Sir John Hood

BLAKE Medallist 2009

President and Chief Executive, The Robertson Foundation.

Sir John Hood’s appointment to the position of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2004 marked the first time, in its 900-year history, a person had been selected for the position from outside the institution.

Formerly Vice-Chancellor of The University of Auckland, Sir John’s appointment to one of the world’s leading universities was seen as a tribute to his understanding of the modern university and its role. It also recognised his vision and ability to set direction and goals and to motivate people in achieving them.

During his time at Oxford, research income has nigh doubled, with the University achieving significant success in the latest Research Assessment Exercise. The physical infrastructure of the institution has been steadily enhanced and plans are advanced for future projects. The Campaign for Oxford has been launched and has to date raised well in excess of £700 million. The University is now financially and administratively stronger.

As Vice-Chancellor at The University of Auckland between 1999 and 2004, Sir John’s restless energy and enthusiasm quickly won broad support through his strong advocacy of New Zealand’s need to regain its place in the top half of the OECD. He gave the University a new sense of direction and left the institution in a strong position to pursue its goals of excellence and international recognition.

Sir John has also shown a strong commitment to industry in his career, having spent 19 years heading the paper, building and construction divisions of Fletcher Challenge. Prior to leaving for Oxford, he was a director of ASB Bank, Fonterra Co-operative Group and Universitas 21 Global; Chairman of Tonkin & Taylor, The Knowledge Wave Trust and the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee. He was also a member of the Prime Minister’s Growth and Innovation Advisory Board, New Zealand Secretary for The Rhodes Trust and a member of the Council of the University of Melbourne.

During the 1990s Sir John’s leadership extended to the design of the country’s high performance sport architecture as Chairman of the America’s Cup Task Force and the Minister’s Think-Tank on High Performance Sport and as author of the Hood Report on New Zealand Cricket.

Sir John has a PhD in Engineering, is a Rhodes Scholar, and also gained a Master of Philosophy in Management Studies from Oxford University. He has been appointed a KNZM.