The career of Ron Amann, chief executive of the Economic and Social Research Council, has crept ever closer to the heart of policymaking. From July, as director of the new Centre for Management and Policy Studies in the Cabinet Office, he will not only have responsibility for a reshaped civil service college and top management programme but for most new ideas on how to manage government.
It is a job colleagues expect to suit him. Julian Cooper, who took over his job as director of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at Birmingham University, says: "He is someone who was always fascinated by the corridors of power."
Born 55 years ago in Newcastle and raised there, Professor Amann attended Heaton Grammar School before going to Birmingham University to study political science.
His interest in the philosophies of continuity and change fed his lifelong fascination with Russia, particularly in terms of scientific policy and innovation.
After a short time as a consultant for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, he joined Birmingham University as an assistant lecturer and worked his way up to professor of comparative politics and pro vice-chancellor.
Meanwhile, he served as a special adviser to the House of Commons select committee on science and technology and a member of the technology Foresight steering committee.
He is said to combine a talent and enjoyment for administration with a calm manner and good sense of humour.
Professor Amann is married to a teacher and has two adult sons and a daughter. He is a talented cricketer and played for Birmingham's university team as an undergraduate and member of staff.
He is also a devoted jazz lover. He says he plays the piano "very badly", but succeeded better in enthusing his son, now a professional jazz musician.
People is edited by Harriet Swain and researched by Lynne Williams.
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