WATERFORD born Professor Louise Richardson is set to become the first ever woman to lead the University of Oxford in its 1,000 year history.
Professor Richardson, who is currently the principle of the University of St Andrews in Scotland, has been nominated for the role of Vice-Chancellor at Oxford.
Prof Richardson, who was born and raised in Tramore, Co. Waterford, is a political scientist and academic – having studied at Trinity College Dublin before moving on to UCLA in California and eventually Harvard University to continue her studies.
She was one of just three Catholics in a class of 33 in her days at Trinity – a university which was traditionally Protestant-dominated.
She studied history here, before earning her MA and PhD in Government from Harvard.
Prof Richardson has been in her current position since 2009 – and was also the first woman to take up this role.
Speaking of her nomination to the role at Oxford, Prof Richardson said: “Oxford is one of the world's great universities. I feel enormously privileged to be given the opportunity to lead this remarkable institution during an exciting time for higher education.”
The news comes on the same day that the Higher Education Authority announced plans to review the gender balance in high-level positions in Irish universities.