Oxford’s New, First Female Head is UCLA Grad

When the University of Oxford decided to make history this past week, it went for it — selecting the first woman to serve as head of that top international school, naming a UCLA alumna — with an M.A. in Political Science —  and picking someone apparently not afraid of creating some controversy in her chosen field of International Relations.

Ireland’s Louise Richardson (UCLA MA, 1981) now slated to lead Oxford at the start of 2016, began her first week of transition telling participants at the Going Global 2015 conference in London that Americans “overreacted” to being attacked on 9/11, and might take some lessons in resilience from the British people. And –as the author of the highly cited, What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy Containing the Threat, with expertise in terrorism and security studies — her comments drew across-the-board reaction.

Initially leaving her native Ireland in the late 1970s on a Rotary Scholarship to study for just one year at UCLA, Prof. Richardson ended up earning the first of her two master’s degrees here. From UCLA, her additional post-graduate work was taken at Harvard University where she also spent some years as a professor of Government. She married an American physician she met while in school here, and they have three adult children.

For more information on Prof. Richardson and her new post, see Oxford’s release, here.

To read her comments on America’s reaction to the events of 9/11, click here.