Challenges of Government 2019 Speakers

The 2019 Challenges of Government Conference features activists, thinkers, politicians, researchers and practitioners from every continent - from bestselling authors to young government ministers.

Please note: This list is subject to change. Biographies have been edited for length and clarity.

Speaker Biographies

Janar Akaev
Janar Akaev

Janar Akaev was elected to Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament (Joģorku Keńesh) when he was 28 years
old. Previously, he had been an investigative journalist in the country and served as the presidential press secretary. He grew up in the high mountain village of Alay in thePamir mountains, and graduated from Osh State University’s Department of Journalism in 2009. He then went on to work for the Kyrgyz-language service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), first as a radio contributor and later as host of the network’s popular youth television show ‘Azattyk+’.

He also worked as a journalist in Prague. His priorities in Parliament are fighting against corruption and the abuse of power.

@janarakaev

Rafat Ali Al-Akhali
Rafat Ali Al-Akhali

Rafat Ali Al-Akhali is a Fellow of Practice (Strategic Projects) at the Blavatnik School of Government, and previously served as Minister of Youth and Sports in the Government of Yemen. He is an alumnus of the Blavatnik School’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree.

From 2017 to 2018, Rafat managed the LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development. From 2018 to 2019, he led the secretariat of Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development.

Before becoming a minister in Yemen, Rafat led the policy reforms team at the Executive Bureau for Acceleration of Aid Absorption and Support for Policy Reforms. In this position, he led the planning and implementation of key reforms in the areas of fuel subsidies, the power sector and the civil service.

In addition to his professional career, Rafat has been active in the field of youth development and youth political inclusion since 2004. He is the co-founder and chairman of Resonate! Yemen, a leading non-profit foundation that specialises in engaging youth in public policy in Yemen. He sits on the board of advisors of Rowad Entrepreneurship Foundation in Yemen, and is a trustee of Silatech Qatar, the leading foundation working on tackling youth unemployment in the Arab world.

@ymnraf

Batool Asadi
Batool Asadi

Batool Asadi is the first female Assistant Commissioner in Quetta, Balochistan, the least developed province of Pakistan. She was educated at Federal Government School, taking intermediate level qualifications from Bahria College before graduating with a Master’s degree in English Literature from

Sardar Bahadur Khan University in Quetta. She qualified for competitive exams at the Central Superior Service (civil service) in 2012 and was top in Balochistan. She was then inducted into the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS). After this training she joined the Government of Balochistan as the first female Assistant Commissioner in Quetta. She has faced challenges including gender bias, but her work with different stakeholders for youth and female empowerment motivate her to continue.

Nick Allardice
Nick Allardice

Nick Allardice is Chief Product Officer at Change.org, the world’s largest dedicated online platform for people power and social change, used by 100m people every month.

Nick has more than a decade’s experience as a leader and founder in political campaigning, online mobilisation and civic engagement. Nick previously headed Change.org’s global campaigns team, and also Change.org’s international growth into 18 markets across Europe, Asia and South America.

Prior to Change.org he founded Live Below the Line, an international online campaign that has raised $20m+ for fighting extreme poverty. He held leadership roles at Make Poverty History, The Oaktree Foundation, and OzGREEN, and is a founding board director of the campaigning Non Profit PL+US (Paid Family Leave for the United States).

@nickallardice

Josh Babarinde
Josh Babarinde

Josh Babarinde is Founder and CEO of Cracked It, London’s social enterprise smartphone repair service, staffed by young ex-offenders. Cracked It was named Social Enterprise of the Year in 2019 by the Evening Standard as well as in 2018 by the Centre for Social Justice. The Standard named Cracked It one of ‘London’s best iPhone fixers.’

Josh was featured on the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List 2019 in the Social Entrepreneurs category. He is one of the youngest ever alumni in its 70-year history of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Programme, whose graduates also include 337 current or serving heads of government and state.

@JoshBabarinde

Yemi Babington-Ashaye
Yemi Babington-Ashaye

Yemi Babington-Ashaye is President of United People Global, a community that encourages and enables people to make the world a better place. He is a former Director at the World Economic Forum (WEF), where he diversified the organisation’s Africa operations and created a pan-African community of leaders interacting on the global agenda. He also helped international stakeholders
to have impact in Africa. On behalf of the founder, Yemi created the WEF’s Global Shapers Community, developing and executing strategy to empower youth by building the Global Shapers Community to over 450 cities in 170+ countries. He founded the ‘Shapers Survey’, one of the largest global youth surveys, as a vehicle to strengthen the voice of young people everywhere.

As Technical Adviser for Economic Growth to the Nigerian Finance Minister, Yemi was responsible for the structure and content of the Minister’s regular State of the Economy briefings as well as overseeing fiscal initiatives and activitie to drive national competitiveness. He was a member of the Financial Management Programme at General Electric. He is an economist (Harvard University and Richmond University); a management scientist (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and a chartered accountant (ACCA). He is passionate about empowering people and he collaborates regularly with corporations, governments, non-profit organisations and individual leaders

@yemibabington

Eric Beinhocker
Eric Beinhocker

Eric Beinhocker is a Professor of Practice (Public Policy) at the Blavatnik School of Government. He is also the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) at the University of Oxford’s Oxford Martin School. INET Oxford is a research centre devoted to applying leading-edge interdisciplinary approaches to economic theory and public policy practice, and INET Oxford researchers are working on issues ranging from financial system stability, to innovation and growth, economic inequality, and environmental sustainability.

