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Honorary Graduand Biographies - Summer 2015

Monday, 13 July 2015

11:00am: Professor Ada Yonath, Hon DSc

3:00pm: Mr Mike Leigh, Hon DLitt

3:00pm: Mr Andrea Hirata Hon DLitt

Professor Ada Yonath: Hon DSc

Nobel Laureate Professor Ada Yonath is Director of the Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structures at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. She earned her doctorate from the Weizmann Institute and she held Postdoctoral Fellowships at Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh and in MIT's Department of Chemistry.

In the 1970s she established the first laboratory for protein crystallography in Israel, which was the only one of its kind in the country for almost a decade.

From 1977-1978 she was a visiting scientist at the University of Chicago and from 1986-2004 she headed a Max Planck Research Unit in Hamburg, Germany.

In 2009 she, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their studies on the structure and function of ribosomes.

Among others, she is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS); the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities; the German Science Academy (Leopoldina); the Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze (Vatican); the European Academy of Sciences and Art; the Korean Academy for Science and Technology; the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO); the Microbiology Academy; the International Academy of Astronautics and the UK Royal Society for Chemistry.

Ada holds honorary doctorates from universities including Oslo, NYU, Mount Sinai, Oxford, Cambridge, Hamburg, Berlin Technical; Patras, Greece; De La Salle University, Manila; Xiamen University, China and most Israeli universities. Her awards include the Israel Prize; Paul Karrer Medal; Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize; Ehrlich Ludwig Medal; Linus Pauling Gold Medal; Anfinsen Prize; Wolf Prize; UNESCO/L'Oreal Award; Albert Einstein World Award for Excellence; DESY pin; KEK distinction; Erice Peace Prize; Florence Cite Medal; Hong Kong Baptist University Indian PM Gold medal; and the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Medal.

Mr Mike Leigh, Hon DLitt

Writer-director Mike Leigh trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and Central Art Schools in London, and at the London Film School, of which he is now the Chairman.

In the Midlands he worked as a resident assistant director at Midlands Art Centre in Birmingham and as an assistant director with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.

His first feature film was Bleak Moments (1971); this was followed by the full-length television films, Hard Labour (1973), Nuts in May (1975), The Kiss of Death (1976), Who's Who (1978), Grown-Ups (1980), Home Sweet Home (1982), Meantime (1983), and Four Days In July (1984).

His other feature films include High Hopes (1988), Life Is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993), Secrets and Lies (1996), Career Girls (1997), Topsy-Turvy (1999), All Or Nothing (2002), Vera Drake

(2004), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Another Year (2010) and Mr. Turner (2014).

Mike has also written and directed more than 20 stage plays. These include Babies Grow Old (1974), Abigail's Party (1977), Ecstasy (1979), Goose-Pimples (1981), Smelling A Rat (1988), Greek Tragedy (1989), It's A Great Big Shame! (1993), Two Thousand Years (2005) and Grief (2011). His films have received over 150 awards or award nominations, including seven Oscar nominations and several Cannes Film Festival nominations and prizes.

He was awarded a BFI Fellowship in 2005, a BAFTA Fellowship in 2015, and in 2005 won BAFTA's David Lean Award for Direction for Vera Drake, and the BAFTA John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing for Mr. Turner (2014).

He won the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film for Secrets and Lies which also won the Boston Society of Film Critics Award in 1996. He was awarded the OBE for services to film in 1993.

Mr Andrea Hirata, Hon DLitt

Andrea Hirata is an acclaimed Indonesian author. He has written novels, poetry and short stories including the internationally acclaimed and best-selling novel The Rainbow Troops.

He was awarded a literary scholarship for the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa, USA. Hirata won New York Book Festival 2013 and Buchawards 2013 awards for The Rainbow Troops and its German version Die Regenbogen Truppe.

The Rainbow Troops has been translated into 341 languages and published in more than 120 countries. lt has also been adapted to audio books, choreography and big screen. The film of the book is the highest grossing in Indonesian film history with an audience of over five million. lt was screened as part of the Berlin International Film Festival 2009 and has won a number of national and international awards.

