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Kevin Watkins appointed new Executive Director of ODI

Press Release

The Overseas Development Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Watkins as its new Executive Director. 

Kevin Watkins is a nonresident senior fellow with the Center for Universal Education at Brookings. Previously, he was the director and lead author of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report after serving for three years as the director of the UNDP Human Development Report, where he led the research on reports covering the Millennium Development Goals, water and climate change. Prior to working with the United Nations, he worked for thirteen years with Oxfam, where he authored major reports on African debt, international trade and Oxfam’s Education Report. He has written extensively on a wide range of development issues for the international media.

In addition to his work at Brookings, Kevin is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow with the Global Economic Governance programme at University College, Oxford University.  He holds a BA in Politics and Social Science from Durham University and a doctorate from Oxford University. His research focuses on education, globalization and human development.  

Commenting on the new appointment, James Cameron, ODI Chair, said:
“The Board is delighted to have found an outstanding individual, respected and admired in his field who has the capacity to lead ODI across new frontiers in development thinking and research.”

In response, Alison Evans, current ODI Director, commented: 
“This is an exciting time to be leading ODI and Kevin is a terrific choice. He brings experience, vision and a global reputation to the role. I wish him every success”. 

On his appointment, Kevin Watkins, Executive Director designate, said:
"I am absolutely thrilled to be joining ODI.  We are at a critical juncture in international development and ODI is uniquely well placed to inform the debates and influence the policies that will shape the future. Following Alison is a daunting prospect but I look forward to working with colleagues to build on her achievements.”