LSE motto

LSE People

Inspirational alumni, staff and students in LSE’s history and on the world stage

LSE alumni and faculty members have been awarded 18 Nobel Prizes in economics, peace and literature. At least 34 past or present prime ministers, presidents and premiers have studied at the School.

Discover more about some of the people who have played important roles in LSE’s history and on the world stage.

Meet the Director

Meet our founders

Black history

Famous alumni

George Soros, business magnate
David Rockefeller, philanthropist
Stelios speaking at D&S 2013 3
Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyJet
Janet Napolitano, former US Secretary of Homeland Security
B R Ambedkar, Indian politician
Cherie Booth, barrister


World leaders


The Rt Hon Errol Walton Barrow (1920-1987) 
BSc (Econ) 1950
Prime minister 1962-1966; 1966-1976; 1986-1987

Mia Mottley (1965-)
LLB 1986
Prime Minister 2018-present


Rt Hon Pierre Trudeau (1919-2000)
Research Fee Student 1947-1948
Prime minister 1968-1979; 1980-1984

The Rt Hon Kim Campbell (1947-)
PhD student 1973
Prime minister June-November 1993

Jacques Parizeau (1930-)
PhD student 1955
Premier of Quebec 1994-1995


Yang Jiechi (1950-)
General Course 1975
Tenth foreign minister of the People's Republic of China April 2007-2013


Dr Pumarejo Alfonso Lopez (1886-1959)
Occasional Registration 1932-1933
President 1934-1938, 1942-1945

Juan Manuel Santos (1951-)
MSc Economics 1975
President 2010-2018


HM Queen Margrethe II (b. 1940)
Occasional student 1965
Queen 1972-


The Hon Dame Eugenia Charles
LLM 1949
Prime minister 1980-1995


The Rt Hon Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara (1920-2004)
Diploma Econ & Social Admin 1962
Prime minister 1970-1992; President 1994-2000


Dr Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972)
PhD (did not complete) 1946 
First president 1960-1966

Hon Dr Hilla Limann (1934-1998)
BSc (Econ)
1960 President 1979-1981

John Atta Mills (b. 1944)
LLM 1967-68
President 2009


George Papandreou (b.1952)
MSc Sociology 1977
Prime minister 2009-

Dr Constantine Simitis (b. 1936)
Research Fee Student 1961-1963
Prime minister 1996-2004


Shri KR Narayanan (1921-2005)
BSc (Econ) 1945-1948
President 1997-2002


Moshe Sharett (1894 -1965)
BSc (Econ) 1924
Prime minister 1953-1955


Professor Romano Prodi (b. 1939)
Research Fee Student 1962-1963
Prime minister 1996-1998; President of the European Commission 1999-2004;
Prime minister 2006-2008


The Rt Hon Michael Manley (1924 -1997)
BSc (Econ) 1949
Prime minister 1972-1980; 1989-1992

The Rt Hon P J Patterson
LLB 1963
Premier 1992-2006


Taro Aso (b.1940)
Occasional Student 1966
Minister for foreign affairs, 2005-07, Prime minister 2008-2009, Deputy Prime Minister 2012-


Jomo Kenyatta (1891-1978)
ADA 1936
First president 1964-1978

Mwai Kibaki (b. 1931)
BSc Economics 1959
President 2002-


Anote Tong (b.1952)
MSc Sea-Use Group 1988
President 2003-


The Hon Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo (1920-2000)
LLB 1948
First president of Mauritius March-June 1992

The Hon Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam (b. 1947)
LLB 1990
Prime minister 1995-2000; 2005-


Sher Bahadur Deuba (b. 1943)
Research Student International Relations 1988-1989
Prime minister 1995-1997; 2001-2003; 2004-2005


Harmodio Arias (1886 -1962)
Occasional Student, 1909-1911
President 1932-1936 


Pedro Gerardo Beltran Espanto (1897-1979)
BSc (Econ) 1918
Prime minister 1959-1961

