Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, 1978
Zeinab Badawi is best known as a journalist and broadcaster, and is currently the presenter of World News Today on BBC4. She has worked on a variety of current affairs programmes for the BBC as well as for Channel 4 News and is also a Council Member of the Overseas Development Institute and a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and the British Council. She is also one of the news presenters on BBC America.
Kate Barker CBE
Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, 1976
Kate Barker has been an external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee from June 2001. Prior to this, Kate was Chief Economic Adviser at the CBI, and before that worked as Chief European Economist for the Ford Motor Company.
In 2003 she was commissioned by the Government to conduct an independent review of UK Housing Supply; late leading a second independent review, of Land Use Planning. She is a board member of the Housing Corporation, Chair of Governors at Anglia Ruskin University, and also a member of the FA Football Regulatory Authority.
HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein
Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, 1992
The daughter of HM Late King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan and Queen Alia Al Hussein, Princess Haya was the first Arab and first woman to serve as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Program (from 2005-2007). Her appointment was supported by then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, making her the second Goodwill Ambassador ever for the WFP. Princess Haya is also Chairperson of the International Humanitarian City.
Princess Haya is the first Arab woman to compete in equestrian sports at Olympic, world and continental championship level. In 2007, the International Olympic Committee elected Princes Haya as a member of the IOC. Elected on May 1st 2006 as President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), she became the first Arab to occupy this international position.
Professor Marilyn Butler
Acknowledged to be a leading critic of the literature and culture of the Romantic period, Marilyn Butler was appointed to St Hilda’s College as a Junior Research Fellow in 1970, and subsequently as Tutor and Fellow. In 1986, she was appointed to the King Edward VII Chair of English Literature at the University of Cambridge. In 1993 she returned to Oxford as Rector of Exeter College, the first woman to head a former men’s college, and was also appointed Titular Professor of English Language and Literature in the University of Oxford. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2002.
Dame Fiona Caldicott DBE
Psychiatrist, psychotherapist, Principal of Somerville College, Dame Caldicott was the first female President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and is a non-executive director of the John Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust. She also chaired the ‘Caldicott Committee’ commissioned to investigate the way patient information is used in the NHS. She was appointed Chairman of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals in 2009.
Lettice Curtis is an aviator, flight test engineer, air racing pilot and sportswoman. She learnt to fly in 1937 and in early July 1940 she became one of the first women pilots to join the British Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), remaining with the ATA until 30 November 1945, when the organisation was closed down.
She commenced her ATA career by delivering primary training aircraft such as the Tiger Moth, progressing to the Miles Master and North American Harvard advanced trainers. During her ATA service she graduated to fly all categories of wartime aircraft and was the first woman to qualify to fly four-engined heavy bombers. She was the first woman pilot to deliver an Avro Lancaster bomber and also flew 222 Handley Page Halifaxes and 109 Short Stirlings. Her final ATA rank was as First Officer.
Postwar, she became a technician and flight test observer, and later became a senior flight development engineer. She qualified to fly helicopters in October 1992 and continued to fly aircraft until voluntarily 'grounding' herself in 1995.
The Very Rev Vivienne Faull the Dean of Leicester
The Very Rev Vivienne Faull now Dean at Leicester was the first woman appointed by the Church of England as a Provost. She has been at the forefront of the campaign to improve the role of women in the Church and is one of the Church's highest-ranking women – widely seen as a candidate for the first woman to be ordained a bishop.
Dame Helen Gardner (dec)
Dame Helen Gardner was a distinguished scholar and author. A Fellow of St Hilda’s College from 1942-1966, she became the first woman to hold the post of Merton Professor of English Literature at Oxford. Her work on Eliot, Milton and the Metaphysical Poets was very influential and was recognised with first a CBE in 1962 followed by DBE in 1967. She received honorary degrees from Cambridge, London, Harvard and Yale universities.
Janet Gaymer CBE QC
Janet Gaymer is an eminent employment lawyer with both public and private sector experience. She is currently the Commissioner for Public Appointments in England and Wales and was until 2006 Senior Partner of Simmons & Simmons, based in London. Janet was the first woman appointed to a Senior Partner in a top City law firm.
