University welcomes its new Chancellor

Karen Blackett OBE will be inaugurated as the fourth Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth at a special event at Portsmouth Guildhall from 4pm today.

Karen Blackett OBE

Karen Blackett OBE

Karen will become Chancellor during the University’s 25th anniversary year and 25 years after completing her undergraduate geography degree at the University in 1992. Karen takes over as Chancellor from actor, writer, campaigner and most recently Great British Bake-Off host Sandi Toskvig, whose five-year term finished this summer.

During her tenure as Chancellor of the University, Karen will be an ambassador for the University, making visits, connecting people and hosting events to further the aims and objectives of the University.

As the chairwoman of MediaCom, the UK’s largest media agency, Karen is no stranger to working with young people as she established MediaCom’s apprenticeship scheme for 18-24 year olds in 2012. Karen is the most senior woman from a Black, Asian and minority-ethnic background in the UK Advertising and Media industry, featuring five times in the Power List of Britain’s 100 most influential Black People and the first Chancellor to be an alumna of the University.

Karen is passionate about equality, diversity, and opportunity for all. In 2015 she was appointed to help diversify the Civil Service and create better opportunities for all. Karen is also President of a charity that improves and champions health and wellbeing in the advertising and media industries.

Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, said: “While her obvious success as a graduate, her business acumen and wider influence and recognition are important, what makes her special to the University is her strong commitment to identifying talent, giving people opportunities, and improving diversity in business, politics and society generally.

“It is Karen’s values, and her personal story that make her an excellent choice as Chancellor for the University of Portsmouth. We could not have wished for a better ambassador and I am confident that she will be an outstanding Head of our University.”

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