Trustees and Patrons

Oxford Research Group is a registered charity governed by a Board of Trustees and supported by our three Patrons - Dr. Ashraf Ghani, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Baroness Shirley Williams.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees meets once a year at the Annual General Meeting to review ORG’s activities, strategic direction and fundraising progress, as well as at other times throughout the year to review and advise on any major developments in these areas. ORG is fortunate to benefit from the wealth of experience in its Board members in ensuring the sound management and guidance of our activities and financial affairs.

Professor Oliver Ramsbotham has been Chair of the Board since April 2007. He moved to the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford in 1991, having worked several years previously as a consultant and writer with Oxford Research Group. At the Department of Peace Studies he was Professor of Peace Studies and Head of Department between 1999-2002. Since then he has been Professor of Conflict Resolution. He has published more than 60 articles and papers, mainly on humanitarian intervention, conflict resolution and peacekeeping, but also with an interest in Islam/Christian relations.

Dr. Frank Boulton is Company Secretary. Frank is based in Southampton where he was a consultant physician and haematologist, specialising in haemophilia care and in blood transfusion. He is currently President of the British Blood Transfusion Society (until late 2007), was consultant advisor on blood transfusion to HM Armed Forces until 2006, and continues as consultant advisor to the World Health Organisation. He has been associated with ORG since its early days and became Company Secretary in 2000. He has long supported Medact and its predecessor bodies, and became Chair of Medact in June 2006. An active Quaker, he was briefly a member of the Quaker Peace and Social Witness Council and wants to promote active engagement between ORG and Quakers - and, increasingly, other faith groups.

David Haines was appointed as ORG's treasurer in May 2008. Now working for Haysmacintyre, a leading audit practice in the charity sector, David's experience includes appointments as Finance Director for World Vision in Afghanistan and Regional Finance Director for Merlin Aid Agency in East Africa. He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants and advises the ORG Board on matters connected to finance, fundraising and governance. Having seen the effects of military conflict firsthand, he is an enthusiastic supporter of ORG's work and is committed to its mission and vision.

Dr. Scilla Elworthy founded Oxford Research Group in 1982, and was Executive Director until December 2003 and Chair of the Board until April 2007. It is for this work that she was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in 2003 and nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. She then founded Peace Direct, which grew out of ORG’s conflict prevention work, became an independent NGO with charitable status during 2004, and was named Best New Charity at the Charity Awards 2005. Scilla is a prolific writer, notably of studies on the role of women in international relations.

Philippa Drew joined the Board in 2007. Philippa retired from the civil service in 2006. Most of her career was spent in the Home Office dealing with crime, criminal justice, prisons, probation and terrorism. She had two periods in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, latterly as Director of Global Issues with responsibility for climate change, sustainable development, human rights, democracy, conflict prevention, science and technology, the United Nations and the Commonwealth.

Sue Gillie joined the Board in 2007. Sue sold her small chain of estate agencies in 1988 and turned entirely to voluntary work in the not-for-profit sector. Past trusteeships include the Friends of Dulwich College (Chair), the Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery (devising and organising events for them), the Nationwide Foundation, and the Association of Charitable Foundations. For seven years she ran, was a trustee, and then chaired the Ashoka UK branch of an international development charity. Currently she chairs the New Economics Foundation (nef). Membership since 1989 of the Network for Social Change, a very active private grant making group, led to her becoming a founding director of The Funding Network, a very successful new paradigm for collective giving for social change.

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ORG Patrons are renowned contributors to public life who endorse ORG’s aims and support our work. The following Patrons were appointed in November 2008. The list of our Founding Patons can be found here.

Ashraf Ghani is currently Chairman of the Institute for State Effectiveness. As Adviser to the UN Secretary General he advised on the Bonn Agreement for Afghanistan. As Afghanistan's Finance Minister he is credited for a series of successful domestic reforms, including reform of the Treasury, Customs, Budget and the Currency, and was named by Emerging Markets as Best Finance Minister of Asia in 2003. Dr Ghani prepared Afghanistan's first National Development Framework and 'Securing Afghanistan's Future', a $28bn reconstruction program for the country. As Chancellor of Kabul University, he instituted a style of participatory governance to enlist the students in managing their university's transformation.

