Baroness Royall of BlaisdonPrincipal
Jan Royall is Somerville’s Principal.
She is a Labour and Co-Operative Party politican. She served as Labour’s Chief Whip in the House of Lords in 2008, before being appointed Leader of the Lords and President of the Council and becoming a member of Gordon Brown’s cabinet in the same year. In 2010 she joined Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords, stepping down after the 2015 general election.
Prior to her work in frontbench politics, 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 the Leader of the Opposition, Neil Kinnock.
After the 2010 election Jan was elected Leader of the Opposition in the Lords but stepped down in May 2015 in order to engage in other interests, as well as being an active back bencher, using the Lords to pursue issues including youth policy, higher education, women, diversity and inclusion, democratic engagement, health, the EU and foreign affairs.
Jan is a trustee, patron and active supporter of many charities and organizations including City Year, Forest of Dean and Hereford Crossroads, Artspace, Paladin National Stalking Advisory Service, the ASHA Centre and Step up to Serve. She is 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.
Faizal Bin Abdul AzizJunior Dean
Hello, my name is Faizal. I am a DPhil student at the School of Geography and the Environment.
I focus on cultural geographies and my research lies at the intersection of emotional labour and mobilities.
Prior to coming to Oxford, I have had the privilege of travelling many countries and engaging with diverse cultures – these certainly helped me grow and shaped my outlook. In a similar vein, I am very much drawn to the diversity at Somerville.
I look forward to starting my role as Junior Dean and meaningfully engage with the college community. I hope to meet you all soon!
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.
Alison DaviesAcademic Office Assistant
Alison Davies is in the office Wednesday – Friday.
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.
Mark EaleyLodge Manager
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.
Clare FinchDeputy Director of Development (Operations)
Clare manages the day-to-day operations of the Development and Alumni Relations team, orchestrating high-level campaign events and overseeing Somerville’s stewardship programme for donors..