The Rainbow Troops is inspired by true events. lt tells the story of a tight-knit group of students and their teachers in the very small island of Belitong, Indonesia, fighting for education and dignity, even as they face continual hardship. With millions of copies sold, the book has contributed significantly to the development of Indonesian literature. lt is widely read in Indonesian schools. The book has introduced Belitong Island to the world and created its tourism industry.

Andrea's first short story Dry Season appeared in Washington Square Review Magazine, published by New York University in 2011.

To encourage interest in reading and literature, Hirata has set up Indonesia's first literary museum called Museum Kata Andrea Hirata (Andrea Hirata Words Museum).

He has also collaborated with other international authors such as Matteo Pericoli for his book Windows On The World Project, 50 Writers, 50 Views.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

11:00am: Prof Chan Heng Chee, Hon LLD

11:00am: Prof Anthony Cheetham, Hon DSc

3:00pm: Mr Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Hon DLitt

3:00pm: Professor Richard Schoen, Hon DSc

Professor Chan Heng Chee: Hon LLD

Ambassador Chan Heng Chee is Ambassador-at-Large with the Singapore Foreign Ministry and Singapore's Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.

Ambassador Chan holds a BSocSc (Hons) First Class from the National University of Singapore, an MA from Cornell University and a PhD from the National University of Singapore. She was recently appointed to the International Advisory Group of the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism. She was previously Singapore's Ambassador to the United States and Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations with concurrent accreditation as High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico.

She chairs the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the Singapore University of Technology and Design. She is also Chairman of the National Arts Council and a member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights. She is also on the Board of Trustees of the National University of Singapore and on the Board of Governors of the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.

Ambassador Chan has received numerous awards including the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 1999, the Meritorious Service Medal in 2005 and the Distinguished Service Order in 2011. She was named Singapore's first Woman of the Year in 1991. When Ambassador Chan left Washington, she received the Inaugural Asia Society Outstanding Diplomatic Achievement Award, the Inaugural Foreign Policy Outstanding Diplomatic Achievement Award 2012 and the United States Navy Distinguished Public Service Award.

Professor Anthony Cheetham: Hon DSc

Professor Anthony Cheetham obtained his DPhil at Oxford in 1971 and did postdoctoral work in the Materials Physics Division at Harwell. He joined the Chemistry Faculty at Oxford in 1974, and then moved to the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1991 to become Professor in the Materials Department. In 1992 he took up the Directorship of the new Materials Research Laboratory, which he led for 12 years. He became the Director ofthe newly-created International Center for Materials Research at UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara) in 2004, and then moved to Cambridge in 2007 to become the Goldsmiths' Professor of Materials Science.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (1994), the German Academy of Sciences (leopoldina), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and several other academies. He has received numerous awards for his work in the field of materials chemistry; these include a Chaire Blaise Pascal, Paris (1997-9), the Somiya Award of the IUMRS (with C.N.R. Rao, 2004), the Leverhulme Medal of the Royal Society (2008), the Platinum Medal of the 10M3 (2011), the Nyholm Prize for Inorganic Chemistry (2012), and a Chemical Pioneer Award from the American Institute of Chemists (2014).

He is currently the Treasurer and Vice President of the Royal Society.

Mr Krishnan Guru-Murthy: Hon DLitt

Krishnan Guru-Murthy is a broadcast journalist best known as one of the lead anchors on Channel 4 News, which he has presented since 1998.

Krishnan's first foray into television came in 1988, when, atthe age of 18, he presented the BBC2 youth discussion programme Open to Question before setting off for Oxford University to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He went on to present the children's programme Newsround, before becoming a reporter on current affairs programme Newsnight and helping to launch the BBC News channel. He also presented a Sunday morning politics show on LBC radio and for some years wrote a column for the Metro newspaper. He has appeared on entertainment programmes from 8 out of 10 Cats to Have I Got News for You and played himself in the hit British movie Shaun of the Dead.

