Visiting Fellows

Visiting Fellowships are offered to people of distinction for their outstanding achievements beyond normal academic circles. They include eminent figures in law, politics, culture, the arts and media, business and public service.

Visiting Fellows participate in College life by giving talks and lectures, and by interacting with and inspiring our students. They may also conduct their own research in the University of Cambridge during the tenure of their Fellowship.

Visiting Fellows are nominated by a Fellow or Emeritus Fellow of the College.


Nimco Ali, CEO of the Five Foundation

Nimco Ali

Nimco Ali is a survivor of female genital mutilation (FGM), a strategist and an author. Born in Somaliland, she grew up in the UK. In 2019, she co-founded The Five Foundation, The Global Partnership To End FGM. She also co-founded Daughters of Eve in 2010, a non-profit organisation that works to protect girls and young women who are at risk from FGM. Nimco’s work has helped to position FGM as a central issue in ending violence against women and girls. Since late 2020 she is also the independent advisor on violence against women and girls for the UK Home Office. 

Nimco’s professional experience has included working for counter-terrorism within the civil service, supporting the rights of girls in the UK as part of Girlguiding UK, and as a current board member for Inspiring Girls. She is also a leading commentator in international media on the rights of girls and women – particularly surrounding FGM and related issues. 

During 2019, Nimco was awarded an OBE for her groundbreaking activism. This adds to her long list of achievements to date. In 2014, Nimco was awarded Red Magazine’s Woman of the Year award, and placed at number six on the Woman’s Hour Power List. Most recently she was named by The Sunday Times as one of Debrett’s 500 most influential people in Britain, as well as one of the Evening Standard’s 1,000 Most Powerful and BBC’s 100 Women. 

Nimco’s book, What We’re Told Not To Talk About (But We’re Going To Anyway), was published by Penguin in June 2019.

Chris Boardman, former British racing cyclist, Commissioner of Active Travel England

Chris Boardman MBE

Chris Boardman is one of Britain’s most successful British racing cyclists. Between 1992 and 2000 he attended and medalled at major Games winning Britain’s first gold for 72 years at Barcelona in 1992. He also wore the leaders’ yellow jersey at the Tour de France on three separate occasions, took three world titles and broke several world records. He was awarded an MBE for services to sport.

Since retirement from professional cycling, Chris has served in various roles with British Cycling helping set up and lead the Research and Development branch for the British Olympic Cycling team that went on to scoop 14 medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and become the most successful of all time. The research and development group were nicknamed the "Secret Squirrel Club" and they played a significant part in creating that unprecedented sporting prosperity.

Chris has also worked as a cycling commentator and launched his own range of cycles and accessories, Boardman Bikes.

More recently he has worked in walking and cycling advocacy roles, becoming Greater Manchester's walking and cycling commissioner in 2017, Greater Manchester's Transport Commissioner in 2021 and is now Commissioner of Active Travel England which aims to ensure 50 per cent of journeys in towns and cities are walked or cycled by 2030.

Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, Director of V&A East

Gus Caseley-Hayford

Dr Gus Casely-Hayford is a British museum curator, broadcaster, author, and cultural historian. He is from a noted Ghanaian family – his grandfather was a prominent pan-African politician in the then Gold Coast, his brother was a well-known fashion designer, and his sister is a high-profile lawyer and businessperson.

He did a doctorate in African History at King’s College, London, and has worked in a very wide range of cultural institutions. Until recently, he was the Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC. He has now returned to the UK as Director of the new V&A East.

He has presented an award-winning South Bank show on African art, a documentary on Chris Ofili for Channel 4 and presented several series on African culture for BBC World Service as well as Brit Art: Where to Now? for BBC Four.

He is a Clore Fellow and a Trustee of the National Trust, having previously been a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and a Council member of Tate Britain. He was made OBE in 2018 for services to arts and culture.

Dr Lizzie Collingham, author  

Lizzie Collingham

Lizzie is a former Research Fellow between 1998 and 2001, during which time she published her first book, Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the Raj, c.1800-1947, which explored how themes of imperialism, race and class found  physical expression and the use of the body as an instrument of rule during the Raj.

