Dame Joan Kathleen Stringer, DBE, FRSE, FRSA (born 12 May 1948) is a political scientist and former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University.

Stringer attended Portland House High School, Stoke-on-Trent, and Stoke-on-Trent College of Art. She then went to Keele University, where she took a B.A. degree with joint honours in History and Politics and completed a Ph.D degree in Politics in 1986.

From 1980-88, she worked at Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology, Aberdeen as a lecturer in Public Administration, becoming in 1988 the Head of the School of Public Administration and Law, and served as Vice-Principal from 1991-96. In 1996, she was named Principal and Vice-Patron of Queen Margaret College (QMUC) in Edinburgh. Her time at the College saw much expansion, and in 1998, the College was awarded full degree-awarding powers, changing its name in 1999 to Queen Margaret University College (QMUC). From 2001-07, she was convener of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Stringer left Queen Margaret University College in 2003 to be appointed Principal/Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University. the first woman to be leader of a Scottish university.

In 2010-11, Professor Stringer oversaw a programme of redundancies at Edinburgh Napier University which resulted in 89 staff taking voluntary severance and a further anticipated 100 staff being dismissed on the grounds of compulsory redundancy.

Professor Stringer held a number of appointments outside of academia, including Chair of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission Working Group from 1998–1999 and Lay Member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland from 2002–07, and is Chair of Education UK Scotland.

She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2001, and elevated to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours.