Stefan Dercon is Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department, and a Fellow of Jesus College. He is also Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies.Prior to this, he was Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), the government department in charge with the UK’s aid policy and spending. In this position, he provided strategic advice, and was responsible for ensuring the use of evidence in decision making. He has held positions at the University of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), the Catholic University of Leuven, and WIDER (Helsinki), part of the United Nations University.
His research interests concern what keeps some people and countries poor: the failures of markets, governments and politics, mainly in Africa, and how to achieve change. Current research work focuses on the psychological challenges of poverty, the political economy of development, the challenges of industrialisation in Africa, the challenges and opportunities of new technologies, and how to organise and finance responses to natural disasters and protracted humanitarian crises. In 2018, the Queen awarded him as an honorary Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for services to economics and international development. Dercon received his PhD in Economics from Oxford University.