Since leaving Jesus she has established her credentials as an independent author, columnist and media commentator. Her publications, which show her mastery of the sweep of global history and her eye for the telling detail, have been highly rated by reviewers and greatly enjoyed by readers. Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors traced the story of the dish from Mughal rule to the modern day, revealing the at times unexpected history of Britain’s relationship with India along the way.

The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food demonstrated how all sides in the conflict used food as a weapon of war. The Hungry Empire: How Britain’s Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World was the recipient of the Food Book Award (2018), conferred by the Guild of Food Writers.

Sharon Dodua Otoo, author and editor

Sharon Dodua Otoo

Sharon Dodua Otoo will be Schroeder Writer-in-Residence at Cambridge University for the academic year 2021/2022. Born in London, Sharon studied German and Management at Royal Holloway, University of London, spending two years abroad in Berlin as an exchange student. This experience led her to move permanently to Berlin in 2006. She has published widely, writing essays, short stories and novellas in both English and German. She edits the series Witnessed, an English language book series written by Black authors who have lived in Germany. Sharon’s non-fiction publications cover a wide range of topics concerning culture, diversity, race equality and feminism.

Sharon’s short story Herr Gröttrup sits down won the prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 2016. She has also won awards from the Guntram und Irene Rinke Foundation and Deutscher Literaturfonds.

As an activist, Sharon has been involved with the Initiative for Black People in Germany, serving on its Board of Directors between 2010 and 2013 as well as a number of other groups. Between 2014 and 2017 she worked for RAA Berlin (Regional Centre for Education, Integration and Democracy), a registered non-profit organisation which coordinates and supports participation projects in educational settings as well as providing independent youth welfare services.

Her first novel Adas Raum (Adas Realm) was published in Spring 2021 to critical acclaim.

Dr Claire Gilbert, Director, Westminster Abbey Institute

Claire Foster-Gilbert

Claire has worked extensively in public ethics, specialising in medical ethics and environmental ethics. A theologian by background, she emphasises the spiritual dimension of ethics in her writing and lecturing.

Claire was Research Fellow at the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, King’s College, London, then National Policy Adviser to the Church of England on medical ethics and environmental ethics. She founded a charity, the Ethics Academy, and was a lay canon of St Paul’s Cathedral where she co-founded St Paul’s Institute for ethics in finance and business. She is founding Director of Westminster Abbey Institute, which nurtures and revitalises moral and spiritual values in public life and service in the institutions of government that are Westminster Abbey’s neighbours.

Claire’s doctorate is on Julian of Norwich and ecological consciousness.  She has published extensively, including The Ethics of Medical Research on Humans ; Sharing God’s Planet; Integrity in Public Life; and more personally of her cancer diagnosis and treatment Miles to Go Before I Sleep. She is working on a book on Julian of Norwich.

Baroness Ruth Hunt, Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green, Co-Director of Deeds and Words

Baroness Hunt of Bethnal Green

Ruth is a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords where she carries out the normal duties of a peer and advocates for LGBT+ inclusion. Ruth is also Co-Director of Deeds and Words, which she runs with her partner Caroline. Deeds and Words exists to play a small part in helping organisations and communities build cultures that work better, to tackle the challenges faced in society.

Before joining the Lords and Deeds and Words, Ruth was the CEO of Stonewall, the UK’s largest LGBT+ organisation. Ruth worked at Stonewall for 14 years, holding a range of positions and working to change attitudes to LGBT+ people.

Ruth attended Oxford University, where she was President of the Student Union and she holds honorary doctorates from Exeter and Keele University and an honorary fellowship from Cardiff University. Ruth is also a Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.


Bishop Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon

Rosemarie Mallett

The Right Rev'd Dr Rosemarie Mallett was born in Barbados but has lived much of her life in the UK. She has worked in West and East Africa as well as back in the Caribbean as an academic and researcher. She returned to the UK to study for her PhD. After working as an academic sociologist for twelve years, she trained for ordained ministry. Since 2005, she has served in various roles in the Diocese of Southwark, based in South London and East Surrey, as Parish Priest, Diocesan Director, and Archdeacon, and she now serves as the Bishop of Croydon.  

