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Jesus becomes first Oxbridge college to elect a black master

OBE Sonita Alleyne will begin her role this October

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Alleyne, 51, will be the first female master of Jesus College and the first black master of any Oxbridge college.

She studied philosophy at undergraduate level at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and has since had a successful career as a businesswoman, entrepreneur and television executive. She is currently the chairwoman of the BBC Film Classification management council.

Prior to this, she had an influential five year stint as a BBC trustee, during which she championed diversity and inclusivity to represent all cultures within the UK. She has also shaped the broadening access work within the radio broadcasting industry.

She was awarded the Carlton Multicultural Achievement Award for TV and Radio in 2002, and has also received an OBE for her services to broadcasting.

On top of this, she has founded the Yes Programme, an online careers information service for school pupils, and is a director of the Cultural Capital fund, governor of the museum of London, and member of the Skills for Londoners Business Partnership Members Group.

Alleyne is also a Fellow of both The Royal Society of the Arts and the Radio Academy.

On being elected Jesus College master, Alleyne comments:

“It is an honour to be elected to lead Jesus College and I’m looking forward to becoming part of such an energetic and innovative community.

Having met many Fellows, students and staff in recent weeks, I was struck by the positive and forward-looking ethos shared across the College. In addition to the outstanding education, the cross-disciplinary work and evident passion for arts, culture and sport I have seen at Jesus is impressive.

Supporting the work of the College to widen access and participation to all that it offers promises to be incredibly rewarding. I left Cambridge thirty years ago, but it never left me. I am delighted to be returning.”

(cover photo source: x)