Shafik leaving LSE for Columbia University presidency

Former Bank of England deputy governor will replace long-serving president Lee Bollinger

January 18, 2023
Minouche Shafik - Top 10 universities led by women

Baroness Shafik, director of the London School of Economics, has been named the next president of Columbia University.

Baroness Shafik will take over at the prestigious private New York university in July after stepping down from the LSE at the end of a six-year term in the summer.

The 60-year-old British-American economist, who was previously deputy governor at the Bank of England and the youngest ever vice-president of the World Bank at the age of 36, described her time as the LSE’s first permanent female director as “one of the greatest honours of my life”.

“I have often been told by people that LSE positively changed their lives and it certainly changed mine,” said Baroness Shafik, who assumed the role of director in September 2017, calling it “a community that values rigour, debate, a global perspective and the betterment of society”.

“I look forward to continuing to see LSE thrive as a place that educates for global impact, delivers research for the world and develops as a school for everyone now, and in the future,” she added.

Susan Liautaud, chair of LSE’s council, praised Baroness Shafik’s “exceptional leadership of LSE and her tireless work to strengthen the school”. “Minouche is leaving LSE with a clear direction and she departs with our best wishes and deepest thanks,” she added.

The process of choosing a successor to Baroness Shafik is now under way. LSE’s council has instructed a specialist search firm and appointed a committee to oversee the work.

The University of Oxford-educated economist, who grew up in the US after her family fled Egypt when she was four years old, will replace Columbia’s longstanding president Lee Bollinger, who has led the institution since 2002.

In a letter to the community, Jonathan Lavine, chair of the Columbia board of trustees, called Baroness Shafik “the perfect candidate: a brilliant and able global leader, a community builder, and a preeminent economist who understands the academy and the world beyond it”.

“What set Minouche apart as a candidate,” Mr Lavine said, “is her unshakable confidence in the vital role institutions of higher education can and must play in solving the world’s most complex problems. Like all of us in the Columbia community, she believes that in order to bring about meaningful change, we have a collective obligation to combine our distinctive intellectual capacities with groups and organisations beyond the academy.”

Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Please Login or Register to read this article.

Related articles