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The College was relaxed, beautiful yet
not intimidating, extremely friendly and open

Emily, 2nd Year

Dame Fiona Reynolds

Photo of Dame Fiona Reynolds

DBE, MA, MPhil

Master; Member of the College Council

Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE became Master of Emmanuel in 2012. She came to the College from the National Trust, of which she has been Director-General since 2001. Her appointment there ceases at the end of 2012. Before her position with the Trust, she was Director of the Women’s Unit in the Cabinet Office and was previously Director of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (now Campaign to Protect Rural England) and Secretary to the Council for National Parks.

Fiona is a Non-Executive Director of the BBC and from December 2012 will be the Senior Independent Director of the Executive Board. She is also a Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water.

Fiona was appointed CBE for services to the environment and conservation in 1998. She is married with three daughters and the family home is near Cirencester. Fiona was appointed DBE in 2008.

At a Glance:

  • Born in 1958
  • Married with three daughters
  • Husband Bob Merrill is a trained teacher and runs the local Riding for the Disabled Charity

Key Dates

  • 1958: Born in Alston, Cumbria
  • 1969-76: Went to school in Rugby, Warwickshire
  • 1976-79: Studied Geography and Land Economy at Cambridge University (BA Hons 1st Class)
  • 1980-81: MPhil in Land Economy, Cambridge University
  • 1980-87: Secretary to the Council for National Parks
  • 1987-92: Assistant Director (Policy), Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE)
  • 1992-98: Director (CPRE)
  • 1998-2000: Director of the Women’s Unit, Cabinet Office (civil service post)
  • 2001-12: Director-General, the National Trust
  • 2001-02: Member of the Policy Commission on the Future of Food & Farming (chaired by Sir Don Curry)
  • 2005 - present: Member of the Commission on the Future of Volunteering
  • 2012- present: Non-Executive Director of the BBC
  • 2012- present: Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water
  • 2012 - present: Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge

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