Krishnan presents the foreign documentary series Unreported World travelling to some ofthe planet's most far-flung and dangerous places including Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. He has covered six British general elections, interviewed many Prime Ministers around the world and presented a host of special political programmes, live television debates as well as popular and controversial science programmes. He is also Channel 4's commentator for live events such as the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies and the reburial of King Richard Ill.

Professor Richard Schoen: Hon DSc

Professor Richard Schoen received his PhD from Stanford University in 1977. He held positions atthe Courant Institute, UC Berkeley, and UC San Diego, before returning to Stanford as Professor in 1987. He is currently the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Humanities and Sciences. He was Chair ofthe Stanford Mathematics Department from 2001 until 2004.

Professor Schoen works in differential geometry and partial differential equations. His research interests include geometric variational problems and general relativity. In 1983 he was an invited speaker at the International Congress in Warsaw. In 1986 he was a plenary speaker at the International Congress in Berkeley, and in 2010 he was a plenary speaker at the International Congress in Hyderabad, India. He has been the recipient of Sloan and Guggenheim Fellowships and from 1983-1988 he held a MacArthur Fellowship.

In 1989, Professor Schoen was awarded the Bôcher Prize by the American Mathematical Society for his resolution of the Yamabe problem of differential geometry.

Professor Schoen is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He has served on the Board of Governors of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications and on the Fachbeirat of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitation in Golm, Germany. Professor Schoen also serves on several editorial boards.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

11:00am: Mr John Cridland, Hon LLD

3:00pm: Sir Michael Barber, Hon LLD

Mr John Cridland, Hon LLD

John Cridland is Director General of the CBI. He announced in March 2015 his intention to step down from that position after serving five years in the role.

He joined the CBI as a policy adviser in 1982, becoming its youngest ever director in 1991, when he took on its environmental affairs portfolio. He moved to human resources policy in 1995, where he helped negotiate the UK's first national minimum wage and entry into the EU's "social chapter" on employment. He became Deputy Director-General ofthe CBI in 2000.

He served on the Low Pay Commission from its formation in 1997 until 2007. He was Vice- Chair of the National Learning and Skills Council between 2007 and 2010 and spent 10 years on the Low Pay Commission and the Council of the conciliation service, ACAS. He was also a member of the Commission on Environmental Markets and Economic Performance and the Women and Work Commission; Vice-Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council; a Board member of Business in the Community; a UK Commissioner for Employment and Skills and the Commission on Environmental Markets and Economic Performance.

He was educated at Boston Grammar School and has an MA in History from Christ's College Cambridge. He was awarded a CBE for services to business in 2006.

Sir Michael Barber, Hon LLD

Sir Michael Barber is a leading authority on education systems and education reform. For over two decades his research and advisory work has focused on school improvement, standards and performance; system-wide reform; effective implementation; access, success and funding in higher education; and access and quality in schools in developing countries.

He joined Pearson in September 2011 as Chief Education Advisor, leading its worldwide programme of efficacy and research ensuring the impact of the programme on the learner outcomes of Pearson and its customers. He plays a particular role in Pearson's strategy for education in the developing world, and is Chairman of the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund. In addition, he is DfiD's Special Representative on Education in Pakistan. He was previously a Partner at McKinsey & Company and Head of McKinsey's global education practice. He co-authored two major McKinsey education reports: How the world's best performing schools come out on top (2007) and How the world's most improved school systems keep getting better (2010).

He holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Exeter and Wales. He previously served the UK Government as Head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit (from 2001-2005) and as Chief Adviser to the Secretary of State for Education on School Standards (from 1997-2001). Before joining government he was a professor at the Institute of Education at the University of London.

