John Kirkland is Deputy Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, the UK government’s main arm for scholarships for developing countries. He is also currently Secretary of the Management Committee of the Commonwealth Scholarships 50th anniversary endowment fund, which aims to establish more Commonwealth Scholarships in low and middle income countries, as well as Executive Secretary of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. He has served as Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth Universities Study Abroad Consortium (CUSAC).
Prior to joining the ACU, he was Secretary of the UK National Institute for Economic and Social Research from 1994-1999, and prior to this was Director of the Research Services Bureau at Brunel University from 1988-1994. He also obtained his doctorate from Brunel in 1989. He was appointed Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England in 2008, and has also undertaken research and consultancy projects for international bodies including AUSAID, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Commonwealth Secretariat, UK Department for International Development (DFID), European Commission, and the World Bank.