Beatriz Merino (b.1947)
LLM 1972
Prime minister 2003


Marek Belka (b.1952)
Summer School 1990
Prime minister 2004-05


Goh Keng Swee (b.1918)
BSc Economics 1951; PhD Economics 1956
Minister of finance; Minister of defence; Minister of education; Deputy prime minister 1959-84 

St Lucia

The Rt Hon John Compton (b.1926)
LLB 1952
Premier 1964-1979; Prime minister Feb-Jul 1979 & 1982-1996


Yu Kuo-Hwa (1914-2000)
Composition fee student 1947-1949
Premier 1984-1989

Tsai Ing-wen (b.1956)
PhD Law 1984
Vice-premier 2006-2007
President 2016-


Thanin Kraivichien (b.1927)
LLB 1953
Prime minister 1976-1977


Sylvanus Olympio (1902-1963)
B Commerce 1925
Prime minister 1961-1963


Lord Attlee (1883-1967)
Lecturer in social science and administration, 1912-1923
Prime minister, 1945-1951 

Nobel Prize winners

A total of 18 LSE alumni or staff members have been awarded Nobel Prizes. 

2016: Juan Manuel Santos Calderón,  Nobel Peace Prize

2016: Oliver Hart, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (jointly)

2010: Christopher Pissarides, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (jointly)

2008: Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

2007: Leonid Hurwicz, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (jointly)

2001: George Akerlof, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (jointly)

1999: Robert Mundell, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences  

1998: Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

1991: Ronald Coase, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

1990: Merton Miller, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences

1979: Sir Arthur Lewis, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (jointly)

1977: James Meade, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (jointly)

1974: Friedrich von Hayek, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (jointly)

1972: Sir John Hicks, Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (jointly)

1959: Lord Noel-Baker, Nobel Peace Prize

1950: Ralph Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize

1950: Bertrand Russell, Nobel Prize in Literature

1925: George Bernard Shaw, Nobel Prize in Literature

Read more about our Nobel Prize winners.

Leading women

Women have always played a fundamental role at LSE. One of the School’s founders was a woman, LSE accepted female students from its earliest days and in 1903 awarded its first doctorates to two women (Alice E Murray on the history of commercial and financial relations between England and Ireland and Amy Harrison on the history of factory legislation).

Here are a few of the leading women from the School’s history who have achieved significant ‘firsts’.

Beatrice Webb, a self-taught economist, socialist and reformer, was one of the co-founders of LSE in 1895. She was a pioneer of social research and policy-making, co-authoring books including ‘The History of Trade Unions’ and ‘Industrial Democracy’. One of her most important legacies was her work that called for the reform of the Poor Law system and established the foundation of the modern welfare state.

Edith Abbott was the first American woman to be appointed the dean of a graduate school in the United States. She studied at LSE in the early 1900s and was influenced by Beatrice and Sidney Webb’s work in social reform. She became Dean of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy in 1924.

Ellen Marianne Leonard became the first female President of the LSE Students’ Union in 1907. She obtained a first class in the History Tripos at Girton College, Cambridge in 1888 and was awarded an LSE Research Studentship in 1896. She continued as a research student until 1910.

Lilian Knowles became the first female Professor of Economic History in the country in 1921. As a research student at LSE, she gave lectures on ‘The Referendum’ and subsequently became a Lecturer in Economic History in 1903. She was a keen advocate of equal pay and employment rights.

Enid Rosser Locket was one of the earliest female barristers in England. Having studied at Oxford University and the LSE, from 1921-1927 she was Secretary to the Advisory Committee to the Lord Chancellor. Subsequently she worked as a barrister in the south-eastern circuit and the Central Criminal Court.

Audrey Richards was one of the first social anthropologists to carry out applied research in Africa. She read for the Natural Sciences Tripos at Newnham College, Cambridge in 1918-21 and then took up postgraduate study at LSE. She became a special lecturer in Colonial Studies at LSE from 1944-45 and continued as a Reader from 1946-50.

In 2018 the #LSEWomen initiative highlighted even more women's stories. Meet more LSE Leading Women.