Visiting Fellows

Visiting Fellowships are offered to people of distinction for their outstanding achievements beyond normal academic circles. They include eminent figures in law, politics, culture, the arts and media, business and public service.

They participate in College life by giving talks and lectures, and by interacting with and inspiring our students. They may also conduct their own research in the University of Cambridge during their tenure.


Nimco AliNimco Ali, CEO of the Five Foundation

Nimco Ali is a survivor of female genital mutilation (FGM), a strategist and an author. Born in Somaliland, she grew up in the UK. In 2019, she co-founded The Five Foundation, The Global Partnership To End FGM. She also co-founded Daughters of Eve in 2010, a non-profit organisation that works to protect girls and young women who are at risk from FGM. Nimco’s work has helped to position FGM as a central issue in ending violence against women and girls. Since late 2020 she is also the independent advisor on violence against women and girls for the UK Home Office. 

Nimco’s professional experience has included working for counter-terrorism within the civil service, supporting the rights of girls in the UK as part of Girlguiding UK, and as a current board member for Inspiring Girls. She is also a leading commentator in international media on the rights of girls and women – particularly surrounding FGM and related issues. 

During 2019, Nimco was awarded an OBE for her groundbreaking activism. This adds to her long list of achievements to date. In 2014, Nimco was awarded Red Magazine’s Woman of the Year award, and placed at number six on the Woman’s Hour Power List. Most recently she was named by The Sunday Times as one of Debrett’s 500 most influential people in Britain, as well as one of the Evening Standard’s 1,000 Most Powerful and BBC’s 100 Women. 

Nimco’s book, What We’re Told Not To Talk About (But We’re Going To Anyway), was published by Penguin in June 2019.

Kathleen BrownProfessor Kathleen M Brown, historian

Kathleen Brown is the David Boies Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania where she serves as the lead historian on the Penn and Slavery Project, a student led and student driven research project into the university’s historic complicity in slavery.

Her main areas of expertise are colonial America; women, gender and sexuality; North American race and slavery; the Atlantic world; the history of the body and domestic labor; and comparative gender and race history.

She received her BA from Wesleyan University and her PhD from the University of Wisconsin. Her first book, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (1996) won the American Historical Association’s John Dunning prize for the best book by a junior scholar.

Her second book, Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America (2009) won the Organization of American Historians Lawrence Levine prize in cultural history and the Society for the History of the Early American Republic book prize. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete her current book, Undoing Slavery: Abolitionist Body Politics and the Argument over Humanity (forthcoming, University of Pennsylvania Press).

Gus Gaseley-HayfordDr Gus Casely-Hayford, Director of V&A East

Dr Gus Casely-Hayford is a British museum curator, broadcaster, author, and cultural historian. He is from a noted Ghanaian family – his grandfather was a prominent pan-African politician in the then Gold Coast, his brother was a well-known fashion designer, and his sister is a high-profile lawyer and businessperson.

He did a doctorate in African History at King’s College, London, and has worked in a very wide range of cultural institutions. Until recently, he was the Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC. He has now returned to the UK as Director of the new V&A East.

He has presented an award-winning South Bank show on African art, a documentary on Chris Ofili for Channel 4 and presented several series on African culture for BBC World Service as well as Brit Art: Where to Now? for BBC Four.

He is a Clore Fellow and a Trustee of the National Trust, having previously been a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and a Council member of Tate Britain. He was made OBE in 2018 for services to arts and culture.

Lizzie Collingham. Photo: Terry RoopnaraineDr Lizzie Collingham, author  

Lizzie is a former Research Fellow between 1998 and 2001, during which time she published her first book, Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the Raj, c.1800-1947, which explored how themes of imperialism, race and class found  physical expression and the use of the body as an instrument of rule during the Raj.

Since leaving Jesus she has established her credentials as an independent author, columnist and media commentator. Her publications, which show her mastery of the sweep of global history and her eye for the telling detail, have been highly rated by reviewers and greatly enjoyed by readers. Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors traced the story of the dish from Mughal rule to the modern day, revealing the at times unexpected history of Britain’s relationship with India along the way.

The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food demonstrated how all sides in the conflict used food as a weapon of war. The Hungry Empire: How Britain’s Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World was the recipient of the Food Book Award (2018), conferred by the Guild of Food Writers.

Sharon Dodua Otoo. Photo: Johanna GhebraySharon Dodua Otoo, author and editor

Sharon Dodua Otoo will be Schroeder Writer-in-Residence at Cambridge University for the academic year 2021/2022. Born in London, Sharon studied German and Management at Royal Holloway, University of London, spending two years abroad in Berlin as an exchange student. This experience led her to move permanently to Berlin in 2006. She has published widely, writing essays, short stories and novellas in both English and German. She edits the series Witnessed, an English language book series written by Black authors who have lived in Germany. Sharon’s non-fiction publications cover a wide range of topics concerning culture, diversity, race equality and feminism.

