First female Honorary Fellows elected

From the President, Lord Eatwell:

Queens’ College is fortunate in having a distinguished list of Honorary Fellows: academics, writers, distinguished lawyers and public servants, an astronaut, a bishop and a film director. A diverse catalogue of great achievers, but all of them male.  That is one of the reasons why I am delighted to announce the election of five female Honorary Fellows.

Another reason is that the women easily equal their male colleagues in a wide range of achievements. Dr Pippa Wells is a senior scientist at CERN. Dame Alison Peacock is a distinguished educationalist. Professor Naomi Segal and Dr Amma Kyei-Mensah are both “firsts” - respectively the first female Fellow of Queens’ and one of the first cohort of female undergraduates (now a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist). Emily Maitlis is a distinguished journalist and broadcaster.

The College has also elected two new male Honorary Fellows: Dr. Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, and Dr. Demis Hassabis CBE, the co-founder of the artificial intelligence company, DeepMind Technologies Ltd.

Professor Lisa Hall, the College’s Vice-President, said:

As the longest-serving female Fellow at Queens’, I’m delighted that, with the election of our first female Honorary Fellows, we are celebrating the heritage of Queens’ women across nearly four decades and recognising their individual achievements. I am sure that their stories will inspire our current and future students, as well as the Fellows of the College.
Best known to her Queens' contemporaries for her sporting prowess, Dr Amma Kyei-Mensah (1980) was the College's first female Blue, and the first woman from Queens' to captain a University team. Alongside this Amma found time to complete her medical training, and has gone on to build a distinguished career.


She is Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Whittington Hospital, teaches at University College London medical school’s Whittington campus, and has published pioneering research in pelvic ultrasound scanning.
Professor Dame Alison Peacock (1994) completed her Master’s in Education at Queens’. As head teacher of The Wroxham School, Potter’s Bar, she took the single-form primary from special measures to an Ofsted rating of ‘outstanding’, where it remains. The school now trains teachers from around the world in its approach.
Alison is Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, and the author of Assessment for Learning Without Limits (2016). She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to education in 2014.
Emily Maitlis (1989) read English at Queens’ before launching a highly successful career as a broadcast journalist and documentary maker. Following stints at Sky News and NBC News (Hong Kong), Emily has worked for the BBC since 2001.
She is a regular presenter of Newsnight, on BBC2, and frequently presents BBC News at One and rolling coverage on the BBC News Channel.  Emily has also written for The Guardian and The Spectator.
After completing a degree in Modern and Medieval Languages at Newnham (1969) and a PhD at King’s College, London, Professor Naomi Segal’s association with Queens’ began in 1980, when she became the College’s first female Fellow.
Since 2010 Naomi has been a Professorial Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. A comparatist in French and German literature, culture and theory, she is a member of the Jury Senior of the Institut Universitaire de France, and academic associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society
Dr Pippa Wells (1983) completed both her BA in Natural Sciences, for which she was awarded a double first, and her PhD in Physics at Queens’. She balanced the life scientific with a keen interest in music, playing the violin in the University symphony and chamber orchestras.
In later years these twin preoccupations have continued to co-exist. Pippa has worked for the past 20 years as a physicist on the ATLAS project, and is currently Head of Member State Relations at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. She also plays as an amateur violinist in the Geneva Symphony Orchestra.
Following a teenage career as a chess master, Dr Demis Hassabis (1994) spent several years designing computer games (including Theme Park) at Bullfrog Productions, before achieving a double first in Computer Science at Queens’. He then founded the independent games developer Elixir Studios, before completing a PhD in neuroscience at University College London.


In 2010, Demis co-founded DeepMind, the world leader in artificial intelligence research. He was made a CBE for services to science and technology in the 2018 New Year Honours list.
Dr Andrew Bailey (1978) achieved a double first in History at Queens’, staying on at the College to complete his PhD. He began his career at the Bank of England in 1985. From 2004-11 he was Executive Director Banking and Chief Cashier, meaning that his signature appeared on all bank notes issued in that period.


Having served as Deputy Governor and CEO of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority from 2013-16, Andrew became Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority two years ago.


To view the complete list of Honorary Fellows please click here.