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King's College London appoints Professor Edward Byrne as new Principal

Posted on 28/06/2013

The Chairman of King’s College London Council, Lord Douro, is pleased to announce that the Council has decided that Professor Edward Byrne should be appointed as the incoming Principal and President from September 2014..*

Professor Byrne is currently President and Vice-Chancellor at Monash University, the largest university in Australia with 65,000 students, 8,000 full-time staff, 11 campuses in Australia and around the world. He has held this role since 2009, also establishing a new campus in Suzhou, China and fostering a major alliance with the University of Warwick in the UK. During this time Monash’s position in the global university rankings has risen considerably from 176 into the 90s in Times Higher Education, elevating it to thetop 100 internationally for the first time, and in the Shanghai Jiao Tong World University Rankings from 220 into the 130s.

Professor Byrne commented: ‘I am really looking forward to joining King’s at a time of both great challenge and opportunity for the leading universities globally. King’s is already a top 100 university in the world league tables and is perfectly positioned to capitalise on that status with its London location, commitment to institutional excellence in teaching, learning and research and developing interdisciplinary and international focus. There is no question that the university world will see ever greater globalisation with the pace of the information revolution and the rise of Asia in the 21st century and I look forward to helping King’s make its own contribution to this progress.’

Lord Douro, Chairman of the Council of King’s College London said: 'I am delighted that we have appointed such a strong candidate as Professor Byrne to the position of incoming Principal and President. He possesses a clear vision for King’s. He has already demonstrated his exceptional leadership and transformational qualities in terms of teaching, learning and research in his previous roles in Australia and the UK.'

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). He 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 led 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 and has dual British and Australian nationality. In his personal life, he has wide interests in the arts and has written several books of poetry.

Notes to editors

Images available on request

*The post of Principal and President is a Crown appointment.  The Council’s decision has been formally approved by Her Majesty The Queen via No. 10 Downing Street’s Appointments Secretariat.

For more information please contact Katherine Barnes, International PR Manager, on or +44 207 848 3076.

For further information about King’s visit our 'King’s in Brief' page.

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