Sir Richard Jolly has been a leading figure in human development since the 1970s, notably within the UN system. He has an outstanding academic record in development studies as Director of IDS Sussex (1972-81), and currently as Honorary Professor and Research Associate. Richard Jolly is a Trustee of OXFAM, a Council Member of the Overseas Development Institute and Chairman of the UN Association of the United Kingdom.
He was made a Knight of the Order of St Michael and St George for his contributions to international development. He was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF (1981–95), supporting the child survival revolution and the strategies of ‘structural adjustment with a human face’ which led into the conception of human development. In the period 1996–2000 Jolly was Chief Architect of the UNDP Human Development Reports.
Dr Jolly received his degree in economics from the University of Cambridge in 1956, and he earned his doctorate subsequently from Yale University.