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Leadership and governance


The Chancellor of York St John University is Reeta Chakrabarti.

University Chancellor Reeta Chakrabarti

As Chancellor, Reeta Chakrabarti is the ceremonial head of the University.

Her responsibilities include: acting as chief ambassador, presiding over ceremonial functions and conferring degrees at our graduation ceremonies.

Born in London, the first daughter of an Indian Bengali family, Reeta spent part of her youth in India. From the age of 10, Reeta wanted to become a journalist and went on to read English and French at Exeter College, Oxford, where she made forays into student journalism.

By 1997, Reeta was in front of the camera as the BBC’s community affairs correspondent. Later she served as a correspondent for education and then politics, becoming one of the country’s most trusted broadcasters in the process. Reeta has taken every opportunity to cover issues that matter to her, including the Stephen Lawrence inquest and subsequent public enquiry. Abroad, she has reported on the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and human trafficking in Albania.

Reeta takes her responsibility to give something back very seriously and she has been involved with several charities. She is also a patron of London-based arts company Pan Intercultural Arts, which explores cultural diversity and social change. In 2018, Reeta was made an Honorary Graduate of York St John, receiving a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) for her inspirational work.

Reeta is the University’s second Chancellor, following the 13-year tenure of Dr John Sentamu. On accepting her appointment in 2020, Reeta said: "I'm delighted to be taking up the post of Chancellor at York St John. This is a University that represents everything good about education - equality of opportunity and high aspirations for all."