Wellcome Trust Director Jeremy Farrar is not the typical charitable foundation chief.
A world-class neurologist, research scientist and professor of tropical medicine, he built his career on the other side of the funding equation. Most recently, this was as head of the Wellcome-funded Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he lived and worked for 18 years before the Trust lured him to London in October 2013.
On top of a nomadic upbringing — born in Singapore, Farrar spent most of his childhood in Asia and the Middle East, before a degree in medicine brought him to University College London — those years in Vietnam instilled in him a passionately global view that he is keen to infuse throughout the foundation.
The Wellcome Trust could of course never be accused of parochialism. Although it is just as committed to health-related research in the U.K. as anywhere else in the world — Farrar is keen to stress that while its work often contributes to international development, this is not its mission — the geographical reach of its more than 750 million pounds ($1.14 billion) annual funding is evidence of its global impact.
Helen Castell is a London-based financial journalist with nearly 20 years’ experience covering trade, energy and risk for TXF, Shares Magazine, Global Trade Review, Newsbase, Trade Finance Magazine and other Euromoney publications. At Devex, she writes about development banking, private sector engagement and funding trends. She studied English Literature at Sheffield University and International Journalism at London’s City University, and speaks English, Spanish and Japanese.
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