for the public understanding of economics and entrepreneurship

The Vinson Centre academic staff are listed below.

Professor Philip Booth - Director

Philip Booth is Professor of Economics and Director of the Vinson Centre for the Public Understanding of Economics and Entrepreneurship at the University of Buckingham. He is also Senior Academic Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs and Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham. He also holds the position of (interim) Director of Catholic Mission at St. Mary’s having previously been Director of Research and Public Engagement and Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences. From 2002-2016, Philip was Academic and Research Director (previously, Editorial and Programme Director) at the IEA. From 2002-2015 he was Professor of Insurance and Risk Management at Cass Business School. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Federal Studies at the University of Kent and Adjunct Professor in the School of Law, University of Notre Dame, Australia.

Philip has previously worked at the Bank of England as an adviser on financial stability issues and he was also Associate Dean of Cass Business School and held various other academic positions at City University. He has written widely, including a number of books, on investment, finance, social insurance and pensions as well as on the relationship between Catholic social teaching and economics (visit Catholic Social Thought) . He is Deputy Editor of Economic Affairs. Philip is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and an honorary member of the Society of Actuaries of Poland. He has previously worked in the investment department of Axa Equity and Law and was been involved in a number of projects to help develop actuarial professions and actuarial, finance and investment professional teaching programmes in Central and Eastern Europe. Philip has a BA in Economics from the University of Durham and a PhD from City University.

Philip- Booth

Professor James Tooley - Vice Chancellor

James Tooley is Vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, with previous academic appointments at the Universities of Oxford, Manchester and Newcastle. His ground-breaking research on low-cost private education in developing countries has won numerous awards, including a gold prize in the first International Finance Corporation/Financial Times Private Sector Development Competition, the Templeton Prize for Free Market Solutions to Poverty, and the IEA’s National Free Enterprise Award. His book based on this research, The Beautiful Tree (Penguin and Cato Institute), was a best-seller in India and won the Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Prize. Other of his books include Education, War and Peace and Liberty to Learn. Building on his research, Tooley has pioneered models of innovation in low-cost private education.

He has co-founded chains of low-cost schools in Ghana (Omega Schools), India (Cadmus Education), Honduras (Cadmus Academies) and, most recently, in England (Independent Grammar Schools). He is also involved with large associations of low-cost private schools, including as Patron of the Association of Formidable Educational Development (Nigeria) and Chief Mentor of the National Independent Schools Alliance (India).

Andreea Dogar - Senior Research Associate

Andreea is Senior Research Associate at the University of Buckingham where she researches education. Before joining the University of Buckingham, Andrea worked on a range of projects in the area of education and development. These have included training, monitoring and evaluation of education programmes in Iraq, Bangladesh and Kuwait. Andrea has also taught in schools in a number of countries. She has an MA and MPhil from the University of Cambridge.


Alexander Hammond – Research Associate


Alexander C. R. Hammond is the Director of the Initiative for African Trade and Prosperity (a project of the Vinson Centre and the IEA), a Research Associate at the Vinson Centre, and a Policy Analyst at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He is also a Senior Fellow at African Liberty. Formerly, Alexander worked in Washington D.C. as a Research Associate in the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, a Foreign Policy Fellow at Young Voices, and an Associate at the Charles Koch Institute.

Alexander often writes about African development, economic freedom, trade and global wellbeing. He is also the author of’s Heroes of Progress column. Alexander’s works have been translated into multiple languages and have been featured in The Washington Times, Reason, The National Interest, The Washington Examiner, CityAM, Newsweek, CapX, Business Insider SSA, News24, FEE, the Cato Institute website, the HumanProgress blog, and various other outlets both in the United Kingdom and overseas.

Professor Len Shackleton - Professor of Economics

Len Shackleton joined Buckingham in September 2011 as Professor of Economics. He was previously Dean of the Royal Docks Business School at the University of East London and prior to that was Dean of the Westminster Business School. He has also taught at Queen Mary, University of London and worked as an economist in the Civil Service. His research interests are primarily in labour economics. He has worked with many think tanks, most closely with the Institute of Economic Affairs, where he is a Research and Editorial Fellow. He edits the journal Economic Affairs, which is co-published by the IEA and the University of Buckingham. Professor Shackleton has published widely in books and academic journals. He is a frequent media commentator on economic issues.

Dr Juan Castañeda - Senior Lecturer

Juan Castaneda is Senior Lecturer in Economics and Director of the Institute for International Monetary Research at the University of Buckingham ( . Juan has been a Doctor of Economics since 2003 (UAM University at Madrid) and has experience of working and researching in monetary policy and central banking. He has worked with the European Parliament’s Committee of Economic and Monetary Affairs in the so-called “monetary dialogue with the European Central Bank”, and has also submitted written evidence for a UK Parliament report on the euro. He has been a visiting researcher at Cass Business School in London and lecturer at UNED University in Madrid. He has been awarded a Bank of Spain annual scholarship to develop research on monetary history and has also developed several research projects funded by the Institute of Fiscal Studies at Madrid on fiscal policy rules. Juan is the review editor of Economic Affairs and the editor and author of a website specialising in monetary policy and central banking: Juan is also a member of the Institute of Economic Affairs’ Shadow Monetary Policy Committee, since September 2018. In 2017 Juan was appointed as “External Expert” in Economics of COST, the European Cooperation in Science and Technology Agency. COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020.

Dr. Ali Kabiri - Head of Department

Ali Kabiri is Head of the Dept. of Economics and International Relations and Co-director of the MSc in Money Banking and Central Banking. He studied Investment and Banking at ICMA, Reading University and then continued at the LSE and Cass Business School where he earned a PhD in Finance specialising in measuring asset bubbles. From 2010-12 he was a Lecturer in Economics at Cass Business School. Ali has been a Research Associate at the LSE Financial Markets Group (FMG) since 2012 and is an Honorary Lecturer at UCL in the Department of Clinical Educational and Health Psychology. He has been a Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University, Princeton University, Rutgers University and Yale School of Management in the USA. His research interests include financial frictions, behavioural economics and economic/financial History. He is currently working with Princeton University and UCL- Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty (CSDU) on the role of psychology during economic booms and recessions.

Professor Martin Ricketts - Professor Emeritus

Professor Martin Ricketts is Emeritus Professor of Economic Organisation at the University. He graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (1970) and has a DPhil from the University of York (1980). He has published in professional journals on the theory of the firm, aspects of public finance, the new institutional economics and housing policy. He worked as a research economist at the Industrial Policy Group (1970-1972) under the direction of Professor John Jewkes and was Research Fellow at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of York (1975-1977). He has been on the academic staff of the University of Buckingham since 1977, becoming successively Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and finally Professor (1987). He has held a number of visiting posts abroad, notably Visiting Professor at the Virginia Polytechnic and State University (VPI) in the USA, and has lectured widely in other countries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts Manufactures and Commerce and was an Honorary Professor at Heriot-Watt University (1996-2006). He was Economic Director of the National Economic Development Office (UK) 1991-1992; Dean of the School of Business at the University of Buckingham (1993-1997) and Dean of Humanities (2001-2014). He is a managing trustee of the Institute of Economic Affairs and is chairman of its International Advisory Council. He is also a trustee of the Institute of International Monetary Research. He has a keen interest in music and is chairman of the Buckingham Summer Festival.