A Fellow of Keble College, Atif is Programme Director of the MSc in Major Programme Management (MMPM) at the Saïd Business School. The MMPM is a two-year, part-time, course that attracts senior executives from around the world who lead major programmes across various arenas: large-scale infrastructure, major ICT, business change, urban development, defence equipment, big science, or major events.
Atif has been a fixture at University of Oxford since 2006. From 2006-2010 he undertook his DPhil (PhD), at Brasenose College, with the prestigious Clarendon Scholarship from Oxford University Press. Atif was a post-doctoral Research Fellow from 2010-2013 at the BT Centre for Major Programme Management at Saïd Business School, then from 2013-2015 he served as a Lecturer at the Blavatnik School of Government and Cohort Manager of the Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA). In 2018, Atif began an appointment as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Global Projects Center.
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 the needs of end users. Recent research, particularly focusing on megaprojects in China and large dams and their outcomes – financial, environmental, and social - with colleagues has been widely profiled in the media.
His scholarly contributions are in the areas of:
Atif’s work demonstrates the large scale impacts of major programmes across the world and the change in focus that is needed: strategic developments that take into account not only financial implications of major programmes, but also acknowledge that project organisations are potent devices to give life to meaningful social ideals.
See full CV and List of Publications at LinkedIn.
Download Atif Ansar's papers from SSRN.
View Atif Ansar’s ResearchGate profile and download further papers.
With Latrubesse et al., 2017, “Damming Nature: The Dark Future of Amazon Rivers,” Nature, 546(7658), 363–369.
Atif Ansar, 2017, “The Fate of Ideals In the Real World: A Long View of Philip Selznick’s Classic on the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).” International Journal of Project Management.
Atif Ansar, Bent Flyvbjerg, Alexander Budzier, and Daniel Lunn, 2016, “Does infrastructure investment lead to economic growth or economic fragility? Evidence from China.” Oxford Review of Economic Policy.
Atif Ansar, Bent Flyvbjerg, Alexander Budzier, and Daniel Lunn, 2014, “Should We Build More Large Dams? The Actual Costs Of Mega-Dam Development.” Energy Policy 69: 43–56.
Atif Ansar and Martin Pohlers, 2014, “Fluid Populations, Immobile Assets: Synchronising Infrastructure Investments With Shifting Demography.” International Area Studies Review 17 (2): 222-248.
• Atif Ansar and Ben Caldecott, 2013, "Stranded Assets And The Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign: What Does Divestment Mean For The Valuation Of Fossil Fuel Assets?" Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.
• Atif Ansar, 2012, “Location Decisions of Large Firms: Analysing the Procurement of Infrastructure.” Journal of Economic Geography 13 (5): 823–44.
Atif Ansar, Bent Flyvbjerg, and Alexander Budzier, 2017, “Big Is Fragile.” In B. Flyvbjerg,(Ed). Handbook of Major Programme Management. Oxford University Press.
Atif Ansar (2012) “Project finance in emerging markets: A primer.” In R. Morrison, ed., The Principles of Project Finance. Gower Publishing Ltd, pp. 287-300
Atif Ansar (2011) "Impact of the Financial Crisis on Fiscal Space and Infrastructure Spending." In V. Cuttaree and C. Mandri-Perrott, Public-Private Partnerships in Europe and Central Asia: Designing Crisis-Resilient Strategies and Bankable Projects. World Bank Publications, pp. 89-96
Atif Ansar, Ben Caldecott, James Tilbury (2013) "Stranded assets and the fossil fuel divestment campaign: what does divestment mean for the valuation of fossil fuel assets?" Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford
(A copy of the following working papers may be made available upon request. Please do not post or cite without authors' permission.)
In terms of wider research and impact, 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 outcomes of capital investment projects.
The Trouble with Megaprojects
Research shows that big isn't necessarily best (Atif Ansar is quoted)
The New Yorker - Saturday, 11 April, 2015
Large dams just aren’t worth the cost
Expert speaks up following study by BSG's Atif Ansar.
New York Times - Friday, 22 August, 2014
Ending the flood of megadams
Atif Ansar argues for agile alternatives to costly megadam projects
Wall Street Journal - Wednesday, 19 March, 2014
Large Dams Cost Double Original Budget, Oxford Researchers Say
A study by Atif Ansar brings warnings over costs and viability of mega-dam projects
Bloomberg Businessweek - Monday, 10 March, 2014
Beware large dams and their handlers - study
Atif Ansar talks about the findings from his research into mega-dam projects
Business Day (South Africa) - Tuesday, 25 February, 2014
World Business Report on public policy procurement
Atif Ansar discusses government decision-making for infrastructure projects
BBC World Service - Thursday, 6 February, 2014
Press article: Campaign against fossil fuel growing, says study
Guardian piece on the report co-authored by Atif Ansar
The Guardian - Tuesday, 8 October, 2013
Atif teaches on the MSc in Major Programme Management (MMPM), Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Master in Public Policy (MPP), and helps deliver executive education programmes such as the UK Government’s Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA) for top UK civil servants. He is also a visiting scholar at the Global Projects Centre (GPC) of Stanford University.
Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street