Eric is also an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute a Visiting Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Central European University in Budapest. Prior to joining Oxford, Eric had an 18-year career at McKinsey & Company where he was a partner and held leadership roles in McKinsey’s strategy practice, its climate change and sustainability practice, and the McKinsey Global Institute. Eric writes frequently on economic, business and public policy issues and his work has appeared in the Financial Times, Bloomberg, The Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Newsweek, and Democracy. He is the author of The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society.

@erickbeinhocker

Nina Möger Bengtsson
Nina Möger Bengtsson

Nina Möger Bengtsson is a member of the Danish Youth Climate Council, where she, alongside nine other climate activists, was appointed to provide policy input on the green transition to the Minister of Climate. The Council was established in March 2019 and is the first of its kind in the world. Nina has since initiated a global alliance that works to further the formalised involvement of youth in climate policy across more than 15 countries, from Nigeria to Haiti to Poland. Nina works as a political advisor in the European Parliament focusing on transportation policy, is co-authoring a book on climate activism, and holds a BSc in International Business and Politics from Copenhagen Business School and Cornell University.

Jennie Bristow
Jennie Bristow

Jennie Bristow is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University and an associate of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies. Her research focuses on the sociology of generations, including debates around intergenerational inequality and conflict; education; and parenting culture.

She is author of a number of books, most recently Stop Mugging Grandma: The ‘Generation Wars’ And Why Boomer-Blaming Won’t Solve Anything, published by Yale University Press in June 2019. Jennie’s other books include The Sociology of Generations: New Directions and Challenges (Palgrave Macmillan 2016), Baby Boomers and Generational Conflict (Palgrave Macmillan 2015), and Standing Up to Supernanny (Imprint Academic 2009). She is co-author of Parenting Culture Studies (Palgrave Macmillan 2014) and Licensed to Hug (Civitas 2008, 2010).

Maeve Cohen
Maeve Cohen

Maeve Cohen is the co-founder and former director of ReThinking Economics (RE): a national, student- led campaign to improve economics education. The aim of RE is to ensure future economists understand and act upon the multifarious economic demands of our society. Through RE she has worked in the fields of campaigning, economics, academia, the media, politics within large public institutions, community organising, and public speaking.

Previously, she worked with IPPR North in their external affairs team, to encourage people in the local area be involved in shaping their areas and participate in politics. She holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Manchester.

@flavamaeve

Paul Collier
Paul Collier

Sir Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. From 1998 to 2003 he took a five-year public service leave from research during which he was Director of the Research Development Department of the World Bank. He is currently a professeur invité at Sciences Po and a director of the International Growth Centre.

He has written for The New York Times, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. His research covers the causes and consequences of civil war; the effects of aid and the problems of democracy in low-income and natural resources rich societies; urbanisation in low-income countries; private investment in African infrastructure; and changing organisational cultures.

Recent books include The Bottom Billion (Oxford University Press, 2007) which in 2008 won the Lionel Gelber, Arthur Ross and Corine prizes and in May 2009 was the joint winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book prize; Wars, Guns and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places (Vintage Books, 2009); The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity with Nature (Oxford University Press, 2010); and Exodus: How migration is changing our world (Oxford University Press, 2013). His latest book is The Future of Capitalism: Facing The New Anxieties (Allen Lane, 2018).

Pepper Culpepper
Pepper Culpepper

Pepper Culpepper is Blavatnik Chair in Government and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. His research focuses on the intersection between capitalism and democracy, both in politics and in public policy. Prior to coming to the Blavatnik School, he taught at the European University Institute and at the Harvard Kennedy School. His book Quiet Politics and Business Power: Corporate Control in Europe and Japan (Cambridge University Press 2011) was awarded the 2012 Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research.

He is the author of Creating Cooperation (Cornell University Press, 2003) and co-editor of Changing France (with Peter Hall and Bruno Palier, Palgrave 2006) and of The German Skills Machine (with David Finegold, Berghahn Books 1999). His work has appeared in Comparative Political Studies, International Organization, Politics & Society, Socio-Economic Review, World Politics, Revue Française de Science Politique, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, West European Politics, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Public Policy, Business and Politics, and the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, among others. He has published commentary on public policy issues in The Washington Post, Le Monde, International Herald Tribune, and the New Republic. A former Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford, he has also held long-term visiting appointments in France, Germany, and Japan.

Stefan Dercon
Stefan Dercon

Stefan Dercon is Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department, University of Oxford. He is also Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. Within the School, he leads the Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development.

Between 2011 and 2017, he was Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), the government department in charge of the UK’s aid policy and spending. In this position, he provided strategic advice and was responsible for ensuring the use of evidence in decision-making.

His research interests concern what keeps some people and countries poor: the failures of markets, governments and politics, mainly in Africa, and how to achieve change. Current research work focuses on the psychological challenges of poverty, the political economy of development, the challenges of industrialisation in Africa, the challenges and opportunities of new technologies, and how to organise and finance responses to natural disasters and protracted humanitarian crises.

His latest book, Dull Disasters? How Planning Ahead Will Make A Difference was published in 2016, and provides a blueprint for renewed application of science, improved decision making, better preparedness, and pre-arranged finance in the face of natural disasters.

Andres Diaz Silva
Andres Diaz Silva

Andres Diaz Silva is a diplomat posted to the Colombian Embassy in London, where he is Science, Innovation and Sustainable Development Attaché, coordinating all activities related to promoting bilateral cooperation in the areas of environment, innovation and sustainable development. He is an alumnus of the Blavatnik School’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree.

With more than five years of experience in the implementation of evidence-based policies, Andres has served as lead researcher for Inter Mediate and senior consultant to the National Planning Department of Colombia. In the latter role, he oversaw the negotiations and drafting of the policy strategy for the implementation of the Sustainable Development

Goals in Colombia. His academic research explores the effect of social norms in cooperative behaviours to promote collective actions.

