Date of release: Thursday, December 3, 2015

The university's Chancellor, Baroness Scotland, has become the first British citizen to be elected secretary-general of the Commonwealth in its 66-year history.

Her election was announced at the leaders' summit of 53 Commonwealth nations in Malta this week. Baroness Scotland will start in her new role next year, in what is considered one of the world's top diplomatic jobs. Prime Minster David Cameron said she was "the right person" to promote "human rights, democracy and the rule of law".

A specialist in family and children's law, Baroness Scotland has had a remarkable career, culminating in her holding office as the nation's most senior legal figure. She was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1991 at the age of 35, making history by being the first ever black woman to hold this position, and went on to achieve a number of other firsts, including being the first woman to be appointed Attorney General.

Currently Britain's trade envoy to South Africa, she was recently included in the BBC's 2015 'Top 100' list of the world's most inspirational women, which acknowledged her work as the founder of the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence.

Earlier this year Baroness Scotland launched the university's Legal Advice Centre. Run by staff and students from the University of Greenwich's School of Law, the centre serves the local community by offering free advice in areas including employment and family law. 

In her position as Chancellor, she also presides at graduation ceremonies and acts as an ambassador for the university.

Story by Public Relations