Blavatnik School of Government

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Group.png Blavatnik School of Government  
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SubpageBlavatnik School of Government/Staff and Advisory Council
Leadership cadre course with deep state ties

The Blavatnik School of Government is a school of public policy founded in 2010 as part of Oxford University's Social Sciences Division. The School offers a Master of Public Policy (MPP), an intensive one-year graduate degree which seeks to prepare students for a career in public service, to make them more effective - mostly unelected - leaders and changemakers "to improve government around the world.”[1]

It was founded in 2010, financed by Britain's richest man at the time, Len Blavatnik.

Staff and Advisory Council

Staff include: Professor Ngaire Woods is the first Dean of the School.

Members of faculty include development economists Sir Paul Collier, who is Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Stefan Dercon, who is Professor of Economic Policy, Karthik Ramanna, who is Professor of Business and Public Policy, and Jonathan Wolff, who is Professor of Public Policy,Eviatar Matania,Founder and Former Director General of the Israeli National Cyber Security Authority; and Michael Igniatieff, rector of the George Soros-funded Central European University.

The International Advisory Board have people like Bill Clinton; Philipp Hildebrand Vice Chairman of BlackRock, the world's most powerful company, and Eric Schmidt, Former Executive Chairman of Google and Alphabet.

Full article: Blavatnik School of Government Staff and Advisory Council


The point of the course is to create a cadre of leaders in public service, doing "advocacy for, design of, and implementation of successful policies" in the government bureaucracy, on behalf of multinational companies and self-apppointed spokesmen for the people in NGOs. The school also tries to create an insider network of these leaders, to "form a vibrant exchange network that will continue to support you after the experience at the Blavatnik School, and into your future careers."[2]

The curriculum states: "The Politics of Policymaking will help prepare you to be a successful agent for change across diverse institutional contexts by learning how to ‘think politically'. You will consider how actors and institutions shape outcomes in domestic and international politics. Understanding and navigating these dynamics is essential for the advocacy for, design of, and implementation of successful policies. You will learn how to think politically, so as to be able get things done and effect meaningful change in policy and in government."[3]

Underscoring the top-down power structure this school is part of, it gives the leadership cadre the possibility to develop their "professional skills through modules delivered by leading policy practitioners on topics such as negotiation, communication, private finance and entrepreneurship," where insider connections and private finance by the richest people in the land (like Blavatnik) is seen as a natural thing.

Former Students

The School mentions engineers, journalists, medical doctors and serving government officials[4] as of particular interest.

A cursory look at the alumni show some with intelligence ties, like Jonathan Beddall (MPP Class of 2012) who won best performing Officer Cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (UK), from The Intelligence Corps.[5].

A high number of alumni are managers in multinational companies, like Aïda Ndiaye, who worked with Facebook to suppress fake news in Africa, "devising the right policies" to "create a win-win situation for private sector actors and governments", and as an afterthought "as well as for the people they serve.”[6]

Keir Mather is probably the most high profile alumnus of the MPP program to date, having been elected at the 2023 Selby and Ainsty by-election as the youngest MP (aged 25) in the House of Commons.[7]


Related Quotations

Victor Marchetti“To the Clandestine Services the universities represented fertile territory for recruiting espionage agents. Most large American colleges enrolled substantial numbers of foreign students, and many of these, especially those from the Third World, were (and are) destined to hold high positions in their home countries in a relatively few years. They were much easier to recruit at American schools — when they might have a need for money, where they could be easily compromised, and where foreign security services could not interfere — than they would be when they returned home. To spot and evaluate these students, the Clandestine Services maintained a contractual relationship with key professors on numerous campuses. When a professor had picked out a likely candidate, he notified his contact at the CIA and, on occasion, participated in the actual recruitment attempt. Some professors performed these services without being on a formal retainer. Others actively participated in agency covert operations by serving as "cut-outs," or intermediaries, and even by carrying out secret missions during foreign journeys.”Victor Marchetti1974
Victor MarchettiHelms asked his staff to find out just how many university personnel were under secret contract to the CIA. After a few days of investigation, senior CIA officers reported back that they could not find the answer. Helms immediately ordered a full study of the situation, and after more than a month of searching records all over the agency, a report was handed in to Helms listing hundreds of professors and administrators on over a hundred campuses. But the staff officers who compiled the report knew that their work was incomplete . Within weeks, another campus connection was exposed in the press. The contact was not on the list that had been compiled for the Director.”Victor Marchetti1974


An Alumnus on Wikispooks

Keir Mather1998Politician
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