The United Kingdom’s former ambassador to the Vatican and policy adviser to Tony Blair will replace Celia Hammond as the University of Notre Dame’s vice-chancellor.
Francis Campbell will commence his role as Notre Dame’s fourth vice-chancellor in January next year.
Professor Campbell is currently the vice-chancellor at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, located in London, where he has served in the role for the past five years.
He started his professional career in the UK’s foreign service in 1997, and undertook several overseas diplomatic postings, including at the United Nations Security Council and at the European Union.
From 1999 to 2003, he served as a policy adviser and private secretary to then Prime Minister Tony Blair.
From 2005 to 2011, Professor Campbell was ambassador of the UK to the Holy See, then as the deputy high commissioner in Pakistan from 2011 to 2013.
Following this he was the head of the policy unit at the foreign service, before he was appointed as the vice-chancellor of St Mary’s in 2014.
Professor Campbell's tertiary qualifications include a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania in the US and a master’s degree in European integration from the Katholieke Universiteit in Belgium.
He has also received honorary doctorates from five universities worldwide.
“Professor Campbell has an outstanding reputation as an academic and diplomat, and brings considerable wisdom, leadership and international relationships to his new role at Notre Dame,” he said.
Professor Campbell said Notre Dame’s reputation among Australian universities was exemplary and he was honoured at the opportunity to become its fourth vice-chancellor.
“As a university, Notre Dame draws on centuries of teaching, scholarship and research, foundations which it shares with over two thousand Catholic universities and colleges across the world,” he said.
“Notre Dame’s great name nationally and internationally is testament to the way its boards and previous vice-chancellors have been careful custodians of that unique heritage and role.
“I aim to protect and nurture Notre Dame’s outstanding achievements, in particular, the recognition by its students as the best university in Australia for overall quality of educational experience.
“As vice-chancellor, I’m as interested in our students’ personal growth as much as their academic development, because the two are uniquely intertwined.”
Ms Hammond left the role in February, ahead of a planned retirement later in the year, to contest the Liberal Party pre-selection for the blue ribbon seat of Curtin.
She won that ballot earlier this month.