Carole Souter

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Carole Souter in September 2016

Carole Souter CBE FSA FRSA is the current Master of St Cross College, Oxford, and former Chief Executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund.


Born in May 1957,[1] Souter obtained a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford between 1975 - 1978, and a Master of Arts in Victorian Studies from the University of London between 1981 - 1982.[2] By 2016, her career had spanned "over 30 years of policy development and operational management in the public sector", including work in the civil service in the Department of Health, the Department of Social Security and the Cabinet Office.[3]

Souter joined the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund in 2003, having previously been Director of Planning and Development at English Heritage.[4]

Her other board appointments have included the boards of Creativity, Culture and Education,[5] the Kent Wildlife Trust,[2] and the National Communities Resource Centre (at Trafford Hall).[6] She is also a member of the Academy of Urbanism,[7] a trustee of Horniman Museum and Gardens,[8] and a lay canon of Salisbury Cathedral.[2]

In March 2016, Souter was appointed as a trustee of Historic Royal Palaces.[3][9]

In May 2016, it was announced that the Fellows of St Cross College, Oxford, had elected Souter as the next Master of the College. In September 2016, she succeeded Sir Mark Jones, who had been Master of St Cross since 2011.[2][10]

In June 2020, it was announced by the Governing Body of Oriel College, Oxford, UK, that Souter would chair an 'Independent Commission of Inquiry' into the intended removal of the Cecil Rhodes statue and plaque at Oriel College, as well as related matters such as "how to improve access and attendance of BAME undergraduate, graduate students and faculty".[11] This inquiry arose in response to immense pressure from the Rhodes Must Fall movement in Oxford, and from the wider Black Lives Matter movement.[12][13] The Commission was due to report by the end of 2020 but the report was delayed a couple of times.[14] The final report for the commission set up to examine the figure's future said the "majority" of its members supported its removal but Oriel College said it would not seek to move the statue due to costs and "complex" planning processes.[14]

Awards and honours[edit]

Souter was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours list for services to conservation.[15] In 2014, she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.[16] Souter is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).[16] She was made an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford in 2011.[17][18]

Personal life[edit]

Souter is married with two children.[2]


  1. ^ {}
  2. ^ a b c d e "Carole Souter CBE elected Master of St. Cross College, Oxford". Saxton Bampfylde. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Culture Secretary Appoints New Historic Royal Palaces Trustee". Department for Culture, Media & Sport. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Carole Souter to step down as Chief Executive". Heritage Lottery Fund. 29 September 2015. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Carole Souter". Creativity, Culture and Education. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Carole Souter". National Communities Resource Centre. Retrieved 11 December 2016.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Carole Souter". Academy of Urbanism. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Carole Souter". Horniman Museum and Gardens. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Carole Souter CBE appointed as Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces". Historic Royal Palaces. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  10. ^ "St Cross College Elects New Master". St Cross College. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Statement from the Governing Body of Oriel College". Oriel College. 17 June 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-06-18. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  12. ^ Tominey, Camilla (2020-06-17). "Cecil Rhodes statue to be taken down at Oxford's Oriel College". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  13. ^ "Oxford college backs removal of Cecil Rhodes statue". The Guardian. 2020-06-17. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  14. ^ a b "Cecil Rhodes statue will not be removed by Oxford College". Oriel College. 9 June 2021. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  15. ^ "No. 59647". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 31 December 2010. pp. 1–28.
  16. ^ a b "Mrs Carole L Souter CBE FSA". Fellows Directory. Society of Antiquaries of London. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  17. ^ "Fellows and Lecturers". Jesus College, Oxford. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  18. ^ "Colleges, Halls and Societies". Oxford University Gazette. University of Oxford. 6 October 2011. Archived from the original on 17 December 2011. Retrieved 29 February 2012.