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Welcoming Dr Elizabeth Kiss, new Warden of Rhodes House

The Rhodes Trust is delighted to welcome Dr Elizabeth Kiss as its new CEO and Warden of Rhodes House. Dr Kiss is herself a Rhodes Scholar and will be the first female Warden of Rhodes House.

Dr Elizabeth Kiss comes to the Rhodes Trust after serving for twelve years as president of Agnes Scott College, Georgia, where she gained national recognition for introducing a new approach to liberal arts education by preparing students to be global citizens and effective leaders. In her role at Rhodes House, Dr Kiss will have the overall responsibility for driving forward the Rhodes Trust’s global perspective and maintaining the focus on the Rhodes Scholars as a lifelong community for those committed to standing up for the world.

The Trust would like to thank outgoing Warden Charles Conn and his partner Camilla Borg for their tireless work and dedication since 2013. They have led a number of initiatives during Mr Conn’s time as Warden to transform the Trust into a 21st century organisation. This included raising over £250m to secure the endowment for existing Rhodes Scholarships, as well as expanding the reach of the Scholarships globally. During Mr Conn’s Wardenship, the Rhodes Trust forged several important new partnerships, most notably with The Atlantic Philanthropies to form the Atlantic Institute to support the new Atlantic Fellowships, and with Schmidt Futures to establish the Schmidt Science Fellows. These new initiatives come together in cross-fellowship convenings across many important topic areas, including the Rhodes Healthcare Forum and Rhodes Venture Forum which are now large annual events. Mr Conn spearheaded the expansion of the Rhodes Scholarships to China, UAE, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, and East and West Africa, as well as the introduction of new Global Rhodes Scholarships, available to students from any country in the world, which marked a particularly historic moment. Ms Camilla Borg, who headed special projects for the Rhodes Trust during her time in Oxford, contributed considerably to these strategic initiatives, as well as led new efforts in the Rhodes Scholar programme including wellness and mindfulness, and contributed to the re-branding and positioning of the Trust.

Dr Elizabeth Kiss said: "I am incredibly excited to come back to Rhodes House, and honoured to do so as its new Warden. Thanks to the strategic transformation of the last five years, the Trust is well positioned for additional impact. I am looking forward to building on recent progress by enhancing our partnerships and expanding our Scholarship programmes, as well as meeting the Rhodes Scholar community in Oxford and across the world."

Charles Conn commented: "It has been five wonderful years serving the Rhodes Trust, its partners, the Scholar community, and working with my colleagues at Rhodes House. During my time as Warden I witnessed curious and creative Scholars shaping their ideas through research and debate, looking for solutions to many of society’s big questions. Rhodes House is a collaborative and dynamic environment that stimulates Scholars to aspire to make change in the world. It has been a real privilege being able to contribute to the expansion of its community and witness it grow increasingly diverse. We wish Elizabeth and Jeff many terrific years at Rhodes House.”