Sir Tim Lankester began his career as an economist with the World Bank, serving in Washington then in New Delhi. In 1973, he joined the HM treasury before becoming Private Secretary to successive Prime Ministers, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher. He returned to Washington in 1985, serving in the British Embassy and as UK Executive Director on the boards of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. After spending time as Permanent Secretary at the then Overseas Development Administration and in the Department of Education, Sir Tim retired from the Civil Service in 1996. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1994.
As Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) from 1996 to 2000, Sir Tim contributed to its growth by giving the school a higher international profile and attracting external funding. He was then President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford from 2001 to 2009. During this period he chaired the University of Oxford undergraduate admissions system. He is currently chairman of the Council of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Board of Governors of the London Contemporary Dance Trust. Sir Tim is also a member of the UK India Round Table, and the management committee of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Culture. He is an advisor on Southeast Asia to the consulting firm, Oxford Analytica.
• International development assistance; the political economy of Indonesia and Malaysia.
Various articles and book reviews on aid and development. His book, “The Politics and Economics of Britain’s Foreign Aid: The Pergau Dam Affair”, will be published by Routledge in 2012.