St John’s College is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Dame Sue Black, Baroness Black of Strome, as its next President.

Professor Dame Sue Black

Professor Dame Sue Black DBE OBE FRSE FBA FRAI FRSB ChFA, Baroness Black of Strome, will take up office as successor to Professor Maggie Snowling CBE FBA FMedSci in summer 2022. Professor Black will be the 37th President of the College since its foundation in 1555.

Professor Black said:

‘I am honoured to be chosen for the post of President for St. John’s College. I pay tribute to the work undertaken by Professor Snowling over the last decade. She has set impeccable standards of service, been inspirational and innovative in her leadership and tireless in her support of staff and students. I can only promise to do my best to build on the strong foundation that she has set and look forward enormously to the tasks ahead.’

Professor Maggie Snowling added:

‘I am delighted that the Governing Body has chosen Professor Dame Sue Black, a distinguished academic, to succeed me as President. I am confident that her wide experience of fundamental and applied research, coupled with her extensive knowledge of Higher Education, and the challenges it faces, make her an ideal person to lead the College to new heights of distinction and inclusivity in the next decade.’

About Professor Dame Sue Black

Professor Dame Sue Black is one of the world’s leading forensic scientists and is currently the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University, tasked with raising the University’s profile locally, regionally and nationally whilst championing the economic growth and regeneration of North West England.

Since graduating from the University of Aberdeen in human anatomy and forensic anthropology, Professor Black has had a varied and distinguished academic career, lecturing in Anatomy at St Thomas’ Hospital London and working as a consultant in forensic anthropology for both the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, undertaking forensic investigations in Iraq, Sierra Leone and Grenada. She was the lead forensic anthropologist during the international war crimes investigations in Kosovo. From 2003 to 2018 she was Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology at Dundee University.

Professor Black has written widely and has made regular media appearances, including on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs and The Life Scientific. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Higher Education and Forensic Science and in 2021 entered the House of Lords as a crossbencher peer as Baroness Black of Strome. Professor Black is also the 65th President of the Royal Anthropological Institute and she is the lifetime Professor of Anatomy for the Royal Scottish Academy.