Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas
Trained as a lawyer, Dame Judith began her career in 1970 as a lecturer of law at the University of Otago, New Zealand. In 1973 she moved to the UK and joined the University of Southampton. She went on to King’s College, London (1976–89), where she was Sub Dean and Director of the Anglo-French law degree – the first joint degree in Europe.
Dame Judith then held a number of commercial posts focusing on employment law, while at the same time serving as a member of many committees of the Corporation of London. She spent seven years as Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, representing the interests of the financial industry to the UK and European governments. This effectively made Dame Judith the leader of the Corporation of London, the body which governs the financial district. She stepped down from this post in January 2003, but remains as Deputy.
Since 2000 Dame Judith has held the post of City and Business Advisor to the Mayor of London and is currently Vice Chair of the London Development Agency, where she is responsible for the development of both local and international business economies. ‘Parallel to this,’ she says, ‘I am looking at the skills of the people, so that Londoners who are currently unable to get work are sufficiently skilled to be employed.’
Appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2002 for services to the City of London, Dame Judith became Chairman of the Royal Opera House in August 2003 – again the first woman in the role – and currently divides her working week between London and Cambridge.