Stephen Chan was awarded the OBE in 2010 “for services to Africa and higher education”. The International Studies Association at its 50th annual conference awarded him the title Eminent Scholar in Global Development and the University of Johannesburg elected him Honorary Professor of Humanities.
Stephen has twice been Dean at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London – where he also holds the Chair in International Relations. He has held senior positions at other British universities, twice Visiting Fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford; and held visiting appointments at African, American, European, New Zealand, and Taiwanese universities.
Formerly an international civil servant with the Commonwealth Secretariat, Stephen helped pioneer modern observation at the Zimbabwean independence elections and has worked across Africa on diplomatic and academic assignments. He lived in Zambia from 1980 to 1985 and remains active in diplomatic work. He has also worked closely with the UK Foreign Office, consulted for the US State Department and been active in several ‘back channel’ diplomatic manoeuvres in Africa, China, and the Middle East.
As the firstborn son of refugees from war-torn China, Stephen grew up in New Zealand and was highly active in the country’s literary renaissance of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Stephen has published 35 scholarly books, 5 volumes of poetry, and 3 novels.