Sep 13 2023

In memory of Doris Hermann-Ostrowski

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It is with deep sadness that we are sharing the news that our Language Centre colleague Doris Hermann-Ostrowski passed away unexpectedly on Friday 14 July this year from heart failure at the age of 71.

Doris joined the LSE Language Centre in 2007 and was a highly valued member of the German teaching team. She will be remembered as a very competent and meticulous professional with a passion for teaching who cared deeply about her students. She will be missed by staff and students alike.

Her funeral and cremation took place on 25 August, with family and friends in attendance.

There is a tribute page at

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Sep 7 2023

In memory of Christopher Coker


It is with the greatest sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the death of LSE IDEAS Director, Professor Christopher Coker.

As a Professor of International Relations at LSE for over 40 years, Christopher taught and mentored countless students who remember his unique humour and individuality. Following his retirement in 2019, he continued to serve as the Co-Director of LSE IDEAS, supporting the foundation of the LSE IDEAS Ratiu Forum and establishing many other long-standing partnerships.

Professor Coker was a world-renowned academic who dedicated his life to writing extensively on all aspects of war. He was a twice-serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, a former NATO Fellow and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, the US, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo. He was also a Visiting Fellow at the National Institute for Defence Studies in Tokyo, the Rajaratnam School for International Studies Singapore, the Political Science Department at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and the Norwegian and Swedish Defence Colleges. His publications include Rebooting Clausewitz (Hurst, 2015), Future War (Polity, 2016), and The Rise of the Civilizational State (Polity, 2019). His most recent book was, Why War? (2020).

Co-Director, Professor Chris Alden, commented in memory of Professor Coker, “Christopher’s originality of thought and sparkling intellect shaped a generation of scholars, policymakers and students studying war in our times. All of us at LSE IDEAS were privileged to know and work with him over the years. His presence will be sorely missed.’’

Centre Manager, Dr Emilia Knight, said, “We will miss Professor Christopher Coker immensely. He was a superb colleague and leader at IDEAS, and the kindest person.’’

We would also encourage you to share memories and messages on our dedicated space hereAt this time, we do not have any further information regarding memorial celebrations but as and when these are organised they will be shared here. 

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Aug 3 2023

In memory of Marion Hancock

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An image of Marian HancockWe are very sad to report the recent death of Marion Hancock, who worked at LSE for many years over the last three decades, in various roles across Student Services including in Undergraduate Registry, in Financial Support and in the Student Services Advice and Reception team. She was a key part of the move from Connaught House to the brand new Student Services Centre in 2001, supporting staff and students to settle into the new premises and routines. Her support for LSE students at times of crisis or in difficulty was recognised by so many people across LSE and had many positive outcomes for our students. Her calm and considered advice for staff across the institution was highly valued. Her attention to detail was well known, but this never affected her ability to care.

Marion left LSE a few years ago and was finally able to indulge her life-long passion for gardening in her work in Kent at a local garden centre, after a post in a hospice charity shop. She successfully dealt with pancreatic cancer a couple of years ago and her death in March 2023 at 63 was unexpected.

She is sadly missed by her friends, her family in Wales and by her husband Chris. If anyone would like to pass their condolences to Marion’s family, please contact Patricia Lawrence (

We send our condolences to Chris and Marion’s family and friends.

Posted by: Posted on by LSE Internal Communications

Jul 21 2023

In memory of Nina Keleher


Smiling photo of LSE's Nina KeleherNina Keleher, Programme Manager for LSE, died at home in Canada surrounded by family on Tuesday 11 July 2023. Nina joined LSE in 2014 as a temporary administrator in the IT Training team in the IT Services Division (now DTS). She quickly became invaluable, not just to the team but the wider Division, and was appointed to a permanent role within the year. When the Digital Skills Lab was formed in 2018, Nina played a central role in ensuring the new unit was well organised and smoothly run, and she used her considerable networking talents to establish strong working relationships across the School. During her period of illness, her absence was keenly felt – not just for her outstanding work and initiative, but in her ability to bring everyone together, making old and new staff feel welcome and valued. Nevertheless, she stayed in touch with her colleagues, continuing to remind us all to enjoy life amidst the pressures and challenges of work. Even in the midst of her health challenges, she remained a supportive colleague and friend, demonstrating incredible bravery, compassion, honesty and openness from the moment of her cancer diagnosis through to the day she died.

Colleagues remember Nina as the heart of the team, a friendly face who was generous, warm and kind to all. Nina was also embedded in the life of the School, serving as a Fire Warden, Safe Contact,  member of several award-winning Green Impact teams, and active member of the IMT Games Club. As befits a member of LSE, Nina never stopped learning, studying alternative medicine, natural skin care, data analysis, Tunisian crochet and more in addition to her work commitments. Her curiosity and engagement with all aspects of the world and life, and especially with people, made her a wonderful friend as well as colleague and many of those who worked with her remember fondly their conversations and shared passions – from RuPaul’s Drag Race to the best restaurants in London, green spaces to vexillology. Nina’s ability to connect with others in a genuine and effortless way reflected both her wide range of interests as well as her skill in listening to and caring for those around her. Those who knew her describe her as honest and forthright, funny, engaging, confident, positive, compassionate, a big and wonderful personality, with a zest for life.