Rosemarie is a Trustee of several Diocesan and national para-church organisations, including the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). From 2010 to 2021, Rosemarie served on the General Synod of the Church of England, as one of the Synod Chairs for 5 years, and on several Archbishop's Council committees, including the Women in the Episcopate Steering Committee and the Pastoral Advisory Group. 

Rosemarie is a Fellow of the Westminster Abbey Institute. 

Dr Jason Mellad, CEO of Start Codon

Jason Mellad

Jason Mellad is an enthusiastic and experienced entrepreneur. Originally from Louisiana, he won a Marshall Scholarship to the University of Cambridge, securing a PhD in Medicine in 2009. After a period in bioscience research and business development, he became CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix, a world-leading company extracting information from DNA sequences. He then established Start Codon, the Cambridge-based life sciences venture builder, which invests in and nurtures a wide range of biotech companies.

He is also co-owner of the LAB cocktail bar, a bioscience-themed venue in Regent Street, which plays a surprisingly important role in the Cambridge biotech scene. He is a Business Board Member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.



Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell, MP for Royal Sutton Coldfield

Andrew Mitchell

Andrew is a Jesuan and a former Senior Research Associate at the College. As an undergraduate he read history, and was President of the Cambridge Union in 1978.

Prior to Cambridge Andrew served in the British Army.

Andrew first entered Parliament in 1987, serving first as a Government Whip and then as Minister in the Department of Social Security from 1995-7. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party 1992-93. He lost his seat in the 1997 election, but returned to Parliament as the MP for Sutton Coldfield in 2001.

Andrew served as Secretary of State for International Development between 2010 and 2012, and he has continued to argue for international aid ever since.

Andrew founded Project Umubano in 2007, a social action project in Rwanda and Sierra Leone. He has served as a Senior Research Fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Rising Powers, chairing a termly Sinews of Development public event and helping senior international figures think through Development issues affecting their country. He also takes part in the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime at the College. He is Honorary Professor, School of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham, Member of the Strategy Advisory Committee, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, and a Visiting Fellow, Harvard University.

Professor Chi-chi Nwanoku, musician  

Chi-chi Nwanoku

Double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where she is a Professor and Fellow, and with Franco Petracchi in Rome. She has been a Principal bassist, chamber and soloist with many of Europe’s leading orchestras. Chi-chi is Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation, which via its two orchestras and its community engagement work has been instrumental in creating opportunities for talented Black and ethnically diverse musicians through concerts, commissioning new works, championing historical composers, and establishing scholarships with major UK conservatoires.

She devised the ABO/RPS Salomon Prize. In 2012 Barrie Gavin directed a documentary film about Chi-chi’s career, Tales from the Bass Line and in 2018 she featured on BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs. As a broadcaster Chi-chi has presented documentaries for BBC Radio 3 and 4, Scala Radio and Classic FM. TV includes BBC and Sky Arts.

Prizes include Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban Conservatoire Honorary Doctor Chichester University and Open University OBE, Black British Business Awards Person of the Year, ABO Award, Commonwealth Cultural Enterprise Award Women in the Arts, Creative Industries Award Variety Catherine Awards, Top 10 BBC Women in Music Power List. Chi-chi also featured in the powerlist of Britain’s 100 Most Influential Black People in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and also in 100 Great Black Britons.

Philippe Sands KC, Professor of Law at University College London and Samuel and Judith Pisar Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

Philippe Sands

Philippe Sands KC is Professor of Law at University College London and Samuel and Judith Pisar Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is a practising barrister and appears as counsel before the International Court of Justice and other international courts and tribunals. He sits as an arbitrator in international investment disputes and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

He is author of Lawless World (2005) and Torture Team (2008) and numerous academic books on international law, and has contributed to the New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, the Financial Times, the Guardian, and The New York Times.