Jiayang Fan
Jiayang Fan

Jiayang Fan is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where she has worked since 2016. Her reporting
on China, American politics, and culture has appeared in the magazine and on newyorker.com since 2010. She frequently writes about China and Chinese-American issues for the magazine and the website, as well as other publications.

This summer she has spent time in Hong Kong documenting the political situation there. She is particularly interested in writing about intersecting identities, which has played a significant part in the recent protests, and she draws on her own experiences as a Chinese-American.

She moved to the US from Chongqing, China with her mother at the age of eight. She is a graduate of Williams College.

@jiayangfan

Temilola Fayokun
Temilola Fayokun

Temilola Fayokun is a London-based teenage environmental activist
and student at LSE. She is heavily involved in the UK Student Climate Network, a grassroots organisation which hosts the youth climate strikes in the UK. She works within the organisation’s Green New Deal team, as well as for promotion of anti-racism and decolonisation of the environmental movement.

Sara Fernandez
Sara Fernandez

Sara Fernandez is the director of Oxford Hub, a centre for social action and volunteering in Oxford. She has spent the last 10 years developing the Oxford Hub, encouraging everyone to get involved in making a difference locally. At the Hub she has set up a range of programmes in the areas she is passionate about, including supporting young people to become trustees, helping charities to improve their impact measurement, and providing children on the edge of care with ‘big brother/big sister’ mentors in the community. Sara also leads on a range of collaborative initiatives that connect Oxford Hub’s social action activities in the community with the work of the local authority. This included the response to the closure of the Children’s Centre in the city in 2016, and ongoing work using data to target support for children and families in the city.

Sara graduated from Merton College, Oxford in 2009, with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. In 2014 she received a Cranfield Trust Third Sector Leaders Scholarship to complete an Executive MBA at Cranfield University.

@sara_fernandezz

Kate Forbes
Kate Forbes

Kate Forbes was appointed Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy for the Scottish Government in June 2018. Until she was elected as MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Kate was employed as an accountant in the banking industry. Prior to that she studied History at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh with a focus on human migration. As well as leading a campaign to ban plastic straws, Kate has participated in several cross party groups at Holyrood including Crofting, Gaelic, Human Trafficking, Palliative Care and Rural Policy. A fluent Gaelic speaker, Kate made history earlier this year by becoming the first female MSP to give a plenary speech entirely in Gaelic in the current Scottish Parliament chamber.

@KateForbesMSP

Peter Frankopan
Peter Frankopan

Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University, where he is also Stavros Niarchos Foundation Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research.

He works on the history of the Mediterranean, Russia, the Middle East, Persia/Iran, Central Asia and beyond, and on relations between Christianity and Islam. He also specialises in medieval Greek literature and translated The Alexiad for Penguin Classics (2009). Peter was named one of the world’s 50 top thinkers by Prospect magazine in 2019.

Peter often writes for the international press, including The New York TimesFinancial Times, and The Guardian, and has a regular column in the London Evening Standard. He has been profiled in China Daily, China’s largest English-language newspaper, and in Good Times (Pakistan).

His book, Silk Roads, was named The Daily Telegraph’s History Book of the Year 2015. It went to number one in the Sunday Times non-fiction charts, remaining in the top 10 for nine months in a row, as well as being number one in China, and selling 1.5m copies around the world. His follow-up, The New Silk Roads, won the Human Sciences prize of the Carical Foundation in 2019.

@peterfrankopan

Blair Glencorse
Blair Glencorse

Blair Glencorse promotes accountability and integrity around the world through the Accountability Lab. The Lab works in communities to make governments more accountable and to open up civic space –
using the arts, media, culture and technology.

Blair and his team have done everything from helping to found the first film school in Liberia to monitoring public service delivery in Pakistan to running a global TV show called Integrity Icon to ‘name and fame’ honest government officials. The Accountability Lab recently won the UN’s International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award. Blair also co-founded the first co-working and innovation space in Liberia and both TEDxMonrovia and TEDxBamako. Blair is an expert
on anti-corruption with the World Economic Forum and OECD, and is a member of the World Bank’s Expert Advisory Council on Citizen Engagement. Blair speaks regularly on issues of governance and anti-corruption; and his work has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post and The Guardian among other outlets.

Thomas Hale
Thomas Hale

Thomas Hale is Associate Professor in Global Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, and is the faculty lead for the Challenges of Government Conference

2019. His research explores how we can manage transnational problems effectively and fairly. He seeks to explain how political institutions evolve – or not – to face the challenges raised by globalisation and interdependence, with a particular emphasis on environmental and economic issues. He holds a PhD in Politics from Princeton University, a master’s degree in global politics from the London School of Economics, and an AB in public policy from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. A US national, Tom has studied and worked in Argentina, China, and Europe. His books include Beyond Gridlock (Polity 2017), Between Interests and Law: The Politics of Transnational Commercial Disputes (Cambridge 2015), Transnational Climate Change Governance (Cambridge 2014), and Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation Is Failing when We Need It Most (Polity 2013).

@thomasnhale

Oliver Harman
Oliver Harman

Oliver Harman is a Cities Economist for the International Growth Centre (IGC) based at the Blavatnik
School of Government in Oxford. He is working with Paul Collier, Ed Glaeser, Tony Venables and Priya Manwaring on the IGC’s Cities that Work initiative, developing a network of economists, urban planning practitioners and policymakers to translate economic research into clear urban policy guidance.

