Dame Frances Cairncross is the Chair of Court for Heriot-Watt University. Previously, she was a journalist on The Economist, where she was their award-winning Environment editor between 1989 and 1994. She is also the former Rector (Head) of Exeter College, Oxford University.
Frances formerly chaired Britain’s Economic and Social Research Council. She was also the Management Editor of The Economist until 2004. During her time as environment editor of The Economist, she won the first Reuter’s-Alpe Action Award for her coverage. Frances is the author of numerous books, including two on environmental economics: “Costing the Earth: The Challenge for Governments, the Opportunities for Business”, published in 1991, and “Green Inc: A Guide to Business and the Environment”, published in 1995. In her texts, she examines the challenges and opportunities technology places on corporate structure, the economic and social effects of the global communications revolution, and the relationship between the environment, companies and government policy. Her books have achieved high acclaim and one was shortlisted for the MCA Management Book Award. In 2015 Frances was awarded a DBE for services to Social Sciences.