Sharon’s short story Herr Gröttrup sits down won the prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 2016. She has also won awards from the Guntram und Irene Rinke Foundation and Deutscher Literaturfonds.

As an activist, Sharon has been involved with the Initiative for Black People in Germany, serving on its Board of Directors between 2010 and 2013 as well as a number of other groups. Between 2014 and 2017 she worked for RAA Berlin (Regional Centre for Education, Integration and Democracy), a registered non-profit organisation which coordinates and supports participation projects in educational settings as well as providing independent youth welfare services.

Her first novel Adas Raum (Adas Realm) was published in Spring 2021 to critical acclaim.

Monica Feria-TintaMonica Feria-Tinta, barrister

Monica Feria-Tinta is a barrister, a specialist in public international law, practising from Twenty Essex Chambers. Monica acts on cases across the full spectrum of international law, before English, and international courts and tribunals.  She also sits as arbitrator.

Her scholarly work has been cited before the International Court of Justice as in the case of Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America).  She is the author of numerous publications including an upcoming book, Foreign State Immunity and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards in English Courts (OUP), and regularly lectures/speaks on international law worldwide. Prior to the Bar, Monica worked for international tribunals including at the ICJ and acted as Legal Adviser to a State Delegation during the Diplomatic Conference that negotiated the Rome Statute which established the International Criminal Court. She has also served as Assistant Legal Adviser to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.  

Monica holds an LLM (with merit) (LSE) (where she subsequently taught Public International Law), was trained by the ILC in all areas of general international law under a UN Fellowship and was awarded the prestigious Diploma of the Hague Academy in International Law in 2000.  In 2007, she was distinguished with the Gruber Justice Prize, which she received in Washington DC at a ceremony chaired by US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  She has also been the recipient of the Inge Genefke International Award, awarded to her for her work in the area of international law. In 2020, The Lawyer Magazine, named her in its Hot 100 list of stand out lawyers, the most "daring, innovative and creative lawyers" in the United Kingdom for litigation in the area of climate change, and was ‘Barrister of the Year’ finalist at the Lawyers' Awards. Monica is a Bencher at Middle Temple.

Claire Foster-Gilbert. Photo: Grace LaoDr Claire Foster-Gilbert, Director, Westminster Abbey Institute

Claire has worked extensively in public ethics, specialising in medical ethics and environmental ethics. A theologian by background, she emphasises the spiritual dimension of ethics in her writing and lecturing.

Claire was Research Fellow at the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, King’s College, London, then National Policy Adviser to the Church of England on medical ethics and environmental ethics. She founded a charity, the Ethics Academy, and was a lay canon of St Paul’s Cathedral where she co-founded St Paul’s Institute for ethics in finance and business. She is founding Director of Westminster Abbey Institute, which nurtures and revitalises moral and spiritual values in public life and service in the institutions of government that are Westminster Abbey’s neighbours.

Claire’s doctorate is on Julian of Norwich and ecological consciousness.  She has published extensively, including The Ethics of Medical Research on Humans ; Sharing God’s Planet; Integrity in Public Life; and more personally of her cancer diagnosis and treatment Miles to Go Before I Sleep. She is working on a book on Julian of Norwich.

Michael HeinrichProfessor Michael Heinrich, aesthetics researcher and designer, Faculty of Design, Coburg University

Born in Munich, Michael studied stage and costume design at the University Mozarteum, Salzburg, starting his career with the Oscar-winning set designer Rolf Zehetbauer. Subsequently, he designed and planned sets and costumes for over 30 productions of opera and drama throughout Germany and Europe.

After extending his activities into architectural and interior design, he was appointed professor for life at Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Germany. Exploring the theoretical aspects of architectural and design aesthetics, he received his doctorate in Psychological Aesthetics/ Human Biology from renowned psychologist and neuroscientist Ernst Poeppel, Munich University LMU, and has since been working on integrative theoretical concepts for metadisciplinary aesthetics and their application, eg for Fraunhofer Institute Group, the largest research association in Europe. His primary concern is to bring scientific aesthetic insights to architecture and design education and practice, emphasizing health, well-being, and sociocultural coherence.

As spokesman for the Cultural Forum of the European Metropolitan Region of Nuremberg, he is committed to promoting cultural education in northern Bavaria. He is Dean of Studies of the design faculty of his university.

