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Laing O'Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology



Founder & Director, Complexity Research Group, London School of Economics & Political Science, London, UK (1994-2017); Member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems (2012-2014); Senior Fellow in LSE IDEAS, Centre for the Study of International Affairs, Diplomacy & Grand Strategy (2014-2017); Visiting Professor at the Open University; CEM Fellow, Cambridge University (Construction Engineering Masters Programme).

EMK has had two careers. One in the British Civil Service, Department of Trade & Industry (1967-1983) where she was involved in the formulation of UK and international policy and in the negotiation of EU Directives, advising Ministers; and another as an academic at the London School of Economics (1988-2017) and the OU (since 2003).

Policy Advisor to European and USA organisations, the European Commission, UN OCHA and UNEP, ECHA, several UK Government Departments; Scientific Advisor to the Governments of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Netherlands, Singapore and UK in developing a framework of governance for government based on complexity theory.

Research focus: EMK’s research has concentrated on the implications of the theories of complexity for organizations and specifically on strategy and policy development and on the creation of enabling environments to address complex organisational, societal and global problems. Since 1997 she has led, co-led and participated in 49 projects, funded by the EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council), ESRC (Economics & Social Sciences Research Council), AHRC (Art & Humanities Research Council), the European Commission, the ECOWAS Commission (Economic Community of West African States), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), business and the public sector.

Current non-academic affiliations include:

  • Central Council Member at the Royal Overseas League
  • Trustee of the Friends of Blackheath Halls
  • Liveryman, Worshipful Company of Fruiterers
  • Chairman, Climate Change Awards Committee, Fruiterers Company

Areas of speciality:

  • Addressing complex problems in industry
  • Government
  • International organisations
Policy Advisor
Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly