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Celebrating 35 Year of Keble Women

Rosie Dawson  1979  Theology

Rosie DawsonRosie Dawson came to Keble to read Theology in 1979 because she liked the subject.  At Keble she fell in love with it, and on a good day it can still get her going like nothing else. In 1982 she became the first woman to graduate with a First class degree from  the college.  After a year teaching and travelling in India, she worked as a community worker in a project funded by the Church of England (more Theology.)

A vague ambition to go into radio became bloody-minded resolve when she was told that she would never broadcast because of a thlight lithp.

She trained in journalism and reported for BBC Radio and Television news for five years in Liverpool and Leeds.  She joined the Religion and Ethics department in 1994, working first as a producer in television then in radio. She is a regular producer on Radio 4’s discussion programme, “Beyond Belief.”  She enjoys making documentaries best of all.  Rosie is married to Vincent and they have eleven year old twin daughters. She has never wanted to be a priest.

Polly Gibb OBE  1984  Biology

Polly GibbPolly is the Director of Women in Rural Enterprise (WIRE) and the only female Keble Old Member ever to have featured in the New Year’s Honours List.

It was a conversation with one of her lecturers here that led to Polly’s first job – on a remote agroforestry research station in Uttar Pradesh, India. From there she moved on to the African continent, working on various agricultural and rural development projects, latterly in enabling rural women to generate cash through entrepreneurial activity.

When she returned to England, she worked for environmental charities and ran her own rural business, prior to the inception of WiRE back in 1998.

Since then it has grown from an academic research project based in Shropshire to a national membership organisation, widely recognised as a dynamic and transformational force within the economy of rural areas and giving women in the remotest parts of the world the opportunity to set up in business.

Polly was part of the WiRE team which won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for contribution to enterprise in 2005 and became director of WiRE in 2009. In 2013 Polly was awarded an OBE for services to rural enterprise and was named as one of 10 Heroes of the Countryside by HRH Prince Charles.

Whilst at Keble she earned a Blue for athletics and cross-country. She has four children and lives near Telford, Shropshire.

Delia Bushell (Parry)  1991  History

Delia BushellDelia Bushell is Managing Director, BT TV and Sport. Delia joined BT in July 2014 from Sky Italia after 14 years with BSkyB and Sky Italia,and oversaw BSkyB’s transition into a triple play operator in the UK.  Earlier in her career, Delia spent three years as Director of Commercial Affairs for Sky Networks. In this role she directed commercial activity around Sky One, ran the Travel & Music channels and defined the strategy and launch plans for Sky’s Freeview channels. Delia has responsibility for both BT TV and BT Sport and is setting the long term strategy for both services. She oversees the BT TV platform and the BT Sport channels, including the development and acquisition of content and premium rights.

Delia is 42 years old and married, with three daughters. She has an MA in History and a MPhil in International Relations, both from the Oxford University. Her enthusiasm for sport was clear during her time at Keble; she was Cox for the Women’s First VIII, tennis captain and a keen netballer and cricketer.

Kate Varah (Booth)  1994   Theology

Kate VarahKate read Theology at Keble College (1994), followed by two years at the College of Law before undertaking a training contract with city law firm Linklaters.  She qualified as a Solicitor Advocate with a specialism in employment law, and four years in worked a dual role as Community Investment Manager/Employment Associate. In 2006, she moved to work as Business Development Director at inclusive theatre company Chickenshed, and followed this by consulting for arts and charitable organisations. Kate joined The Old Vic as Business Director in 2009, and is now Chief Operating Officer and a Director of The Old Vic Theatre Company. She sits on the Executive team, supporting CEO Sally Greene and Artistic Director Kevin Spacey as the theatre enters its 11th season as a producing house under Kevin’s tenure and prepares for the incoming of the new Artistic Director, Matthew Warchus, in September 2015. In addition to her work at The Old Vic (which is a registered charity), Kate is co-founder and a Trustee of The Michael Varah Memorial Fund, a registered charity working with vulnerable and marginalised people and offenders to reduce crime, is a Trustee of Chickenshed, an inclusive theatre company and charity based in North London, and Deputy Church Warden of St Luke’s, Chelsea. Kate is married and has three (active) boys.

Lis BatesLis Bates  2000 Classics

Bristol-based Lis is Head of Research and Evaluation at Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse.  After leaving Keble, she joined the Home Office and advised on both the Home Affairs and Education Select Committees and in 2012 was appointed Head of Parliamentary reform Policy in the Cabinet Office. She is studying for her PhD at Bristol.

Professor Dame Averil Cameron – former Warden, Keble College 1994-2010

Averil CameronAveril Cameron came from holding a chair at King’s College London to become Warden of Keble in 1994, as one of the first three women to be elected heads of former men’s colleges. While Warden she chaired the Conference of Colleges and other committees, and was also a Pro-Vice-Chancellor and a member of the University Council. But she also kept up her academic work and had a number of very good doctoral students, most of whom were also Keble graduate students. She retired as Warden in 2010 and lives in Oxford and London. She is an active writer and speaker, and this year she publishedByzantine Matters (with a book launch in Oxford) andDialoguing in Late Antiquity. She is an Honorary Fellow of Keble.

Zain Asher  2001  Modern Languages

Zain AsherZain Asher is an anchor and correspondent for CNN International, based at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta. Previously, she was based in New York as a business correspondent for CNN and CNN Money, where she appeared across platforms covering the U.S. economy. Zain frequently reported from the New York Stock Exchange, covering Twitter's highly publicized IPO, U.S Federal Reserve monetary policy, the government shutdown, debt ceiling debacle of 2013 and various national stories including the Boston Marathon bombings and President Obama’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. She has interviewed several heads of state and CEOs. In 2014, she was part of a team of reporters sent to Nigeria to cover the Boko Haram kidnappings of more than 200 schoolgirls. She has hosted panel discussions at the United Nations, London Business School, UBS and was recently selected to host a TEDx talk in London. Before CNN she worked at MONEY magazine where she covered careers and investing. Prior to joining MONEY, Zain spent two years as a television reporter covering the local economy, political and cultural issues for News 12 in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Connecticut. Born and raised in London, after leaving Keble she went Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where she focused on business and financial news. She has lived and worked in Mexico, France and Nigeria and is fluent in French, Spanish and Ibo (her native Nigerian dialect).

Anne-Marie Imafidon 2006 MMathCompSci Maths & Comp Science

Anne-Marie ImafidonAnne-Marie has always been interested in business, Maths and technology. Her rather unique set of achievements include passing two GCSEs aged ten (Mathematics & ICT), holding the current world record for the youngest girl ever to pass A-level computing (aged 11), being named on Evening Standard’s recent list of ’25 under 25s’ & a Guardian ‘Top 10 women in tech you need to know’ and being one of the youngest to be awarded a Masters’ degree in Mathematics and Computer Science by the University of Oxford, aged 20. She was also named the UK IT Industry & British Computer Society’s Young IT Professional of the Year in 2013, Red Magazine’s ‘Woman to Watch’ 2014, the 2014 FDM Everywoman in Technology ‘Rising Star’ and won a Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister in October 2014.

She has worked at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers but most recently Anne-Marie has set up the Stemettes project – a bid to inspire the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics roles via a series of panel events, hackathons and exhibitions.