Sir Richard Hughes Trainor, KBE, FRHS, FKC, FAcSS (born 31 December 1948), is an academic administrator and historian who served as the Principal of King’s College London from 2004 to 2014. He was previously the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich from 2000 to 2004. He is currently Rector of Exeter College, Oxford.
Trainor was born in the United States. He was awarded an honorary knighthood (KBE) in June 2010 for services to higher education in the United Kingdom. The award was honorary because of his American nationality, but on 31 December 2010 the knighthood was made substantive by Queen Elizabeth II following his assumption of British nationality.
Trainor was educated at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson, Maryland, in the United States. He graduated from Brown University with a BA summa cum laude in American Civilization. He subsequently earned MAs from Princeton University and from Merton College, Oxford, before completing his D.Phil. in 1981 at Nuffield College, Oxford, entitled “Authority and social structure in an industrialized area: A study of three Black Country towns, 1840–1890”. He is a former Rhodes Scholar.
He is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the Athenaeum Club. He is also an Honorary Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, and Trinity College of Music, and a member of the Anglo-American Fulbright Commission.
Trainor is currently the President of the Economic History Society. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Kent (since 2009); the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (since 2012); and the University of Glasgow (since 2014).
He has been Emeritus professor of Social History at King’s College London since 2014, and was a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council from 2006-11. He is an honorary fellow of the Institute of Historical Research.
As a result of his work with King’s College London, the institution established a scholarship in his name, the Professor Sir Richard Trainor Postgraduate Research Scholarship, in 2014.