Dr Paul Flather is currently a Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford, and president of its Senior Common Room and Secretary–General of the Europaeum, a club of leading European universities. His early research was on Indian democracy.
He has been Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Noon Educational Foundation since 2000. The VNEF was founded 25 years ago, and has just supported its 200th Noon Scholar at Oxford and Cambridge after this year’s appointment. He was invited to take up this post personally by the founder of the trust, Lady Vicky’ Noon. Dr Flather’s maternal family come from Lahore where his great-great grandfather, Sir Ganga Ram, led a replan the city and was a great philanthropist setting up hospitals, colleges, transport systems and charities for destitute children. The family feld the city in 1947, during the Partition crisis.
After the 1989 revolutions, in East central Europe, Dr Flather was appointed founding Secretary-General and Chief Executive of the Central European University, set up in Budapest, Prague and Warsaw, by George Soros, and helped set up and coordinate a raft of OSI programmes in the region, which continued for a decade or two. This has been greatly in the news this year, and he has secured the CEU as the Europaeum’s newest member.
In 1994 he was appointed Director of External and International Relations for Oxford University, where he was in charge of alumni, media, community, governmental, international and publications relations and Fellow of Corpus Christi College.
Then In 2000, he joined Mansfield and took over the Europaeum as its founding Secretary-General, where he has pioneered joint teaching programmes, international research programmes, and helped the consortium to grow into a club of 12 leading European universities with a high Europe-wide reputation, and many key figures on the board of trustees. It is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. He has given many lectures all over Europe, chaired many sessions and coordinated many workshops, conferences and summer schools all over Europe. He has helped found and has helped coordinate the Oxford Jenkins Scholarships scheme.
He also spent eight years as a journalist working with the BBC, Times newspapers, deputy-editor of the New Statesman, and has written widely including for The Economist and Times of India. He has also published many articles, chapters, helped edit several collections, reports and books,
He also spent many years as full-time politician – he was elected to the former London Council in the 1980s was elected Chair of post-school London education, responsible for an annual budget of more than £350m p.a..
In the 1980s he worked actively with dissident movements in Central Europe, and with race equality groups in the UK. He is a founder of the British Organisation of People of Indian Origin. He has sat on the Moot (Editorial board) of The RoundTable Commonwealth journal since 2004. He has coordinated a series of high-level international seminars on fighting corruption for the British Council, and has lectured on the theme in Oxford, India, South Africa Prague, Krakow and Peru. He has served as expert advisor 1995-6 to the European Commission for its first multi-million Europe-India programme in 1997.