Ruth Runciman

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Dame Ruth Runciman DBE (born Ruth Hellman: 9 January 1936) is a former Chair of the UK Mental Health Act Commission.[1]

She served for more than three decades with the Citizens Advice Bureau and made significant contributions to work on drug misuse,[2] for which she was awarded the OBE in 1991, which was later elevated to DBE.[3]

Ruth Runciman was an early trustee of the National AIDS Trust (now known as NAT), and served as its Chair from 2000 to 2006. She was a founder of the Prison Reform Trust in 1981. She was responsible for setting up a full-time Citizens' Advice Bureau in Wormwood Scrubs, the first full-time independent advice agency in any prison. She was also a Trustee of the Pilgrim Trust.[4] The University of Central Lancashire conferred an Honorary Fellowship on Dame Ruth Runciman at an Awards Ceremony in 2000.[5]

She was Chair of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust for more than ten years, retiring at the end of 2013.[6]

Family connections[edit]

Between 1959 and 1962 she was married to Denis Mack Smith, a noted historian of the Italian "Risorgimento".[1] In 1963 she became the wife of British sociologist Garry Runciman: as such she can be styled as Viscountess Runciman of Doxford, a title she does not use. Her son David is a Professor of Politics and a fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge.[7]


  1. ^ a b Runciman of Doxford, Viscountess; Ruth Runciman. Who's Who. A & C Black. 2001. p. 1809.
  2. ^ "Drugs and the Law: 'REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO THE MISUSE OF DRUGS ACT 1971" (PDF). The Police Foundation. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours 1998". The Independent. 12 June 1998.
  4. ^ "Truestees' Report and Accounts" (PDF). The Pilgrim Trust.
  5. ^ "Honorary Fellows 1992-2009 Fellows". The University of Central Lancashire.
  6. ^ "New chair for NHS Foundation Trust who will overlook centres in Milton Keynes". MK Web. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  7. ^ "David Runciman". Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge. Retrieved 10 April 2018.

External links[edit]