List of heads of Hong Kong by education

Below is the list of leaders of Hong Kong by university education. There has been a total of 60 heads, as administrators, governors, and now chief executives. 52 of them ruled under the United Kingdom, 4 for Empire of Japan, and 4 so far for People's Republic of China.

By education, 15 have never attended university or professional training, whilst an additional 15 had gone through military training without ever attended university. Among the 46 university graduates, 12 read at University of Oxford (of which 5 were members of Balliol College, Oxford), 6 went to University of Cambridge, 3 were students at Trinity College, Dublin, 2 studied at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1 each at Yale University, University of Edinburgh, University of Liverpool, University of Michigan, University of Hong Kong, University of Bath, University of Adelaide, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, University College Cork, Queen's University of Ireland, University of the West of England, University of Toronto, University of Groningen, and Harvard University.

A sum of 6 attended a military college, with 3 at Royal Military College, Sandhurst. In addition, 4 were trained as lawyers with 2 at Lincoln's Inn.

List of leaders of the Hong Kong by Education

Administrators, Governors, Chief Executives Title Term of office University Professional Training
Sir Charles Elliot KCB Administrator 1841-1841 Royal Navy
Alexander Robert Johnston FRS Acting Administrator 1841-1842
Lit Gen The Rt Hon Sir Henry Pottinger Bt GCB PC Governor 1841-1843
HE Sir John Francis Davis Bt KCB FRS Administrator 1844-1848 University of Oxford
Lit Gen William Staveley CB Governor 1848-1848 British Army
HE Sir George Bonham Bt KCB Governor 1848-1854
HE Sir John Bowring KCB FRS FRGS Governor 1854-1859 University of Groningen
Lit Col William Caine Administrator 1859-1859 British Army
HE The Rt Hon The Lord Capt Hercules Robinson GCMG PC Governor 1859-1965 Royal Military College, Sandhurst
William Thomas Mercer Administrator 1865-1866
HE Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell Esq KCMG CB Governor 1866-1872 Trinity College, Dublin Lincoln's Inn
Lit Gen Henry Wase Whitfield Governor 1872-1872 British Army
HE Sir Arthur Kennedy GCMG CB Administrator 1872-1877 Trinity College, Dublin British Army
HE John Gardiner Austin CMG Administrator 1877-1877
HE Sir John Pope Hennessy Esq KCMG Governor 1877-1882 University College Cork. Queen's University of Ireland Inner Temple
Malcolm Struan Tonnochy Administrator 1882-1882
Sir William Henry Marsh KCMG Administrator 1882-1883, 1885-1887
HE The Rt Hon Sir George Bowen GCMG PC Governor 1883-1885 University of Oxford (Trinity) Lincoln's Inn
Gen Sir William Gordon Cameron GCB Administrator 1887-1887 British Army
HE Sir William Des Vœux Esq GCMG Governor 1887-1891 University of Oxford (Balliol) University of Toronto
Gen Sir George Digby Barker GCB Administrator 1891-1891 British Army
HE Sir William Robinson GCMG Governor 1891-1898
Maj Gen Sir Wilsone Black KCB Administrator 1898-1898 British Army
HE Sir Henry Arthur Blake GCMG DL JP FRGS FRCI FIoD Governor-General 1898-1903
HE Sir Francis Henry May GCMG JP Governor 1903-1904, 1907, 1907, 1912-1918 Trinity College, Dublin
HE Lit Col The Rt Hon Sir Matthew Nathan GCMG DL PC Governor 1904-1907 Royal Military Academy
HE The Rt Hon The Lord Frederick Lugard GCMG CB DSO PC Governor 1907-1912 Royal Military College, Sandhurst
Sir Claud Severn KBE CMG Administrator 1912-1912, 1925-1925 University of Adelaide, University of Cambridge
HE Sir Reginald Edward Stubbs GCMG Governor 1919-1925 University of Oxford (Corpus Christi)
HE Sir Cecil Clementi GCMG KStJ FRGS Governor 1925-1939 University of Oxford (Magdalen)
HE Sir Thomas Southorn KCMG KBE Administrator 1930-1930, 1935-1935
HE Sir William Peel KCMG KBE Governor 1930-1935 University of Cambridge
Norman Lockhart Smith Administrator 1935-1935, 1937-1937, 1941-1941
HE Sir Andrew Caldecott GCMG CBE KStJ FRAS FRSA Governor 1935-1937 University of Oxford (Exeter)
HE Sir Geoffry Northcote KCMG KStJ Governor 1937-1941 University of Oxford (Balliol)
HE Sir Mark Aitchison Young GCMG Governor 1941-1941, 1946-1947 University of Cambridge
HE Lit Gen Takashi Sakai Administrator 1941-1942 Imperial Japanese Army
HE Vice-Admiral Masaichi Niimi Administrator 1941-1942 Imperial Japanese Army
HE Gen Rensuke Isogai Governor 1942-1944 Army War College (Japan)
HE Gen Hisakazu Tanaka Governor 1945-1945 Army Staff College
HE Sir Franklin Gimson KCMG KStJ Provisional Governor 1945-1945 University of Oxford (Balliol)
Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt GBE KCB Administrator of Military Administration 1945-1946 Britannia Royal Naval College[1]
David Mercer MacDougall Administrator 1947-1947
HE Sir Alexander Grantham GCMG Governor 1947-1957 University of Cambridge Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Imperial Defence College
Edgeworth Beresford David Administrator 1957-1958
HE Sir Robert Black GCMG OBE Governor 1958-1964 University of Edinburgh
Edmund Brinsley Teesdale Administrator 1964-1964
HE Sir David Trench GCMG MC DL Governor 1964-1971 University of Cambridge
Sir Hugh Norman-Walker KCMG OBE KStJ JP Administrator 1971-1971 University of Cambridge
HE The Rt Hon The Lord Murray MacLehose KT GBE KCMG KCVO DL Governor 1971-1982 University of Oxford (Balliol)
Sir Jack Cater KBE JP Acting Governor 1978-1981 University of Bath
Sir Philip Haddon-Cave KBE CMG Administrator 1982-1982
HE Sir Edward Youde GCMG GCVO MBE Governor 1982-1986 School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Sir David Akers-Jones KBE CMG JP Acting Governor 1986-1987 University of Oxford (Brasenose), University of Kent
HE The Rt Hon The Lord David Wilson KT GCMG PC FRSE Governor 1987-1992 University of Oxford (Keble), School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London University of Hong Kong
HE The Rt Hon The Lord Chris Patten CH PC Governor 1992-1997 University of Oxford (Balliol)
Dr The Hon Tung Chee-hwa GBM Chief Executive 1997-2005 University of Liverpool
The Hon Sir Donald Tsang GMB KBE Chief Executive 2005-2012 Harvard University
The Hon Henry Tang GBM GBS JP Acting Chief Executive 2005-2005 Yale University, University of Michigan
Dr The Hon Leung Chun-ying GBM GBS JP Chief Executive 2012-2016 Hong Kong Polytechnic University, University of the West of England


  1. Shea, John (1960). "In memoriam Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt, G.B.E., K.C.B.". Journal of The Royal Central Asian Society. 47 (1): 3–4. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
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