Lord Skidelsky is a Crossbench Life Peer, an economist and author, and a former Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick (he retired in 2006). He is on the Advisory Board of the John Smith Memorial Trust.
He was born in Harbin, China, in 1939, educated at Brighton College, and later at Jesus College, Oxford (BA Modern History 1961).
Between 1965 and 1968, Lord Skidelsky was Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He then worked as Associate Professor of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (Washington DC) from 1970 until 1976. Lord Skidelsky then went on to Head the Department of History, Philosophy and European Studies at the Polytechnic of North London (1967-78). From 1978 - 1990, he taught International Studies at Warwick University.
Lord Skidelsky was a founding member of the Social Democratic Party. He is Founder and Chair of the Centre for Global Studies(2002-now). He is the former Chairman of the Social Market Foundation (SMF)(1991-2001), and former Conservative Party spokesman for Treasury Affairs in the House of Lords. Skidelsky brought the SMF think tank to a position of prominence and influence, and re-launched it as a “non-libertarian free-market body” in 1990.
During his time as director, under the SMF umbrella, Skidelsky established a Centre for Post-Collectivist Global Studies, with the help of patrons like: Ralf Dahrendorf, a German-British politician/sociologist and a House of Lords cross-bencher (not aligned to any particular party); British Economist Meghnad Desai; and former Prime Minister (PM) Margaret Thatcher. Its main concentration was post-Communist economies (particularly Russia). The new Centre began organising conferences and conducting its own research work.
The Centre was mysteriously disbanded, and after 1992, no new entries were added to its new website. There are no financial records regarding the dissolution. It appears Skidelsky established it in an attempt to capitalise on new business opportunities materialising out of the collapse of the Soviet Union, but discovered that initiating business with some former Soviet Bloc countries in Eastern Europe still proved too challenging in the 90s. As a result, the Centre was closed.
A fluent Russian speaker, he is Director of the Moscow School of Political Studies and Founder and Executive Secretary of the UK/Russia Round Table. He is also a Trustee of the Manhattan Institute and Chairman of the Governors of the Brighton College.
- Trustee, Our Talents Foundation (2003-now); | FOREST, Advisory council circa 2005 | Trustee, Manhattan Institute | Non-Executive Director of Janus Capital Inc, previously Stilwell (5th largest mutual fund company in the United States), (2001 - now); Consultant to the Russian Investor Protection Association (2003-now); | Director, Transnational Insights Ltd. (2003-now) | Wilton Park, academic council
Books of his include Politicians and the Slump (1967), English Progressive Schools (1969), Oswald Mosley (1975), and The World After Communism (1995). He is also the author of a major biography in three volumes on John Maynard Keynes.