Oxford academic selected to lead Commonwealth universities group

October 10, 2003

An Oxford academic is to be the new secretary-general of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. John Rowett, chief executive of the Rhodes Trust, will succeed Canadian Michael Gibbons when he retires next July.

Dr Rowett is warden of Rhodes House at the University of Oxford and joint chief executive of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, which he founded with Jakes Gerwel, chancellor of Rhodes University and former cabinet secretary.

Dr Rowett said: "This is a profoundly challenging time for all universities, but it is equally a time of great opportunities for the ACU and for the universities of the Commonwealth, in particular, to contribute to that new ethic of global responsibility for which former South African President Nelson Mandela has called."

Dr Rowett studied modern history at Merton College, Oxford, then did doctoral research at Nuffield College, Oxford. He taught history at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1978. He returned to Oxford in 1980 as fellow and tutor in modern history at Brasenose. He was named warden of Rhodes House in 1999.

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