Baroness Royall of BlaisdonPrincipal
Jan Royall is Somerville’s Principal.
She has had a distinguished career in politics, notably serving as Chief Whip in the House of Lords and then as Leader of the House from 2008-2010. She also served as Shadow Leader of the House of Lords from 2010-2015.
Prior to her parliamentary career, she was a senior adviser in the European Commission before heading its office in Wales. In 2004 she was appointed to the Lords as Baroness Royall of Blaisdon and in 2005 became a Government Spokesperson for Health, International Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Following a degree in Spanish and French at the University of London, Jan’s first job was importing flowers into Europe from Colombia but she soon started working in the world of politics. She spent six years working as General Secretary of the British Labour Group in the European Parliament, then went to work for then-Leader of the Opposition, Neil Kinnock.
Jan stepped down from frontbench politics in May 2015 in order to engage in her other interests, including youth policy, higher education, women, diversity and inclusion, democratic engagement, health, the EU, and foreign affairs, and she continues to speak out on these issues in the House of Lords from the backbenches. Jan is a trustee, patron and active supporter of many charities and organizations including Full Fact, the Centre for Opposition Studies, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and the ASHA Centre. She is co-chair of the Oxford inclusive Economy Partnership. She was formerly chair of the People’s History Museum, Pro Chancellor of the University of Bath and Vice President of the Party of European Socialists.
Jan works with governments, political parties and NGOs in many countries on democracy building, leadership, nurturing civil society and women’s empowerment.
Chris BamberICT Manager
Chris Bamber and the IT team are responsible for maintaining and developing the College IT network infrastructure and systems and for the College computers and printers. They can also give some advice on the purchase of computers.
Chris has been with the College since December 1997 when he took up the new created position of Computing Officer. The role allowed the college to provide professional IT services to staff and students on a full-time basis.
Since then Chris and his team have kept the college’s ICT infrastructure current through one of the fastest technological growths over the last two decades.
Elaine BoormanCollege Accountant
Elaine and the Treasury team are responsible for the College accounts, banking and finances, for student fees and battels, for payments to suppliers, for invoicing, for loans and grants to students including vacation and hardship grants, and for general advice on financial matters, particularly in cases of financial difficulty.
Sarah ButlerLibrarian, Archivist and Head of IT Services
Sarah Butler is the College Librarian and Archivist and is also responsible for IT Services.
She looks after the College’s Special Collections and archives and is responsible for managing and maintaining the College’s extensive lending and reference library. Please contact Sarah if you have any queries about consulting or using the Colleges collections.
Her current research interests include…
In addition to her other duties, Sarah is also Keeper of the College Pictures.
Will DawesDirector of Chapel Music
Will Dawes(ARAM, PGDip (RAM), BMus (Hons) is Director of Chapel Music of Somerville College, Oxford, Director of Music at the church of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford, and the founding Director of Frideswide Voices (Oxford’s first liturgical choir for 7-14 year-old girls).
He is a graduate of the RAM, where he studied Choral Conducting and Singing, and has directed numerous excellent choral societies and chamber choirs across the UK.
Will is active as a consort singer and is a member of the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble Stile Antico. The group performs all over the globe, including concerts in the Wigmore Hall and at the BBC Proms. He is a former Lay Clerk of Christ Church, Oxford, and has sung with Collegium Vocale Gent, The Eric Whitacre Singers, and Polyphony.
As a soloist, Will has sung works such as Carmina Burana (Orff), Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Mahler), and The Wound Dresser (Adams) as well as more canonic works by JS Bach and GF Handel. His one and only operatic role to date is that of Mr Gedge in Albert Herring.
For further information, including forthcoming performances, please visit Will’s personal website.
Jack EvansCommunications Officer
Jack (he/him) is part of the College’s Communications team, along with the Communications Manager, Matt Phipps.
The comms team manages Somerville’s social media presence and website, as well as working on the team’s regular publications and reporting on College life and research. They also deal with enquiries from the press.
They are available Mon-Fri for enquiries on the phone number and email address below.