Dame Joan Stringer is a British political scientist and former Principal and Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, the first woman to lead a Scottish university. Prior to that she was Principal of Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh and held senior appointments at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. In her academic career she has championed internationalisation in education and is a strong believer in the need to strengthen business/industry and University links. She has held numerous appointments outside academia including Chair of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission Working Group, Commissioner with the Equal Opportunities Commission (Great Britain), member of the Constitutional Steering Group to establish the Scottish Parliament, the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). She is currently pursuing a non-executive career as Chair and Independent Non-Executive Director of a range of private, arts, and not-for-profit organisations. She is also adviser to a a number of organisations on governance and strategy. She has been a member of the Institute of Directors since 1993 and was appointed as a Council member in 2013. She was elected as Senior Independent Council Member in 2015.