Jason MelladDr Jason Mellad, CEO of Start Codon

Jason Mellad is an enthusiastic and experienced entrepreneur. Originally from Louisiana, he won a Marshall Scholarship to the University of Cambridge, securing a PhD in Medicine in 2009. After a period in bioscience research and business development, he became CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix, a world-leading company extracting information from DNA sequences. He then established Start Codon, the Cambridge-based life sciences venture builder, which invests in and nurtures a wide range of biotech companies.

He is also co-owner of the LAB cocktail bar, a bioscience-themed venue in Regent Street, which plays a surprisingly important role in the Cambridge biotech scene. He is a Business Board Member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.



Andrew MitchellRt Hon Andrew Mitchell, MP for Royal Sutton Coldfield

Andrew is a Jesuan and a former Senior Research Associate at the College. As an undergraduate he read history, and was President of the Cambridge Union in 1978.

Prior to Cambridge Andrew served in the British Army.

Andrew first entered Parliament in 1987, serving first as a Government Whip and then as Minister in the Department of Social Security from 1995-7. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party 1992-93. He lost his seat in the 1997 election, but returned to Parliament as the MP for Sutton Coldfield in 2001.

Andrew served as Secretary of State for International Development between 2010 and 2012, and he has continued to argue for international aid ever since.

Andrew founded Project Umubano in 2007, a social action project in Rwanda and Sierra Leone. He has served as a Senior Research Fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Rising Powers, chairing a termly Sinews of Development public event and helping senior international figures think through Development issues affecting their country. He also takes part in the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime at the College. He is Honorary Professor, School of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham, Member of the Strategy Advisory Committee, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, and a Visiting Fellow, Harvard University.

Sadie MorganProfessor Sadie Morgan, designer

Sadie Morgan is a founding director of Stirling Prize winning architecture practice dRMM, alongside Alex de Rijke and Philip Marsh.

As a design champion Sadie undertakes advisory roles including chairing the Independent Design Panel for High Speed Two and as a commissioner for the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). She has been instrumental in setting up the NIC’s Design Group which places design at the heart of major infrastructure projects.

In 2019, Sadie was appointed as a board member of the UK government’s housing accelerator – Homes England. She recently founded the Quality of Life Foundation – an independent body aimed at raising wellbeing through improvement of the built environment.

Sadie lectures internationally on dRMM and the importance of infrastructure. In 2013 she became the youngest president of the Architectural Association. In 2016 she received an honorary doctorate from London South Bank University and was appointed professor at the University of Westminster.

In 2017, Sadie became a Mayor’s design advocate for the Greater London Authority and was named New Londoner of the Year by the NLA for her work championing design at the highest political level. Most recently she won ‘Female Architectural Leader of the Year’ at the BD awards and an AJ100 Contribution to the Profession award. In the New Year’s Honours 2020 she was awarded an OBE for services to design advocacy in the built environment.

Chi-chi NwanokuChi-chi Nwanoku, musician                                                 

Double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where she is a Professor and Fellow, and with Franco Petracchi in Rome. She has been a Principal bassist, chamber and soloist with many of Europe’s leading orchestras. Chi-chi is Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation, which via its two orchestras and its community engagement work has been instrumental in creating opportunities for talented Black and ethnically diverse musicians through concerts, commissioning new works, championing historical composers, and establishing scholarships with major UK conservatoires.

She devised the ABO/RPS Salomon Prize. In 2012 Barrie Gavin directed a documentary film about Chi-chi’s career, Tales from the Bass Line and in 2018 she featured on BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs. As a broadcaster Chi-chi has presented documentaries for BBC Radio 3 and 4, Scala Radio and Classic FM. TV includes BBC and Sky Arts.

Prizes include Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban Conservatoire Honorary Doctor Chichester University and Open University OBE, Black British Business Awards Person of the Year, ABO Award, Commonwealth Cultural Enterprise Award Women in the Arts, Creative Industries Award Variety Catherine Awards, Top 10 BBC Women in Music Power List. Chi-chi also featured in the powerlist of Britain’s 100 Most Influential Black People in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and also in 100 Great Black Britons.

Carolin Overhoff FerreiraProfessor Carolin Overhoff Ferreira, art historian

Born in Munich, Carolin teaches art history, film and contemporary art from a decolonial perspective at the Federal University of São Paulo, Unifesp. She holds an MA in Art History and a PhD in Theatre Studies from Freie Universität Berlin (1997) and studied at Vienna University, University of Bristol and Humboldt University Berlin. She has taught at Hannover University for Applied Arts and Sciences, Portuguese Catholic University in Porto, Coimbra University, Freie Universität Berlin, the University of São Paulo and Oxford University. Carolin worked as a dramaturge at national theatres in Germany and with fringe groups in Portugal and Brazil. Her theatre project in São Paulo took the creative production process to educational institutions on the city's periphery. For one of the most important Brazilian daily newspapers, Folha de São Paulo, she was a theatre critic from 2013 to 2016.

