Skip to Main Content

Warden of Rhodes House

Dr Elizabeth Kiss (Virginia & Balliol 1983)

Before taking up the Wardenship in 2018, Dr Elizabeth Kiss (pronounced ‘quiche’) served for twelve years as president of Agnes Scott College, Georgia. During her tenure, Agnes Scott broke records for enrolment and retention and was named the second ‘Most Diversified College in America’ by Time and the country’s most successful liberal arts college for graduating low-income students by the U.S. Department of Education.  In December 2017, the Chronicle of Higher Education named Elizabeth Kiss on its 2017 list of the most influential people in U.S. higher education. 

From 1997 to 2006 Dr Kiss served as the founding director of Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, building a university wide interdisciplinary centre focused on promoting moral reflection and commitment in personal, professional, organisational and civic life. Dr Kiss has had a longstanding career in academia; she has taught at Randolph-Macon College (Virginia), Deep Springs College (California) and at Princeton University for eight years. Her academic focus has been on moral and political philosophy and she has published on moral education, human rights, ethnic conflict and nationalism, feminist theory, and transitional justice.

Dr Kiss received her BA in philosophy, magna cum laude, from Davidson College in North Carolina, where she became Davidson’s first female Rhodes Scholar, going on to receive a BPhil and DPhil in philosophy from the University of Oxford. Dr Kiss has held many leadership roles in local and national organisations, including the Climate Leadership Network, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Women’s College Coalition. She has always remained strongly connected with the Rhodes Community, having mentored Rhodes applicants for over 25 years and serving for 22 years on Rhodes selection committees, including six years as State Secretary in North Carolina. 

History of Wardens

1903-1931
Sir Francis Wylie
Previously Fellow & Tutor, Brasenose College, Oxford

1931-1952
Sir Carleton Allen
Previously Professor of Jurisprudence and Fellow of University College, Oxford

1952-1980
Sir Edgar Williams
Previously Fellow & Tutor in History, Balliol College, Oxford; Chief of Intelligence to Montgomery in World War II

1980-1989
Dr Robin Fletcher
Previously Fellow & Bursar of Trinity College, Oxford; Olympian (field hockey)

1989-1999
Sir Anthony Kenny
Previously Master of Balliol College, Oxford; also Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and President of the British Academy

1999-2004
Dr John Rowett
Previously Fellow & Tutor in History, Brasenose College, Oxford; subsequently Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities

2004-2009
Sir Colin Lucas
Previously Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and Master of Balliol College, Oxford

2009-2012
Dr Donald Markwell (Queensland & Trinity 1981)
Previously Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Western Australia; Warden of Trinity College, University of Melbourne; Fellow & Tutor in Politics, Merton College, Oxford

2012-2013
Dr Andrew Graham, Acting Warden
Previously Master of Balliol College, Oxford

2013-2018
Mr Charles Conn, (Massachusetts & Balliol 1983)
Previously Senior Advisor to the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation and co-founder of Citysearch

2018-present
Dr Elizabeth Kiss (Virginia & Balliol 1983)
Previously President of Agnes Scott College, Georgia and  founding director of Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics