**UPDATE 23 November 2021** For reasons of a confidential nature Jennifer Crook will no longer be taking up the appointment of Principal for Regent’s Park College and Regent’s will be resuming their recruitment process.
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Jennifer Crook appointed Principal of Regent's Park College
The Governing Body of Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford is delighted to announce that Jennifer Crook is to become its next Principal, following the recent retirement of the Revd Dr Robert Ellis. She will take up the post in the spring of 2022.
Jennifer is Director of Operations at the House of Commons where she has led a number of high profile campaigns across Parliament and both Houses. A thought leader and expert practitioner in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Jennifer was Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the House of Commons before taking on her current role there and developed leading projects for improving diversity and inclusion in politics in collaboration with a range of partners.
She initiated the now well-established Pathways to Success MPs Programme, building a partnership between the House of Commons, Blavatnik School of Government, Magdalen College Oxford, Lloyds Bank plc and Operation Black Vote to improve the representation in political life of Black and Asian groups, people from socially and economically deprived backgrounds and women. She has mobilised 50 national businesses and charities to pledge support for the Speakers’ BAME Challenge to improve Black and Brown representation at senior levels.
The Rt Revd Dr Keith Riglin, Chair of Governing Body, said, ‘This is an exciting appointment for Regent’s Park College; we look forward to working with Jennifer as Regent’s continues to develop as a centre of education, research, and service which includes our role in Baptist ministerial formation.'
The Revd Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain commented, ‘I am delighted that Jennifer Crook has been appointed as the Principal of Regent’s Park College and look forward to working with her through Baptists Together. She brings a wealth of experience to the role and I am praying with Jennifer and the College as they begin this new chapter and all the potential that it holds.’
Beyond Parliament, Jennifer has led institutions as diverse as London Borough of Brent, the National College for Policing, the Methodist Church, and Anglia Ruskin University through equality, diversity, and inclusion strategic programmes, initiatives and culture change. This included establishing the ground-breaking Building Stronger Communities programme at Brent that has been emulated internationally.
Jennifer has worked very actively with Black and Brown Baptists for the last 12 years. She has been instrumental in building links between the Baptist Union and Parliament and has worked as an adviser to the Racial Justice Advocacy Forum in which the Baptist Union plays a key part.
With a lifelong commitment to education, the role of local communities and issues of justice, Jennifer is an independent assessor for Her Majesty the Queen’s Award for Further and Higher Education and Her Majesty the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.
The role of Principal encompasses a broad portfolio, including the College’s significant role in the formation of Baptists for accredited Ministry within the Baptist Union.
The Revd Andy Hughes, Team Leader for the Ministries Specialist Team said, ‘I welcome Jennifer’s appointment and the ongoing commitment of the College to Baptist ministerial formation. Her expert knowledge and insight into the complex issues of equality, diversity and inclusion will I am sure not only benefit ministerial students at Regent’s Park College but Baptists Together as a movement.’
Elizabeth Crawford, Interim Principal at Regent’s Park College, said, ‘This appointment marks the start of the next chapter in the history of Regent’s Park College, which is eagerly anticipated by the whole College community. We are all looking forward to welcoming Jennifer next year.’