The University of Birmingham appoints first female chancellor

Sandie Okoro OBE

The University of Birmingham has announced Sandie Okoro OBE as its first female chancellor.

Okoro, a prominent lawyer and advocate for equality rights, currently serves as group general counsel at Standard Chartered.

She will be the University’s eighth chancellor, succeeding Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea CBE, who will step down in July after 10 years in the role.

Sandie Okoro is a University of Birmingham alumna, having earned her degree in law and politics there before qualifying as a barrister at the City, University of London.

She later transitioned to a solicitor role, holding positions such as head of legal for corporate services at Schroders, global general counsel at Barings, and general counsel for HSBC Global Asset Management.

She also served as senior vice-president and general counsel, and vice-president for Compliance, for the World Bank Group.

She said: “The wonderful University of Birmingham is the alma mater to three generations of the Okoros, my mum, me and my son. So my connection to it is very special indeed. I have followed the University’s outstanding progress very closely since my days there as a student on a full grant back in the 1980s – its dedication to impactful research, its focus on creating an inclusive environment for talented, minority students and educational excellence are themes very close to my heart.

“I am truly honoured and delighted to be appointed Chancellor. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to give a little something back to the amazing University that has given so very much to me and my family.”

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