Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Oriana Bandiera

Tony was an exceptional colleague in many ways: extremely smart, passionate about designing a society that works for the weakest, humble and kind beyond belief. His perfect alignment of intellect and morality gave him the calm and clarity to tackle the difficult path from rigorous research to effective policy design. 

My most precious memory dates back to when I was appointed director of STICERD and I had tea with Tony to learn from his experience. Before I could take out my long list of questions, Tony started asking about my work on health service delivery in Zambia, he knew it well and offered many brilliant insights. Most importantly his enthusiasm rubbed off and I went back to my office buzzing with energy and a childlike excitement to analyse more data.

It took me hours to realise I hadn't asked a single question on my "how to be a good director" list. It took me much longer to understand that Tony  had answered the most important question: that the Director's job is to encourage research excellence, and that excellent research requires a strong sense of purpose.

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