Carole Souter CBE

carole souter




Master of St Cross College, Oxford 


Carole Souter is Master of St Cross College, Oxford, a graduate College with nearly 600 students, 70% of whom come from outside the UK. 

She was Chief Executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund from 2003-2016, overseeing the distribution of over £400m a year to projects making a lasting difference to people and heritage across the UK. 

She began her career in the civil service and has more than 20 years’ experience of policy formulation and operational management in the Departments of Health, Social Security and the Cabinet Office. She has always been actively engaged in the charitable sector and is currently a Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces; the Horniman Museum, Oxford Preservation Trust and the London Emergencies Trust. She is also a Lay Canon of Salisbury Cathedral. 

Carole has a BA in PPE from Jesus College, Oxford, an MA in Victorian Studies from the University of London and is a Fellow of the RSA, the Society of Antiquaries, and a member of the Academy of Urbanism. She is an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, and was awarded the CBE in 2011 for services to conservation. Carole is married with two adult children and is a heritage and culture enthusiast and a keen gardener. 

A woman who has inspired me

My inspirational woman is Octavia Hill: fighter for poor working families and for their right to decent accommodation, fresh air, and access to beauty. Talking about the need for people to have space, she wrote: “I think we want four things. Places to sit in, places to play in, places to stroll in, and places to spend a day in.” - Octavia Hill: Homes of the London Poor 1883.

My words to share with others

Be generous with your praise and your time, and accept both from others.

My proudest achievement

Trusteeship – with many different organisations. The commitment and power of volunteers never fails to amaze.

My thoughts on feminism and women’s suffrage

It should be how we live our lives that matters – not an accident of birth.