President & Principal
Professor Sir Edward Byrne was the President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University from 2009 – 2014 before taking his up his current appointment as President and Principal of King’s College, and Chairman of King’s Health Partners.
Whilst at Monash, Professor Byrne established a new campus in Suzhou, China and fostered a major alliance with the University of Warwick in the UK. During his tenure Monash’s position in the global university rankings rose considerably from 176 into the 90s in Times Higher Education, elevating it to the top 100 internationally for the first time, and in the Shanghai Jiao Tong World University Rankings from 220 into the 130s.
Professor Byrne is a neuroscientist and clinician by background. He qualified in medicine at the University of Tasmania in 1974 and subsequently trained as a neurologist in both Adelaide and London. He is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Royal Colleges of Physicians of London and Edinburgh, the American Academy and the American Association of Neurology. He holds the higher degrees of Doctor of Medicine (UTAS) and Doctor of Science (University of Melbourne). Professor Byrne has held many prestigious clinical and research positions in Australia and the UK, as well as advisory roles for a number of charitable bodies relating to his clinical and scientific expertise.
In 2003, he took up responsibility as Executive Dean of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science at Monash University. During this period, research income doubled, Professor Byrne strengthened the School of Biomedical Sciences and supported the establishment of a new Medical School in Malaysia as a branch of Monash.
In 2007 he left Australia for London where he held the positions of Executive Dean of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Head of the Medical School and Vice Provost at University College London until 2009. Professor Byrne has demonstrated outstanding commitment to research excellence throughout his career, including drawing together people from different disciplines to address global challenges and ensuring the quality of student education, the student experience and student employability.
Professor Byrne received the AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) in 2006, the AC (Companion of the Order of Australia) in 2014 and was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen's Birthday honours in October 2020. He has dual British and Australian nationality. He has wide interests in the arts and has written several books of poetry. He is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology, Science and Engineering and an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. He has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Adelaide, Warwick and Western, Ontario and honorary professorships at Warwick, PKU and UCL.
Office of the Principal
The office of the Principal is established by the Charter of the College as 'the chief academic and administrative officer of the College' and the College Statutes require the Principal to have the general responsibility to the Council for 'ensuring that the objects of the College are fulfilled and for maintaining and promoting the efficiency, discipline and good order of the College'.
The Principal is the Accounting Officer responsible to the Higher Education Funding Council of England for the proper expenditure of moneys made available by the Council, and by other agencies and contracting parties.
Subject to Statute, students are admitted and their registration terminated on academic or disciplinary grounds, staff are suspended and persons may be excluded from the premises of the College in the name of the Principal. The Principal may delegate many of these powers and the duties devolving from them, and does so, principally to Vice-Principals and Heads of School.