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RCOG appoints first Lay Chair of Trustees in its 90 year history

News 4 September 2019

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has appointed Baroness Tessa Blackstone as the first independent chair of its Trustee board.

 Baroness Blackstone has extensive experience across a range of sectors, including higher education, government, health and the arts, including eight years as Chair of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.

She is also Chair of the British Lung Foundation, Chair of the Orbit group housing association and Chair of the Franco-British Council. She is former Master of Birkbeck College, former vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich, and former Chair of the British Library.

Commenting on the appointment, RCOG President Professor Lesley Regan, said: “I am delighted at Baroness Blackstone’s appointment as Chair of the RCOG’s Trustees, in what is a momentous chapter in our history as we celebrate our 90th year and prepare to move to our new headquarters in London Bridge.

“Baroness Blackstone brings a huge wealth of knowledge and experience which will be integral in guiding us to deliver our strategic goals, as well as a passion for improving the health and care of women and girls both in the UK and globally.”

Baroness Blackstone, added: “I look forward to taking up this role and contributing to the governance of this world leading medical College. Working with my fellow trustees, I will try to help the RCOG realise its dual ambitions of becoming the ‘go-to’ place for women’s health in the UK, and a global leader for women’s health and reproductive healthcare.”

Baroness Blackstone will start her four-year term as Chair on Friday 20 September, 2019. Prior to this appointment, the Chair of the Board of Trustees was the RCOG President. As part of recent governance changes to the College, it was felt important to have an independent Lay Chair as well as a President - who is responsible for the clinical leadership of the College.  

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact the RCOG press office on +44 (0)20 7045 6773 or email

About the RCOG

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision.