Media Elements

Notable alumnae

We are proud there are so many GDST alumnae who have gone on to be successful and highly regarded in their fields.

Here are some of them. The list covers many schools and a number of areas of industry and public life, but it is only a small sample and does not feature all of our notable alumnae.

If you would like to know more about notable alumnae from a particular school, or you wish to tell us about someone, please contact us.

Academic and Education

Professor Alyson Bailes (Belvedere) - Visiting Professor on International Affairs at the University of Iceland

Professor Mary Beard (Shrewsbury) - Professor of Classics at Cambridge, and Fellow of Newnham College

Anne Lonsdale CBE (Heathfield) - Former President of New Hall College, Cambridge

Professor Shirley Pearce (Norwich) - Vice Chancellor; Loughborough University

Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern (Bromley) - Former Professor of Social Anthropology at Cambridge, Former Mistress of Girton College





Enid Blyton (Ipswich) - Children's author (d.1968)

Dame AS Byatt (Sheffield) - Author; winner of the Man Booker Prize

Anne Fine OBE (Northampton) - Children's author and former Children's Laureate

Sophie Kinsella (Putney) - Best-selling author

Fay Weldon CBE (South Hampstead) - Author and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University


Emma Bridgewater (Oxford) - Pottery designer – renowned for polka dot designed pottery ware and accessories

Mary Chapman (Sutton) - Former Director General of the Chartered Management Institute; GDST Trustee

Baroness Janet Cohen of Pimlico (South Hampstead) - Former Chairman of BPP Holdings; GDST Associate

Karen Easton (Sutton) - Co-founder of Café Rouge restaurant chain

Penny Hughes (Birkenhead) - Former Head of Coca Cola UK; Trustee of the British Museum; President of the Advertising Association

Beverly Hodson (Blackheath) - Former Managing Director of WH Smith; GDST Associate

Clare and Rebecca Hopkins (Sheffield) - Founders of Balance Me beauty brand, Alumna of the Year nominees



Broadcasting, Media and Journalism

Samira Ahmed (Wimbledon) - Broadcaster and journalist

Konnie Huq (Notting Hill & Ealing) - Former Blue Peter presenter

Becky Mantin (Norwich) - ITV weather reporter

Caroline Raphael (Putney) - Commissioning Editor, Radio 4

Susanna Reid (Croydon) - News presenter and journalist

Kate Riley (Ipswich) - CNN Anchor

Miriam Stoppard OBE (Central Newcastle) - Doctor, author of the Children's Medical Handbook, television presenter and agony aunt

Charlene White (Blackheath) - News presenter and journalist

Film, Television and Theatre

Mary Berry CBE (Royal High, Bath) - Chef; writer and journalist

Olivia Colman (Norwich) - Actress

Melanie Giedroyc (Oxford) - Comedian and presenter

Pippa Harris (Oxford) - Film Producer, Neal Street Productions; production credits include Starter for Ten, Jarhead, and Revolutionary Road

Bettany Hughes (Notting Hill & Ealing) - Historian and broadcaster – TV work includes well-known series such as Seven Ages of Britain, The Spartans and Helen of Troy 


Sandy Powell OBE (Sydenham) - Costume designer; won Oscars in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love, 2005 for The Aviator, and in 2010 for The Young Victoria

Indhu Rubasingham (Nottingham) - Theatre director; productions include The Ramayana at the National Theatre and Yellowman at Hampstead Theatre)

Rosemary Squire OBE (Nottingham) - Co-Founder and Owner of Ambassador Theatre Group and Alumna of the Year nominee.

June Whitfield CBE (Streatham & Clapham) - Actress; most known for roles in Terry and June and Absolutely Fabulous


Judge Frances Kirkham (Heathfield) - Senior Circuit Judge; founder member of the UK Association of Women Judges

Cathryn McGahey (Howell's) - Barrister, Junior Counsel for the Bloody Sunday Enquiry

Sandie Okoro (Putney) - Global General Counsel, Barings Bank

Non-profit and charity

Dr Mary Baker MBE (Bromley) - Former CEO of Parkinson’s Disease Society and President of European Federation of Neurological Associations

Ann Cotton OBE (Howell's) - Founder and President Camfed, Alumna of the Year 2014

Claire Hicks MBE (Brighton and Hove) - Director of Impact Foundation, awarded MBE for services to International Development

Dianne Jeffrey CBE (Sheffield) - Chairman Age UK, Alumna of the Year nominee

Dame Mary Marsh (Birkenhead) - Former CEO of NSPCC, independent non-executive Director of HSBC Bank plc

Politics and Civil Service

Margaret Bryan (Croydon) - British diplomat – first ambassador to Panama and GDST Associate

Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP (Bromley) Labour MP Barking & Dagenham

Baroness Elspeth Howe (Royal High, Bath) - Former Deputy Chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission and former Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Commission. Life Peer in the House of Lords

Baroness Manningham-Buller (Northampton) - Former Director General of MI5 and life-peer

Esther McVey (Belvedere) - Conservative MP for Wirral West, former TV presenter; GDST Associate

Dame Stella Rimington (Nottingham) - First female Director General of MI5


Jacqueline du Pre (Croydon) - World renowned classical cellist (d.1987)

Charlotte Church (Howell's) - Singer

Sian Edwards (Oxford) - Conducter, former Music Director of English National Opera

Elizabeth Watts (Norwich) - Soprano

Sciences and Medicine

Dr Jane Collins (Portsmouth) - Paediatric neurologist; Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital. GDST Trustee

Dr Louise Day (Notting Hill & Ealing) - Senior consultant in Mother and Child Health at Lamb Hospital, Dinajpur. winner of GDST Alumna of the Year Award 2011.

Professor Baroness Ilora Finlay (Wimbledon) - First consultant in palliative medicine in Wales and President of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Dr Patricia Hamilton CBE (Croydon) - Director of Medical Education England

Professor Alison Hodge (Sydenham) - Associate Dean, Engineering and Applied Science at Aston University

Professor Dame Louise Napier Johnson (Wimbledon) - Former Professor of Molecular Biophysics at Oxford and awarded DBE for services to biophysical science


Claire Bennet (Sydenham) - Fencer, winner of GDST Alumna of the Year Award 2012

Sam Davies (Portsmouth) - Yachtswoman (4th in 2009 Vendée Globe)

Sam Eve (Ipswich) - Member of the first all-female team to complete the polar challenge; GDST Associate

Sheila Lerwill (Streatham & Clapham)  - held women's high jump record for 3 years, silver medal at 1952 Helsinki Olympics

Karen Pickering MBE (Brighton and Hove) - Swimmer; Commonwealth gold medallist; Chair of the British Athletes Commission; GDST Associate