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Stephen Cox 1946 - 2024

Stephen Cox 1946 - 2024

  • Date12 March 2024

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Stephen Cox, who served as Royal Holloway, University of London’s Chair of Council from 2011 to 2018, has passed away.


Stephen served as Chair of Council at Royal Holloway for seven years. The College Council is the University’s governing body; responsible for overall strategy and policy-making.

Stephen studied geography at Birmingham University before furthering his studies with both a postgraduate diploma and MA in education. His career began with the British Council, including postings in Poland, at the height of the Cold War, as well as Ghana, London, and the United States.

Stephen’s commitment to global engagement continued during his time as Assistant Secretary at the Royal Society and as Director-General of the Commonwealth Institute, where he championed international collaboration in research and cultural exchange.

In 1997, Stephen was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) for services to the Commonwealth. In the same year, Stephen returned to the Royal Society as Executive Secretary, a role eventually retitled to Executive Director. He worked closely with four presidents over a period of fourteen years.

In addition to his professional achievements, Stephen actively contributed to organisations supporting refugees and education. Following his retirement in 2011, he was selected as Chair of Council at Royal Holloway, providing invaluable leadership and expertise to the University.  

Stephen enjoyed travel, art and architecture and was a keen cricketer, sharing his passion with his children and four grandsons. He passed away on Friday 23 February 2024. 

The University extends its heartfelt condolences to Pauline, Stephen’s wife of 50 years, their family, friends, and Stephen’s colleagues both in the UK and internationally. 

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