Oliver holds an MSc in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics, and a BSc in International Business, Finance and Economics from the University of Manchester. Prior to joining the Cities that Work team Oliver was an Overseas Development Institute Fellow working for the Ministry of Communities in Guyana on local government, regional development, decentralisation and housing.

His current research areas include urban land use and planning, public infrastructure and service provision, housing markets, urban employment and firm development, and municipal finance.

John B Harris, Jr
John B Harris, Jr

John B Harris, Jr is a fifth term Manhattan Community Board Five (CB5) member and New York City official who was appointed by the Manhattan Borough President. He addresses, advises and votes on economic, financial, social, educational, regulatory and urban issues facing midtown Manhattan and New York City. CB5 is chartered by the City of New York.

John is a retired senior banker and executive of Deutsche Bank (including the predecessor firm of Bankers Trust), where he worked for 29 years in investment, merchant and commercial banking. He spent his career in global banking and finance where he had a record of success in building and managing businesses on five continents. He was based in New York, London and Johannesburg and had long-term assignments in Lagos and Frankfurt.

He has been a political field organiser and a professor of public administration, and is active in numerous non-profit and professional organisations. He is a board member of the University of Virginia Investment Management Company, which manages the approximately $10 billion endowment of the University of Virginia (UVA), which consistently ranks among the twenty largest of all colleges and universities in the United States.

John has an AB degree cum laude in economics from Harvard University and a JD degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Tom Hayes
Tom Hayes

Tom Hayes is an elected City Councillor for St Clement’s Ward in East Oxford. First elected to the City Council in 2014, then re-elected in 2018, Tom lives in the ward that he represents and is a governor at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and East Oxford Primary School.

He is the city’s Cabinet Member for a Zero Carbon Oxford. In this role, he leads the development of the Council’s journey to zero carbon and its partnerships to achieve a carbon neutral Oxford. Tom also has responsibility for delivering the Zero Emission Zone from 2020.

Away from the Council, Tom is chief executive of Elmore Community Services, a charity which works directly with people with multiple and complex needs who struggle to engage with services, so slip through cracks within Oxfordshire’s existing support networks. In this role, he serves as a co-chair of the Oxfordshire Anti-Slavery Network.

Previously Tom has worked at the local mental health charity Restore, the global humanitarian aid charity Oxfam GB, and the disability charity Scope. He holds degrees from the Universities of Manchester and Cambridge and was a Fox International Fellow at Yale University.

@cllrtomhayes

Emily Jones
Emily Jones

Emily Jones is Associate Professor in Global Public Policy at the Blavatnik School and directs the Global Economic Governance Programme, which fosters research and debate on how to make the global economy inclusive and sustainable. Emily’s research examines the political economy of global trade and finance, focusing on the ways in which governments can exert influence in asymmetric negotiations. Emily teaches courses on international political economy and negotiation strategy and skills for public policy, specialising in international trade, and has run a variety of executive short courses, including for the UK and Indonesian governments.

Emily holds a DPhil in International Political Economy from the University of Oxford, an MSc (distinction) in Development Economics from the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London, and a first-class BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. She previously worked in Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, for Oxfam GB, and for the UK Department for International Development.

Freshta Karim
Freshta Karim

Freshta Karim, an alumna of the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree at the Blavatnik School of Government, started her career at the age of 12, working as a journalist for various radio and television channels in Afghanistan. She produced investigative reports on the situation and challenges facing Afghan children. She also ran a popular TV show called ‘Freshta ba Buzurgan’, interviewing accomplished national figures to provide children with role models. Since then, she has continued to devote her time working for the children of Afghanistan.

Freshta is currently the director of Charmaghz, a Kabul-based NGO dedicated to promoting critical thinking among children through providing resources and space on buses turned into mobile libraries. She has previously worked with UN agencies, international organisations and the Afghan government, most recently as a Political Analyst at the Afghan President’s office.

In addition to the MPP, Freshta has studied Political Science at Panjab University.

@freshtakarim

Peter Kemp
Peter Kemp

Peter Kemp is Professor of Public Policy and Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs at the Blavatnik School of Government. Before moving to the Blavatnik School in 2011, Peter was the Barnett Professor of Social Policy and Head of the Department of Social Policy at Oxford. In previous jobs, he was Professor of Social

Policy, and Director of the Social Policy Research Unit, at the University of York; Professor of Housing and Social Policy, and Director of the Centre for Housing Research and Urban Studies, at the University of Glasgow; and the inaugural Joseph Rowntree Professor of Housing Policy, and founding Director of the Centre for Housing Policy, at the University of York.

Peter’s main area of research is housing policy and provision, particularly housing allowances and private rental housing. His research includes contemporary, historical and comparative perspectives. He has also undertaken research on welfare reform and on homelessness. Recent books include Housing Allowances in Comparative Perspective (2007), Transforming Private Landlords: Housing, Markets and Public Policy (2011, with Tony Crook), and Private Rental Housing: Comparative Perspectives (2014, with Tony Crook).

Peter has been consulted about housing allowance reform by government officials in Britain and overseas, and was the Special Advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee’s Inquiry into the Local Housing Allowance and a member of the UK government’s Housing Benefit Reform Programme Board (2002–06) and Housing Benefit Strategy Committee (2006–10).

Beatriz Kira
Beatriz Kira

Beatriz Kira is a Senior Research and Policy Officer in the Pathways for Prosperity Commission, a project
on digital technologies and inclusive growth hosted and managed at the Blavatnik School of Government. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Science of the Internet from the Oxford Internet Institute and is a PhD student in Economic Law at the University of São Paulo.

