Dame Barbara Stocking DBE

President of Murray Edwards College


Dame Barbara Stocking became the 5th President of Murray Edwards College, founded as New Hall, in July 2013. As one of the last remaining Oxbridge Colleges for women, the College has a special focus on women’s learning and assessment, especially in STEM subjects. Also through its Gateway programme it works specifically to develop women’s confidence, skills and preparedness for careers. Recently it has produced ground-breaking research on women’s experience in the workplace and the implications for women’s career progression, publishing a report “Collaborating with Men”.

In addition to Barbara’s College responsibilities, Barbara is also a Trustee of the Gates Cambridge Trust and the Cambridge Trust, and Chair of the Faculty Board of Human, Social and Political Sciences. Externally to Cambridge Barbara was Chair of the Trustees of Blueprint for Better Business for 18 months and remains a Trustee. Barbara recently stepped down as Chair of the Steering Committee for a Humanitarian Memorial, but remains a member of the Committee. Previously (2010-15) Barbara served as a Non-Executive member of the UK Cabinet Office Board, including two years as Chair of the Cabinet Office Audit and Risk Committee.

In March 2015, Barbara was appointed Chair of the Independent Panel of Experts to assess WHO’s response in the Ebola outbreak. The report was published in July 2015. It was widely praised and has resulted in major changes in WHO’s health emergencies planning and response.

Prior to taking up the post of President at Murray Edwards College, Barbara was Chief Executive of Oxfam from May 2001 until February 2013. During this time she led major humanitarian responses. On campaigning, Barbara led Oxfam’s work on Make Poverty History, and more recently their work on climate change and the campaign on food justice in a resource constrained world. Barbara regularly spoke at major global meetings, eg. Davos, World Economic Forum, UN, etc.

Previously a member of the top management team of the National Health Service, in her eight years with the NHS Barbara worked as Regional Director for the South East of England, and then as the founding Director of the NHS Modernisation Agency. During this period, Barbara chaired the NHS National Resource Allocation Committee, the NHS side of the Joint Committee NHS/Vice Chancellors and Principals of Medical Schools, and was Department of Health representative on the MoD Surgeon General’s Medical Committee.

Barbara is married and has two sons. She was awarded a CBE for health services in 2000 and a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) for humanitarian services in 2008.