Guest Speakers

Every year our programs invite a special selection of guest speakers – successful men and women drawn from very different walks of life – to engage with students on a wide variety of political, economic, social, artistic, academic, and literary topics. 

Listed below are some of the speakers from recent summers.

Tim Carroll

Director of Productions for New Kent Opera, Mr. Carroll is the former Associate Director of Shakespeare's Globe in London, was Associate Director of the Northcott Theatre in Exeter, and began his career at the English Shakespeare Company. He has directed many operas, including Tosca for the English Touring Opera in 2006 and Monteverdi's Orfeo, Handel's Acis, and Galatea and Britten's Albert Herring for the New Kent Opera, as well as countless Shakespeare productions. At the Globe, he directed Twelfth Night, Richard II, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest, among others, as well as several productions in Oxford where he was a teacher on The Oxford Tradition for many years. Tim is one of the most gifted and innovative directors working in London today and is able to give our students unique insights into all aspects of directing a Shakespeare production.

    Prof Sir John Gurdon

    The 2012 Medicine Nobel Prize winner, Professor Gurdon is based at the University of Cambridge Gurdon Institute - a leading research facility named in his honor. He is a pioneer in stem cell research. His work began in the 1960s with a series of experiments cloning frogs. In 2012, Professor Gurdon was awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become stem cells. His is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He previously served as the Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

      Sir Christopher Hum KCMG

      A career diplomat, Sir Christopher joined the UK Diplomatic Service in 1967 after graduating from Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he read Modern Languages. Much of Sir Christopher’s diplomatic career has been connected with China. He served in the Asian departments of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and for several years was closely involved in the negotiations on the return of Hong Kong to China. From 2002 to 2005, Sir Christopher served as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Following his retirement from the Diplomatic Service, he was elected Master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He served as the 41st Master of the College from 2006 to 2012.

        Nick Hutchison

        Mr. Hutchison is a director, actor, and lecturer, who has worked for the BBC, ITV, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and Shakespeare's Globe. He has served as a judge for the English-Speaking Union's Shakespeare on the Platform competition, directs for RADA's Shakespeare summer course, was for six years an assessor for the National Theater's Connections Program, and sits on RADA audition panels as well as the accreditation panel for the National Council for Drama Training. He has directed many Shakespeare plays throughout the UK and the US and, as an established actor, has played parts in About A Boy with Hugh Grant, Restoration with Robert Downey Jr, Miss Potter with Renee Zellwegger, and Golden Years with Ricky Gervais.

          Dr. Suzanne Lynch

          A journalist and writer, Dr. Lynch was educated at University College, Dublin, the University of Kent at Canterbury, and the University of Cambridge, where she completed her PhD in Literary Modernism. As a graduate she wrote for The Times, The Irish Examiner, and Varsity before switching to financial journalism. She is currently the European Correspondent for The Irish Times, based in Brussels.

            Azadeh Moaveni

            Azadeh Moaveni is a journalist and commentator. Following research as a Fulbright Scholar at the American University in Cairo, Ms. Moaveni began working as a journalist in the Middle East. She covered the Iraq War for the Los Angeles Times and continues to write on the Middle East and Islamic affairs for Time Magazine. Ms. Moaveni is the author of two memoirs. In 2005 she published Lipstick Jihad, which details her time in Iran and the quest to discover more about her cultural identity. Her second work of memoir is Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran. She is the co-author of Iranian Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi’s memoir, Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope.

              Andrew Motion

              Professor Motion is the former Poet Laureate for all of the UK, a post renowned for its other previous holders such as William Wordsworth, Lord Tennyson, and Ted Hughes. He is a Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the author of acclaimed biographies and anthologies of poetry, including Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life (1994) and Keats (1998). In 2006 he published his autobiography, In the Blood: A Memoir of My Childhood, and in 2007 he wrote The Five Acts of Harry Patch, dedicated to the last surviving soldier to have fought in the trenches of the First World War.

                Prof Sir Bruce Ponder

                Professor Ponder’s career has been devoted to discovering how cancer works and, of course, to finding a cure for it. His research is on the genetics of cancer - how we inherit the risk of developing different forms of the disease - and he led the team that identified breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Professor Ponder is the Head of the Cambridge Department of Oncology, where he also leads his own research group. He is the Director of the Cambridge Cancer Center and Co-Director of the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre. Earlier in his career he was the first Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001 and, in 2013 received a lifetime achievement award from Cancer Research UK. He addresses our students about the difficulties and joys of a career in science.

                  Prof Christopher Sangwin

                  Christopher Sangwin is Professor of Technology Enhanced Science Education at the University of Edinburgh. A leading figure in mathematics education in the UK, he held Senior Lectureships at Birmingham and Loughborough Universities. For over a decade he worked with the UK Higher Education Academy to promote the learning and teaching of university mathematics. He is the author of a number of books, including How Round is Your Circle?, which illustrates and investigates the links between mathematics and engineering using physical models.

                    Mark Williams

                    Mark is the Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge. Aside from directing the choirs and overall musical life of Jesus College, Mark teaches music in the College and in the University of Cambridge Music Faculty. Mark was an Organ Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, and later was appointed Assistant Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral in London and Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral School. He has appeared as organist and harpsichordist nationally and internationally with many of the UK’s leading ensembles, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia and the Gabrieli Consort and Players. As a conductor he has worked with the Britten Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Saraband Consort and City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared as organist and conductor annually since 2000 at the International William Byrd Festival in Portland Oregon, and has given solo recitals and led master classes in choral training, singing and organ performance in the UK, the USA, Asia and Africa.