Atif Ansar

Senior Teaching Fellow

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


A Fellow of Keble College, Atif is Senior Teaching Fellow on the MSc in Major Programme Management and the Australian Major Projects Leadership Academy (AMPLA). He is the Founding Director of the Oxford Programme on the Sustainable Future of Capital-Intensive Industries, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

Atif is also the Executive Chairman of Foresight Works – an Oxford based technology firm building next-gen software for the world’s megaprojects. Atif has been at the University of Oxford since 2006. From 2006 to 2010, he undertook his DPhil (PhD), at Brasenose College, with the prestigious Clarendon Scholarship from Oxford University Press. Atif was a post-doctoral research fellow at the BT Centre for Major Programme Management at Saïd Business School from 2010. From 2015 until 2020, Atif was Programme Director of the MSc in Major Programme Management and continues to be one of the senior teaching fellows on the course’s faculty. Atif also teaches on the UK and Australian Governments Major Projects Leadership Academy. In 2018, Atif began an appointment as a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Global Projects Center and a Visiting Professorship at Tsinghua University.

Atif previously undertook his bachelor’s degree at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he majored in philosophy, politics, and economics.


Atif’s research focuses on delivering major infrastructure and integrated real estate programmes cheaper, faster, and with greater sensitivity to end users.

His recent research with colleagues has looked particularly at megaprojects in China and large dams and their outcomes (financial, environmental and social). It has been widely profiled in the media.

Atif's scholarly contributions are in the areas of:

  • decision-making under uncertainty in strategic initiatives  
  • reference class forecasting
  • modular design of infrastructure systems
  • real options, temporal uncertainty and major programmes
  • correcting optimism bias, misaligned incentives and poor governance
  • end user-led co-development of infrastructure and public services
  • major programme-led global strategy 
  • macroeconomic impacts of major programmes.

View Atif's research.


Atif engages widely with public and private sector stakeholders and the media.

He has consulted for the World Bank, UK Government, governments in Asia and Africa, and private sector clients. Atif’s public sector work has focused on infrastructure, public investment management, and public sector transformation programmes. His work for the private sector has been in the areas of project finance and on improving decision practice and the outcomes of capital investment projects.

Atif's research and insights have been published in numerous newspapers, journals, magazines and in the broadcast media, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Guardian and the BBC World Service.



Atif teaches on the following programme:

He helps deliver executive education programmes, including the UK Government’s Major Projects Leadership Academy for top UK civil servants. Atif is also a visiting scholar at the Global Projects Centre of Stanford University. 

Social media

Find out more about Atif's career and professional expertise on LinkedIn.