In 2013 Sir Michael published The Good News from Pakistan, with Reform, about the major school reform in Punjab, Pakistan. He is also the author, with Katelyn Donnelly and Saad Rizvi of Oceans of Innovation (2012) and An Avalanche is Coming (2013), which explore the future of education in schools and universities respectively. He has authored several other books including Instruction to Deliver; Deliverology 101; The Learning Game: Arguments for an Education Revolution and The Making of the 1944 Education Act.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

11:00am: Mr Antonio Horta-Osorio, Hon LLD

11:00am: Professor Harald zur Hausen, Hon DSc

3:00pm: Ms Jane Platt, Hon LLD

3:00pm: Mr Roly Keating, Hon DLitt

Mr António Horta-Osorio: Hon LLD

António joined the board of Lloyds Banking Group on 17 January 2011 as an Executive Director and became Group Chief Executive on 1 March 2011. Previously he was the Chief Executive of Santander UK plc and Executive Vice President of Grupo Santander. He was also Chairman of Santander Totta until 2011, where he was CEO between 2000-2006, and prior to that was CEO of Banco Santander Brazil.

He began his career at Citibank Portugal where he was Head of Capital Markets. At the same time, he was an assistant professor at Universidade Católica Portuguesa. He then worked for Goldman Sachs in New York and London. In 1993, he joined Grupo Santander as Chief Executive of Banco Santander de Negócios Portugal. He is a graduate in management and business administration at Universidade Católica Portuguesa, and has an MBA from INSEAD, where he was awarded the Henry Ford II prize. He also has an AMP from Harvard Business School. In 2014 the Government of Portugal awarded him with the Order of Merit Grã-Cruz, which is the highest Order of Civil Merit.

He has served as a non-executive Director to the Court of the Bank of England, and is currently a non-executive of Fundação Champalimaud in Portugal. He serves on the CBI President's Committee and is a Governor of the London Business School. In 2015 he became Chairman of the Wallace Collection in 2015 (a Prime Ministerial appointment). The Wallace Collection is one of Europe's foremost art collections and has been described as the greatest private bequest to the nation in Great Britain.

Professor Harald zur Hausen: Hon DSc

Harald zur Hausen studied Medicine at the Universities of Bonn, Hamburg and Düsseldorf and received his MD in 1960. He worked at the Institute of Microbiology in Düsseldorf, subsequently in the Virus Laboratories of the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia where he was later appointed as Assistant Professor. After three years as a senior scientist at the Institute of Virology of the University of Würzburg, he was appointed in 1972 as Chairman and Professor of Virology at the University of Erlangen, Nürnberg. In 1977 he moved to the University of Freiburg. From 1983 until 2003 he was Scientific Director of the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (German Cancer Research Center) in Heidelberg. He retired from this position in 2003.

He has received national and international awards, including: the Robert Koch Prize; the Charles S. Matt Prize ofthe General Motors Cancer Research Foundation; the Federation of the European Cancer Societies Clinical Research Award; the Paul Ehrlich Ludwig Darmstädter Prize; the Jung Prize, Hamburg; the Charles Rudolphe Brupbacher Prize, Zurich; the Prince Mahidol Award, Bangkok; the Raymond Bourgine Award, Paris; the Coley Award, New York and the Life Science Achievement Award of the American Association for Cancer Research, San Diego. In 2008, he received the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

He is an elected member of various academies including LEOPOLDINA, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Venezuela National Academy of Medicine, American Philosophical Society, Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (USA).

He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and research organisations (EMBO, HUGO), National Academy of Sciences, USA. and an honorary member of a number of biomedical scientific societies. He also holds many special lectures, and has visiting professorships, memberships in editorial boards and is actively involved in the organisation of international meetings.

Ms Jane Platt: Hon LLD

Jane Platt CBE has been Chief Executive of National Savings and Investments (NS&I) since September 2006, a company that looks after over £110bn for 25 million customers. lt is best known for Premium Bonds and in January 2015 successfully launched £10bn of new one- and three-year bonds for those aged 65 and over – the largest UK retail savings product launch in peacetime. Since she became Chief Executive, NS&I has also started to provide services to other parts of government, using its expertise and capability to reduce costs and improve services.

She became a non-executive director of the Financial Conduct Authority in April 2013.

