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Dame Dr Katherine Grainger PhD was inaugurated as the fourth Chancellor of Oxford Brookes in March 2015 and stood down from her role in June 2020.
Katherine is best known for her sporting achievements in rowing. In August 2016 she won a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics alongside Vicky Thornley in the women's double sculls. This, alongside her gold from London 2012 and silver medals from Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, as well as six world championships titles, makes her Britain’s most decorated female Olympic athlete and the first British woman to win medals at five successive games.
Katherine was made a Dame for services to rowing and charity in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list. Previously she was awarded a CBE for services to rowing in 2013.
Katherine follows in the tradition of Brookes Chancellors by being passionate about human rights and in particular those of offenders. In May 2013 she completed a PhD at King’s College London, which focussed on the implications of whole-life prison sentences. It examined the tensions which arise for the criminal law in dealing with the mentally abnormal offender, with particular reference to psychopathy.
In 2014 the University awarded Katherine with an honorary degree.
She is a dedicated supporter of the Oxford Brookes Social Entrepreneur Awards and has sat on judging panels supporting a number of inspirational projects which benefit society.
In June 2017 Katherine won the Thomas Keller Medal for an Outstanding Career in Rowing. The Thomas Keller Medal is the highest distinction in rowing, recognising an exceptional international rowing career as well as exemplary sportsmanship.
From July 2017 Katherine took on the role of Chair of UK Sport for a term of four years.