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About SOAS

Mr Jonathan Taylor CBE

Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor was a member of the SOAS Governing Body for 17 years, from 1988 to 2005, and served as its Chairman for the last six of those years.

A graduate and Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Mr Taylor joined Booker plc in 1959 and was its chief executive from 1984 to 1993. Since 2001 he has been chairman of the Booker Prize Foundation, which awards the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the UK’s most prestigious literary honour. He is also council chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing and chair of the trustees of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Between 1989-2000 he chaired the Bodleian Library Development Board and was a co-opted curator of the Bodleian from 1989 to 1997.

Since 2000, he has also been deeply involved with the British Marshall Scholarships through his chairmanship of Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission, which administers the scholarships.

Mr Taylor’s professional life and personal interests reflect the values of the SOAS community as a whole: a lifelong love of books, a belief in the importance of a diverse and academically rigorous education and a commitment to seeking greater international understanding and cooperation among nations, individuals and institutions.