Professor Colin Riordan took up the post of President and Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University on 1 September 2012. Previously he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, having been appointed in October 2007. He moved to Essex from Newcastle University, where he had been Pro Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences since August 2005.
Professor Riordan taught English as a foreign language at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in Germany (1982-84) and was Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in German at Swansea University (1986-1998). He became Professor of German at Newcastle University in 1998, where he remained until his move to Essex in 2007.
Professor Riordan is Chair of The Conversation (UK), Vice-Chair of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and a Board member of the Edge Foundation. He is a Fulbright Commissioner and chairs Universities UK’s Outward Student Mobility Advisory Board and the Welsh Higher Education Brussels Board.
Professor Riordan became Chair of the IDP Connect Strategic Advisory Group in March 2021.