Louise Richardson assumed her position as vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford at the beginning of 2016. Richardson had served previously for seven years as principal and vice-chancellor of the University of St Andrews. A native of Ireland, she received a BA in history from Trinity College, an MA in political science from UCLA, and an MA and Ph.D. in Government from Harvard. She was assistant and associate professor in Harvard’s Department of Government (1989-2001).
At Harvard, Richardson also served as executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2001-2008) where she was instrumental in its transformation into an interdisciplinary center promoting scholarship across academic fields and the creative arts.
A political scientist by training, Richardson has specialized in international security with an emphasis on terrorist movements. She has written widely on international terrorism, British foreign and defense policy, security institutions, and international relations.