Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Dr Andrew PurkissDr Andrew Purkis

Modern History
1967-1970


I studied Modern History at Corpus from 1967 to 1970.Since then I have done a Doctorate in the History of South Africa, based at St Antony's College, and in my career I have held a number of positions including Fast stream Civil Servant, with a spell as Private Secretary, the Northern Ireland Office; Head of Policy and Assistant Director at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations; Director of the conservation campaigning group, The Campaign for Rural England; Secretary for Public Affairs (chief adviser on the secular world) to the Archbishop of Canterbury; Chief Executive of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and Chief Executive of The Tropical Health and Education Trust.


In addition, I am now a Member of the Board of the Charity Commission for England and Wales. I have been Trustee and/or Chairman of five other charities.


I loved my time at Corpus. Its lasting benefits to me have included: some of my oldest and best friendships; an emphasis on excellence and intellectual rigour; an abiding interest in many different dimensions of society and history; and an underlying confidence, which, I hope and believe, is different from arrogance, about marshalling and expressing persuasive arguments.

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