The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
Professor FitzGerald comes from an Irish and English background and was educated at Oxford (PPE, BA 1968) and Cambridge (Economics, PhD 1972). He was first employed by The Economist; was Assistant Director of Development Studies at Cambridge until 1979; then Professor of Development Economics at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague (part of Erasmus University Rotterdam). During the 1980s Valpy also served as economic adviser to the Government of Nicaragua on secondment from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Valpy returned to Oxford in 1992 to join what was then Queen Elizabeth House and which he helped transform into the Oxford Department of International Development. He was Director of the Finance and Trade Policy Research Centre 1992-2006; Tutor for Admissions 2000-5; Head of Department 2007-12; and REF Coordinator 2012-14; finally retiring in 2014. He is now a Professorial Fellow Emeritus of St Antony's College Oxford.
Valpy FitzGerald's current research interests include the reform of international taxation (on both corporate profits and personal wealth), the macroeconomics of income inequality in the Kaleckian tradition, and the long-run economic history of Latin America. He is also writing a history of QEH/ODID framed by the post-colonial transformation of the University.
During his professional career Professor FitzGerald has acted as economic adviser to a number of developing country governments (ranging from Peru and Mexico to Cambodia and the Maldives); as well as several United Nations agencies, the G24 and the OECD. Between 1997 and 2002 he acted as adviser on international investment to the newly formed UK Department for International Development, contributing to the seminal 2000 White Paper Eliminating World Poverty: Making Globalization Work for the Poor. Currently, he serves as a commissioner – with colleagues Ocampo, Piketty and Stiglitz – of the Independent Commission on the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT, www.icrict.com).
Valpy has a close relationship with progressive Spanish academic economics, having held the Queen Victoria Eugenia chair at the Universidad Complutense (Madrid) 1995-6 and 1996-7; receiving the Gabarrón Prize in Economics in 2007 and an Honorary Doctorate from the Complutense in 2014. He was elected Honorary President of the Sociedad de Economia Mundial in 2015; and is a founding scientific board member of the Red Española de Estudios de Desarrollo and of the Sociedad Española de Economía Crítica.
Since retirement Valpy and Angelines live between Oxford and Andalucía, where they grow olives and almonds. A somewhat charitable valedictory biography may be found in John Toye ‘Valpy FitzGerald: radical macroeconomist of development’ Oxford Development Studies https://doi.org/10.1080/13600818.2017.1311851.