Louise Richardson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Louise Richardson FRSE
Louise Richardson.jpg
Louise Richardson in 2008
Vice-Chancellor of
Oxford University
Assumed office
1 January 2016
Principal and Vice-Chancellor of
the University of St Andrews
In office
6 January 2009 – 31 December 2015
Preceded by Brian Lang
Personal details
Born (1958-06-08) 8 June 1958 (age 57)
Tramore, County Waterford, Ireland
Spouse(s) Thomas Jevon; 3 children
Alma mater St Angela's Secondary School, Waterford
Trinity College, Dublin
University of California, Los Angeles
Harvard University
Profession Political scientist
Religion Roman Catholic
Website st-andrews.ac.uk/principal

Louise Mary Richardson FRSE (born 8 June 1958,[1] Tramore, County Waterford, Ireland) is an Irish political scientist whose specialist field is the study of terrorism. Currently the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, she was formerly employed at Harvard University where she served as executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. On 28 May 2015, the University of Oxford announced that she had been nominated as the next Vice-Chancellor, subject to approval, to take up the post on 1 January 2016.[2] The nomination was approved on 25 June 2015.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Richardson grew up in Tramore, one of seven children of Arthur and Julie Richardson.[2][4][5] After attending St Angela's Secondary School, Ursuline Convent, Waterford,[5] she studied at Trinity College, Dublin where she obtained a BA degree in History with upper second-class honours in 1980, upgraded to an MA degree in 1982.[4]

In 1977, she received a Rotary Scholarship to study in the USA at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); this forced her take a year out of her course in Ireland, but she has described her time in the US as a "totally liberating experience".[6] She took an MA degree in Political Science from UCLA in 1981, followed by an MA degree in Government in 1984 and PhD degree in Government in 1989 from Harvard University.[4]


From 1981 to 2001 Richardson served as an assistant professor and then an associate professor in the Harvard Government Department, teaching courses on international relations – especially in areas of terrorism, international security and American and comparative foreign policy. During this period she also served for eight years as Head Tutor and Chair of the Board of Tutors (Director of Undergraduate Studies) in the Government Department. She served in numerous other administrative capacities at Harvard University, including the Faculty Council and various committees concerned with undergraduate education, the status of women, and human rights. In July 2001, she was appointed executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Richardson's academic focus has been on international security with an emphasis on terrorist movements. She taught Harvard’s large undergraduate lecture course, Terrorist Movements in International Relations, for which she won the Levenson Prize, awarded by the undergraduate student body to the best teachers at the University. This class, along with a number of graduate courses on terrorist movements and European terrorism, were for many years the only courses offered on the subject at Harvard. In addition to the Levenson Prize, Professor Richardson has received teaching awards from the American Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha for outstanding teaching in political science; the Abramson Award in recognition of her ‘excellence and sensitivity in teaching undergraduates’ and many awards from the Bok Center for Teaching Excellence. After her 2001 Radcliffe appointment, she continued to teach, both at Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

In 2009, Richardson was appointed Principal of the University of St Andrews, succeeding Brian Lang. Her installation took place on 25 March 2009.[7] She is the first woman, as well as the first Roman Catholic in modern times, to occupy the position.[8] She was appointed Professor of International Relations at St Andrews in November 2010.[9]

On 28 May 2015, Richardson tendered her resignation as Principal of the University of St Andrews to the University Court, effective of 31st December 2015, due to her appointment to the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Richardson is married to Thomas Jevon and they have three children.

Academic work[edit]

Richardson is the author of What Terrorists Want, an account of terrorism written after the September 11 attacks. Other publications include When Allies Differ: Anglo-American Relations in the Suez and Falkland Crises, The Roots of Terrorism (ed) and Democracy and Counterterrorism: Lessons from the Past (co-edited with Robert Art). She has also published many journal articles, book chapters, and reviews on the subject of terrorism.

Over the past decade, in addition to her teaching and management roles, Richardson has given over 300 talks and lectures on terrorism and counter-terrorism to educational and private groups as well as policy makers, the military, intelligence, and business communities.[citation needed] She has testified before the United States Senate and has appeared on CNN, the BBC, PBS, NPR, Fox and a host of other broadcast outlets. Her work has been featured in numerous international periodicals. Richardson was elected to the fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2010.[citation needed]

Published works[edit]

  • What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat (2006)
  • The Roots of Terrorism, Routledge, New York (2006) ed
  • When Allies Differ: Anglo-American Relations in the Suez and Falkland Crises (1996)
  • Democracy and Counterterrorism: Lessons from the Past, United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC (2007) ed with Robert Art


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2014. Dr Louise Richardson, Principal and Vice–Chancellor, University of St Andrews, 53 
  2. ^ a b "Professor Louise Richardson nominated as next Vice-Chancellor". University of Oxford. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  3. ^ "Declaration of approval of the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor". Oxford University Gazette (University of Oxford). 25 June 2015. p. 659. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Richardson, Prof. Louise Mary", Who's Who 2014, 2014 (A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc); online ed., November 2014 (Oxford University Press, 2014); retrieved 28 May 2015 (requires subscription).
  5. ^ a b "Honorary Fellow: Dr Louise Richardson". Waterford Institute of Technology; retrieved 28 May 2015.
  6. ^ Kemp, Jackie. "Interview: Louise Richardson: Will auld customs soon be forgot?". the Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Installation of Principal and Vice-Chancellor". St-andrews.ac.uk. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Bonner, Raymond (7 March 2009). "In Scotland, New Leadership Crumbles Old Barrier". New York Times. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  9. ^ Profile, st-andrews.ac.uk; accessed 21 August 2015.

External links and further reading[edit]