Professor Eilís Ferran

Professor Eilís Ferran will be the new Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, the University of Cambridge's leading international postgraduate scholarship programme.

I am thrilled to be appointed as the next Provost. I look forward to working with the scholars, alumni, staff and trustees to drive forward the founders' vision for improving lives through this exceptional programme.

Professor Eilís Ferran

The Gates Cambridge Trust – which oversees the University of Cambridge's leading international postgraduate scholarship programme – has announced that its new Provost, its first female leader, will be Professor Eilís Ferran.

Professor Ferran has a wealth of experience both as a distinguished academic and as a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations. She succeeds Professor Barry Everitt as Provost on 1 October 2022.

Currently Professor of Company and Securities Law at the University of Cambridge and the Tom Ivory Professorial Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Professor Ferran was the University’s Pro –Vice-Chancellor from 2015 to 2021 and, as academic strategic lead for staff and for significant international partnerships, she led the modernisation of career paths, oversaw the University’s response as an employer to COVID-19 and was instrumental in the establishment of the Strategic Partnerships Office. She was also the University's lead for equality and diversity matters.

Professor Ferran, who is a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple, served as Chair of the Law Faculty from 2012 to 2015. In her current research, she is focusing on the intersection between governance and risk management in financial market infrastructures, on the civil liabilities of credit rating agencies, and on the post-Brexit evolution of financial regulation in the UK.

The Gates Cambridge Trust oversees the Gates Cambridge Scholarships, which were established in 2000 by a donation of US$210m (about £170m) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge – which remains the largest ever single donation to a UK university. The scholarships fund outstanding international postgraduate students who are selected on the basis of their intellectual ability, capacity for leadership, and a commitment to improving the lives of others.

There are almost 300 Scholars at Cambridge pursuing the full range of academic subjects who form a diverse community integrated within the University, and a global network of more than 1,600 alumni spread across the world improving the lives of others in myriad ways. Since the first class in 2001, Gates Cambridge has awarded 2,081 scholarships to scholars from 111 countries who represent more than 700 universities globally, and more than 80 academic departments and all 31 Colleges at Cambridge.

Bill Gates said: “For more than 20 years, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship has educated future leaders who are dedicated to improving the lives of others around the world. I’m confident that Professor Ferran will build on that legacy in the years ahead as she serves as Provost.”

The University’s Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Gates Cambridge Trustees, Professor Stephen J Toope, said: “The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme supports extraordinary students driven by academic excellence and a strong sense of leadership in tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges. I’m incredibly proud of what the Trust has achieved in its first 22 years, and very grateful for Professor Barry Everitt’s inspiring leadership over the past 9 years in post. I’m delighted with the appointment of Professor Eilís Ferran, who I have worked with for many years. She is an exceptional and inclusive leader who will continue to develop this unique programme in new and exciting ways.”

President of the Gates Cambridge Scholars’ Council Ariel de Fauconberg said: “As a distinguished academic in her field with a demonstrated commitment to the University’s international engagement, we are excited for Professor Ferran to bring her wealth of experience to the leadership of this extraordinary scholarship programme in the years ahead.”

Dr Halliki Voolma and Dr Sanjana Mehta, Co-Chairs of the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association Board, said “We are delighted with the appointment of Professor Ferran as the first female Provost and are confident that her experience in building international strategic partnerships and passion for furthering equality and diversity will help us pave new avenues for fostering our global alumni community.”

Professor Ferran said: “I am thrilled to be appointed as the next Provost. I look forward to working with the scholars, alumni, staff and trustees to drive forward the founders’ vision for improving lives through this exceptional programme.”

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