches its 200th anniversary as a global community of learning.”

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