Dr. Ghani is involved on the advisory boards for a number of activities supporting the reform of global institutions, including the Commission on the UN High-Level Panel on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, IDEA, Brookings Institution's project on global insecurity, the Atlantic Council, and the World Justice Project of the American Bar Association. He is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution. In 2006, Dr Ghani was nominated by President Hamid Karzai for the role of UN Secretary General and was endorsed by the Wall Street Journal. In 2007, he was also endorsed by the New York Times for the post of President of the World Bank.

He was educated at American University Beirut and Colombia University, and taught at Johns Hopkins and Berkeley Universities before joining the World Bank, where he led work on country strategies and policies. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Scranton in the US and the University of Guelph in Canada and won the Dr Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award at Tufts University in 2008. His book Fixing Failed States, written with Clare Lockhart, was published in Spring 2008 by Oxford University Press.

Desmond Tutu was born in Klerksdorp, South Africa, in 1931. He received his Licentiate in Theology in 1960 and was ordained to the priesthood in Johannesburg in 1961. He became Dean of St Mary's Cathedral, Johannesburg, in 1975, but shortly thereafter was elected Bishop of Lesotho. By this time South Africa was in turmoil, in the wake of the Soweto uprising of 1976, and Bishop Tutu was persuaded to leave the Diocese of Lesotho to take up the post of General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC). It was in this position, a post he held from 1978 to 1985, that Bishop Tutu became a national and international figure.

In 1984, his contribution to the cause of racial justice in South Africa was recognised when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1985, Bishop Tutu was elected Bishop of Johannesburg. In this capacity he did much to bridge the chasm between black and white Anglicans in South Africa. His office as Bishop of Johannesburg was of short duration, as in 1986 he was elected Archbishop of Cape Town. He retired from office in June 1996, but was named Archbishop Emeritus (an honorary title) in July 1996.

Before 1990, Archbishop Tutu's vigorous advocacy of social justice rendered him a controversial figure. Today he is seen as an elder statesman with a major role to play in reconciliation, and as a leading moral voice. Archbishop Tutu has become an icon of hope far beyond the Church and Southern Africa. His book, No Future Without Forgiveness, was honoured with the Book of the Year Award by the Association of Theological booksellers of the United States of America. December 2001 saw the same book receive the Sandro Onofri Prize, bestowed by the Council of Rome, Italy. He has subsequently published God has a Dream.

You can view a video message from Desmond Tutu here.

Shirley Williams, Co-Founder of the Liberal Democratic Party and its first President, 1982-88, served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords from 2001 until retiring from that position in 2004. She is Professor Emeritus of Elective Politics at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and advises the Prime Minister on issues of nuclear proliferation.

Shirley Williams started her career as a journalist with the Daily Mirror (1952-54) and Financial Times (1954-58) and was General Secretary of the Fabian Society until her election as Labour MP for Hitchin (later Hertford and Stevenage) in 1964. She served in the British Cabinet (1974-79) as Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection, Paymaster General and Secretary of State for Education and Science. Shirley lost the seat in 1979 but, after co-founding the Social Democratic Party in 1981, was its first elected MP winning a by-election in Crosby, Merseyside in the same year.

She became Baroness Williams of Crosby in 1993 and was spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats on Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the Lords from 1998 to 2001. Shirley Williams is a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation, a Board Member of the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington DC and a Trustee of the Century Foundation in New York and the IPPR in London. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations International Advisory Committee and serves on several other boards, including the Moscow School of Political Studies and the International Committee on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. She is the author of several books including Politics is for People (1981), A Job to Live (1985) and God and Caesar (2003). She is the recipient of twelve honorary doctorates and a frequent broadcaster.

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