Dame Barbara Stocking

Murray Edwards College, founded as New Hall, in the University of Cambridge has today announced the election of Dame Barbara Stocking DBE as its fifth President.

This College gave me the confidence and self-belief to make a contribution on the global stage and I am immensely grateful for that.

Dame Barbara Stocking

Dame Barbara is one of the College’s most distinguished alumnae and has recently stepped down as Chief Executive of Oxfam GB where she has provided strong leadership within the organisation, including the Oxfam International confederation, and across the international development sector. 

She was also a member of the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, and a member of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ High Level External Committee on Millennium Development Goals. 

In December 2010 she was appointed as a non-executive board member by the Cabinet Office.

With a significant track record of leadership within the NHS before joining Oxfam, Dame Barbara was awarded a CBE for services to health in 2000 and made a Dame for humanitarian service in 2008.  She was elected an Honorary Fellow of the College in 2010.

Commenting on Dame Barbara’s election, College Vice President and Chair of the Selection Committee Elsa Strietman said:

‘The College is delighted to have elected Dame Barbara Stocking as our fifth President, and our first ‘home-grown’ Head of House.  This College has always been characterised as providing a world-class education and outstanding opportunities to talented women, often from backgrounds that wouldn’t necessarily make Cambridge an obvious choice for them.  It is a mark of our maturity and success as a College that as we approach our sixth decade we have been able to elect ‘one of our own’ to the Presidency.’

Reflecting on her new role within her undergraduate Cambridge College, Dame Barbara said:

‘It is a huge privilege to take up the Presidency of a College that not only offers the excellence of a Cambridge education, but that also puts a genuine emphasis on seeing women grow and develop to achieve their full potential and exceed even their own expectations.

‘This College gave me the confidence and self-belief to make a contribution on the global stage and I am immensely grateful for that.  I want to help today’s talented young women play their part shaping our future as tomorrow’s thinkers and leaders.

‘There is still much to be done for women to achieve true equality in the world, whether in the UK or internationally, and I am very excited to have this opportunity to continue to contribute to empowering women to reach the highest levels.’

Dame Barbara is expected to spend the next few months getting to know the College and its community of Fellows, students, staff and alumnae. 

She will be playing an increasingly active role in College leading up to her formal start on the 15th July.

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