There will be a celebration of Nina’s life on the afternoon of Monday, 11 September – further details will be shared closer to the time. Her friends and colleagues outside of LSE are invited to contact in order to be notified of the time and place once confirmed.

A collection for Nina’s nominated charities is available at:

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Jun 28 2023

In memory of Stéphanie Beltrando


It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that we inform you of the death of our colleague and friend, Stéphanie Beltrando. She had been bravely fighting cancer for 8 years.

Stéphanie joined LSE in 2000 and for the next 23 years taught across the range for French language courses at the LSE Language Centre. Before coming to LSE, she studied at the University of Montpellier, The Sorbonne Nouvelle University (Paris), and took a PGCE in French at Greenwich University.

Stéphanie was a valued member of the French team and was Highly Commended again in the 2023 LSE Class Teachers Awards. She was one of the kindest people and will be missed by all.

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Jun 22 2023

In memory of Oscar Delgado-Molero


We are very sad to announce that Oscar Delgado-Molero passed away suddenly on 15 June 2023.

Oscar had worked at the School since 2015, as Housekeeper at Grosvenor House, High Holborn and Rosebery Hall and most recently as part of the team in the Marshall Building.

Oscar was a loving father to his son Francisco ‘Paco’, they loved playing football together.  He also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

He will be missed by one and all.

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Jun 21 2023

In memory of Tony Hough


We are very sad to announce that Tony Hough passed away on 15 June 2023 after a short illness.

Tony joined LSE in July 1989 and worked in the Estates Division as a maintenance technician. He was a reliable member of the team, always happy to help others and assist his colleagues whenever he could.

Tony was a keen walker, having walked most of the South Coast path over the years he also walked the Pennine way and many other paths aross the country.  In more recent years Tony and his mates turned to circular walks, always ending at the pub.

He was also a good photographer and carried his camera with him most of the time. In his spare time, Tony made and played guitars. Once he’d made them he would often give them away – there are a couple of people at LSE that have been given them over the years.

Tony will be sadly missed, and our thoughts are with his family.

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Jun 21 2023

In memory of David Billis (1934-2023)


David Billis was Emeritus Reader in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE). He was an organizational theorist whose work engaged with the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Influenced by Weber, he developed a distinctive approach to organizational analysis across three main dimensions: category (the type of work), level (the vertical dimension within the organizational hierarchy), and authority (the management role) to which he also added a conceptualization of individual capacities.

He began his career at Brunel University, where he wrote Welfare Bureaucracies (1984) and Organisational Design (1987), where he undertook collaborative action research with a range of social welfare agencies. He then went on to develop a theory of ‘work levels’, an approach which was adopted by multinational companies and implemented in over a hundred countries. However, it was his work on voluntary organizations for which he became best known. He joined the School in 1987, bringing an innovative voluntary/nonprofit sector management research and teaching agenda that he had started developing at Brunel.

As founder-director of the LSE’s Centre for Voluntary Organization (later the Centre for Civil Society) in the Department of Social Policy, he established a new MSc in Voluntary Sector Organization, which was the first specialised postgraduate course of its kind. His next book Organising Public and Voluntary Agencies (1993) set out a voluntary sector theory of change, which was influential in assisting organizations with navigating changing policy environments and dealing with the management challenges.

He co-founded the journal Nonprofit Management and Leadership in 1990, and in 1995 was awarded the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). His 2010 book Hybrid Organisations and the Third Sector reflected further evolution of his ideas, and his chapter ‘Towards a theory of hybrid organizations’ was published in Shafritz, Ott and Jang’s Classics of Organisation Theory (2015). David Billis will be remembered by colleagues and students as a kind and approachable teacher, a dedicated scholar, and a passionate advocate for the voluntary sector.

Written by David Lewis

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May 9 2023

In memory of Stephen Hill (1946-2023)

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Black and white photo of Stephen HillStephen Hill, a distinguished and long-standing member of the School, died on the 18 April. He was a member of a rather special and cohesive cohort of gifted Oxford and Cambridge graduates who elected in the late 1960s and early 1970s to enter the LSE to convert to Sociology at a time of its high fashionableness, adding to his Oxford degree in Modern History an MSc. (Sociology) and a PhD on the social organisation of the London dockers, being especially interested in what was known as ‘the Lump’ (i.e., casual work for cash). The subsequent dissertation, The Dockers: Class and Tradition in London, was published in 1976 by Heinemann Educational. 

Stephen Hill’s first academic post was to be in the Sociology Department of Bedford College, then a college of the University of London. He then returned to the LSE, first as a Lecturer in Industrial Relations in 1971 before moving to the Department of Sociology where he rose smoothly through the ranks to become a Professor of Sociology in 1991. He later took on the role of Professor of Management in the fledgling Interdisciplinary Institute of Management in 2001. But he had also embarked on what was something of a parallel career when he became the convenor of the Sociology Department, Pro-Director between 1996 and 2001, and acting Director in 2001, laying a foundation for his final post as the Principal of Royal Holloway, University of London, between 2002 and 2009.  