His most recent books are East West Street: On the Origins of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide (2016) (awarded the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize, the 2017 British Book Awards Non-Fiction Book of the Year, and the 2018 Prix Montaigne) and The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive (2020), also available as BBC and France Culture podcasts. His latest book is The Last Colony: A Tale of Exile, Justice and Britain’s Colonial Legacy (2022).

Philippe is President of English PEN and a member of the Board of the Hay Festival of Arts and Literature. 

Céline Sciamma, screenwriter and film director 

Céline Sciamma

After receiving a degree in French literature, Sciamma studied screenwriting at the national film school in Paris. There she wrote Naissance des pieuvres that would turn into her feature directorial debut, Water Lilies, in 2007, selected for the Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard). Sciamma’s 2011 film Tomboy won numerous accolades, including the Teddy Jury Award at the Berlinale. In 2014, her film Bande de filles (Girlhood) premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight. Two years later, she scripted Quand on a 17 ans (Being 17) by André Téchiné and Ma vie de Courgette (My Life as a Courgette), an animated film by Claude Barras that attracted considerable audience and critical acclaim, won numerous awards and received an Oscar nomination. Sciamma returned to directing in 2019 with Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), earning her Best Screenplay at Cannes. In 2021, she directed Petite maman, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. In 2023 she directed her first documentary short film - “This is how a child becomes a poet” - about poet Patrizia Cavalli’s house.



Lemn Sissay, author and broadcaster

Lemn Sissay

Lemn is Chancellor of University of Manchester, trustee of The Foundling Museum and trustee of The Christmas Dinners – an annual project to provide an amazing Christmas Day for care leavers aged between 18 and 25 - which he started in Manchester in 2013. It has spread across the country to 19 cities and towns on Christmas Day in 2020. Lemn is ambassador for Place2B, a children's mental health charity with over 25 years' experience working with pupils, families and staff in UK schools. He is patron of The National Association for the Teaching of English.

His most recent book, My Name is Why is a number one Sunday Times bestseller.  In 2021, My Name Is Why won The Indie Book Awards non-fiction prize. He co-curated by the Duchess of Cambridge – also a Sunday Times bestseller. Lemn has judged many literary competitions including The Booker Prize 2020, The Gold Man Booker awards and The National Poetry Competition.

Lemn was also writer in residence from 2006-2012 at The Southbank Centre.  He was the first poet commissioned to write for The Olympics in 2012. The Lemn Sissay PhD scholarship for Care Leavers has been running since 2013 at the University of Huddersfield.  Lemn is artistic adviser to The Manchester International Festival and was Guest Director of Brighton Festival 2020 and 2021. In 2014, Lemn was named MBE for services to literature and in 2021 named OBE for services to Literature and Charity.

Osman Yousefzada, interdisciplinary artist and writer

Osman Yousefzada

Osman Yousefzada is a British-Pakistani interdisciplinary artist and writer, engaging with the representation, rupture and reimagining of the migration experience. He works across moving image, installation, sculpture, textile, and performance, referring to the socio-political issues of today. Osman’s practice is led by modes of storytelling, merging autobiography with fiction and ritual.

Osman is a research practitioner at the Royal College of Art, London. His work has been shown at notable international institutions including: Whitechapel Gallery, London; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Wapping Project, London; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; Ringling Museum, Florida; Lahore Museum, Pakistan; Design Museum, London; Lahore Biennale, Pakistan; and Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh. 

Osman’s practice has been described as "defiant", where the participating bodies throughout his work are presented as part objects that refuse to identify or conform. Most recently, his series of solo interventions titled ‘What Is Seen & What Is Not’ was shown at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington, London. Across three site-specific works, this presentation responded to the 75th anniversary of Pakistan and explored themes of displacement, movement, migration, and climate change.

In his memoir, The Go-Between (2022), set in Birmingham in the 1980s and 1990s, alternative masculinities compete with strict gender roles while female erasure and honour-based violence are committed, even as empowering female friendships prevail. This first book was long listed for the Polari Prize and reviewed by Stephen Fry as "one of the greatest childhood memoirs of our time".

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