As an employment lawyer Janet has been described as the “doyenne” of employment lawyers. She has also been described by her peers as "the foremost female solicitor of her generation" and, by "Legal Business" magazine, "a matriarch of the legal profession". She was ranked as the “top Employment Lawyer in Europe” in Chambers' Guide to the Legal Profession (2000 to 2001). She has twice been voted the Experts' Expert in “Legal Business” surveys. In 2004 she was awarded the CBE for services to employment law and as Chair of the Employment Tribunal System Taskforce. She founded and led the Employment Law Department of Simmons & Simmons which has been the consistent market leader in employment law since its inception. Janet herself has been practising employment law for 35 years.
In 2008 she was appointed Queen's Counsel (Honoris Causa). She has also been regularly named by "The Times" as one of the Most Powerful and Influential Lawyers in the UK.
Dr Margaret Gelling (dec)
Margaret Gelling was for more than 50 years one of Britain's leading experts in the study of place-names; she was also highly successful in making that scholarship available to a very wide lay readership. Her election as a Fellow of the British Academy in 1998 - a source of great joy and pride - was a rare achievement for a scholar who bestrode her discipline, but had never held an academic post in any university.
At St Hilda’s her tutor, Dorothy Whitelock, steered her linguistic interests towards place-name study and Margaret went on to play a pioneering role in this field. Margaret broke new ground not only by presenting a much stronger geological and archaeological background to the names than was to be found in the society's previous county surveys, but also in investigating the field-names and minor names of each parish much more fully.
Ali is an entrepreneur, an adventurer and a triple Olympian in rowing. Her professional career as a business psychologist and personal life has meant that she is a frequent and sought after contributor in the media with recent contributions in Sunday Times Careers, Talent Review, Personnel Today, and on Woman's Hour. Ali is invited to speak on a range of topics including, most recently, Talent and Innovation, The Psychology of the High Performer and The Psychology of Change. She has been included in the Top 100 Most Influential in HR - a survey which considers those who are seen to have made the greatest difference to the world of work.
Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE
Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology, 1970
Baroness Susan Greenfield is a leading scientist, author and broadcaster on the subject of the brain and consciousness. Awarded a CBE in 2000 for her services to the public understanding of science, and later made life peer, Baroness Greenfield regularly gives public lectures, and appears on radio and television and is the author of a number of books about the brain and consciousness.
In 1994, she was the first woman to give the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, and in 1998 became the first female Director of the Royal Institution.
She has created three research and biotechnology companies: Synaptica, BrainBoost, and Neurodiagnostics, which research neuronal diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. As well as several honorary degrees, the CBE and a life peerage, she has been awarded the Royal Society's Faraday medal, and the French Légion d'honneur. She is currently Professor of Synaptic Pharmacology at Lincoln College, Oxford, and the first woman to be installed as Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
Opera and concert singer Susan Gritton is also Company Principal at the English National Opera. She won the 1994 Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Prize, and in 2003 both the International Handel Recording Prize for The Choice of Hercules and the Gramophone Award for Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Masses.
She appears regularly in concert with many of the world's great orchestras and conductors in venues such as the Musikverein in Vienna, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Salzburg Mozarteum and New York's Carnegie Hall.
Victoria Hislop’s first novel, The Island, held the number one place in the paperback charts for eight consecutive weeks, selling over a million copies in the UK and was published in over twenty languages. It was at the top of the bestseller charts in Greece also and her sequel The Return is enjoying similar success. Victoria was the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007 and won the Richard & Judy Summer Read competition.
Victoria also writes travel features for The Sunday Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, House & Garden and Woman & Home.
Ancient and Modern History, 1985
Bettany Hughes is an historian, author and broadcaster who has written and presented documentaries including When The Moors Ruled Europe, The Spartans, and Athens: The Truth About Democracy for Channel 4. She also lectures widely and in 2005 her book on Helen of Troy was regarded as the first serious and wide-ranging book ever to have been written about Helen. It was received with great acclaim. She is currently writing a book on Socrates.
Bettany sits on the Innovation Committee of NESTA and she is an advisor to the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation. In recognition of her contribution to research, Bettany has been awarded a Research Fellowship at King's London.
You can watch a video podcast recorded by Bettany here .
Poet and winner of the Gregory Prize, Cholmondely Prize, James Tait Black Memorial Prize and Forward Poetry Prize. In 1996 her poem Warning: When I am an old woman I shall wear purple was voted Britain’s favourite poem.
Susan Kramer MP
Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, 1969
Susan Kramer is the Member of Parliament for Richmond Park Constituency and the Liberal Democrats' Families Spokesperson in Parliament.
