Onora Sylvia O’Neill, Baroness O’Neill of Bengarveis a philosopher and a crossbench member of the House of Lords.
The daughter of Sir Con Douglas Walter O’Neill, she was educated partly in Germany and at St Paul’s Girls’ School, London before studying philosophy, psychology and physiology at Oxford University. She went on to complete a doctorate at Harvard University, with John Rawls as a supervisor. During the 1970s she taught at Barnard College, the women’s college in Columbia University, New York. In 1977 she returned to Britain and took up a post at the University of Essex; she was Professor of Philosophy there when she became Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge in 1992.
She is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, a former President of the British Academy 1988-1989 and chaired the Nuffield Foundation 1998-2010. In 2003, she was the founding President of the British Philosophical Association (BPA). Until October 2006, she was the Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, and she currently chairs the Equality and Human Rights Commission.