Appointed: 1 September 2010
Baroness Blackstone became Chair at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2009. She is also a trustee of the Royal Opera House. From 1 February 2013, she will be Chair of Orbit Housing Group. She stepped down as Vice Chancellor of the University of Greenwich in September 2011.
Tessa Blackstone was educated at Ware Grammar School for Girls and 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, and 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) with responsibility for the arts, the heritage, museums, galleries and libraries. In 2001, she was appointed to the Privy Council.
Her many publications include ‘Race Relations in Britain’ with Bhikhu Parekh and Peter Saunders (Routledge, 1997), ‘Inside the Think Tank’ with William Plowden (Heinemann 1988) and ‘Disadvantage and Education’ with Jo Mortimore (Heinemann, 1982). In the national media, she has broadcast and written extensively.