Rennie Fritchie, Baroness Fritchie

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Irene Tordoff Fritchie, Baroness Fritchie, DBE (née Fennell; born 29 April 1942[1] in Fife, Scotland), known as Rennie Fritchie, is a British civil servant.


Irene Tordoff Fennell, daughter of Mr and Mrs Charles Frederick Fennell, was educated at Ribston Hall Grammar School for Girls in Gloucester and has had a long career specialising in training and development. Now described as a "portfolio" worker, she holds various positions in addition to that of United Kingdom Commissioner for Public Appointments, including President of the Pennell Initiative for Women's Health in Later Life.

In the 1970s, she was one of the first full-time women's training advisers and pioneered the training of staff in the then new Equal Opportunities Commission. Using a German Marshall Fellowship awarded in 1985, she drew lessons from the United States of America for the United Kingdom for programmes to improve the status of women. She has published extensively on these topics and contributes regularly on them to programmes on television and radio. She became Commissioner for Public Appointments in 1999. This appointment was renewed in 2002 and 2005. She became Chairman of Nominet in 2010.


She holds a number of positions outside government. She holds an honorary Professorship in Creative Leadership at York University and is Pro-Chancellor at Southampton University, a Civil Service Commissioner and Vice-Chair of the Stroud and Swindon Building Society. Active in a number of charities, Fritchie has been awarded honorary degrees by a number of academic institutions.

Fritchie is Chair of the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust in Gloucestershire, and in 2012 was appointed as the new chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire.


In 1960 she married Don Jamie Fritchie with whom she had two children, the elder dying in 1991. She was widowed in 1992.[citation needed]


Fritchie became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1996 New Year Honours.[2] On 31 May 2005 she was made a life peer as Baroness Fritchie, of Gloucester in the County of Gloucestershire,[3] and she sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords.


Coat of arms of Rennie Fritchie, Baroness Fritchie
Coronet of a Baroness
Argent three Barrulets fracted and there conjoined to a Chevronel Gules each ensigning a Labrador's Face Sable
On either side a Gloucester Cow Gules the head and legs Sable the horns lower spine tail and underparts Argent in the mouth a Rose also Argent barbed seeded leaved and slipped Or
The Arms take three chevronels from the Arms of the County Council of Gloucestershire and combine these with barrulets as an allusion to the law. The feminine symbol has been used in the Badge where four of them have been conjoined. The roundel of each symbol has then formed the base of a thistle head as an allusion to Scotland.


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2014. Baroness Fritchie, Commissioner for Public Appointments, 1999–2005, 69
  2. ^ "No. 54255". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1995. p. 8.
  3. ^ "No. 57659". The London Gazette. 6 June 2005. p. 7321.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Vacant since 2010
Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire
Succeeded by