Visiting Programme Directors

Programme Directors are often supported in the development and delivery of individual events by eminent advisers and visiting programme directors.  Details of our current Senior Programme Advisers and Visiting Directors can be found below.

Oliver Lewis
Revd Canon Dr Gary Wilton
Tom Woods



Oliver Lewis

Oliver specialises in innovation and disruption, focusing on the impact of new and emerging technologies. His programme looks at how technology has and will alter practices of everyday life, from the impact of so-called ‘disruptive’ technologies on cities and polities through to the character of international efforts to develop technologies that solve or provide insights into intractable social and political problems. He is particularly interested in the social dimension of technology, including the impact of entrepreneurial iconoclasts on contemporary politics and popular or fictional depictions of past, present and future technology.

Oliver left the UK Civil Service in late 2014 to join the technology start-up Improbable as their Head of Government Relations with additional responsibility for all non-entertainment business management. Within government he served in the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including multiple deployments alongside the British and NATO military in Afghanistan. He specialised in education, training, and analytical professionalisation within government departments and was part of the team that formed the FCO’s first ever Diplomatic Academy. He continues to teach on a variety of government courses, including about the relationship between academia and government.

Prior to government service Oliver was an academic focused on the practices of international elites, including diplomats, the military, and the international ‘jet-set’. He remains a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford and occasionally contributes to academic journals and edited volumes.

Oliver studied International Politics at Aberystwyth University, Diplomatic Studies at Leicester University, Politics at Brown University and researched contemporary British diplomatic training at the University of Cambridge.

Revd Canon Dr Gary Wilton

Gary is Visiting Programme Director for Religion and International Affairs and is the incumbent of a major Church of England parish in Sheffield. Until August 2013 he was based in Brussels where he was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the EU and a Canon of the Pro-Cathedral of Holy Trinity.

He was previously a member of the General Synod of the Church of England and a member of the Northern Regional Board of the Co-operative Group Ltd, the South Yorkshire Police Authority Standards Committee and Durham University’s External Examiner to the North East Ordination Course.

Gary regularly lectures on religion and international affairs and writes for academic journals, the Church press and Diplomat magazine. He is co-editor of  ‘God and the EU’ published in 2016 by Routledge. He has a long term interest in Church/ Religion/State relationships.

Ordained in 1988, Gary served in parish ministry in the Church of England before spending 10 years in theological education, concluding with York St John University where he was Head of Postgraduate Studies in Theology and Religious Studies.

Gary studied Economics & Politics at the University of Bath, Theology at Oxford and Education at the University of Nottingham.

Tom Woods

Tom is the Chair of the Wilton Park USA Foundation Board.

He is also the President of Woods International, LLC, a private sector consulting firm based in Washington, DC and focused on economic growth strategies and public private partnerships for global development. He is also a leading expert on US-Africa relations, including economic development, political, and security issues. Tom serves as the Chairman of the World Bank hosted Global Steering Committee for Quality Assurance of Medical Products, which is an international coalition of the largest health financing institutions working together with the private sector to save lives from the threat of falsified medicines. Tom is a founding and current board member of the Nigerian Interfaith Action Association (NIFAA) and provides strategic guidance to the coalition of Muslim and Christian faith leaders working to address health and development challenges in collaboration with government and development financing institutions.

Tom served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa (2004-2006) and led US engagement with 25 countries in west and southern Africa, including oversight of US Embassies in the region. He also led US economic policy toward Africa, including trade and investment issues. He worked under and provided policy advice to Secretary of State Colin Powell and to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Earlier, Tom was the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa at the US Agency for International Development (2002-2004). In this role, he oversaw the agency’s more than $1 billion Africa development budget. He is the recipient of numerous State Department awards, including Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards. Tom began his government career as a Presidential Management Fellow within the State Department Bureau of African Affairs.

Tom earned a BA in International Studies and economics with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.