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Blavatnik School of Government announcements
06 Oct 11
Major steps taken in preparation for 2012 opening of Blavatnik School of Government
- Herzog & de Meuron appointed architects
- Professor Ngaire Woods appointed Dean
- Applications open for inaugural cohort of students
The University of Oxford today announces several major developments in preparation for the Blavatnik School of Government’s opening in September 2012. Made possible by a £75 million endowment by American industrialist and philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik, the School’s mission is to train future world leaders through an unrivalled multi-disciplinary curriculum.
Herzog & de Meuron commissioned architects
The internationally renowned Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have been appointed to design the new Blavatnik School of Government. Well known for the originality and boldness of their designs, Herzog & de Meuron are known worldwide for the conversion of the Bankside power plant to Tate Modern in London (2000) and for the National Stadium Beijing (the ‘Bird’s Nest’) for the 2008 Olympic Games. Planned to reflect the School’s international identity and mission to develop future world leaders, the iconic new building will house Europe’s first School of Government on a prestigious site in central Oxford, newly cleared, on Walton Street.
The new building is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2015.
The Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Patten of Barnes, said: 'The appointment of Herzog & de Meuron as architects is one of a number of developments that reflect the bold global ambition of Oxford’s new Blavatnik School of Government. The selection of Professor Ngaire Woods as Dean is another. I have worked closely with Ngaire for a number of years on global economic governance issues and she is exactly the right person to lead this visionary school.'
Professor Ngaire Woods appointed inaugural Dean
Following an extensive international search, Oxford University has chosen Professor Ngaire Woods as the inaugural Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government. Professor Woods is a recognized world authority on international relations, global economic governance, the challenges of globalization, and the role of international institutions. Regularly called upon by governments and global institutions to offer her expertise, she has held advisory roles in the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the Commonwealth, the European Parliament, the African Development Bank, and the British government under three successive Prime Ministers. She helped to lead the creation of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University and, before her appointment as Dean, served as the School’s Academic Director.
Professor Joseph Nye, former Harvard Kennedy School Dean, commented: 'Ngaire Woods is an ideal choice to become the first Dean of Oxford's exciting new Blavatnik School of Government. She is a renowned scholar of global governance whose vision has been crucial in creating the School, and whose inspiring leadership will now assure its success.'
Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Government in Singapore, said: 'Professor Ngaire Woods will be an excellent Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government. She has made important intellectual contributions to the theory and practice of global governance, she is globally networked and she straddles comfortably the worlds of policy and practice. Much of her work has focused on how global markets and institutions can better serve the needs of people in developing countries, and many governments have turned to her for advice.'
Andrés Velasco named Senior Academic Advisor; renowned scholars join faculty
Andrés Velasco, the distinguished Harvard economist and former Chilean Finance Minister, has been named Senior Academic Advisor and will develop plans for the School’s future case-study centre, as well as teaching and advising on the School’s curriculum and overall development.
The teaching staff of the new Blavatnik School will include internationally renowned academics, such as economist Paul Collier (the award-winning author of The Bottom Billion), epidemiologist Sir Richard Peto and legal philosopher Jeremy Waldron. Additional members of the teaching staff will be announced shortly.
Lord Browne and Lord Weidenfeld to head International Advisory Board
The Blavatnik School of Government will benefit from an International Advisory Board that will have Lord Browne of Madingley, the former Group Chief Executive of BP, as chairman and the veteran publisher and philanthropist, Lord Weidenfeld, as co-chairman. The Board will bring together a distinguished group of women and men who have achieved international renown for their leadership and contributions to public life in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. They will provide the Blavatnik School with a genuinely international perspective and strategic advice informed by practical experience of government.
Applications open for students
Applications are now invited for the School’s first cohort of students. The School will look to admit outstanding practitioners and students from across the world to study for an innovative one-year Master of Public Policy degree. The School will teach the practice of government and leadership in ways which will strengthen communities, create opportunities and foster cooperation across the world through a series of courses with a unique balance of the humanities, social sciences, law, science, technology, health, finance, energy and security policy.
A scholarship program is being developed to ensure that the very best students in the world attend the School, regardless of their financial circumstances.
Vice-Chancellor Andrew Hamilton and Leonard Blavatnik comment on appointments
Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: 'Oxford University, which has educated so many world leaders in the past, is delighted to be able to open applications for the new Blavatnik School of Government. The School will embody the best of Oxford’s traditional strengths but also provide scholars with innovative practical ways of dealing with the complex issues that confront world leaders today. Professor Ngaire Woods is the ideal choice as the inaugural Dean, given her commitment and vision for the School coupled with her experience and understanding of global governance. Likewise, the selection of Herzog & de Meuron as architects is an exciting development. Oxford has a long tradition of commissioning buildings from the greatest contemporary architects. This commission promises a 21st-century building that will take its place among the outstanding architecture of Oxford.'
Remarking on the announcements, Mr Leonard Blavatnik said: 'Exceptionally solid groundwork has been laid to ensure the successful opening of the Blavatnik School of Government next year. The quality of leaders and teachers that the School has attracted is a testament to Oxford University’s unparalleled reputation and to the need for a European-based institution devoted to the enhancement of democratic government throughout the world. I look forward to the first cohort of students beginning their studies and to their future contributions to our global society.'