Dame Elish Angiolini elected next Principal of
We are delighted to announce that the next Principal of St Hugh's will be the Right Hon Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC. She will take up the post in September 2012.
Dame Elish is the former Lord Advocate of Scotland – the highest law officer in the Scottish legal system. Prior to this she was Solicitor General for Scotland. She was the first woman, and the first solicitor in the modern era, to hold either position. Born in Govan, Glasgow, she attended Notre Dame High School for Girls and studied Law at Strathclyde University. She is now a visiting professor at Strathclyde, an honorary professor at Aberdeen University and holds honorary degrees from the universities of Glasgow Caledonian, Strathclyde and Aberdeen. She is also a QC and Privy Counsellor.
As Solicitor General for Scotland (2001–6) and then as Lord Advocate (2006–11), Dame Elish was instrumental in reforming the operation of the justice system in Scotland, in particular making it more responsive to the victims of crime. In addition, she supervised some of the most significant prosecutions in Scotland in the last decade, and acted as the Scottish Government’s legal advisor during a period of major change. Unusually, she held the post without political affiliation and was reappointed as Lord Advocate by the incoming SNP government in 2007. She is renowned for her championing of equality and dignity in the justice system. She stepped down from her post as Lord Advocate in May 2011, and is currently chairing a Commission of Inquiry on Women Offenders in Scotland, as well as practising as an advocate at the Scottish Bar. She was awarded the DBE for services to the administration of justice in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2011. In the same year, she was granted a Special Achievement Award by the International Association of Prosecutors.
Andrew Dilnot commented: ‘I am delighted that the College has elected such an outstanding figure as Dame Elish as its next Principal. Her pioneering achievements will be an inspiration to people both within and outside the College, and I very much look forward to welcoming her to Oxford.’
Dr John Iles, the College’s Senior Fellow who chaired the election process, said: ‘Amongst a very strong field of candidates, Elish Angiolini stood out for her combination of leadership qualities and passion for the academic vision of the College. We believe that she is just the person further to develop St Hugh’s as Principal after the exceptionally successful tenure of Andrew Dilnot.’
Dame Elish spoke shortly after the announcement about her enthusiasm for the role: ‘Founded to give an excellent education to women who were otherwise excluded from Oxford, and now providing a focus for learning and scholarship for women and men from all backgrounds, St Hugh’s College has an inspiring history and an exciting future. I am eagerly anticipating joining the College and aim both to support and celebrate its important work.’