Dan Carter profile


One of the world’s greatest sports leaders and all-time highest point scorer in test match rugby has joined the Oxford Foundry as its first ever Leader in Practice

Published: 28 June 2021


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The Oxford Foundry is the University of Oxford’s multidisciplinary entrepreneurship centre. With support from Saïd Business School, it was founded by Reid Hoffman CBE, co-founder of LinkedIn, and Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, amongst others, and launched in 2017 by Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The former All Black will help inspire students, alumni, and wider communities to lead with purpose and resilience, and support them to gain the mindsets and skills needed to succeed as entrepreneurs or within their chosen careers.

The new Leader in Practice will provide strategic counsel to the Oxford Foundry about leadership curriculums and pioneer an annual flagship event series with world-renowned global leaders across sectors and disciplines. The role also provides invaluable guidance and mentorship to Oxford Foundry-supported entrepreneurs, who are leading high-growth start-ups on the OXFO Elevate accelerator - working in areas including climate change, healthcare equity, and cybersecurity.

Dan’s mentorship will have a particular focus on developing skills under pressure and building strong, compassionate, resilient teams. Crucially, he has designed and developed a unique practical skills and training course with the Oxford Foundry on ‘The Art of Winning’. The aspiration is to impact millions of young people globally to feel empowered and accountable for the skills they can use to positively influence the lives of others.

Dan Carter says, ‘It’s a very exciting time as I start a new chapter in my life. Handing over a legacy for the people coming after me has always been my goal and I’m passionate about mentoring. Joining the Oxford Foundry as Leader in Practice is a way for me to share my leadership knowledge and experiences from rugby and give back to future generations.

‘We’re on this planet not only to fulfil our purpose but as custodians, and with challenges like the climate crisis, it’s important to me that we leave the planet in a better place than we found it. So much can be achieved when we lean into pressure, face our fears, and proactively build skills that are vital to success in both sport and business. I’m really looking forward to meeting the aspiring young leaders coming through the Oxford Foundry and helping them fulfil their potential to make positive change in the world.’

Ana Bakshi, Executive Director of the Oxford Foundry, says, ‘Dan is an incredible role model. As one of the greatest sports legends of our time, he’s an inspirational example to our future entrepreneurs and leaders. Throughout his rugby career, he has shown what can be achieved when you boldly pursue ambitious goals, have self-belief, and proactively acquire the skills to help you achieve them.

‘Teamwork, resilience and purposeful leadership are all skills and mindsets the Oxford Foundry instils in our future workforce, ventures and leaders, and are essential for all careers. In a world which still sees huge inequalities and polarisation, and is still in the throes of a global pandemic, it’s never been more important to invest in our future generations.

‘Dan’s knowledge and experience is an invaluable asset that will help nurture the next generation of purposeful leaders and the purpose driven ventures that they are building. Appointments like this help give students the lifelong learning and direction they so vitally need for whatever life throws at them.’