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Global Catastrophic Risks Conference - Speakers Biographies

Sir Crispin Tickell is Director of the Policy Foresight Programme at the James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization. He was formerly Chancellor of the University of Kent, and is associated with several other British and US Universities. His main interests are in the fields of environment and international affairs.

Most of his career was in the Diplomatic Service.  He was Chef de Cabinet to the President of the European Commission (1977-80), Ambassador to Mexico (1981-83), Permanent Secretary of the Overseas Development Administration (now DFID) (1984-87), and British Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1987-1990).  He the became Warden of Green College, Oxford (1990-97), and Director of Green College Centre for Environmental Policy and Understanding (1992-2006). He was President of the Royal Geographical Society (1990-93); Chairman of the Board of the Climate Institute of Washington DC (1990-2002); President of the Marine Biological Association (1990-2001); Chairman of the International Institute for Environment and Development (1990-94); Chairman of the Government’s Advisory Committee on the Darwin Initiative (1992-99); President of the National Society for Clear Air (1997-99); Convenor of the Government Panel on Sustainable Development (1994-2000); a Trustee of the Natural History Museum (1992-2001); Inaugural Senior Visiting Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment (2002–2004); and Advisor At Large to the President of Arizona State University (2004 -).

Throughout his life Sir Crispin has been involved with the policy implications of science. He was a member of the Committee for the Public Understanding of Science, and has sat on two Government Task Forces: one on Urban Regeneration (1999), and one on Potentially Hazardous Near Earth Objects (2000).

Sir Crispin is the author of Climate Change and World Affairs (published in 1977 and 1986), written a year after he had been a visiting Fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University (1975-76). In addition he has contributed to many other books on environmental and related issues.

Educated at Westminster School (King's Scholar) and Christ Church, Oxford, Sir Crispin received 1st Class Honours in Modern History from Oxford in 1952. Over the course of his career he has received numerous honorary doctorates (honoris causa) from British and overseas universities. He has been decorated as a Knight of Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) and a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO).