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The Rhodes Trust announces Sir John Bell as new Chair of the Rhodes Trustees

The Rhodes Trust announced today that Professor Sir John Bell GBE will become the new Chair of the Rhodes Trustees, starting 1 July 2019. 

Sir John is Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford and an internationally renowned scientist and clinician. He will take on the role as Chair after serving as a Rhodes Trustee for over a decade. During his time as Trustee, Sir John has convened several Rhodes Healthcare Forums on health innovation and equity, mentored numerous Rhodes Scholars, and championed the Trust’s efforts to promote Scholar well-being and mental health.

Sir John’s appointment follows an extensive search, with over seventy candidates considered. His leadership will support the Rhodes Trust and Warden Elizabeth Kiss as the organisation deepens its focus on enhancing the current and alumni Rhodes Scholar experience, expanding the geographic reach of the Rhodes Scholarship, and working with strategic partners like the Atlantic Philanthropies and Schmidt Futures.

Sir John Bell

Sir John Bell said of his appointment: “It is an honour to be chosen to serve as the Chair of the Rhodes Trustees. During my time as a Rhodes Trustee, I have had the chance to witness what a remarkable organisation the Rhodes Trust is in its mission to encourage those who have the energy, courage, and commitment to deliver a positive impact on the world. I look forward to working with our Trustees and the Warden as we aim to further support our expanding global and diverse community.”

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Sir John Bell,” said Warden Elizabeth Kiss (Virginia & Balliol 1983). “He has made important contributions as a scientist, clinician, entrepreneur and government advisor all around the world, and played a key role in the growth of Oxford’s top-ranked medical sciences division. His leadership experience across different sectors and his commitment to innovation and human flourishing will be invaluable to the Trust as we continue our efforts to develop ethical and energetic leaders who can bridge cultures and disciplines to build better societies. I’m confident that his leadership will serve the Board well.

I would also like to thank outgoing Chair Sir John Hood KNZM (New Zealand & Worcester 1976) who has been Chair since 2011. Sir John supported the Rhodes Trust as it accomplished a significant turnaround and expansion, establishing several new strategic partnerships, and selecting Scholars from many new geographies – a record-breaking 101 Scholars in the current class, which is also the most diverse class in Rhodes history.”

Mr Dominic Barton, Chair of the Governance Committee, noted: “John brings a unique blend of capabilities and experiences to Chair the Trust, including leading organizations and initiatives across the public, private, and social sectors, globally and locally, along with his unparalleled knowledge of Oxford.  He will be a key advocate for the Trust’s continued growth and innovation”