THE UNIVERSITY of Warwick has appointed a Nobel Peace Prize nominee as its first ever female chancellor.
The Rt Hon The Baroness Ashton of Upholland GCMG PC has been appointed to the role by the university’s senate and council, and will take over from Sir Richard Lambert in the new year.
Lady Ashton was appointed to the House of Lords in 1999 after years working in the public, private and NGO sectors, including time at the Social Work Training Council and Business in the Community.
She took up her first role in the then Department of Education in 2001, where she served as minister with responsibilities for all education to age 11 plus children with special educational needs, and as sole minister in the House of Lords responsible for all education legislation.
She served as Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Queen’s Privy Council from 2007 to 2008, during which time she took the Lisbon Treaty through the House of Lords.
Lady Asthon was appointed Trade Commissioner for the European Union in 2008, which led to her being appointed High Representative for Foreign Policy and First Vice President of the European Commission.
Over the next five years, she tackled some of the world’s most difficult issues, and her achievements earned her widespread praise and a host of awards and honours from around the globe, including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
Commenting on her appointment, Lady Ashton said: “Education is a vital component of our society that changes lives and gives people choices and opportunity.
“That ability of education and research to change lives stretches across our planet for a University such as Warwick with its significant research programme focused on global issues.
“I am deeply honoured to be able to make my small contribution to the work of such an increasingly renowned university.”
Among her other awards and accolades, Lady Asthon was named as the first ever Stonewall Politician of the Year for her services in support of the LGTB community and received the highest foreign policy honour, a GCMG, from the Queen in June 2015.
Welcoming the news, chair of the University of Warwick’s council, Sir George Cox, said: “Lady Ashton has had a remarkable career embracing many areas and issues which are highly relevant to the University of Warwick and its values.
“As one of the first generation of her family to have attended university, she is passionate about the transformational power of education as a driver of social mobility.”