Anton Muscatelli was born on 1 January 1962 in Italy to Ambrogio and Rosellina Muscatelli. His father, who was head of a shipping company, relocated the family first to Holland and then to Glasgow. Anton was educated at The High School of Glasgow and the University of Glasgow, where he graduated M.A. (Hons) in Political Economy (1984) and took a Ph.D. in Economics (1989). He was a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow from 1984 to 1992, and Daniel Jack Professor of Political Economy from 1992 until 2007. He was Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, 2000 to 2004, and Vice-Principal (Strategy, Budgeting and Advancement) from 2004 until 2007.1980-84 - MA (Hons) Political Economy, University of Glasgow.
1984-87 - PhD Political Economy, University of Glasgow.
1984-90 - Lecturer in the Department of Political Economy, University of Glasgow.
1990-92 - Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Economy, University of Glasgow.
1992-94 - Professor in the Department of Political Economy, University of Glasgow.
1994-07 - Daniel Jack Professor of Political Economy, University of Glasgow.
1995-00 - Head of the Department of Political Economy, University of Glasgow.
2000-04 - Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow.
2004-07 - Vice-Principal (Strategy, Budgeting and Advancement), University of Glasgow.
2007-09 - Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Heriot Watt University.
2009–present - Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Glasgow.
2017-present - Chair of the Russell Group.
Muscatelli has been a consultant to the World Bank and the European Commission, and was a member of the Panel of Economic Advisers of the Secretary of State for Scotland from 1998 to 2000. Since 2007, he has been an adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee on monetary policy, and in 2008 he was appointed to chair an independent expert group for the Calman Commission on Devolution, set up by the Scottish Parliament and led by the Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, Sir Kenneth Calman. This included experts from the UK, Europe, and North America. In 2015 he was appointed to the Council of Economic Advisers of the First Minister of Scotland. In June 2016 following the vote in the UK EU Referendum he was appointed by the First Minister of Scotland to Chair the Standing Council on Europe, an advisory group to advise ministers on how best to protect Scotland's relationship with the EU. He chaired the Research and Commercialisation Committee of Universities Scotland in 2007-08 and from 2008 to 2010 was Convener of Universities Scotland and Vice-President of Universities UK. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2001, and of the CESifo Economics Research Institute in Munich in 1999 In 2009 he was appointed Knight Commander (Commendatore) of the Republic of Italy for services to Economics and Higher Education. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate (Ll.D) from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. In April 2012 he was appointed to the Board of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) which provides funding and oversight of all of Scotland's Colleges and Universities. From 2014 he is Honorary President of the David Hume Institute, succeeding Lord Steel. He has held visiting appointments in many universities, including in 2014, Guest Professor of Nankai University, Tianjin, China. In March 2017, Muscatelli has been chosen as the next Chair of the Russell Group. He took over at the beginning of September 2017 from Sir David Greenaway, who is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham.
He was knighted in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to economics and higher education.
Muscatelli was appointed Principal of Heriot-Watt University on 10 October 2006, with effect from 1 February 2007. He replaced John Archer, who retired. His tenure as principal saw expansion in the University and rises in league tables. He was described by The Herald in 2008 as "one of the leading lights in Scottish higher education". Upon the announcement that he would be moving to Glasgow, the Chairman of the Court of Heriot-Watt, Lord Penrose, said: "Professor Muscatelli has been an excellent principal and vice-chancellor for Heriot-Watt University. During his time here, he has led the university to an ambitious strategy which will be our foundation for the future."
Muscatelli was succeeded as Principal of Heriot-Watt on 1 September 2009 by Steve Chapman, formerly a Vice-Principal at the University of Edinburgh.
Muscatelli succeeded Sir Muir Russell as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow in October 2009. One of his first actions was creation of a post of Senior Vice-Principal, with responsibility for internationalisation, a key aspect of his strategy for the University. He also put forward proposals to the University Court to restructure the University's nine faculties into four Colleges: College of Arts, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, College of Science and Engineering and College of Social Sciences Such structures already existed at other large universities in the UK, including Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. The plans for restructuring were approved and brought into effect in August 2010. At the same time, the University's new Strategy was unveiled entitled 'Glasgow 2020: A Global Vision'. In the last two years under Muscatelli's leadership the University of Glasgow has risen rapidly in world University rankings, and is now in the top 60 Universities in the world according to the QS University rankings Glasgow University has also become increasingly popular with international students as a result of the greater focus on international links, with demand for Glasgow University places more than doubling since 2009 Since 2010, the University has also increased its international reach, launching several new transnational education programmes in Singapore, with Singapore Institute of Technology, and in China, with a joint School of Engineering being launched with UESTC in Chengdu in 2013.
Muscatelli married Elaine Flood in 1986, with whom he has a son and a daughter. His interests include music, literature, football, strategic games and cookery.