A graduate of Brown University, Professor Sir Rick Trainor, who was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, completed a second undergraduate degree at Merton College (of which he is an Honorary Fellow), was a research student at Nuffield College, a junior research fellow at Wolfson College, and a lecturer at Balliol College and took his doctorate in Victorian social history.
Born and raised in the US, Sir Rick’s career as a historian and academic leader has taken place in the UK, of which he is now a dual citizen. In 1979 he became a lecturer in the Department of Economic History at the University of Glasgow where he later became Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and then Vice Principal. At Glasgow he taught the economic and social history of modern Britain and continental Europe and published on the social history of British elites, especially on the origins and impact of the leaders of industrial towns and cities.
In 2000 he became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich, and four years later was appointed Principal and Professor of Social History at King’s College London. Between 2007 and 2009 Sir Rick was also President of Universities UK, the representative organisation for the heads of all UK universities. He remains active in research and is President of the leading learned society in his field, the Economic History Society.