Following up from their popular event at the Virtual Festival of 2021, here is a chance to see the four last Principals in person. Baroness Onora O’Neill, Dame Patricia Hodgson (NC 1965), Dame Carol Black and Alison Rose (NC 1980) talk about their lives before, during and after Newnham, how they approached their careers and what leadership means to them. Their joint experience spans 30 years of College history. In the opening event of the Festival, they will look at Newnham in the context of their wider careers, and answer audience questions.

Alison Rose

Alison Rose (NC 1980) is the current Principal of Newnham College, joining us in 2019 after serving as British Ambassador to Belgium. She also served abroad in the British Embassy in Paris and the United Kingdom Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels and worked at the Foreign Office and Cabinet Office in London. Her particular expertise is international relations in Europe and the European Union. As well as her diplomatic career, she has wide experience of leadership in the British civil service in six other Government Departments, in policy and legislation on training, employment, transport, devolution, equality and heritage.


Professor Dame Carol Black

Professor Dame Carol Black was Principal and a Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University from 2012 and 2019. She is currently Chair of the British Library, the Centre for Ageing Better, and Think Ahead, the Government’s fast-stream training programme for Mental Health Social Workers. She chairs NHS England/Improvement’s Advisory Board on Employee Health and Wellbeing, and is Adviser to NHSI and PHE on Health and Work. Professor Black is a past-President of the Royal College of Physicians, of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, and of the British Lung Foundation, and past-Chair of the Nuffield Trust for health policy. She established an internationally renowned centre for research and treatment of connective tissue diseases at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Dame Patricia Hodgson

Dame Patricia Hodgson (NC 1965) was Principal from 2006 to 2012. She is a Board member of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, the AI Council and the Science & Technical Facilities Research Council. She recently chaired Policy Exchange’s Commission on the Reform of Government. She was previously Chair of Ofcom and Senior Independent Non-Executive Member of the Competition Commission. In her executive career, Patricia was a producer at the BBC, a main board Director, leading on strategy, policy and the BBC’s switch to digital, before becoming Chief Executive of the Independent Television Commission. She has served on the Statistics Commission, HEFCE, The Wellcome Trust and the Committee for Standards in Public Life.

Baroness Onora O’Neill

Baroness Onora O’Neill was Principal from 1992 to 2006. She combines work in political philosophy and ethics with public activities and has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2000. She has served as President of the British Academy, chaired the Nuffield Foundation and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and has served on the Medical Research Council and the Banking Standards Board. She publishes on justice and ethics, accountability and trust, human rights and borders, the future of universities and the ethics of communication.