Barbara Stocking

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Dame Barbara Mary Stocking
Barbara Stocking - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012.jpg
Stocking at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2012
Born (1951-07-28) July 28, 1951 (age 66)
Rugby, Warwickshire
Nationality British
Occupation College President
Known for former Chief Executive at Oxfam GB

Dame Barbara Mary Stocking, DBE (born 28 July 1951) is a British public servant, former Chief Executive of Oxfam GB,[1] and current president of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

Early life and education[edit]

Stocking was born to Methodist parents, a homemaker and postman, in Rugby, Warwickshire.[2] She attended New Hall, Cambridge in 1969, graduating with a degree in Pharmacology. She was the first in her family to go to university.[2]


On graduating from Cambridge, Stocking briefly contemplated a career in science ("I realised I was not cut out for laboratories – I like people too much"[2]) before taking a job as a committee secretary at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, looking at the Veterans Health Administration hospital system.[3] In 1979 Barbara went on to work for the World Health Organization in West Africa.

By 1987, she became director of the King's Fund Centre for Health Services Development, a renowned health care charity. Her achievements in that post included the establishment of Nursing Development Units across the UK and the setting up of innovative schemes to provide services for people from ethnic minorities. Having embarked on a career in the NHS, by the late 1990s, Stocking had become the NHS's Regional Director for the South East Region, being responsible for the overall management of health care for 8.5 million people. Stocking received a series of honours for her outstanding contributions to health care, culminating with the award of CBE in 2000.

She joined Oxfam in 2001 and led the charity for nearly 12 years, stepping down in February 2013.[4] In March 2013, she was elected as the fifth President of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge (founded as New Hall), and officially commenced her role in July 2013.[5]

Under her leadership Oxfam has been trying to address crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Sudan, as well as addressing the aftermath of the South Asian tsunami and the earthquake in Pakistan. Stocking pushed for more focus on HIV/AIDS.[1]

Under Stocking's leadership, "turnover has hit £300m. Oxfam now has more than 750 shops in the UK, 6,000 staff all over the world and sister organisations in 13 countries. Oxfam officials have gone from the charity into government and helped make new Labour the most charitable administration ever ... [T]he annus mirabilis for Oxfam was 2005, when [Tony] Blair and [Gordon] Brown pushed for the G8 nations to agree to an extraordinary programme of debt relief and subsidies for Africa, Live 8 played Hyde Park, and the Asian tsunami provoked an outburst of altruism."[6]


Barbara Stocking was named as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2008.


Barbara Stocking is married to Dr John MacInnes; they have two sons (Andrew and Stephen).


  1. ^ a b "Barbara Stocking (profile)". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Pithers, Ellie (23 May 2014). "The world of Dame Barbara Stocking, former Oxfam CEO". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Jacobs, Emma (17 February 2013). "A mild-mannered toughie"Paid subscription required.;London. The Financial Times Limited. 
  4. ^ "Dame Barbara Stocking steps down from Oxfam role". BBC News. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  5. ^ "Dame Barbara Stocking DBE elected as fifth President". Murray Edwards College. 18 March 2013. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. 
  6. ^ Stocking, Barbara (27 January 2009). "Dame Barbara Stocking, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB, discussing the role of business in poverty alleviation in the context of the current economic crisis". Business Fights Poverty. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 

Media related to Barbara Stocking at Wikimedia Commons

Academic offices
Preceded by
Ruth Lynden-Bell
President of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge