The Principal and Vice-Chancellor

The Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Professor Louise Richardson

The Principal and Vice-Chancellor is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the University of St Andrews. Since the mid 1800s it has been customary that one person holds two titles: the post of Principal representing the executive function and the post of Vice-Chancellor the ceremonial function.‌

Responsibilities of the Principal include:

  • The overall running of the institution.
  • Presiding over Senate, the supreme academic body of the University.
  • Conferring degrees in the absence of the Chancellor.

Professor Louise Richardson

Professor Louise Richardson is the current Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, and professor of International Relations. A native of the Republic of Ireland and a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, the University of California and Harvard University, Professor Richardson took up post as Principal of St Andrews in January 2009.

Formerly Executive Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, she is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on the study of terrorism and political violence.


Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2544

Sheona Ogilvie is the personal assistant to the Principal. Telephone calls and emails to the Principal will usually go via Sheona.


The Principal’s office can be found at:

College Gate
North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AJ