Prior to joining the University of Oxford, Beatriz worked as a lawyer and researcher in Brazil, conducting research on a wide variety of topics at the intersection of law and technology, such as privacy and data protection, freedom of expression, regulation of sharing economy platforms, and copyright. She has also acted as a consultant for the Brazilian Competition Authority (CADE), providing advice on competition policy and the digital economy, including on Uber regulations in Brazil.

@beakira

Jefferson T Koijee
Jefferson T Koijee

His Lordship Jefferson Tamba Koijee is Mayor of the City of Monrovia, capital city of the Republic of Liberia. He has been a staunch advocate for youth empowerment and social justice. As a high school student, he organised many youth-driven and youth-centred programs that provided opportunities for scholarship, financial aid, volunteerism in communities, and behavioral change.

Prior to being nominated to the position of Mayor of Monrovia in 2018, Jefferson was the National Chairman for the Revolutionary National Youth League of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, an auxiliary organisation of thousands of youth around the country. Between 2008 and 2010, Jefferson served as the Montserrado County Coordinator for the Federation of Liberian Youth, the umbrella organisation for all youth groups in Liberia.

He is a candidate of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Management at the Stella Maris Polytechnic and also a candidate of Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Political Science of the University of Liberia.

Sandra McNally
Sandra McNally

Sandra McNally is a Professor of Economics at the University of Surrey. She is also Director of the Centre for Vocational Education Research and of the Education and Skills Programme in the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics.

Sandra has contributed to the ‘economics of education’ over many years. Her recent work includes evaluating ‘what works’ in education policy, covering such themes as expenditure, pedagogy and management practices. She also works on investigating the labour market returns on educational qualifications. She is a co-editor of the Economics of Education Review.

The research groups that she leads aim to produce academically rigorous research that help to inform public debate and the policy process.

The Centre for Vocational Education Research was set up in 2015, and is funded by the Department for Education. The centre undertakes many projects (usually focused on England) on themes such as describing and evaluating pathways through the education system for young people; the labour market returns on different qualifications and skills; and the value added by education institutions in England and what influences the variation.

@sandra_mcnally

Calum Miller
Calum Miller

Calum Miller is Chief Operating Officer and Associate Dean of Administration at the Blavatnik School. Calum works closely with the Dean and senior faculty to set the School’s strategic direction. He leads the School’s administrative staff in implementing the strategy and in supporting the teaching, research and policy engagement activities of the School.

Calum is the Co-Director of Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE), a multi-country, seven-year research programme seeking to identify what works in shaping systems that can deliver high-quality education for all students. Calum teaches professional policy skills within the School, and is the convenor of a seminar series on UK Public Policy.

Prior to joining the School in 2012, Calum was a senior UK civil servant. Over a 13-year career, he worked in the Treasury, the Cabinet Office, the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development. Most recently, he served successively as Principal Private Secretary to the Cabinet Secretary and head of the UK Civil Service (2009–10) and to the Deputy Prime Minister (2010–12).

Calum holds a first class BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and an MPhil in International Relations (with Distinction) from Oxford University. From 2003 to 2005, he was a research associate of the Global Economic Governance Programme and published on the impact of financial crises in developing countries.

@calumamiller

Aïda Ndiaye
Aïda Ndiaye

Aïda Ndiaye is Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa and a Blavatnik School alumna, holding a Master of Public Policy (with Distinction). In her role, she oversees Facebook’s overall policy strategy on privacy and data governance in Sub-Saharan Africa, advises on business and regulatory

developments in Francophone Africa, and leads strategic projects on tech and human rights. Aïda led several Facebook major investments in the region including a capacity-building program for 10,000 SMEs in Francophone Africa, and policy capacitation initiatives for African tech start-ups.

Aïda sits on various national committees on online regulation and regularly advises African governments on their digital economy strategy. Aïda has multisectoral experience across the private sector, civil society and government on policies and initiatives to promote the development of the digital economy in Africa.

As well as her Master’s degree, Aïda holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science from Quest University Canada.

@andiaye_

Kalypso Nicolaïdis
Kalypso Nicolaïdis

Kalypso Nicolaïdis is Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford. Previously Professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, she has worked with numerous EU institutions, including as a member of the European Council’s reflection group on the future of Europe chaired by Felipe Gonzales (2008-10). She is currently chair of the Oxford Working Group on Brexit as well as of the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs in Oxford (CTGA) and the Global PeaceTech programme.

Her research interests revolve around theatres of recognition, democratic theory, solidarity and empathy, global governance and international trade, European politics and economics, sustainable integration, post-colonialism, myth and politics and the import of new technologies on international relations. Her last book was Exodus, Reckoning, Sacrifice: Three Meanings of Brexit (2019). 

@kalypsonicolaid

Soledad Nuñez Mendez
Soledad Nuñez Mendez

Soledad Nuñez Mendez is Paraguay’s former Minister of Housing and Habitat, having become the youngest minister of the Executive Branch in Paraguay at the age of 31, and an alumna of the Blavatnik School Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree.

As minister, Soledad oversaw a dramatic increase in the production of social housing for low-income households, working with more than 30,000 families. She transformed the ministry from a housing- focused institution into a technical institution responsible for coordinating the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Simultaneously she led the National Committee of Habitat. Soledad was elected President of the Regional Assembly of Ministers and High Level Authorities of Housing and Urban Development for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016.

Before becoming a minister, Soledad coordinated the implementation of a National Poverty Eradication Plan and was a leader in the development of the Paraguayan Open Government Plan, working for the Technical Planning Secretariat for Social and Economic Development in the president’s office. She has also served as national director of TECHO Paraguay, a non-governmental organisation that provides emergency housing solutions and promotes the active involvement of young people in the policy making process. During her time in TECHO, she was able to mobilise more than 15,000 young people.

