Louise Richardson is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews.
A native of Ireland, she received a BA and MA in History from Trinity College, Dublin and an MA and PhD in Government from Harvard University. Immediately prior to her 2009 appointment, she was Executive Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and was instrumental in the transformation of Radcliffe, once a women’s college, into an interdisciplinary centre promoting scholarship across a wide range of academic fields and the creative arts. For twelve years she was a professor of Government at Harvard.
A political scientist by training, Professor Richardson has specialised in international security with an emphasis on terrorist movements. Her publications include, Democracy and Counterterrorism: Lessons from the Past (2007), What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat (2006), The Roots of Terrorism (2006), and When Allies Differ (1996). She has written numerous articles on international terrorism, British foreign and defence policy, security institutions and international relations, and serves on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals and presses related to security studies.
Over the past decade, in addition to her teaching and management roles, Professor Richardson has given over 300 talks and lectures on terrorism and counter-terrorism to educational and private groups as well as policy makers, the military, intelligence, and business communities. She has testified before the United States Senate and has appeared on CNN, the BBC, PBS, NPR, Fox and a host of other broadcast outlets.
Professor Richardson’s research has been recognised with awards from, among others, the Ford Foundation, the Milton Fund, the Sloan Foundation, the Krupp Foundation, the Center for European Studies, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the United States Institute of Peace. She has also been awarded the Sumner Prize for work towards the prevention of war and the establishment of universal peace. In March 2010, Professor Richardson was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was also appointed by First Minister Alex Salmond to serve on the Council of Economic Advisers to the Scottish Government.