He was ever a physically restless, energetic and prodigiously industrious man, striding up and down the fells in Borrowdale that adjoined his much-loved family holiday home in Rosthwaite and sailing on the local lakes; and playing a multitude of parts in, say, the LSE Foundation; Southern Universities Management Services, a charitable organisation; the Court of City University; the Council of George’s, University of London; the editorship of the British Journal Sociology; and, after his retirement, Citizens Advice Richmond. And all the while his academic work continued. With Nick Abercrombie (a childhood friend) and Bryan Tuner, he published The Dominant Ideology Thesis in 1980 and, following the success of this book, helped deliver an influential sequel entitled Sovereign Individuals of Capitalism in 1986. Meanwhile his Competition and Control at Work (1981) contributed to the revival of the then moribund field of industrial sociology. Always an enthusiastic collaborator, he worked with another old friend Rod Martin on emerging industrial relations in eastern Europe before embarking on the ESRC funded research that led to Managing to Change? in 2004 and Market, Class, and Employment in 2007. Much of that work was the result of gargantuan effort, the fruits of collaboration with, amongst others, Michael White, Pat McGovern and Colin Mills, colleagues who speak of him with admiration, not only for his scholarship but also for his boundless sources of energy and motivation. Even as a busy Pro-Director, he was always generous with his time, especially with younger colleagues for whom he was frequently a source of wise career advice.  

Stephen Hill was married twice and leaves a son and a daughter, Martin and Anna, who returned from the ends of the earth to organise and attend his funeral in south-west London on the 27 April.  

Tribute written by Paul Rock and Pat McGovern 

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May 3 2023

In memory of Hazel Johnstone MBE (1956-2023)


It is with profound sadness that we remember the life and work of our friend and colleague, Hazel Adams Johnstone MBE, whose sudden death on 14 March 2023 has saddened a wide community of both current members of LSE and its alumni. Many of those people will have known Hazel through her association with LSE which dates from her appointment in 1990 in the Department of Geography and Environment. Early in the 1990s Hazel was actively involved in what was then the Gender Institute. This became the Department of Gender Studies, for which Hazel was Department Manager.

The continuity of Hazel’s connection with the academic study of Gender was such that for generations of staff and students there existed at the heart of the Department an apparently boundless resource of information (academic and otherwise) matched by faultless judgment and competence. The various sources of expertise on which Hazel could draw came from her own undergraduate and postgraduate years (at the University of Hull and LSE) but also from time spent travelling and perhaps most importantly from wide, and constant, reading. To enter Hazel’s various offices was to enter, literally and metaphorically, a world of books.

That love of the written word, most particularly perhaps that of crime and detective fiction, infused Hazel’s professional life with a vitality towards the various issues and projects with which she engaged.  As an active collaborator she worked on the Handbook of Feminist Theory and Detecting the Modern and was always ready to engage creatively with academic work, be it of teachers or students. Those years of dedicated reading enabled her to communicate the real importance, possibility and power of the written word. It is often difficult for any author to assess accurately their own writing; in Hazel there was always a reader who not only valued that form of work but had the ability to assess it. Over the twenty years in which students and staff encountered Hazel there was a person who consistently endorsed the fundamental importance of engaged, rather than instrumental, academic research and publication. Her deep commitment to her role was acknowledged in the 2014 New Year Honours list when she was awarded an MBE for services to Higher Education.

All of these forms of affirmation were accomplished by Hazel with an endless generosity of spirit, warmth towards individuals and encouragement for junior colleagues whether academics or working in administration. It would be a misrepresentation to say that Hazel was not capable of severe, and scathing, judgments of those with whom she passionately disagreed. Such judgments were always expressed with an impressively economical use of the possibilities of contemptuous dismissal. But these unhappy people, expelled from her positive affirmation, were very few and far between and in general existed far beyond her immediate professional life. This allowed Hazel to exist with an endless optimism about the wider academic context in which she worked. In doing so, her example was exemplary in maintaining that essential belief in the vital, irreplaceable, merits of institutions which teach and attempt to understand.

Hazel once said of herself that she was ‘the proud member of the one O-Level and two degrees brigade’. That unorthodox route into the life which she eventually inhabited was an important part of her recognition of the importance of maintaining wider possibilities across all social contexts. Living did not have to follow the same path for everyone, but there were important ways in which collective association could help to ease those paths. In her role as an administrator, at LSE and with the European Journal of Women’s Studies, Hazel’s presence was one which assured others of welcome and assistance.

For her many colleagues, for the hundreds of students who knew her and her close family, Hazel’s death is a sad loss. But it also a loss of an example of how to ‘be’, of how to fulfil every expectation of a given role and at the same time be so much more. As Hazel herself wrote, she made lifelong friends from her earliest days at LSE; that group became ever more extensive.  For these many people those shared regrets at Hazel’s death are accompanied by gratitude at what she was able to contribute.

There will be an LSE Memorial held in Hazel’s honour in The Shaw Library (Old Building) on Thursday 8 June 2023 from 5pm. Please register for the event here if you plan to attend, so that we can plan catering.

Written by Professor Mary Evans

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