Prof Theo Farrell

Vice-Chancellor and President La Trobe University

Professor Theo Farrell commenced as Vice-Chancellor and President of La Trobe University in February 2024. He brings a deep commitment to advancing academic excellence, building inclusive communities, forging external partnerships, and leading transformative change.

Prior to joining La Trobe, Professor Farrell held a number of leadership roles including Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Students), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), and Executive Dean of Law, Humanities and the Arts, all at the University of Wollongong, and Dean of Arts and Social Sciences at City, University of London. From 2006 to 2016, he held a chair in online learning at King’s College London. At UOW, City and King’s, Professor Farrell led numerous initiatives to develop research capacities, innovate learning and teaching, and enhance student experience.

Professor Farrell has held ten UK research council awards. His most recent book, Unwinnable: Britain’s War in Afghanistan (Vintage 2021), was shortlisted for three national book awards and selected book of the year by The Sunday Times. Professor Farrell is a champion of real-world impact from academic research. A leading expert on the conflict in Afghanistan, he acted as strategic advisor to the UK government and the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, and participated in track II talks with the Taliban.

Professor Farrell is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK), Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales, Visi􀆟ng Professor at King’s College London, and past President of the British International Studies Association.