Whilst at Oxford Susan became the second woman President of the Oxford Union.
Susan was elected to Parliament in May 2005 and appointed to the Treasury Team shortly afterward. She served on the Treasury Select Committee from May 2005 until March 2006 when she took up the role as the International Development Secretary for the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet. She moved to Trade and Industry and then Transport. Most recently in January 2008, Susan was appointed Liberal Democrat Families Spokesperson. Since being elected she has also been appointed as the Liberal Democrat Ambassador to The City of London, and Chair of the Environmental Taxation Taskforce. She was a board member of Transport for London under Ken Livingston and has served locally as a school Governor. She is also a Vice President of a national cancer charity and stays involved with local community groups especially those focused on improving the lives of young people.
The Hon Mrs Justice Doreen Le Pichon JA
Mrs Justice Le Pichon was appointed Justice of the Appeal of the Court of Appeal of the High Court of Hong Kong in 2000. She is the first female judge appointed to the position of Justice of Appeal.
During her earlier career she was called to the Bar in England, Hong Kong, New York and US District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York in 1969, 1972, 1987 and 1991 respectively. In 1970, she became Jenkins Scholar of Lincoln's Inn. Since then, she has been in private practice in London, Hong Kong and New York. Joining the Hong Kong Judiciary as Deputy District Judge in 1992, she was appointed Senior Counsel of the Securities & Futures Commission in the same year and was promoted to Deputy Chief Counsel in 1993. She became Judge of the High Court of Hong Kong in 1995.
Professor Hermione Lee CBE
Hermione Lee is a well-known academic, critic, biographer and broadcaster. She has published on Elizabeth Bowen, Philip Roth, Edith Wharton and, most famously, Virginia Woolf and is a regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines, as well as frequently appearing on BBC radio. Professor Lee is the first woman to hold the post of Goldsmiths’ Professor of English Literature at Oxford University and she was Chair of the 2006 Man Booker Prize committee. She was appointed President of Wolfson College in 2008.
Professor Lee is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's and St Cross Colleges, Oxford. She has Honorary Doctorates from Liverpool and York Universities. In 2003 she was made a Companion of the British Empire for Services to Literature.
Dr Deanna Lee Rudgard
Deanna Lee Rudgard was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 for services in promoting links between universities in Hong Kong and the UK.
Deanna has worked for many years to arrange scholarships for young people from Hong Kong to study at Oxford University and other institutions in the UK, and has continued to mentor and support them during their studies and subsequent careers.
Sue Lloyd-Roberts MBE
History and Modern Languages, 1970
Sue Lloyd-Roberts is best known as a television news reporter who worked with ITN, Channel 4 News and Channel 4 documentaries before moving to the BBC where she specialised in human rights and environmental affairs. She now works as Foreign Correspondent for BBC World Affairs. Sue has won many awards, mainly for her investigative reporting, including: The Royal Television Society Award for International News, the ITN News & Current Affairs Award and a European Women of Achievement Award.
Professor Margaret MacMillan
Social Studies, 1966
Professor Margaret MacMillan became the fifth Warden of St Antony's College in July 2007. Prior to that she was Provost of Trinity College and professor of History at the University of Toronto.
She was editor of the International Journal from 1995 to 2003 and is on the boards of the Canadian Institute for International Affairs, the Atlantic Council of Canada, the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Historica, and the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy (Canada). In addition, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto. She has honorary degrees from the University of King's College, the Royal Military College, and Ryerson University, Toronto. In 2006 Professor MacMillan was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Professor MacMillan's publications include Women of the Raj as well as Peacemakers: the Paris Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to Make Peace. The latter was published in North America as Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World and won the Duff Cooper Prize, the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History, the Silver Medal for the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award and the Governor-General's prize for non-fiction in 2003. It was a New York Times Editor's Choice in 2002. She has subsequently written Canada's House: Rideau Hall and the Invention of a Canadian Home, jointly with Marjorie Harris and Anne L. Desjardins.Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World (entitled Nixon and Mao in the US.) was nominated in January 2007 for a Gelber Prize, awarded annually to the best book on international affairs published in English.
Although Val is now best known for her crime fiction, she has also worked as a journalist and dramatist. As well as standalone works she has written several series of books, including the Lindsay Gordon mysteries and the Tony Hill & Carol Jordan novels. The Mermaids Singing won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year in 1995 and her work has also been adapted for television – including the popular ITV screening of Wire in the Blood which has run to six series. In November 2007, she won a Stonewall Award for Writer of the Year.
