Role Description for Governors


The LSE Court of Governors is established in the School’s Articles of Association. It deals with some constitutional matters and has influence in the School through pre-decision discussions on key policy issues. It has a maximum of 100 members, the vast majority of whom are lay members.

Governors (members of the Court) are elected on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee of the Court. The Committee has membership comprising student, lay and academic members.

The Court also elects members to the Council (the School’s Board of Directors and Trustees); and lay members of the Council are themselves drawn from the lay membership of the Court. 

Governor Terms of Office

Governors are normally elected for an initial term of five years. They may be re-elected for a further term (of five years or less) on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee.

Key responsibilities of Governors

Governors should be prepared to play an active role in the life of the School (and it is appreciated that this might take a number of different forms).


  • provide the School, the Council and the Director with expert advice, support and encouragement at and between meetings of the Court. 
  • provide the Council (the LSE ‘Board’) and the Director with insight as to how the School is perceived nationally and internationally.
  • provide a network of contacts, information and influence for the School, including in respect of fundraising.
  • draw upon insights and expertise from the diversity of their professional knowledge and interests.
  • serve as members of the Council and School committees and/or as members of other working groups, review bodies, as established from time-to-time.   
  • represent and are ambassadors for LSE. 
  • prepare for, attend and contribute to meetings of the Court of Governors.

Experience and attributes required for governorship

  • Governors do not need to be alumni, but must have great enthusiasm for the School and a passion for social sciences. 
  • Governors should ideally have the flexibility to commit additional time for service on committees or in any other capacity that may be required. For service on committees, expertise in areas such as law, property, finance, audit and IT and communications may be particularly useful, but this is not an exhaustive list.
  • Governors should share and work to School values, in a framework of collegial decision-making and mutual respect.
  • Governors should have good communication skills and the ability to influence.
  • Governors must demonstrate the highest standards of ethical behaviour and personal integrity, and act at all times in accordance with the LSE Ethics Code and the principles of standards in Public Life (the Nolan principles).
  • Applicants or nominees must not have been declared bankrupt or be subject to bankruptcy proceedings since this would make him/ her ineligible to serve as a Governor of the LSE.

Court meetings

The Court meets three times in the course of the academic year (in March, June and December), in the early evening on the LSE campus. A Court away-day is normally held in October/November of each year. Attendance at Court meetings represents a time commitment of approximately 12 hours per year. 

The sorts of issues considered by the Court include: the Strategic Plan; the student experience; quality of teaching; widening participation and fair access;  the financial model and issues of sustainability; international strategy and markets; estate strategy; good campus relations; Advancement and the School’s constitution (Articles of Association).


LSE is committed to upholding and promoting equality and diversity at all levels. As a diverse community with global reach and impact, we welcome applications from non-British nationals based in, or available to travel to, London in the service of the School.

Governors are provided with an induction and access to training and development opportunities.

The role of governor is unpaid and out of pocket expenses are not reimbursed.