She is an alumna of the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program at Georgetown University as well as of the Blavatnik School of Government.

@solenu

Nikhil Pahwa
Nikhil Pahwa

Nikhil Pahwa is the founder and editor of MediaNama, a leading publication chronicling the growth of India’s digital ecosystem. He is a TED Fellow, and co- founded the SaveTheInternet campaign for net neutrality in India, which was the largest grassroots campaign in the history of India; over a million people participated. He was also the co-founder and chairman of the Internet Freedom Foundation, which focuses on advocacy for an open internet in India.

Nikhil has been a part of initiatives which helped declare unconstitutional Section 66A of India’s IT Act, which had led to people being jailed for comments on Facebook, and the watering down of Section 79A, which had led to censorship of speech online.

At present, Nikhil is part of initiatives to fix Aadhaar, the world’s largest biometric identity database, covering over 1.19 billion Indians, in a way that protects privacy and agency for Indians. He is also working on initiatives that help simplify complex tech policy discussions for citizens, and believes that active citizen participation is necessary for driving meaningful and inclusive change.

Nikhil was named one of India Today Magazine’s ‘Indians of Tomorrow’ (all under 35) in 2012. MediaNama was awarded as an Ecosystem Builder by Fortune Magazine in 2016.

@nixxin

Mark Paul
Mark Paul

Mark Paul is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at New College of Florida,
a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, an economics think tank in New York, and a Senior Fellow at Data for Progress, a public policy think tank in Washington, DC. He is a political economist working in the areas of inequality and environmental economics. His current research is focused at the intersection of climate change and economic inequality. Recently, he has been working to design policy pathways to simultaneously mitigate emissions and inequality. Previously, he was involved in the Occupy movement. His work has been covered in a range of outlets, including The Economist, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Financial Times, and more.

@markvinpaul

Anna Petherick
Anna Petherick

Anna Petherick is a Departmental Lecturer in Public Policy at the Blavatnik School and conducts research as part of the School’s Building Integrity Programme. She was previously a postdoctoral researcher in that group. Her research focuses on corruption, gender, and trust, with much of it based in Brazil.

Anna pursued her MPhil (Comparative Government) and DPhil (Politics) at Oxford University, during which she taught statistics to second-year PPE students and tutored Brazilian politics.

Between her undergraduate and graduate studies, Anna worked as a full-time journalist. She held positions such as Argentina correspondent at The Economist, science correspondent at The Economist, and section editor at the science journal Nature. She wrote a column for The Guardian that fused longevity and wellbeing research, and another column about the social dimensions of climate change for the journal Nature Climate Change. Anna’s journalism has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Financial Times, and The Lancet, among many other outlets, and she has reported from Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, The Gambia, Greenland, Malawi, Norway, Uruguay, Spain, and Senegal.

@annajessiep

Snigdha Poonam
Snigdha Poonam

Snigdha Poonam is a journalist with The Hindustan Times in Delhi. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Economist, Granta, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and Financial Times.

Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing The World is her first book. It has been published in India, the US, and the UK and was longlisted for PEN America Literary Awards 2019.

@snigdhapoonam

Shoaib Rahim
Shoaib Rahim

Shoaib Rahim is the former Acting Mayor of Kabul, the fifth fastest growing city in the world, where he managed to consecutively achieve record-breaking annual city revenues. He also managed to address decade- long land acquisition and domain disputes across the city through engaging the communities in the decision-making process to devise solutions.

Prior to that, he served in various capacities at the Ministry of Defence in Afghanistan, most notably as the Senior Financial Advisor to the Minister and Deputy Chief of Budget, overseeing the fiscal reforms that resulted in the unprecedented 90% expenditure of the developmental budget as well as bonus payments to the entire Afghan National Army. He also led the civilianisation efforts across the Army to allow for greater technical capacity and support for the military.

Shoaib now serves as the Senior Advisor to Afghanistan’s newly-formed State Ministry for Peace, where he is involved in efforts to find political solutions to the Afghan conflict, mainly through direct negotiation efforts with the Taliban and track- two dialogues.

Shoaib is a Fulbright Scholar with a graduate degree from Duke University and an undergraduate degree from Multimedia University Malaysia. He is also an Asia Society Young Leaders Fellow and a Rumsfeld Foundation’s Fellow.

@shoaibr3k

Karthik Ramanna
Karthik Ramanna

Karthik Ramanna is Professor of Business and Public Policy and Director of the Master of Public Policy Programme at the Blavatnik School of Government.

He joined Oxford in 2016 after nearly a decade on the faculty of Harvard Business School. He has a PhD in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Karthik has written for leading professional outlets such as the Journal of Accounting and Economics and the Harvard Business Review. His scholarship has won awards from numerous bodies such as the American Accounting Association. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including as co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Accounting, Economics and Law.

Karthik is also a prolific author of case studies, having written more than thirty cases over the past decade. In 2017, he was awarded the international Case Centre’s Outstanding Case- Writer prize, part of a set of awards dubbed by the Financial Times ‘the business school Oscars’. He has helped establish and now leads a case-writing institute at the Blavatnik School.

To have a more direct impact on business policy, Karthik occasionally writes for the popular press, including The New York Times and The Telegraph.

Jeremy Roberts
Jeremy Roberts

Jeremy Roberts was elected to the Ontario provincial legislature, Canada, as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa West–Nepean in June 2018, and is an alumnus of the Blavatnik School’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree. Since his election, he has served as Vice- Chair of the Finance Committee and, since July 2019, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Children, Community & Social Services. He has devoted much of his time in elected office thus far to fighting on behalf of caregivers and individuals with developmental disabilities.

