Professor Andrew Thompson
Professor Andrew Thompson is the Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He was Interim Chief Executive from the 1 December 2015 until the 27 March 2017. Professor Thompson is Chair of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Research, Innovation & Strategy Advisory Board and is the RCUK Chief Executive Champion for Global Challenges Research Fund and the Newton Fund. He is also the Co-Lead, with Hilary Reynolds (Executive Director for RCUK), of the RCUK Equality & Diversity Strategy.
Professor Andrew Thompson is a historian of modern empire. He studied for his D.Phil at Nuffield College in Oxford under the supervision of John Darwin, and was later a fixed-term Tutorial Fellow in Modern History at Corpus Christi College. The major strand of his research interests have focused on the effects of empire on British private and public life during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including Imperial Britain (2000) and The Empire Strikes Back (2005) and, most recently, a companion volume to the Oxford History of the British Empire series entitled Britain's Experience of Empire in the Twentieth Century (2012). He has also written on Anglo-Argentine relations, colonial South Africa, transnational migrations and migrant remittances, and public memories and the legacies of empire. A project on Asian Britishness, undertaken with the Institute of Public Policy Research and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, led to an invitation to address the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit of the subject in 2005. His co-authored monograph Empire and Globalisation. Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World, 1850-1914, with Professor Gary Magee, (Cambridge, 2010) offers a fresh perspective on the historical roots of modern globalisation and its relationship to imperial expansion.
He co-founded Leeds University's Institute of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, and was also previously Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, at the University Leeds.
Professor Thompson's latest project is on international humanitarianism. His new book linked to this research, which will be published by Oxford University Press, is called 'Humanitarianism on Trial: How a global system of aid and development emerged through the end of empire.' He has also been given access to previously unseen archives of the United Nations and the International Red Cross; the outcome of this research is a forthcoming article on Nelson Mandela, Political Detention on Robben Island and Apartheid in South Africa.