Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Niall Ferguson is one of our most influential commentators on Geopolitics and the Global Economy. The wide range of his expertise underscores his ongoing importance as a keynote speaker.
Ferguson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, where he served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History.
His first book, “Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation” was short-listed for the History Today Book of the Year award, while the collection of essays he edited entitled “Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals,” was a UK bestseller. In 1998, he published to international critical acclaim “The Pity of War: Explaining World War One” and “The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild.” The latter won the Wadsworth Prize for Business History and was also short-listed for the Jewish Quarterly/Wingate Literary Award and the American National Jewish Book Award. In 2001, after a year as a Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England, he published “The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000.”
In 2003, Ferguson wrote and presented a six-part history of the British Empire for Channel 4, the UK broadcaster. The accompanying book, “Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power,” was a best-seller in both Britain and the United States. The sequel, “Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire,” was published in 2004 by Penguin, and prompted Time Magazine to name him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Two years later, Ferguson published “The War of the World: TwentiethCentury Conflict and the Descent of the West,” a television adaptation which was screened by PBS in 2007. The international bestseller, “The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World,” followed in 2008; which was a PBS series, winning the International Emmy award for Best Documentary and the Handelszeitung Economics Book Prize. In 2011 he published “Civilization: The West and the Rest,” also a Channel 4/PBS documentary series. One year later came the three-part television series, “China: Triumph and Turmoil.” The book based on his 2012 BBC Reith lectures, “The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die,” was a New York Times bestseller within a week of its publication.
An accomplished biographer, Ferguson published “High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg” in 2010 and is currently writing a life of Henry Kissinger, the first volume of which was published in 2015—to critical acclaim—as “Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist.” “Kissinger” won the 2016 Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award. In 2011, his film company Chimerica Media released “Kissinger” as its first feature-length documentary, which won the New York Film Festival’s prize for Best Documentary.
Niall Ferguson is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series "The Ascent of Money." His many other prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).
Ferguson also received the Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education (2016) and has received honorary degrees from the University of Buckingham (UK), Macquarie University (Australia), and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (Chile).
Niall Ferguson is married to the author and women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He has four children.