St George’s, University of London names new principal

Consultant gynaecologist and Imperial College London professor Jenny Higham takes over at South London institution

July 9, 2015
Imperial College London St George's University of London Jenny Higham

A leading London medical school has appointed its first female principal.

Jenny Higham will take over as principal of St George’s, University of London, in November.

Professor Higham, a consultant gynaecologist, is currently vice-dean for institutional affairs and director of education in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London.

She has previously held a number of senior positions during her 18 years at Imperial, including head of undergraduate medicine.

Professor Higham also helped to establish the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore, a joint medical school with Nanyang Technological University, of which she is senior vice-dean.

She will succeed Peter Kopelman at St George’s, who is stepping down from the University of London college after eight years in charge.

St George’s is the latest UK university to appoint a female leader in recent months.

These include Soas, University of London (Baroness Amos); the University of Sunderland (Shirley Atkinson); the University of Derby (Kathryn Mitchell); the University of Salford (Helen Marshall); the University of Brighton (Debra Humphris); and the University of Oxford (Louise Richardson).

It means the number of women leading universities will increase by about a third compared with last year.

On her appointment, Professor Higham said that she was “absolutely delighted to be taking up the leadership role at St George’s and privileged to be building on the successes of Peter Kopelman and his leadership team”.

Professor Kopelman, outgoing principal of St George’s, said that he was “greatly impressed” by Professor Higham’s  “commitment and contributions to higher education and the NHS”.

“She brings with her to St George’s a wealth of experience that has engaged all health professions and merited national and international recognition,” he said.

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