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Charles R Conn

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Name  Charles Conn
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Charles R. Conn (born 22 August 1961) is Warden of Rhodes House, Oxford, the global CEO of the Rhodes Trust and the Rhodes Scholarships. His career has also spanned time in Silicon Valley as a technology entrepreneur and working as an environmental foundation manager and grantmaker. He sits on the boards or advisory committees of Patagonia, the Arcadia Foundation, the Oxford Internet Institute and the Atlantic Salmon Foundation.



Conn studied at Boston University's University Professors Program before reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar from Massachusetts. Conn worked at the Boston Consulting Group, gained an MBA at Harvard Business School and was a Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he focused on growth strategies and energy. He was a co-author of 'Staircases to growth' in McKinsey Quarterly and 'Revolution in Upstream Oil & Gas' in the same publication. He co-founded Citysearch in 1995, and in 1997 the California Software Industry Council named him Entrepreneur of the Year. Conn oversaw the merger with Ticketmaster, acquisition of and the company’s public share offering. He became Chairman of Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch in 2001.

Conn subsequently worked for more than a decade as Senior Advisor to the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation where his conservation projects included the preservation of wild salmon ecosystems and the Palmyra Atoll research station. He published articles on conservation and conservation biology, including in the 25th anniversary edition (December 2011) of the journal Conservation Biology, and on the advantages of Foundations adopting a long-term perspective.

He is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Mr Conn also sits on several company and non-profit boards or advisory committees, including Patagonia, the Arcadia Foundation, and the Atlantic Salmon Foundation. He acts as an adviser and investor in start-up technology companies that focus on clean energy solutions and related areas.

Conn became Warden of Rhodes House in June 2013. He is the second Rhodes Scholar, the first American and first former McKinsey & Company consultant to hold this position, and the first Warden of Rhodes House not to have served on the University of Oxford faculty.

Since moving to Oxford, Mr Conn has become an Advisory Board Member of the Oxford Internet Institute. In January 2014, he became a Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford University.

In September 2013, as part of the 110th anniversary celebrations of the Rhodes Scholarships, the Rhodes Trust announced a donation of £75 million from John McCall MacBain and Marcy McCall MacBain and the McCall MacBain Foundation to support the Scholarships. Mr. McCall MacBain, a Canadian Rhodes Scholar from 1980, had served as a Rhodes Trustee from 2010, and as Chair of the Rhodes 110th anniversary celebrations. Mr. McCall MacBain was named "Second Century Founder" of the Rhodes Scholarships in recognition of this culminating gift.

Personal life

Conn was married to Beverley Robertson. With Ms. Robertson, he has three children named Alexander, Cameron and Hannah.

His partner is Ms. Camilla Borg, who is a member of the staff of Rhodes House as Director of Special Projects.

List of Wardens of Rhodes House, Oxford

  • Sir Francis Wylie 1903–1931
  • Professor Sir Carleton Allen 1931–1952
  • Brigadier Sir Edgar Williams 1952–1980
  • Dr Robin Fletcher 1980–1989
  • Sir Anthony Kenny 1989–1999
  • Dr John Rowett 1999–2004
  • Sir Colin Lucas 2004–2009
  • Professor Don Markwell 2009–2012
  • Dr Andrew Graham Acting Warden 2012-2013
  • Charles R. Conn 2013–Present
  • References

    Charles R. Conn Wikipedia