Educated at Birkenhead High School GDST, Jane studied Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at St Catherine's College Oxford. She trained as an investment manager and managed pension funds with Mercury Asset Management before moving to BZW. At BZW she held a number of senior management positions in their asset management division to become Chief Operating Officer and part of the team which created Barclays Global Investors – at the time the largest institutional asset manager in the world. Jane was appointed Chief Executive of Barclays Stockbrokers and Barclays Bank Trust Company before moving to Reuters as President of their global division, Services for Asset Managers. She has acted as a non-executive director of Royal London Group and has experience of being a pension fund trustee.

She is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute for Securities and Investments, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers and has served on the Advisory Board of Women in Banking and Finance. She was awarded a CBE in 2013 for her contribution to UK financial services.

Mr Roly Keating: Hon DLitt

Roly Keating has been Chief Executive of the British Library since September 2012.

He has overseen a series of significant projects, including a historic move to large-scale digital collecting with the implementation of the Non-Print Legal Deposit regulations and the incorporation into the Library of the Public Lending Right service. The Library's newspaper collection has been a significant area of focus, with the transfer of the collection from Colindale to a new state-of the art storage facility at Boston Spa. Another significant area of focus has been the opening of The Newsroom, a new reading room at St Pancras dedicated to news collections across all media formats.

Roly has recently led the development of Living Knowledge, a new vision for the British Library, which maps out major developments leading up to the Library's 50th anniversary in 2023.

He joined the Library after a long and successful career at the BBC, where his roles included Controller of BBC Two, Controller of BBC Four and Director of Archive Content, with editorial oversight of the BBC's online services including BBC iPlayer.

Roly is a member of the Barbican Centre Board and a Trustee of Turner Contemporary in Margate. He chairs the Knowledge Quarter Board, and is a member of the Leadership for Libraries taskforce.

Friday, 17 July 2015

11:00am: Mr Phil Smith, Hon LLD

11:00am: Mr Tony Wheeler, Hon DLitt (Joint degree with Monash University)

3:00pm: Ms Frances O’Grady, LLD

Mr Phil Smith: Hon LLD

Phil Smith is the UK and Ireland Chief Executive of Cisco. Phil has a 30-year track record in the Information and Communications Technology industry. He leads around 5,500 Cisco people in the UK and Ireland.

He is the Chairman of Innovate UK and Chairman of The Tech Partnership. He sits on the board of The Business Disability Forum, the Foundation for Science and Technology (FST) and The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB). He is also the Co-Chair of the Future Technologies and Infrastructure Working Group for the Information Economy Council.

In December 2013, he was hailed as the 5th most influential person in UK IT by Computer Weekly in its UKTech50 awards. In 2012, PhiI was voted Orange Business Leader of the Year in the National Business Awards and ranked number 29 in the Wired 100. In September 2014 he created Cisco's British Innovation Gateway {BIG) programme, as a legacy of London 2012 to spark nationwide ingenuity, ambition and growth through technology entrepreneurship. PhiI is the founder of 'The Leaderboard' – a cross industry team of around 40 UK CEOs who have raised more than £350,000 for Comic Relief and Sport Relief by competing in triathlons. ln August 2014, PhiI represented Team GB in his age group at the Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton, Canada.

Mr Tony Wheeler, Hon DLitt (Joint degree with Monash University)

After studying engineering at Warwick, a spell as an automotive engineer in Coventry and business studies at London Business School were preludes to a trek across Asia on the 'hippie trail' of the early 1970s. That led Tony to write the first Lonely Planet guide.

The New York Times described him as 'the trailblazing patron saint of the world's backpackers and adventure travelers.'

Born in Britain, he grew up in Pakistan, the Bahamas and the USA before returning to the UK to finish school, go to university and eventually end up living in Australia. Since the sale of Lonely Planet Tony has been involved with the Planet Wheeler Foundation's work in South East Asia and East Africa and in the establishment of Melbourne's Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing & Ideas, a key part in the city's status as a UNESCO City of Literature.

