New Provost appointed for Gates Cambridge Trust

  • December 21, 2009

LethbrindgeProfessor Robert Lethbridge, Master of Fitzwilliam College, is to succeed Dr Gordon Johnson as Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, the Trustees have announced.

Professor Lethbridge, who has been Master of Fitzwilliam since 3 October 2005, will take up the post on 1 October 2010 during the Trust’s 10th anniversary year.

He has had a long and illustrious career at Cambridge. He obtained his PhD from St John’s College, Cambridge, in 1975, and his first academic post was as Leathersellers’ Teaching Fellow in French at Fitzwilliam. He was Senior Tutor there for the decade 1982-92. In 1994, he was appointed to the Chair of French Language and Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he was successively Head of Department, Dean of the Graduate School and Vice-Principal.

He has been a Life Fellow of Fitzwilliam since 1994. Before his recent return to the College, he was Director of the British Institute in Paris, now renamed as the University of London Institute in Paris. He has also held Visiting Professorships at the University of California at Santa Barbara and at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and chair of the Gates Cambridge Trust, said: “The Trustees are delighted with the appointment of Professor Lethbridge. Under the outstanding leadership of Dr. Gordon Johnson, the Gates Cambridge scholarships have become an integral part of Cambridge life, offering brilliant students from around the world the chance both to pursue their academic interests and to develop their leadership skills. The talent, idealism, and energy of current Gates scholars are formidable, and former scholars are already starting to make their mark on the world. I can think of no finer person than Professor Lethbridge to lead this remarkable programme into its second decade.”

The Gates Cambridge Trust was established in October 2000 as the result of a $210 million donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The benefaction created an international scholarship programme to enable outstanding graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at the University of Cambridge. The scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding intellectual ability, leadership skills, a good fit with Cambridge and a desire to use their knowledge to improve the lives of others.

Since the inaugural class of Gates Scholars in 2001, there have been 911 Gates scholars from 91 countries. There are usually about 250 Gates Scholars in residence at any one time who are studying the full range of disciplines across the University and who are members of each of the 31 Cambridge Colleges.

Latest News

Towards a dictionary of the human genome

Marie Brunet’s research focuses on the secrets still hidden in our genomes. She says that despite the fact that we live in an era where getting our genome sequenced is possible, we still don’t know the origin of two fifths of inherited diseases. That is because, as she says, the genome only currently maps the […]

Scholar recognised for research into misinformation

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has been shortlisted for a Women of the Future Award for her research into countering misinformation. Melisa Basol [2018] was shortlisted for the science category of the UK Awards which recognises “truly remarkable female scientists, forging new ground in research and scientific achievement”. There are 11 other categories and three special […]

Scholars join forces on anti-cancer drug

Two Gates Cambridge Scholars have joined forces to work on a drug candidate that has the potential to replace one of the most widely used cancer drugs around the world. Dr Anand Jeyasekharan [2004], who did his PhD in Oncology, and Dr Chandler Robinson [2009] who did an MBA at Cambridge, will collaborate on a […]

Making the experiences of imprisoned women activists visible

Growing up in a small town in Bengal, Jigisha Bhattacharya [2022] developed a particular sensitivity to marginalised groups and conflicts between different communities and identities from an early age.  It is this interest and her experience of political protests at university, combined with a longstanding curiosity about the links between politics and the arts, that […]