Picture of the Elmfield buildingVisiting Professors Appointed to the Department of Politics

We are delighted to announce that the Department of Politics has appointed three visiting professors to play leading roles as external ambassadors for the Department and to provide support in its development.

The Department has appointed Member of European Parliament (MEP) Linda McAvan, Managing Director of the Behavioural Insights Team Owain Service, and Joe Twyman, Founding Director and Head of Political Social Research for YouGov.

They join the Department’s existing Visiting Professors, Rt. Hon David Blunkett, Dr Anne Posthuma, David Marsh CBE and Will Somerville.

The new appointments are the second round of the Department’s plan to create an Advisory Board, whose members can play a role in the development of the Department, promote the Department within and beyond the UK, and engage with students and staff during visits to the Department.

More information about our new Visiting Professors:

Linda McAvan - MEP since May 1998, representing Yorkshire and the Humber from June 1999

She is head of the European List for Labour 1999, 2004 and 2009 European Elections and the current Chair of the European Parliament Committee on International Development.

Previously, Linda has acted as spokesperson for the Socialist Group Environment, Climate Change, Food Safety and Public Health (2009-2014) and was Deputy Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party (1999- 2014). Her specialist areas of interest are Climate Change, Tobacco Control and Medicines Safety.

Linda holds a BA Hons in Languages (Interpreting/Translating) from Heriot Watt and an MA (maitrise) International Relations, Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

Owain Service - Managing Director, The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT)

Often referred to as the ‘Nudge Unit’, BIT is part of the Cabinet Office and applies insights from academic research in behavioural economics and psychology to public policy and services.
Owain has previously worked in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, the Foreign Office and the European Commission, leading work on Strategic Defence and Security, energy, public services reform and local government strategic review.

He holds degrees from Cambridge (Social and Political Sciences) and the LSE (MSc in International Relations).

Joe Twyman - Founding Director and Head of Poltical and Social Research, YouGov

Joe is an alumnus of the department (BA Politics). Prior to founding YouGov in 2000, he worked for Ipsos MORI. He provides expert analysis for both the national and international media including BBC television and radio, Sky News, ITN, Reuters, Bloomberg, GMTV and CNBC. On the night of the 2010 General Election he was the on-screen analyst for CNN’s live broadcast.

Joe is a long-standing friend of the Department: He has been an active supporter of alumni events, a sponsor of an undergraduate prize and he provides annual employment advice to our final year students.