Tony is also a director of Global Heritage Fund which works to protect and develop archaeological sites in the developing world. His most recent book, Dark Lands, is a follow up to Bad Lands, his journey along George W Bush's 'Axis of Evil' and to assorted other challenging countries.

He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2014 for 'distinguished service to business and commerce as a publisher of travel guides, and as a benefactor to a range of Australian arts and aid organisations.'

Ms Frances O’Grady, LLD

Frances is the General Secretary of the TUC. She first joined the TUC as Campaigns Officer in 1994, and went on to launch the TUC's Organising Academy in 1997.

Frances headed up the TUC's organisation department in 1999, reorganising local skills projects into "union learn" which now helps a quarter of a million workers into learning every year.

As Deputy General Secretary from 2003, Frances led on the environment, industrial policy, the NHS and winning an agreement covering the 2012 Olympics. She has also served as a member of the Low Pay Commission, the High Pay Centre and the Resolution Foundation's Commission on Living Standards.

Frances was born in Oxford, has two adult children and lives in North London.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

11:00am: Mr Neil Hutchinson, Hon LLD

11:00am: Charlotte Hogg, Hon LLD

3:00pm: Professor James Robinson, Hon LLD

Mr Neil Hutchinson, Hon LLD

Neil Hutchinson is a Warwick graduate (graduating in Management Science from Warwick Business School in 2000 – he was also WBS's Marketing Student of the Year for that year).

He is the founder of NEON Adventures, an investment vehicle with activities in finance, property, lifestyle and philanthropy.

He also continues to support and remains the principal investor in the Forward Internet Group, which he founded in 2004. Forward creates, acquires and invests in web businesses across a variety of industries and territories. Forward's portfolio of over 30 companies is spread across two investment vehicles: Forward Private Equity and Forward Partners.

Forward Private Equity companies include Factory Media – which positions itself as Europe's largest and most innovative action sports media owner – and Forward 3D, which describes itself as 'the fastest growing digital agency in the UK'.

Forward Partners provides investment and operational support to entrepreneurs. The company portfolio includes Appear Here – which aims to revolutionise the way people rent space), Zopa – which claims to be the UK's leading peer-to-peer lending service, and Somo – which markets itself as the largest full-service mobile solutions company in the world.

Neil likes giving back through the Forward Foundation; helping charities and social enterprises to improve young lives. He recently set up the NEON Foundation focused on building transformational products for the educational sector.

Charlotte Hogg, Hon LLD

Charlotte Hogg became the first Chief Operating Officer at the Bank of England in July 2013.

Charlotte read Economics and History at Oxford and was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard. She entered the Bank of England in 1992 as a graduate entrant, but left in 1994 to join McKinsey in Washington where she was a Principal in Financial Services.

In 2001 Charlotte became Managing Director for Strategy and Planning at Morgan Stanley, from which she joined Discover Financial Services – a Morgan Stanley spin-off – where she was responsible for the credit card business. In 2008 she joined Experian as Managing Director UK and Ireland.

She was CEO of Goldfish Bank and then Managing Director of Experian, UK & Ireland. She also served as Head of Retail Distribution and Intermediaries at Santander UK.

She is a member of the Finance Committee of Oxford University Press, a former member of the board of BBC Worldwide, a Governor of Nottingham Trent University and Trustee of First Story Ltd.

Professor James Robinson, Hon LLD

James Robinson is the Wilbur A. Cowett Professor of Government at Harvard University and a faculty associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

He studied economics at the London School of Economics, the University of Warwick and Yale University. He previously taught in the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne, the University of Southern California and, before moving to Harvard, was a Professor in the Departments of Economics and Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley.

His main research interests are in comparative economic and political development, with a focus on the long-run with a particular interest in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently conducting research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and in Colombia, where he has taught for many years during the summer at the University of the Andes in Bogota.

He has authored books including: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty (with Daron Acemoglu, 2012); The Role of the Elites in Economic Development (with Alice Amsden and Alisa DiCaprio, 2012) and History of the Chiefdoms of Sierra Leone (with Tristan Reed), which is about to be published.