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Dame Louise Richardson DBE
Honourary Professor

Dame Louise Richardson DBE is president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, the philanthropic foundation established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911. Previously, she served as vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford and of the University of St. Andrews, and as executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.


A native of Ireland, she studied history in Trinity College Dublin before gaining her PhD at Harvard University, where she spent 20 years on the faculty of the Department of Government, teaching courses on international security and foreign policy. She currently sits on numerous advisory boards, while serving as a trustee of, among others, the Booker Prize Foundation and the Sutton Trust. Richardson is also a member of the selection committee of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity. In 2023, the Irish government asked Richardson to serve as the independent chair of its Consultative Forum on International Security Policy.


A political scientist by training, Richardson is recognized internationally as an expert on terrorism and counterterrorism. Today considered a seminal work in the field, her groundbreaking study, What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat (2006), was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as an “overdue and essential primer on terrorism and how to tackle it … the book many have been waiting for.” Other publications include Democracy and Counterterrorism: Lessons from the Past (2007), The Roots of Terrorism (2006), and When Allies Differ: Anglo-American Relations during the Suez and Falklands Crises (1996). She has written numerous articles on international terrorism, British foreign and defense policy, security institutions, and international relations; lectured to public, professional, media, and education groups; and served on editorial boards for several journals and presses.


Richardson’s many awards have recognized the excellence of her teaching and scholarship, including the Centennial Medal bestowed on her in 2013 by Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for “having the vision to assess emerging threats, for transformative leadership, and for moving seamlessly between the roles of scholar and teacher.” She has been awarded nine honorary doctorates, including from the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and St. Andrews in Scotland; Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast in Ireland; the University of Notre Dame in the U.S.; the University of the West Indies; Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel; and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in Russia. Richardson is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Academy of Social Sciences in the United Kingdom, as well as an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


In June 2022, Richardson was appointed a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) in recognition of her services to higher education.