Prior to being elected, Jeremy served as a political advisor to Canada’s Minister of Finance and Minister of Health. Outside of politics, he is an active community volunteer, working with the local children’s hospital as well as with several youth civic engagement initiatives. He first got involved in politics at the age of 14 in order to fight for his younger brother, Dillon, who has autism.

As well as the MPP, Jeremy holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science from Carleton University. He is a member of the Progressive Conservative Party.

@jr_ottawa

Syed Saddiq
Syed Saddiq

Syed Saddiq is the Youth and Sports Minister of Malaysia and was appointed on 2 July 2019 at the age of 25. He is the Member of Parliament in Muar. He is the Co-Founder and Youth Chief of BERSATU, a political party he co- founded with the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir, at the age of 23. The youth wing of the party now represents 57% of the party’s membership.

His efforts during his time as minister include the unanimous passing of a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, and lowering the age of youth from 40 to 30 via a simple majority. One his future endeavours is to empower more women to participate in sports.

Before politics, he was involved in public policy research at a local think tank. He was an active coach, travelling abroad to Qatar, China, Indonesia, and the Philippines to educate on debating and international relations. An avid debater at university, he holds the world record for highest scored debater (English as a Second Language) in the history of the World Universities Debate Championship. He is also the three-time Best Debater of Asia.

@syedsaddiq

HRH Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz
HRH Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz

HRH Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the UK, graduated from Oxford University with a BA in Oriental Studies and Islamic Civilisation. He later attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. In 2000, he graduated as a commissioned officer from Sandhurst Military Academy. Subsequently he worked at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs in New York. He also served as Advisor to the Saudi Ambassador in Washington, DC, USA. In 2006, he established Dayim Holdings, as a partnership and investment platform for international companies looking to work in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. From 2017 to 2019 he served as Saudi Ambassador to Germany. He became Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom in July 2019.

Marian Schreier
Marian Schreier

Marian Schreier is Mayor of Tengen, Germany, and an alumnus of the Blavatnik School’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree.

Born in Stuttgart in 1990, Marian studied at the universities of Constance and Oxford. After completing his studies, he worked in Berlin in Peer Steinbrück’s Bundestag office. On 1 March 2015, at the age of 25, he was elected full-time mayor of the city of Tengen in the district of Constance. As mayor he pursues the modernisation of the city administration, especially in terms of digitising the public service and promoting open government.

The city of Tengen, along with the cities of Cologne and Bonn, is named by Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior as one of the model municipalities in open government.

In 2019, Marian initiated the founding of the first medical cooperative – an innovative way to secure medical care in rural areas.

@marianschreier

Jane Shaw
Jane Shaw

The Very Rev’d Professor Jane Shaw is Principal of Harris Manchester College, Oxford, and Professor of the History of Religion and a Pro- Vice-Chancellor at the University of Oxford.

She is a historian whose research and writing cover a number of areas: modern religion, the arts, gender, and the impact of technology on society.

She is the author of several books, including Miracles in Enlightenment England (Yale 2006) and Octavia, Daughter of God: The Story of a Female Messiah and her Followers (Jonathan Cape and Yale, 2011). She is currently writing a book about spirituality and religion in the early twentieth century, and is also co-writing a book on the arts and social change with the actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith.

Jane is a member of two research teams for projects based at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University: one on the new moral economy and artificial intelligence, and the other on the iGeneration (18–22-year-olds), their values and use of technology. She also serves on the advisory board for Stanford University Libraries.

Previously, she was Professor of Religious Studies and Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University, and before that Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Prior to that she taught at the University of Oxford for sixteen years.

Siddharth Shetty
Siddharth Shetty

Siddharth Shetty is a Fellow at iSPIRT Foundation, a non-profit technology think tank, where he works on India Stack, a set of open APIs (application programing interfaces) that allow governments, businesses, start-ups and developers to use a unique digital infrastructure to solve India’s hard problems in financial inclusion. As part of India Stack, his primary focus is on giving every Indian control of their financial, health, telecomm, skills, and education data through the Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA).

In addition to his work with DEPA, Siddharth is also working on the technology for the Public Credit Registry, created by the Reserve Bank of India, that will be a real-time registry of all credit contracts, resulting in widespread access to credit by eliminating information asymmetries. He also works on Digital Sky, the digital infrastructure that will enable safe operations of millions of drones in Indian airspace; and the National Health Stack, that aims to lower costs, improve access, and improve quality of healthcare for hundreds of millions of Indians.

Tom Simpson
Tom Simpson

Tom Simpson is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. He is an AHRC/BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker for 2017. He works particularly on trust, and issues at the intersection of technology and security. His research was recently profiled by the Australian Broadcast Corporation. During this academic year, he is convening a series of events on Aspects of Conservatism.

He joined the School from Cambridge, where he was a Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, and was also educated (BA, MPhil, PhD).

Between degrees he was an officer with the Royal Marines Commandos for five years. He served in Northern Ireland; Baghdad, Iraq; and Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Joseph Sternberg
Joseph Sternberg

Joseph C Sternberg is a member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, where he writes the Political Economics column. His areas of focus include macroeconomics, monetary and trade policies, and European politics. He joined the Journal in 2006 as an editorial writer in Hong Kong, covering China and Japan and editing the Business Asia column. He was previously an editorial writer at The New York Sun and managing editor of The Public Interest, both in Washington, DC.

He is the author of The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future (New York: PublicAffairs, 2019), examining the consequences of the Great Recession. He holds a BA from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

@josephsternberg

Lizelle Strydom
Lizelle Strydom

Lizelle Strydom is Managing Director at Careerbox, which prepares high- school pupils in South Africa for digital careers. She has over 15 years’ experience in the people business with vast exposure to the global business services industry both locally and internationally.

