Peter Tufano

Emeritus Professor

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Peter is a lifelong scholar and educator, an experienced academic leader, a social entrepreneur, and an advisor to business and government leaders. From 2011-2021 he served as the Peter Moores Dean of the School. 




His work spans financial innovation, financial markets and institutions, and financial engineering - and for more than two decades, has focused on household finance. His current work continues that focus, in addition to projects on climate finance, leadership transitions, and the Ownership Project at Oxford, where he has was the Co-Principal Investigator. 

As Dean, Peter has championed the mission of making business and business education a force for justice. This approach is supported by acknowledging the business school’s integral role within the broader university, with the goal of arming students to be systems leaders who can use business to tackle world scale challenges, such as climate change. As Dean, this direction manifested itself in the 1+1 MBA programme, whereby students combine an MBA with scores of other Masters Programmes at Oxford; the required Global Opportunities and Threats: Oxford (GOTO) programme (and its global analogue, Map the System), whereby students study how business can create strategic interventions to disruptive global phenomena; the Engaging with the Humanities Programme, whereby students learn from humanities scholars and teachers primarily about leadership and values; the Oxford Foundry, a facility opened in 2017 to support all 23,000 Oxford students interested in entrepreneurship; Creative Destruction Lab, a partnership with business schools across the globe to support high impact ventures; the creation of Business Schools for Climate Leadership (BSCL); the Aspen-Oxford Leadership Programme, and more. All of these activities produce Oxford leaders who are trained and motivated to find profitable solutions to people and planet.

During his time as Dean, Peter championed issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Under his leadership, the School welcomed more than 10% of its class from Africa - the leader among all top schools, and 47% of its MBA class were women - among the highest in the world. He personally chaired the school’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. He expanded access to Oxford through championing a broad suite of online Executive Education offerings.

Peter is a social entrepreneur. In 2000, he founded, and now chairs, a non-profit, buildcommonwealth.org (formally Doorways to Dreams Fund). This organisation works with partners to help American households successfully manage their financial needs. Peter’s research on consumer finance, and the work of Commonwealth, contributed to the passage of the American Savings Promotion Act in December 2014, which removed federal barriers to sale of prize linked savings products in the US. He is currently working on research on the impact of the newly-launched Advance Child Tax Credit. 

Prior to joining Oxford, Peter was a faculty member at Harvard Business School for 22 years. At HBS, he assumed a number of leadership roles, including department chair, course head, and Senior Associate Dean. He oversaw the school’s tenure and promotion processes, campus planning, and university relations. He advised the University on financial and real estate matters. He was the founding co-chair of the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab), a cross-university initiative to foster entrepreneurship. During his sabbatical in 2021-22, he will be a Visiting Professor at Harvard Business School and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government

Peter earned his AB in Economics (summa cum laude), MBA (with high distinction) and PhD in Business Economics at Harvard University.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and recently earned certification in Sustainability and Climate Risk from GARP.

Read Peter's CV.


Peter’s research focuses on household finance, climate finance, and leadership. In the coming academic year, he plans to focus on the new US Advance Child Tax Credit; extend his work on ESG practices of companies as part of the Ownership Project; begin a new research initiative on climate finance working as part of Business Schools for Climate Leadership; and initiative a project on leadership transition. He combines empirical analysis with in-depth case studies and historical analysis, and works with collaborators in a variety of disciplines. He seeks to use his research to influence key decision makers - in business, government, academia and civil society, witnessed by the impact of his work on public policy and education, as well as his direct engagement with those audiences.  


  • Peter Tufano

Playing with your future: Who gambles in defined-contribution pension plans?(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Gordon L Clark,
  • Maurizio Fiaschetti,
  • Peter Tufano,
  • Michael Viehs

Advice in defined contribution plans

  • Chapter
  • Financial Decision Making and Retirement Security in an Aging World
  • GL Clark,
  • M Fiaschetti,
  • P Tufano

Consumer Finance 101 for Financial Educators, Financial Advisers, and Regulators

  • Chapter
  • Life-cycle investing: Financial education and consumer protection
  • P Tufano,
  • Z Bodie,
  • S Horan,
  • J Gannon,
  • C Farrell
See more publications


Peter believes that academics must have an impact on the outside world by informing business practices and public policy through direct engagement.

Peter believes that academics must have an impact on the outside world by informing business practice and public policy through direct engagement.

At Saïd Business School, Peter was active in the UK and European business and policy communities, serving the UK Behavioural Insights Team which applies behavioural economic principles to help guide national public policy and regulations; the European Central Bank; the Financial Innovation Consultative Working Group for the European Securities and Market Authority; the UK-based Scale Up Institute; and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Financing and Capital.

In the US, Peter worked with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, State government officials and a variety of businesses.

Peter co-founded the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Household Finance working group. He serves as a trustee of the Global Association of Risk Professionals, and has served as a director of the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) and on the Advisory Board of Creative Destruction Lab.  

As a Dean for a decade, Peter also has tried to advance thinking on purpose of business education, especially how it contributes to addressing the biggest challenges of the world. His most recent piece, Training leaders to win wars and forge peace: lessons from history, published in the Business History Review, examines how business schools responded to another global challenge—World War II.


On sabbatical, Peter will not be teaching, but in the past, at Oxford and Harvard, he has co-designed and taught a number of courses:

  • Global Opportunities and Threats: Oxford (GOTO)
  • Corporate Financial Engineering (HBS)
  • Household Finance (HBS)
  • Finance 2 (HBS)
  • Doctoral supervision
  • Executive education, including an online FinTech course

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