Miss Kathleen Major (dec)
Kathleen Major's first post at St. Hilda's was as President of the JCR when she was an undergraduate, and she went on to be Librarian, Lecturer and Fellow at the College. The first Senior Member to become Principal of St Hilda’s, she improved the administrative systems of the College and presided over a major building programme and is regarded as saving the College from an ill-planned relief road.
Kathleen Major spent ten years as Archivist to the Diocese of Lincoln, becoming the foremost historian of the medieval cathedral and its diocese and widely recognized as one of the pioneers who established the disciplines on which the modern archive profession is based. She was also Reader in Diplomatic at Oxford.
Dame Elizabeth Neville DBE QPM
Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology, 1970
Dame Elizabeth Neville joined the Metropolitan Police as a Constable in 1973, under the graduate entry scheme. She subsequently obtained a PhD in Occupational Psychology. She spent over 30 years in the police service, serving in Thames Valley, Sussex and Northamptonshire. She was Chief Constable of Wiltshire Constabulary from 1997 to 2004. She was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the 1996 New Year's Honours, and appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2003.
She is a non-executive director of the Serious Fraud Office, a member of the Police Authority for the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Independent Adjudicator for Companies House and the Independent Complaints Assessor for the Agencies in the Department for Transport. She is also a school governor and a trustee for two charities.
Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, 1977
Regina Pisa is a highly respected and influential lawyer and business leader in the US. She became the first women in the United States to be named both chairman and managing partner of an American Lawyer 100 law firm. Her leadership is demonstrated in a number of areas - in her role at Goodwin Procter, as a leading attorney in financial service merger and acquisition work, in the business community through her trade and professional organisation involvement, and in the non-profit sector through board participation.
Lady Marcelle Quinton
Marcelle Quinton is a distinguished British artist whose work has been exhibited in Europe and America. Her sculptures are mainly in bronze and include the bust of Bertrand Russell which is on his monument in Red Lion Square, London. Other works for which she is known include the busts of Cardinal Newman in the Brompton Oratory, Harold MacMillan in the Houses of Parliament, and Lord Carrington at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Marcelle is also known for her sculptures of mythical animals and paintings.
Joanna Rose is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Shakespeare Institute, and was a founding member and driving force of the American Friends of St Hilda’s. Known for her support for humanities and the arts, Joanna was for many years the Chairman of Partisan Review, the US political and literary quarterly which published the works of many leading writers until it closed in 2003.
She is also a board member of Bay St. Theatre, Sag Harbor, New York State Council for the Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center for the Humanities; The Paper Bag Players, Fellow of New York Institute for the Humanities, and on the advisory council, Poets and Writers Inc., National Dance Institute.
Professor Sheila Rowbotham
Sheila Rowbotham began her career lecturing in Liberal Studies at Chelsea College of Advanced Technology. In 1981 she was appointed as a Visiting Professor in Women's Studies at the University of Amsterdam and between 1983 and 1986 worked as a research officer for the Greater London Council's Industry and Employment Department, producing a newspaper, 'Jobs for a Change', and contributing to the London Industrial Strategy. This led to an invitation to become Consultant Research Adviser for the Women's Programme, World Institute for Development Economics Research, (WIDER) at the United Nations University. Here she initiated a project which examined the conditions of poor women's casualised work internationally, involving activists and academics. This attracted interest among policy makers in Canada, Finland and India. Later Sheila was asked to participate on a project directed by Professor Swasti Mitter at UNU INTECH on women and technology. This attracted widespread international interest.
She is now based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Manchester and has lectured extensively in North America, Brazil, Europe and India. She was given an honorary doctorate by North London University (now London Metropolitan University) and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is currently on the Working Lives Centre Group at London Metropolitan University and the Workers' Institute Advisory Panel (Black Country Living Museum) and has also helped groups involved with the organisation of home workers in Britain and internationally and supported the work of Women Working World Wide.
The Rt Hon Baroness Gillian Shephard of Northwold DL
Modern Languages, 1958
Baroness Shephard was the Conservative Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk from 1987 to 2005 and is now a Conservative Peer. During her time in Office she served as Secretary of State for Employment, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods and Secretary of State for Education. She also served in William Hague’s Shadow Cabinet and is currently Parliamentary President of the Conservative Friends of Israel.