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John Hood    

Vice Chancellor, University of Oxford

The Rhodes Trustees have unanimously elected Dr John Hood (New Zealand & Worcester 1976) to succeed Lord Waldegrave as Chair of the Rhodes Trustees from December 2011.

Dr Hood is President and CEO of the Robertson Foundation. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford from 2004 to 2009, launching the Oxford Thinking campaign (which has raised well over £1 billion for Oxford), and was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland from 1999 to 2004.

John Hood first came to Oxford in 1976 as a Rhodes Scholar to read Management, having already completed a PhD in Engineering in New Zealand.

He subsequently pursued a successful business career, principally in the Fletcher Challenge group, while for many years also lecturing at the University of Auckland, prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor at Auckland.

Dr Hood has chaired or served on many government, sporting, educational, and community bodies, and holds several directorships.

As a Rhodes Scholar, Dr Hood has been actively involved with the Rhodes Trust for many years, including as a Rhodes Scholarship selection committee member, and as the New Zealand National Secretary between 2000 and 2004. He is now living in Oxfordshire, spending up to a week a month in New York.

In announcing the appointment, the Chair of the Governance Committee of the Rhodes Trust, Dominic Barton (British Columbia & Brasenose 1984), said: ‘John Hood has a remarkable position at the intersection of the Rhodes community, Oxford, and the philanthropic and business worlds.

‘He has shown himself to be deeply committed to the long-term strength of the Rhodes Scholarships.

‘He brings outstanding strategic, financial, and fundraising skills, and deep knowledge of and connection with the University of Oxford, all of which are essential for the most vibrant future for the Rhodes Scholarships.’

Dr Hood was one of 62 nominations made by Rhodes Scholars and others in response to an invitation to the global community of Rhodes Scholars, and publically, for nominations for the Chairmanship of the Rhodes Trustees. These were carefully reviewed by the Governance Committee, and the choice of Dr Hood made by the Trustees.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Professor Andrew Hamilton, said: ‘I am delighted by John Hood’s appointment, and warmly welcome it.

‘The partnership between the Rhodes Trust and the University of Oxford is central to Oxford’s international standing: the Rhodes Scholarships bring exceptionally talented students to Oxford, and Rhodes Scholars are amongst our most prominent alumni around the world.

‘I know that John Hood will vigorously support the Warden of Rhodes House in ensuring that the Scholarships, and their partnership with Oxford, go from strength to strength.’

Dr Hood will succeed Lord Waldegrave on 1 December. Lord Waldegrave has served as Chair of the Trustees since 2002, and as a Trustee since 1992.

Lord Waldegrave said: ‘John Hood has just the skills and experience needed for the exciting and crucial years ahead for the Trust.

‘It has been a great privilege to serve the Trust and the Rhodes community for so many years.

‘I will retire as Chairman confident in the knowledge that the Trust and all it stands for are in excellent hands.’

The Warden of Rhodes House, Dr Donald Markwell (Queensland & Trinity 1981), said that he looked forward to working closely with Dr Hood.

‘John Hood has been chosen by the Trustees from an extraordinary range of talented people. He is an outstanding Rhodes Scholar, whom I know well, with exceptional experience as an educational, philanthropic, business, and community leader.

‘I have no doubt that he will provide the kind of commitment, support, and guidance needed to help ensure the best possible future for the Rhodes Scholarships.’

Dr Hood said that he looked forward with enthusiasm to working with the Warden, Trustees, and all members of the global community of Rhodes Scholars to ensure that the Rhodes Scholarship remained the world’s leading scholarship in perpetuity, and had the resources needed for this.

‘Nothing in my life has been more transformative than my experience as a Rhodes Scholar, and I look forward to doing all I can to ensure that future generations are also able to benefit from the exceptional opportunity it offers.’

The last Rhodes Scholar to serve as Chair of the Rhodes Trustees was Sir Kenneth Wheare (Victoria & Oriel 1929), who was Vice-Chancellor of Oxford in 1964-66, and Chair of the Rhodes Trustees from 1962 to 1969.

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