|Thursday March 05, 2015||Honorary Graduates > Thursday 12 July 2007 morning ceremony|
Thursday 12 July 2007 morning ceremony
Sir Peter was born in Heavitree, Exeter, in 1941 and his first memory is of sitting in a garden near the railway crossing in Topsham. He lived in Exeter in his teens after a childhood spent in Bristol, during which time he spent many summer holidays on his uncle and aunt’s farm outside Alphington.
Like many Devonians he developed a desire to see the world. After taking a degree in French and German at Exeter College, Oxford in 1963, he joined Reuters, first as sub-editor and foreign correspondent and later as a manager, before returning to London in 1991 as Chief Executive, from which post he retired in 2001.
Meantime he added Spanish to his fluent languages and struggles rather less successfully with Japanese. In his later career as an independent company director he was involved in three of the big mergers of the day (Diageo,GlaxoSmithKline and Royal Dutch Shell, where he remains on the Board). He still works in the US software and UK finance industries and in Germany where he is a supervisory board member of Deutsche Bank. He says he has not seen anything more beautiful in his travels than Devon.
Sir Richard served as Chief (known as ‘C’) of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) from August 1999 until his retirement in July 2004. For the preceding five years he was Director of Operations and, from 1998, Assistant Chief. As Director of Finance, Administration and Personnel he also oversaw the move of SIS into its headquarters building at Vauxhall Cross in 1994. He is a career intelligence officer of 38 years standing and has served in Nairobi, Prague, Paris, Geneva and Washington as well as in a number of key London-based posts.
Sir Richard took up the Mastership of Pembroke College Cambridge in October 2004.
He is also a Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, Chairman of the Trustees of the Cambridge Union Society, a trustee of Kent School, Connecticut, Honorary Fellow of Queens’ College Cambridge, a member of the International Advisory Board of AIG, senior adviser to the Monitor Group and Chairman of Ascot Underwriting at Lloyds of London.
He was born and raised in the Cornish fishing village of Goran Haven. He retains a strong interest in things Cornish and owns a house overlooking the Tamar, on the Cornish side of the river. He paints, fly fishes and retains an active interest in rowing, as a coach, occasional sculler and President of Pembroke College Boat Club.
He was educated at Monkton Combe School, Bath, Kent School, Connecticut, USA and Queens’ College, Cambridge.
The University of Exeter, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4QJ
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