Barbadian Creates History As First Black Person and First Female to Head UK College

Sonita Alleyne

LONDON, England, Monday May 27, 2019 – A Barbadian will be the first black woman appointed to lead an Oxbridge college.

Sonita Alleyne has been elected as the 42nd master of Jesus College, Cambridge – the first female head of the college which was founded in 1496 – and will take up the position from October 1, in the college’s 40th anniversary of co-education.

The 51-year-old businessman and entrepreneur – a co-founder and former CEO of Somethin’ Else, a cross-platform media production company – said it was “an honour to be elected to lead Jesus College”.

“I left Cambridge 30 years ago, but it never left me. I am delighted to be returning,” added Alleyne, who studied for her undergraduate degree in philosophy at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

The Barbadian-born Brit, who is currently chairwoman of the British Board of Film Classification, is a former BBC trustee and was also previously appointed to the board of the London Legacy Development Corporation in 2012, as part of the drive to promote and deliver regeneration in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding areas.

She is also fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and the Radio Academy and was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting in 2004.

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