Carolin’s monographs are Decolonial Introduction to the Theory, History and Criticism of the Arts (2019), Introdução Brasileira à Teoria, História e Crítica das Artes (2019), Cinema Português – Aproximações à sua História e Indisciplinaridade (2014), Identity and Difference – Postcoloniality and Transnationality in Lusophone Films (2012), Diáologs Africanos –Um Continente no Cinema (2012)Neue Tendenzen in der Dramatik Lateinamerikas (1999). She also edited O Cinema Português Através dos Seus Filmes (2007; 2014), Dekalog – On Manoel de Oliveira (2008), Terra em Transe - Ética e Estética no Cinema Português (2012), Manoel de Oliveira – Novas Perspectivas sobre a Sua Obra (2013) and África: um Continente no Cinema (2014).

Her articles on Lusophone (Brazil, PALOP, Portugal), German and Chinese films, as well as on contemporary drama and art have been published in many journals, including Adaptation, Camera Obscura, Forum Modernes Theater, Journal of African Cinemas, Latin American Theatre Review, Modern Drama, Music and the Moving Image, Studies in European Cinema, Third Text and Transnational Cinemas.

Lemn Sissay. Photo: Slater KingLemn Sissay, author and broadcaster

Lemn is Chancellor of University of Manchester, trustee of The Foundling Museum and trustee of The Christmas Dinners – an annual project to provide an amazing Christmas Day for care leavers aged between 18 and 25 - which he started in Manchester in 2013. It has spread across the country to 19 cities and towns on Christmas Day in 2020. Lemn is ambassador for Place2B, a children's mental health charity with over 25 years' experience working with pupils, families and staff in UK schools. He is patron of The National Association for the Teaching of English.

His most recent book, My Name is Why is a number one Sunday Times bestseller.  In 2021, My Name Is Why won The Indie Book Awards non-fiction prize. He co-curated Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020 by the Duchess of Cambridge – also a Sunday Times bestseller. Lemn has judged many literary competitions including The Booker Prize 2020, The Gold Man Booker awards and The National Poetry Competition.

Lemn was also writer in residence from 2006-2012 at The Southbank Centre.  He was the first poet commissioned to write for The Olympics in 2012. The Lemn Sissay PhD scholarship for Care Leavers has been running since 2013 at the University of Huddersfield.  Lemn is artistic adviser to The Manchester International Festival and was Guest Director of Brighton Festival 2020 and 2021. In 2014, Lemn was named MBE for services to literature and in 2021 named OBE for services to Literature and Charity.

Professor Lesley Smith, Medieval intellectual history 

Professor Lesley Smith

Lesley Smith will be a visiting fellow for the Lent term 2022.  After education at a Sunderland comprehensive, Lesley studied at the London School of Economics, Oxford University, and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto.  Her first degree in Government was followed by a Master’s in the History of Political Thought, which led to an interest in how theoretical systems cohabit – and a doctorate in the medieval interpretation of the ten commandments, supervised by Beryl Smalley and R. W. Southern.

Her academic work centres on the medieval Bible as a physical and intellectual object.  This ranges from close technical work with manuscripts of Bibles, biblical commentary, theology and pastoralia, to the exposition of commentary and theology, to investigation of the intellectual milieu of the schools in which the Bible was studied – the people and the products of this early university system, from the twelfth century onwards.  In particular, she explores the two-way link between the manuscript evidence and the intellectual evidence of these early schools – in modern terms, how technology affects what we learn and know, and vice versa.  

In Cambridge, Lesley will be studying manuscripts of the Glossa ordinaria – a multi-volume medieval text which has a claim to be the first European university textbook.

Mary WoodDr Mary Wood, Human Frontier Science Programme fellow

Mary is a Human Frontier Science Programme cross-disciplinary fellow and is returning from two years at the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland to spend the final year of her fellowship in Cambridge. Her research aims to bring sophisticated physical chemistry surface study techniques to the field of biophotovoltaics and related bioelectronics in order to better understand the interactions between photosynthetic bacteria and electrode surfaces. Techniques such as neutron reflectometry and sum frequency generation spectroscopy are combined to build up an overall picture of electron transfer at these interfaces in situ.

As a member of Christians in Science, Mary also has a keen interest in the connections between faith and science.

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