Our Advisers

We have a network of distinguished advisors who are based in different parts of the world. The names and profiles of our advisors will be added here gradually.

Mainland China

  • Dr Hang Gao
Dr. Hang Gao is an expert in catastrophe risk management, climate change and green finance. He worked with Swiss Re, one of the largest global reinsurers, Guy Carpenter, a leading international reinsurance brokerage firm, and Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a leading catastrophic risk modeling firm. 
Dr. Gao studied at Tsinghua University and the City University of Hong Kong, and received his PhD in climatology from the University of Oxford. He was also a board director in the Insurance Institute of China. He is also an expert on the solvency advisory committee of China's financial regulator. 
  • Professor Rui Guo
Professor Guo teaches at the Law School of Renm in University in Beijing, China. His research focuses on business organisations and constitutional law. He receives his BA from the China University of Political Science & Law, and his LLM and SJD degrees from Harvard Law School.
  • Ms Dawn Zhang, MBA
Ms Zhang works in project management and corporate strategy at Volkswagen Group China in Beijing. She received her MBA degree from Harvard Business School (HBS) and BA in Economics and Biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College. She is interested in making use of technology and management skills to transform the education field. Prior to HBS, she worked for an executive search firm based in Shanghai.


  • Professor Barbara Harriss-White

Professor Harris-White is Emeritus Professor of Development Studies and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies (SIAS). She joined SIAS in 2007 and then Oxford in 1987 after 7 years teaching social science to medical doctors at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her interests are political economy; agriculture, energy and food; aspects of deprivation; India’s informal capitalism; rural and local development; and low carbon transition. She used to teach Indian political economy on the MSc in Contemporary India. (Before that – MPhil in Development Studies: core course, options in gender and development, Indian political economy, health and development, and rural development)

In 2005 while she was Director of Queen Elizabeth House, she was asked by the Vice Chancellor of Oxford University to set up a Masters in Contemporary India to confirm Oxford’s commitment to the two emerging giants of the 21st century, China (well established in SIAS) and India. This Masters, subsequently found to be the world’s first, engaged its pioneering year of students in 2008-9. This was the first non-environmental Masters degree course to mainstream the environment. Then she helped create the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme (CSASP) with a launching pad for post-docs, a home for visiting research fellows and a network of associates, a stream of international workshops and conferences, a work in progress website, and now outside funded research projects. In 2010-11 the programme consisted of 8 women which is probably also an Oxford first. Now the future of CSASP beckons an engagement with the other countries of South Asia.

She retired in 2011 after 25 years at Oxford, almost all in Queen Elizabeth House teaching agricultural economics, development economics, development studies and then the political economy of India. She has been hired back part time to direct an ESRC-DFID research project networked in India and labouring under the title of RESOURCES, GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, TECHNOLOGY AND WORK IN PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS: RICE IN INDIA, see http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v2/n5/full/nclimate1501.html.

  • Professor Pat Nuttall
Pat Nuttall is Professor of Arbovirology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. Her previous role was Director of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Natural Environment Research Council, in the UK.
  • Professor Carolyn Roberts
  • Professor Roberts is an applied environmental scientist with specific interests in sustainable water resource management. She is a Senior Manager at the Technology Strategy Board-funded ‘Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network (ESKTN)’, a national network previously based at the University of Oxford and now based at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. ESKTN connects businesses, universities and Government agencies, catalysing innovation across a national Knowledge Transfer Network.

    Professor Roberts has published widely on various hydrological issues in the UK, Spain, the Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Bangladesh. Her consultancy work covers three main public-facing arenas: (1) impacts of developments such as mining, housing development and waste disposal on the water environment; (2) advising local authorities and others on the management of flooding; and (3) tracing the movement of bodies through river and canal systems, for the police, usually in connection with murder inquiries.

    Professor Roberts has been a frequent expert witness in Public Inquiries and Crown Court, including a role as Technical Advisor to Gloucestershire County Council following the severe flooding in summer 2007, the largest civil emergency in the UK, ever. She is also honoured as a UK National Teaching Fellow. She is currently Chair of the national chartering organisation Society for the Environment, and was formerly Chair of the Institution of Environmental Sciences.

Professor Roberts was also recently appointed the Professor of Environment at Gresham College, an institution founded in 1579 for the purpose of public education in the City of London.
  • Professor Ivo Vlaev

Previously a Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, he is now Professsor in Cognitive Science and Behavioural Economics at the Business School of Warwick University. He has published extensively on cognitive science and behavioural economics through peer-reviewed academic journals, book chapters and government reports. His research focuses on human decision making in various important domains, e.g. social, financial, and medical. Specific research topics are risk attitudes, behaviour change, consumer psychology, behavioural finance, cooperation, and well-being. It is a convergence of psychology, neuroscience and economics, which achieves results that none of the disciplines can achieve alone.

Professor Vlaev is also a co-author of the UK Cabinet Office MINDSPACE report, which provides a framework for designing effective policies by utilising the latest insights from the field of behavioural economics. MINDSPACE is widely used across both local and central government and in the commercial sector.

Professor Vlaev's previous consulting work related to consumer's risk perception funded by the Institute of Actuaries, London. He has also worked on consulting projects on consumer price perception, consumer trust, and brand memory funded by large retailors. His recent work with various public organisations is on applying behaviour change principles to changing people's decisions about their health, finances and the environment.

He received his DPhil in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford (St John's College) and MSc in Cognitive Science and BSc in Psychology from the New Bulgarian University.

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