Professor Nigel Thrift is the Executive Director of Schwarzman Scholars. Prior to this, he was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick (2006-2016) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Oxford (2005-2006). Professor Thrift was made Head of the Division of Life and Environmental Sciences at Oxford in 2003, before which he chaired the Research Committee at The University of Bristol (2001 – 2003) and Bristol’s Research Assessment Panel (1997-2001).
Professor Thrift was born in Bath, educated at Aberystwyth and Bristol and is one of the world’s leading human geographers and social scientists. During his academic career Professor Thrift has been the recipient of a number of distinguished academic awards including the Scottish Geographical Society Gold Medal in 2008, the Royal Geographical Society Victoria Medal for contributions to geographic research in 2003 and Distinguished Scholarship Honors from the Association of American Geographers in 2007. His current research spans a broad range of interests, including international finance; cities and political life; non-representational theory; affective politics; and the history of time (see Research Interests).
Professor Thrift is an Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences. He was made a fellow of the British Academy in 2003 and appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the West Midlands in 2014. He received an Honorary LLD from the University of Bristol in 2010 and an Honorary LLD from Monash University in 2013. Professor Thrift chaired Main Panel H of RAE 2008 from 2003-2006; was a member of the Panel for Geography for the RAE 2001; has been a member of the Leverhulme Prize Fellowship Geography Panel since 2000 and was a member of the ESRC Research Priorities Board between 2001 and 2005. He is a Visiting Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford and an Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of Bristol.