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Vice-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement)

Professor Richard Follett

Professor Richard Follett leads the development and delivery of the University’s Global Strategy and has oversight of the University’s global activities, including student recruitment, global experiences for staff and students, establishing and leading the University’s relationships with key global partners, and engaging alumni around the world.

An elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Richard is also Professor of American History and a specialist on the history of African American slavery. Richard joined Exeter in January 2023 from the University of Sussex where he worked for 23 years, latterly as Associate Vice-President (International) and Professor of US History. He is a graduate of the University of Wales, the University of London, and the University of Illinois. He obtained his doctorate from Louisiana State University where he was a Fulbright scholar. 

Richard’s remit is captured in Exeter’s new Global Strategy, which lays out Exeter’s vision to be a truly global institution by extending our presence, reach and impact around the world. It seeks to realise Exeter’s ambitions to be an internationally recognised leader in human health and wellbeing, sustainability, and social justice; to grow our mutually beneficial partnerships; to diversify our international student community; and to provide an inclusive and world-class staff and student experience. In his role Richard works with Exeter’s leading international partners, including University of Queensland, Duke University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Tsinghua University. This year, Exeter also joined the prestigious Worldwide Universities Network.

Richard has lived in Spain, Ireland, the US, and worked in more than 30 countries, including visiting appointments at the Universities of Lagos, Nanjing, Peking and Heidelberg, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He was Chair of Universities UK Africa and Middle East Network from 2020-2023.