Over the last seven years her core focus has been on youth, women and education development in South Africa. Careerbox recognises that South Africa’s most valuable natural resource is its people, and aims to develop individuals who were previously excluded from the workforce. It has created thousands of opportunities for youth, especially women, not just by developing their skills but by placing them into sustainable jobs. Lizelle’s experience and knowledge in various niche entities allow her to understand the labour market, identify gaps and break barriers to entry.

Damian Tambini
Damian Tambini

Damian Tambini is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at
the London School of Economics (LSE). He is an expert in media and communications regulation and policy, and active in policymaking as well as academic research. At LSE, he is also Research Director and Programme Director for the MSc in Media and Communications Governance and inaugural Director of the Media Policy Project. He is frequently called to give evidence to parliamentary committees and provide formal and informal policy advice to government, including the Leveson Inquiry in 2012.

From 2002 to 2006 Damian was Head of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at Oxford University. Before that he was director of the IPPR Media Policy Project (1999–2002) and Postdoctoral Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford (1998). He is the author of many articles on media and communications regulation and policy and author/editor of several books. Most recently, he co-edited Digital Dominance: The Power of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (Oxford University Press, 2018).

@damiantambini

Maya Tudor
Maya Tudor

Maya Tudor is Associate Professor of Government and Public Policy at the Blavantik School of Government. Her research investigates the origins of stable, democratic and effective states across the developing world, with a particular emphasis on South Asia. She was educated at Stanford University (BA in Economics) and Princeton University (MPA in Development Studies and PhD in Politics and Public Policy). She has held fellowships at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Oxford University’s Centre for the Study of Inequality and Democracy. During the 2018–2019 academic year, she was a fellow at Stanford University’s Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioural Sciences.

She is currently working on two manuscripts, a comparative study of nationalisms and democracy in Asia and a critical review of nationalism research (Cambridge University Press). Her last book, The Promise of Power (Cambridge University Press, 2013), was based on her 2010 dissertation, which won the American Political Science Association’s Gabriel Almond Prize for the Best Dissertation in Comparative Politics. The book investigates the origins of India and Pakistan’s puzzling regime divergence in the aftermath of colonial independence.

Before her academic career, Maya worked as a Special Assistant to Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz at the World Bank, at UNICEF, in the United States Senate, and at the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee.

@mayajtudor

Chuka Umunna
Chuka Umunna

Chuka Umunna is Member of Parliament for Streatham; Shadow Foreign Secretary for the Liberal Democrats; co-chair of the All- Party Parliamentary Group on EU Relations; and a leading voice in the People’s Vote campaign for a new referendum on Brexit.

A solicitor by profession, Chuka studied English Law and French Law at the University of Manchester and then practised employment law for just under a decade. He was elected to Parliament in 2010, and has served on the Treasury Select Committee; as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ed Miliband (then Leader of the Labour Party); as ShadowMinister for Small Business; and as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (2011–15).

In February 2019, he resigned the Labour whip to sit as an independent MP, citing Labour’s “failure to provide opposition to Brexit” and “culture of antisemitism and bullying”. In June 2019, following the local and European elections, he joined the Liberal Democrats, and was appointed as Treasury and Business spokesperson. He is now Shadow Foreign Secretary for the party and is also leading on trade under party leader Jo Swinson.

He writes a weekly column for The Independent.

@chukaumunna

Shahrukh Wani
Shahrukh Wani

Shahrukh Wani is a Cities Economist at the International Growth Centre (IGC)’s Blavatnik School of Government-based Cities that Work team. There, Shah works under the direction of Sir Paul Collier (Oxford), Ed Glaeser (Harvard), and Tony Venables (Oxford) to translate economic research and practitioner experience into policy guidance for cities in developing countries. Before his current role, Shah worked as a Research Assistant at IGC, based at the London School of Economics (LSE). During this, Shah worked as part of IGC’s knowledge partnership with UN-Habitat to implement the strategic phase of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Global Future Cities Programme.

Before joining IGC, Shah was a graduate student at the LSE’s Department for International Development. For his graduate dissertation, he created a theoretical model on the role of social networks in determining tax compliance behaviour.

While a student, he also worked with ActionAid UK consulting on taxation in four developing countries and co-authored a report highlighting progressive policy options for increasing tax revenue. Before this, Shah worked as an intern at the Grameen Foundation and the Innovations for Poverty Action, working on the Progress out of Poverty Index (now the Poverty Probability Index) at both.

Shah has been published in several newspapers, including The Guardian and Dawn.

@shahrukhwani

Enrique Zapata
Enrique Zapata

Enrique Zapata leads the data intelligence, govtech, and new technologies agenda at CAF, the development bank of Latin America, where his primary role is advising governments and senior officials on designing and delivering better policies through data, technology, behavioural science, and user-centred design. He is an alumnus of the Blavatnik School’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree.

Previously, he was elected as the first ever Head of the National Anticorruption Intelligence Platform in Mexico and served as General Director of Open Data at the Office of the President, where he developed Mexico’s first Data Policy and AI strategy.

Enrique has represented Mexico in the OECD, the OAS, and the G20. He is a member of the Open Data Charter’s Advisory Board, the OECD’s Data Experts Group, the Open Data Institute’s Leaders’ Network, and the Mexican Council of Foreign Affairs. He co-authored the G20’s anticorruption open data principles, and in 2018 was included in Apolitical’s list of the World’s 100 Future Leaders.

As well as the MPP, Enrique holds a Bachelor’s in International Relations.

@enrique_za