Dr Elizabeth Kiss

BA North Carolina BPhil DPhil Oxf
Professorial Fellow and Warden of Rhodes House

Before taking up the Wardenship in 2018, Dr Elizabeth Kiss (pronounced ‘quiche’) (Balliol 1983) served for 12 years as president of Agnes Scott College, Georgia. During her tenure, Agnes Scott broke records for enrolment and retention and was named the second ‘Most Diversified College in America’ by Time and the country’s most successful liberal arts college for graduating low-income students by the US Department of Education. In December 2017, the Chronicle of Higher Education named Elizabeth Kiss on its 2017 list of the most influential people in US higher education. 

From 1997 to 2006 Dr Kiss served as the founding director of Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, building a university-wide interdisciplinary centre focused on promoting moral reflection and commitment in personal, professional, organisational and civic life. Dr Kiss has had a longstanding career in academia; she has taught at Randolph-Macon College (Virginia), Deep Springs College (California) and at Princeton University for eight years. Her academic focus has been on moral and political philosophy and she has published on moral education, human rights, ethnic conflict and nationalism, feminist theory, and transitional justice.

Dr Kiss received her BA in philosophy, magna cum laude, from Davidson College in North Carolina, where she became Davidson’s first female Rhodes Scholar, going on to receive a BPhil (at Balliol) and DPhil in philosophy from the University of Oxford. She has held many leadership roles in local and national organisations, including the Climate Leadership Network, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Women’s College Coalition. She has always remained strongly connected with the Rhodes Community, having mentored Rhodes applicants for over 25 years and serving for 22 years on Rhodes selection committees, including six years as State Secretary in North Carolina.