Marrack (known as MIG) Goulding will find himself in the best of company when he swaps the skyscrapers of New York for the spires of Oxford to take up his new post as warden of St Antony's College.
A Magdalen College graduate, Goulding, under secretary for political affairs at the United Nations, succeeds Lord Dahrendorf in October next year. He will find Sir Crispin Tickell, former UN and Foreign and Commonwealth Office colleague, installed as Green College warden.
Mr Goulding miffed UN hawks by suggesting that the UN was not up to keeping peace by force. But then Goulding was trained to think the unthinkable. He is an alumnus of the former Central Policy Review Staff, which out-radicalled even Mrs Thatcher with its suggestions for cutting state spending - including ending for higher education. Other alumni include Cabinet Secretary Sir Robin Butler, Labour foreign affairs spokeswoman Baroness Blackstone, and another Dahrendorf successor British library board chairman John Ashworth.