The Fellows of Girton College are pleased to announce the election of Professor Susan J. Smith as Mistress of the College from October 2009, following the retirement of Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern.

Professor Smith is currently Professor of Geography, and a Director of the Institute of Advanced Study, at the University of Durham. She studied at Oxford University, reading Geography at St Anne’s College and completing her DPhil at Nuffield College. She held Research Fellowships at St Peter’s College, Oxford; Brunel University; and the University of Glasgow, and was appointed to the Ogilvie Chair of Geography at the University of Edinburgh in 1990. She moved to Durham in 2004 where she played a key role in establishing the Institute of Advanced Study, whilst holding an ESRC Professorial Fellowship in the Geography Department.

Susan Smith has had a distinguished career both as a social geographer and in the interdisciplinary world of housing studies. Her work is centrally concerned with the challenge of inequality, addressing themes as diverse as residential segregation, housing for health and fear of crime. Her current research focuses squarely on the housing economy: home prices, mortgage debt and financial risk. Her writings address the uneven integration of housing, mortgage and financial markets, the unequal geographies of credit and investment risks, and the uneasy encounter between market dynamics and an ethic of care.

Susan Smith is an inaugural member of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a longstanding member of the Society of Authors. She became a Fellow of the British Academy in 2008. She is experienced in research management, strategy and assessment of all kinds, having served as a panel member for the last two UK research assessment exercises, as well as contributing in a variety of ways to the work of the ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust and other funding bodies.

Dr Julia Riley, Vice-Mistress of Girton, said: "Susan Smith will bring academic distinction and many other skills to the College. We all look forward to working with her in building on Girton's current successes and in tackling the opportunities and challenges the future offers."


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