The $1 million prize is a global award that recognizes those who risk their lives, health, or freedom to save the lives, health, or freedom of others. It has shone a spotlight on some of the world’s most pressing and overlooked crises since its foundation in 2015.
As a member of the Selection Committee, Richardson will work closely with the outstanding group of humanitarians, human right activists, and former heads of state to choose the next Aurora Prize Laureate.
A political scientist by training, Richardson is recognized internationally as an expert on terrorism and counterterrorism. Prior to joining Carnegie Corporation, one of the oldest and most influential American grantmaking foundations, she held the posts of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, and Executive Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
“Louise Richardson is not only a distinguished academic and leader, she is a visionary who has spent her career applying her tremendous insight and experience to strengthening democracy, advancing peace and working to improve the lives of others,” said Lord Ara Darzi, Chair of Aurora Prize Selection Committee and Co-Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London. “I am honored to welcome Louise to the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, where she will undoubtedly have a tremendous impact.”
“I am pleased to join the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, which is steadfast in its commitment to honoring modern-day humanitarian heroes who risk their lives to help others,” said Louise Richardson. “I have followed Aurora’s work with great interest and have long admired its focus on empowering individuals who make courageous choices every day to stand up to discrimination and inequality and actively promote peace.”
A native of Ireland, Richardson is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MA and PhD in government from Harvard University, where she was a professor for two decades. In June 2022, she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) in recognition of her services to higher education.
Richardson has received numerous awards including the Sumner Prize for work toward the prevention of war and the establishment of universal peace from Harvard University and the Centennial Medal for vision and leadership from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard.
Richardson’s publications include Democracy and Counterterrorism: Lessons from the Past (2007), What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat (2006), The Roots of Terrorism (2006), and When Allies Differ: Anglo-American Relations during the Suez and Falklands Crises (1996).
Richardson is a trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation and the Sutton Trust. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Academy of Social Sciences in the United Kingdom.