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New president of Murray Edwards College is top TV exec

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Top TV executive Dorothy Byrne has been elected as the new president of Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge.

Ms Byrne will take up the role in September 2021 when she will be formally admitted to the college in a ceremony attended by the fellowship of Murray Edwards.

The sixth president to lead Murray Edwards since its foundation in 1954, Dorothy Byrne will succeed Dame Barbara Stocking who has been president of the College since 2013.

The new president of Murray Edwards College, Dorothy Byrne. Picture: Adam Lawrence
The new president of Murray Edwards College, Dorothy Byrne. Picture: Adam Lawrence

Ms Byrne is currently editor at large at Channel 4, a role that was specially created for her after she stepped down as head of news and current affairs after 15 years.

During her time at Channel 4, Dorothy has been responsible for news and current affairs programmes that have had a national and global impact, winning her numerous international awards.

On the announcement of her election, Dorothy Byrne said: “It is a huge honour to be elected as president of Murray Edwards College and I am excited to be joining such a modern and forward-thinking community. I am very much looking forward to working with the Fellows, students and staff to support the work of the College.”

Last year, Ms Byrne delivered the prestigious MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival and was honoured with the Grierson Trustees’ Award at the 2019 Documentary Awards.

In 2018, she was made a fellow of The Royal Television Society for her ‘outstanding contribution to television’ and received the Outstanding Contribution Award at the RTS Journalism Awards in the same year.

Born in Paisley, Scotland, Ms Byrne studied for her undergraduate degree in philosophy at Manchester University followed by a diploma in business studies at Sheffield University. She is currently a visiting professor for the MA in investigative journalism at De Montfort University.

Dr Rachel Polonsky, vice president of Murray Edwards College said: “I am delighted with the election of Dorothy Byrne, who will be an innovative and inspirational president. Her distinguished career in the media, her passion for widening participation in higher education, and her creative flair will be of great benefit to the college in the years to come.”

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