Appointed: 1 September 2010
Re-appointed: 1 September 2014
Baroness Blackstone became Chair at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2009 and The British Library in 2010. Since 2013 she has also chaired Orbit Housing Group and the British section of the Franco British Council. She stepped down as Vice Chancellor of the University of Greenwich in September 2011 and trustee of the Royal Opera House in June 2014.
Tessa Blackstone studied at the London School of Economics (LSE) where she went on to take her doctorate. Her academic career began as a lecturer in social administration at LSE. Later, she became Professor of Educational Administration at the University of London Institute of Education. Tessa Blackstone was Deputy Education Officer of the Inner London Education Authority (1983-86) and Master of Birkbeck College (1987-97). She has also held research fellowships at the Centre for Studies in Social Policy and the Policy Studies Institute and worked as a policy adviser in the Cabinet Office in the 1970s. She has served as chair of the Ballet Board of the Royal Opera House, the Fabian Society, the Institute for Public Policy Research, the BBC's General Advisory Council and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Trust. She has been on the governing bodies of numerous other organisations, as well as on company boards.
In 1987, Tessa Blackstone was awarded a life peerage. She sits on the Labour benches in the Lords. She was Opposition spokeswoman for Education and Science (1988-92), for Treasury matters (1990-91), for Trade and Industry (1992-97), and principal Opposition spokeswoman for foreign affairs (1992-97). After Labour came into power in 1997, she was Minister of State for Education and Employment (1997-2001) and Arts Minister (2001-03). In 2001, she was appointed to the Privy Council.
She has published widely in academic journals, and written a number of books mainly on social and educational policy.