The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP (1993)
Liz Truss matriculated at Merton in 1993 to read PPE. Whilst at Oxford, she was president of the University’s Liberal Democrat society.
After graduating from Oxford in 1996, Elizabeth worked in the energy and telecommunications industries for ten years, and was then deputy director of the think tank Reform. In 2010, Liz was elected as MP for South West Norfolk.
Two years after entering the House of Commons, in 2012, Liz was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare; from 2014 to 2016 she was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
In July 2016, when Theresa May formed her first administration, Liz was given the justice portfolio, appointed as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor. Liz was the first woman to hold the latter office, if we discount Eleanor of Provence who was Keeper of the Seal in 1253. She then became Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2017. Liz was promoted to Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade in July 2019 – again, the first woman to hold this position. In September that year she was also appointed Minister for Women and Equalities. In September 2021, Liz was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
She is a fiercely proud local MP, "absolutely blown away by the indomitable Norfolk spirit" of her constituents.
Wearing all her government hats, Liz has her work cut out in a post-Brexit Britain and a pandemic-hit global economy. The fact that she agreed to speak at our Merton in the City Association event in June speaks volumes for her, and for her affection for Merton.
Liz was in conversation with her fellow alumna Professor Fiona Murray CBE (1986) at the 2021 Merton in the City event, held on Wednesday 23 June. They discussed the United Kingdom’s place in the world now it is outside the European Union – and specifically how entrepreneurial talents can be put to better effect in developing trade in the coming decades. Our two speakers have a multitude of experience in roles which are highly relevant to the development of UK trade and economic development, which ensured a fascinating exchange of views.