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The Principal

Professor Sir Richard Trainor KBE - Principal and President

Principal and president of King's, Professor Rick Trainor

Professor Sir Rick Trainor has been Principal (and President since 2009) and Professor of Social History at King’s College London since 2004. He is a past President of Universities UK, the major representative body for the higher education sector, and in 2010 he was awarded a knighthood for services to higher education.

Born and educated in the USA, he received a BA summa cum laude with Honours in American Civilization at Brown University. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford where he took his doctorate in history. In 1979 he became a lecturer at Glasgow University where he rose to become Professor of Social History, Dean of Social Sciences and Senior Vice-Principal. Before coming to King’s he served as Vice-Chancellor of Greenwich University for four years.

Professor Trainor’s published research has focused on 19th and 20th century British elites, especially in industrialised urban areas. He has also been heavily involved in computer-based teaching in subjects related to history, as well as in national initiatives to improve teaching more generally. He was a member of the council of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 2006-11.

As President of Universities UK (UUK) 2007-09 Professor Trainor worked hard to promote better relations between the organisation and the various mission groups of universities, and he played a major role in promoting British higher education overseas.  He was invited by the then Prime Minister to play a lead part in improving high level US/UK university co-operation.

He is an academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is also an Honorary Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, Trinity College of Music and of the Institute of Historical Research (whose advisory council he chaired 2004-09). He was a member of the Anglo-American Fulbright Commission from 2003-2009 and has been Patron since 2010. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent and from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. He is a governor of St Paul’s School. 

In March 2012 Professor Trainor was invited to join the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) Commission on the Future of Higher Education. In May 2012 the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced it was to undertake a Review of Philanthropic Support for Higher Education throughout the UK and Professor Trainor sits on the review board.


Publications by Professor Rick Trainor

Professor Trainor’s role in the London Leaders Programme.
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