Patrick French was appointed as the inaugural Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences in 2017. He is also Professor for the Public Understanding of the Humanities, advocating for their importance in a well-rounded, modern education. Dr French is an award-winning historian and biographer, and has a PhD in South Asian Studies and an MA in English Literature, both from Edinburgh University. His books include Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer; Liberty or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division; Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land; The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul; and India: A Portrait. He is presently researching the official biography of the Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing. Dr French’s books have won prizes including the Royal Society of Literature WH Heinemann Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Hawthornden Prize and the US National Book Critics Circle Award. He is a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, and in 2018 was the Derek Brewer Visiting Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.