Professor Jonathan Kydd

Independent Governor


Independent Governor


Appointed Governor April 2013.

Jonathan Kydd, a development economist with a focus on agricultural and rural development, graduated with DPhil from the University of Sussex.

His early career was spent as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Malawi. In 1983 he was appointed to a lectureship at Wye College, University of London, where he progressed to hold a Personal Chair in Agricultural Development Economics. At Wye he was a core member of a team which initiated and developed a successful distance learning programme and later director of this programme. Subsequent to the merger of Wye into Imperial in 2000 he held a chair at Imperial College until joining the Central University of London in 2007 as Dean of University of London International Programmes and Chief Executive of the University of London International Academy. The post involved academic and managerial responsibility for the 54000 students of the University of London registered for awards of the University but not members of a College of the University. Jonathan stepped down from this post at the end of July 2013. During his tenure of somewhat over six years student numbers increased from about 35000, students services have been radically modernised and a recognition scheme introduced under which the University recognises over 70 independent teaching institutions across the world to support its students.

Jonathan served for 13 years as a Board Member of CDC Group plc, chairing the independent committee of the Board which provided oversight of its transformation from the former Commonwealth Development Corporation.  He has served on the Advisory Council of ECGD (now UK Export Finance) including over a year as Interim Chair. He acted as Special Advisor to the International Development Committee of the House of Commons for its enquiry into agricultural development and aid. The report of this enquiry helped rekindled DFID support for agricultural development.

He is a trustee and deputy chair of the charity Farm Africa and chairs its programme advisory committee. 

In August 2014 he was appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Development Studies, one of the world’s major centres for research and communication about international development issues.

Jonathan is married with three adult and one school age children and lives in a rural village in the North Downs of Kent.

He currently sits on the following committees: RAUEL and Ethics