Goodenough College appoints new Director

The College is delighted to announce the appointment of the Hon Alice Walpole OBE as its new Director.

A former United Nations Assistant Secretary General, Alice will join the College on 12 April, following the departure of Rebecca Matthews. Prior to her UN role, Alice enjoyed a long and distinguished career with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in which she specialised in multilateral diplomacy and conflict resolution.

Alice’s most recent assignment was as Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), an appointment she held with great distinction from 2017-2021. Previously, during her diplomatic career, Alice was British ambassador to Mali and (non-resident) Niger; as well as British ambassador to Luxembourg; and British Consul‑General in Basra, Iraq. She also served in various capacities in London, New York, Brussels and Dar es Salaam.

Alice joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1985, after gaining a First Class honours degree in English Literature from Cambridge university. She was appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2017 New Year Honours for Services to British Diplomacy.

In announcing this appointment, Chairman of Goodenough College Stuart Shilson LVO DL said:  “Alice was chosen from an extremely strong field of candidates from a wide range of public, private and not-for profit sector backgrounds. She brings a wealth of relevant experience to the position including considerable expertise in leading and managing complex organisations, an international outlook, and skills in building and sustaining effective networks across government, business, academia, and the arts.

“This is excellent news for the College. Alice is an energetic and inspirational leader, a persuasive and effective communicator and someone who can deliver change whilst staying true to the College’s values and spirit of service. We are excited to welcome her.”

For her part, Alice Walpole underlined how much she looks forward to her new role: “What appeals to me most is the opportunity – working closely with Goodenough’s staff, Members, Governors, Fellows and Alumni – to shape and support a unique life experience for the College’s Members at a historic institution at the heart of one of the world’s great cities; to lead and promote an intellectual community, so as to enable each of its members to maximise their potential; to establish the best possible environment in which academic excellence and enriching experience can flourish.”

Stuart Shilson adds: “In welcoming Alice I would like to acknowledge the important work of the College’s previous Director Rebecca Matthews who was both an impressive leader and a wonderful colleague, especially during the pandemic. Rebecca has made an outstanding contribution and we are all extraordinarily grateful to her”.