skip to Main Content

Dr. Rob John

Rob is in the midst of his third career. Trained as an organic chemist and equipped with a PhD from Oxford he held university research posts in the US, Switzerland and Ethiopia, focused on synthesising complex, medically active molecules. He contributed to research that won the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

But Ethiopia was life changing experience. Leaving a career at the laboratory bench he spent the next 15 years as a development worker, managing refugee, humanitarian, community development and microcredit programmes throughout Africa and Asia.

In 2000 he embarked on his third career when asked to manage a venture philanthropy fund based in Oxford, which traces its roots to funding the start up of Oxfam, ActionAid and other successful development agencies. Five years later he began collaborating with professionals from the private equity community to build the EVPA, a venture philanthropy network in Europe. In 2010 he co-founded the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, headquartered in Singapore.

From 2005-09 Rob was a visiting fellow at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Said Business School in Oxford. From 2011- 2017 Rob was a senior visiting fellow at NUS Business School, Singapore, where he published research on the development of entrepreneurial social finance in Asia. He has written widely on giving circles and launched the resource website

He can be contacted via

Back To Top